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  • #999085
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    On this forum we seem to get caught up in the idea that marketing is confined to a few channels – most notably digital.

    Where I am, I get exposure to a large amount of promotion that we don’t read a lot about in these forums.

    Weetbix became extremely popular in China after being seen on a TV show
    Blackmores burst onto the scene there after being used by Chinese tennis star Li Na
    No end of brands have become successful as a result of Chinese buying them and sending back to China (Reality whether we agree with the concept or not)

    A really strange one that caught my eye was that of a shoe brand. When I was growing up in rural Australia in the 70’s and 80’s, the shoe of choice was the Dunlop Volley. Cheap and indestructible. I had actually thought the brand had died until I saw them in Kmart a few years ago.

    Now, after being worn by a Chinese singer, this is the result

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/lifestyle/style/how-one-picture-is-bringing-dunlop-volleys-back-australian-brand-to-open-50-stores-in-china-after-a-photo-of-the-beyonce-of-the-country-wearing-the-sports-shoes-goes-viral/ar-AAzAJTz

    In my mind a very unlikely story of potential success.

    This and plenty of other methods are being used to promote products away form traditional methods.

    Not suggesting for a moment that this will have the same impact for small business operators in Australia. If anything more a message that with everyone often using the same method, sometimes a unique (innovative) approach may overcome the noise of what everyone else is doing.

    #1217683
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485

    [USER=34822]@Johny[/USER] it’s a little sad that this thread seems to have being let go and not commented on, when I first saw it I was wondering what response you would get but now a few days down the track I am reflecting on why it’s being let go.

    Just some random thoughts and goes in line with other similar threads where someone is suggesting non digital, or non standard marketing may be an option. And just my thinking is that because it’s not digital, our current crop of marketing people have no idea how to handle it, or even how to respond to it. It’s like when I suggest word of mouth or flyers, the digital people run for cover or try to say it’s to time consuming or just doesn’t work.

    Lets hope that today’s marketers look beyond the current Fad (thats all digital is), and start using their creativity (lacking today), and get on board.

    IMHO

    #1217684
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712

    I read the post but didn’t feel I had anything to add. Was also looking forward to the replies.

    #1217685
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    I agree Bert.

    I am no marketing guru and fumble my way around. I am also finding myself reading and seeing more and more about what “marketing” is supposed to be.
    There is some good stuff out there, but like everything on the internet you have to wade through a lot of garbage to get to it., and much of it is contradictory.

    I turned 50 this year so put myself in the “old fart” category now. I acknowledge I am not up to speed with all that is digital, and have some “back in my day” thinking, but there are two things that stand out to me:-

    1. Being first, fastest or loudest might provide some short term benefit, but nothing beats honesty and transparency. I think many have forgotten that. Yes, I realise marketing has always been about smoke and mirrors to varying degrees.

    2. When someone says something is good, make sure to check and see what benefit they get for it.

    As you said in another thread, still plenty of opportunity around to market in different ways and we have to be open to all the potential opportunities, not just follow the same one as if it is the only one.

    #1217686
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173

    Hi Johny,

    I am happy to step in.

    I could be someone that others would identify on these boards as a digital fan boy and there is a large part of me that is.

    This is primarily because I have increased the size of my business by a factor of X 7.75 through internet marketing only – strictly Adwords and Local SEO in my case.

    I am older than you Johny and am even somewhat old in digital years now and while I feel my human age, I don’t feel my digital age at all.

    I once had a unique job where I spent half my time being a PR specialist and have preparing the organisation’s performance data.

    It seemed to really suit my split personality – how I loved that job!!

    I have thought of lots of business ideas that were PR worthy – old school – new wonder service on the news and ACA and throw in David Kosh raving about me for good measure.

    Having Opera rave about how my service changed her life and Kim K say that it probably saved her marriage…..

    Old school baby.

    Not in the same league, but I had an idea to build luxury decks open on 3 sides with outdoor lounges, dining areas, tvs kitchens or BBQ’s, installed and feature lighting, fans etc.

    My big marketing idea? – shared here on Flying Solo by the way – at completion of a new deck, invite all of the friends and neighbours around for a BBQ that I the builder would supply food and drink for and cook the food – why, to say what and awesome person my customer is in front of their friends, to apologise for the disruption the building caused to the neighbours and to….

    Sell my next deck or 3 of course!

    And in the lead up to the BBQ, like [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] does, plaster the neighbourhood with flyers.

    Hopefully, like another thread recently, I could have used this strategy to develop a waiting list of people in the neighbourhood would would want a deck just like my customer’s.

    Old School with a new twist and very affordable.

    Sensis used to value the Yellow Pages at $10 billion – when small business owners used to queue to get their ad in on the first page of their category.

    These days it is a ghost town – why would I pay for an ad in a site that ranks below mine on Google for the key words I am chasing. That said, some FS members state that it works well in country areas so when in Rome!!

    And the internet is ubiquitous and accessible in ways that marketing never was when I was growing up.

    To imagine I could grow my business 7 x in a few years for so little cost still amazes me and it is because of the internet.

    Can you understand, that from my perspective, I feel strongly that many local businesses, that want to grow, don’t use the internet enough to meet their goals (by either having too little presence or by doing what they have done really badly)?

    #1217687
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    Can you understand, that from my perspective, I feel strongly that many local businesses, that want to grow, don’t use the internet enough to meet their goals (by either having too little presence or by doing what they have done really badly)?

    I get you.

    I am not anti tech/digital. I have gotten a great deal of business through social media (LinkedIn primarily) over the years. And with a project I am currently working on, I plan to do a whole lot more. In fact, it will take me in a whole new direction. I won’t have a website of my own, I won’t have any special marketing done (at least at the start), and it will totally be about my time and effort in getting in front of people – working really well so far.

    It would be silly for me to advocate no digital, and it wasn’t my intent.

    All I am suggesting is to be open to ALL the avenues.

    But getting off track a little, let me ask you and others a question:-

    Do you find it easier or harder now to have trust in the products/services that people/companies are selling?

    I know my thoughts, but how you answer that may also go some way towards understanding why it is done badly.

    #1217688
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173

    I saw a Funniest Police Chases or something on TV.

    A Cop pulled somebody over and broke one of my personal cardinal rules – never use jargon in front of a customer.

    This driver went off his head at the cop because the cop wouldn’t explain the (jargon) BOLO – it means Be On The Lookout.

    I am personally always on the lookout for scammers and am looking for trust signals in lot’s of life situations, especially online where there is a certain templated approach that is used on every similar site because it was successful on an early site.

    I once read a study about at the time Australia’s most successful fashion retailer, Ezibuy (a Kiwi company by the way) that used lots of customer engagement techniques.

    One of them is a little pop up that appears every time someone buys something and to me it is super annoying. I think Kogan an Milan Direct and a whole bunch of others use it.

    It works – I get it but to me, it is the equivalent of a sales staff coming up to me in store and saying “See, that person over there?…They just bought a red scarf”.

    And then doing again, and again and again.

    Personally, I won’t shop in those stores because the experience is just too annoying for me.

    Now, the pop up (which I close) followed by a new pop up seems in vogue – If I see a double pop up, I am gone.

    To answer your question, I feel scammers using digital means has increased the opportunities for scammers immeasurably.

    So BOLO has never been more important.

    #1217689
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    To answer your question, I feel scammers using digital means has increased the opportunities for scammers immeasurably.

    HAHAHA. Not sure that is actually answering the question. Scammers have always been around, I am referring to everyday people/businesses. Do you feel as confident in the quality of ability/service in particular? I certainly don’t.

    #1217690
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173

    I feel I get better value for my money overall than I ever have had before.

    In a lot of categories, the service I receive is also the best I have ever had.

    Equally, in a lot of categories, it is probably the worst I have ever had.

    It is a dichotomy and a real dilemma for me that I feel I can’t just give you an easy, straight forward answer (because I feel it should be easy to honestly say yes or no but it is not).

    #1217691
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 262571, member: 78928 wrote:
    To imagine I could grow my business 7 x in a few years for so little cost still amazes me and it is because of the internet.

    Ah but [USER=78928]@Paul – FS Concierge[/USER] could you have grown your business 20 x if you had being more innovative and used some creativity and not gone with the digital approach. Don’t get me wrong it could be said my business could have grown far more if I went down the digital approach, but just from my experience and many others I talk to a non internet client is far higher quality and much better ROI.

    One fellow operator who does really well out of internet, has an endless stream of poor quality clients, non payers, lower value jobs, high web costs, high SEO costs, etc.

    #1217692
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    Johny, post: 262581, member: 34822 wrote:
    I get you.

    I am not anti tech/digital. I have gotten a great deal of business through social media (LinkedIn primarily) over the years. And with a project I am currently working on, I plan to do a whole lot more. In fact, it will take me in a whole new direction. I won’t have a website of my own, I won’t have any special marketing done (at least at the start), and it will totally be about my time and effort in getting in front of people – working really well so far.

    It would be silly for me to advocate no digital, and it wasn’t my intent.

    All I am suggesting is to be open to ALL the avenues.

    But getting off track a little, let me ask you and others a question:-

    Do you find it easier or harder now to have trust in the products/services that people/companies are selling?

    I know my thoughts, but how you answer that may also go some way towards understanding why it is done badly.

    I’d agree that old fashioned “relationship” service is harder to find regardless of the marketing media/method.

    Part of it comes from (imo) an increasing sense of “entitlement” from consumers, business and society in general, it’s a ME NOW world. Add into that mix the growing phenomena of “choice paralysis” and it’s getting harder to cut through the crap to find good service and make good decisions about purchases.

    Having said all that, I tend to agree with [USER=78928]@Paul – FS Concierge[/USER] that overall (if your smart enough to sort out the rubbish) I can get better value for money hiding in that huge pile of choices.

    I’ve also seen that same dichotomy in both bricks and mortar, and online business. A couple of e.g.’s that make my point…

    I’m restoring an old stone house, some of it dating back 140 years. Replacing and finding matching locks and fittings was a nightmare. Until I happened upon a specialist supplier online (Australian) and they’ve been brilliant. So much so I don’t even look elsewhere, because I know they really understand and have a passion for what they do (right down to always putting extra screws in the box for ham fisted old blokes that drop and lose them).

    In contrast to that, one of my local chain hardwares (a huge retail space) are useless, too many staff, mostly chatting to their mates…they’ve literally lost 1000’s of dollars in my trade because I’ve just walked out, while they sit there whinging about Bunning’s killing their business.

    I think for small and micro business there’s still heaps of opportunity if you are actually honest and ethical about what you deliver. It will be slow build maybe, but good foundations are never a bad idea.

    #1217693
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173
    bb1, post: 262592, member: 53375 wrote:
    Ah but [USER=78928]@Paul – FS Concierge[/USER] could you have grown your business 20 x if you had being more innovative and used some creativity
    One fellow operator who does really well out of internet, has an endless stream of poor quality clients, non payers, lower value jobs, high web costs, high SEO costs, etc.

    I feel I have been through the wringer in some ways [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] – at my low point I was earning less than my wife for the first time in our history together and she started talking to me about separating our finances.

    That was a real kick in the behind and it was around that point I targeted a different part of the industry and chose online to do it.

    Ultimately, my wife and I have separated – and I feel strongly it has been a good decision for us both – in fact we had dinner last night and it was good times. The point being, that in those early years of me flying solo, I worked hard, 7 days per week, long hours for little money and there was costs to my relationship – most notably, not being “present” because I was always working.

    I can appreciate the experience of your friends but I can report the polar opposite experience. I have a $250K (annually) customer whose first contact was through my web form.

    2 years after that contact, I am still astonished that such a passive approach to marketing – having a website vs having living, breathing, walking and talking salespeople could produce such a high quality customer.

    The phenomenon I observed and I have thought a lot about is that reaching the very top of the Google rankings seems to bestow a level of Trust that prospective customers have in my service Because my site has been ranked #1 by Google. In my mind, people think my service must be good because Google has ranked me high.

    And it is not just the marketing that has resulted in my current results because the marketing is in effect a series of promises I make to prospects. Being able to execute on those promises is another huge factor.

    And I also applaud you and the approach you have taken – it is a much more “classic” way of being a soloist whereas I have always relied on having a lot of subbies to provide the actual service delivery. By virtue of our different choices, I feel growing or growth/scaling is what my model calls for which means finding an effective method of marketing (at a cost I could afford).

    Being in employment services previously, we knocked on tons of Soloists doors who were happy to never have to have staff and many reported that they tried it before and there were too many headaches.

    Having managed hundreds of people in my career(s) I totally got what they were saying and was always envious of their (your) situation. So extrapolating and guessing about your business, once you have a full book of quality clients, there is zero need for marketing.

    I get it and I completely agree with that approach. And your use of flyers is exactly how we used to help people go from zero to hero in starting their own business when I was in employment services.

    And I totally could have grown more but at my point of highest growth, I was struggling to keep up and decided to turn off all advertising. Growing faster would have meant a commitment to introducing more resources I would have been subject to higher (risk, cost and the time and dramas of managing same).

    And a huge point I would make is that the internet is “passive” – ie, I wait for people to contact me. If they don’t, I don’t grow. And I don’t know if the next call will be a $250K call or a $1k call. It is totally up to the vagaries of who is searching and clicking.

    I can share that a FS member has reached out to me for advice about starting a commercial cleaning business and I have provided free mentoring to him since May. From zero, he is at over $100K turnover (annualised) and hoping to get to $200K by the end of the year. He is a switched on guy, well capitalised and using broadly, the same strategy as me. In my view, he is doing everything (not just marketing) well and is committed to providing quality and value for money for his customers – that’s a theme I see I see again and again amongst long term users of Flying Solo.

    If you are reading this tome and need a fantastic commercial cleaner in Perth, PM me and I will put you in touch:-).

    To be relevant to this thread, we had a lot of people start cleaning and gardening businesses that quickly developed into the soloist having a full week every week by JUST and ONLY getting those first few clients and then using word of mouth/referrals to become “full” – and their clients willingness to refer the new business owner to their friends and family was based on quality of service, good price (a benefit of being a soloist), honesty, integrity, cheerfulness, reliability, personal touches and more of those “old fashioned” qualities that are disappearing today :-).

    A digital marketing strategy would have been a waste of time and money for all of those people.

    A favourite analogy I used to use has a lot of application to this discussion.

    Have a quiver full of arrows made for specific weather conditions and select the right arrow for the right conditions – and make sure it is straight and sharp because even the right arrow that doesn’t meet the quality test is not going to get the job done.

    But if, what you think the right arrow doesn’t work always have another and another you can try until you hit your target!

    #1217694
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691

    Good post, for my money the key to the frustrations being expressed about marketing (whatever the method) and the issue of trust, is well expressed in the extracted and underlined part from your post.

    “And it is not just the marketing that has resulted in my current results because the marketing is in effect a series of promises I make to prospects. Being able to execute on those promises is another huge factor.”

    It’s not the marketing that’s the problem, it’s the reality of the “execution” of the promise by the business behind it.

    Large or small, execute as promised and you’ll have a good business (assuming there’s real demand-something quite a few wannabes miss). Too many start up businesses think it’s simple…tick the boxes, borrow some money and wait for the profit to roll in…ha ha.

    Good execution can be bloody hard work…something too many seem to think they can avoid going into business.

    I think your experiences, financial and personal are typical, not rare. Being self employed can be a tough gig.

    In my main career background in construction, there’s a saying amongst many contractors I know, “if you haven’t gone broke at least once, your not a serious player”.

    Most of my contemporaries have also been divorced (mainly for the reasons you’ve mentioned). I’ve experienced both scenarios and neither one is something I’d recommend to anyone.

    The “dark side” of the cost of being in business is probably not discussed enough and why there’s always newbies ripe for the picking by get rich quick promoters playing to naive aspirations…there’s no profit in telling the truth i.e. there’s a high chance you’ll fail both financially and personally.

    #1217695
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485

    [USER=78928]@Paul – FS Concierge[/USER] sorry to many words to read, but the quick scan indicates you have totally missed the point of the thread, it’s saying there are alternatives, not to try to justify the marketers lack of knowledge or skills in any area accept digital.

    #1217696
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173
    bb1, post: 262599, member: 53375 wrote:
    [USER=78928]@Paul – FS Concierge[/USER] sorry to many words to read, but the quick scan indicates you have totally missed the point of the thread, it’s saying there are alternatives, not to try to justify the marketers lack of knowledge or skills in any area accept digital.
    Fair enough point of view around not taking the time to read what is a very long post on an Internet Forum [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER].

    ….but then saying I “totally missed the point of the thread” – when you have not read my post – I can’t jump on that horse with you.

    Maybe that is one reason so many businesses fail.

    Details matter and so does having a deep understanding of others and how they approach their lives.

    These things matter a lot.

    In relation to this thread topic the $250K (recurring) job I got off the Internet was not choosing between which was the best cleaner to do cleaning (he wasn’t unhappy with the cleaning).

    To him, the much more important factor was about him trusting that the new Contractor would get behind his vision.

    My quote had the usual cleaning elements in it but most the quote repeated back to the Manager how we would execute on those elements of his vision that were very important to me.

    Deep understanding at work.

    Up in the thread, I talked about BOLO – having a good BS meter more important today than it has ever been but what I should have added is that people want to do business with people they can trust.

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