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  • #1217697
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173
    Greg_M, post: 262597, member: 38207 wrote:
    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.
    [USER=38207]@Greg_M[/USER] – I agree with every word!

    #1217698
    Peter – FS Administrator
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,889

    Wow! What an interesting thread/question Johny and thanks for stirring it up Bert and all. I’ve loved watching the rebirth of the Dunlop Volley brand go from humble run-of-the-mill tennis shoe to hipster fashion item :)

    Regarding the broader original point… while I don’t see the shift to digital as a fad, I agree that the pendulum has swung way too far towards digital as the ‘default’ marketing option. I think a lot of this is because it can be seen as the easiest/cheapest tactic (specially when hoping to start out). Often it seems like the attitude can be to ‘throw something up’ and see if it sticks.

    The fact is that these days with just a little bit of knowledge and money you can set up a slick digital presence that ‘looks’ good or better than most established players overnight. Even if there is nothing fundamentally behind the facade. While this lack of barrier to entry can be good for genuine soloists, in my opinion it also leads to a lot of mediocre offerings that don’t deliver which can erode trust overall, even for the good people. Hence everyone being so skeptical.

    I just couldn’t agree more with Greg.

    “… 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.

    People want trust, reliability, quality and value-for-money. In a nutshell, just be really bloody good at what you do and offer a great product/service consistently, and over time you can build a great business with loyal customers. If that execution is done (i.e. the really hard work and long grind part) then the sales/marketing adds the cream on top.

    Often there is too much focus on the paint job and not enough on the engine!

    #1217699
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    Thanks for commenting Greg

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

    I accept your comment about “entitlement”. Could I suggest that relationships are harder to come by because of it rather than regardless of it?

    For all the advances in tech, I now do more paperwork than I ever did, people complain of working longer, everyone is more busy, everything is more urgent and people feel the need to always be accessible. How much of that is real and how much of it is perceived? I don’t really know, but by way of a timeline, this is all happening as the digital world is expanding.

    With regard to choice analysis, here is , what I thought an interesting TED talk about the paradox of choice:-

    https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice

    Having said all that, I tend to agree with @@Paul – FS Concierge 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 would also agree. Judging by some of the questions I see here, I often wonder who is prepared to wade through that rubbish and who is looking on here because they may get a free answer rather than a good one that caters to their specific need?

    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.

    Once again I agree.

    Greg, pretty much on the same page I reckon, just not sure what we see as an ideal is reality.

    #1217700
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    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.

    Dave, I know and understand that is a positive. But I see it as a part of the problem. It is similar to:-

    Not using a generic email adds trust
    Using a paid supplier on Alibaba is a sign of quality
    and it goes on

    It is more a sign that people have become too lazy to scroll through google to actually research several suppliers, same with Alibaba. As for the emails, that’s just about accepting a myth because….well just because.

    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.

    No doubt. That is partly my point that more and more seem unable to meet the promises they are making.

    Not only that, but they are writing cheques they cannot cash. Stating ROI when you can’t quantify it would be a good example. A cynical person may go so far as to suggest that is a scam in itself? (ooh!!!!)

    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!

    Absolutely!!

    #1217701
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    Wow! What an interesting thread/question Johny and thanks for stirring it up Bert and all. I’ve loved watching the rebirth of the Dunlop Volley brand go from humble run-of-the-mill tennis shoe to hipster fashion item

    Peter – HAHAHA

    Everything old is new again. Very fashionable in downtown country Qld in the 70’s/80’s.. Probably made to last all of 10 minutes these days, but once upon a time were virtually indestructible. The equivalent where I am is Converse and now even they have taken what is a very basic shoe and tried to turn it into a fashion item, purely to add margin. Not sure how well it is working.

    The fact is that these days with just a little bit of knowledge and money you can set up a slick digital presence that ‘looks’ good or better than most established players overnight. Even if there is nothing fundamentally behind the facade. While this lack of barrier to entry can be good for genuine soloists, in my opinion it also leads to a lot of mediocre offerings that don’t deliver which can erode trust overall, even for the good people. Hence everyone being so skeptical.

    Spot on I reckon.

    People want trust, reliability, quality and value-for-money. In a nutshell, just be really bloody good at what you do and offer a great product/service consistently, and over time you can build a great business with loyal customers. If that execution is done (i.e. the really hard work and long grind part) then the sales/marketing adds the cream on top.

    If I am to be honest, I am not sure I agree with this.

    I reckon people want good, but when they find out how much “good” costs, they will settle for average, then complain about it.
    I reckon people demand reliability, but don’t practice what they preach when it is their turn.
    I reckon people say they want relationships, then complain they are too busy to spend the time developing them.

    OOH! I better stop. I reckon I have already earned the title of Mr. Grumpy today.

    #1217702
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    Johny, post: 262625, member: 34822 wrote:
    Thanks for commenting Greg

    I accept your comment about “entitlement”. Could I suggest that relationships are harder to come by because of it rather than regardless of it?

    For all the advances in tech, I now do more paperwork than I ever did, people complain of working longer, everyone is more busy, everything is more urgent and people feel the need to always be accessible. How much of that is real and how much of it is perceived? I don’t really know, but by way of a timeline, this is all happening as the digital world is expanding.

    With regard to choice analysis, here is , what I thought an interesting TED talk about the paradox of choice:-

    https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice

    I would also agree. Judging by some of the questions I see here, I often wonder who is prepared to wade through that rubbish and who is looking on here because they may get a free answer rather than a good one that caters to their specific need?

    Once again I agree.

    Greg, pretty much on the same page I reckon, just not sure what we see as an ideal is reality.

    Hi Johnny,

    I had that very video in mind, thought you may have even posted the original link that put me onto it?

    Yep, the entitlement thing has made it harder to come by the right kind relationships, though I do find that it’s simpler amongst old coots like me, probably because that was the most common way we were raised…suck it up, and take responsibility for your actions…do unto others…and we tend to only work/deal with people of similar mind.

    The paper trail has got worse and is probably my greatest disappointment in what the digital age is delivering for micro business.

    Admin was always the greatest burden of small and micro business, it was what gave big business, and bureaucrats an edge i.e. they had the economy of scale and capital to carry high fixed overhead and employ people to manage the crap (and drown small business in it)…it’s the main reason I became an early adopter of technology, I thought I had the perfect weapon to compete efficiently. While to some extent it has for me personally, for many small businesses it’s become a massive con job that’s killing them.

    It’s now a digital elite that rules the day. All that’s happened is that there’s now a LOT more stuff just swamping us. It’s so cheap to produce (and by the same bodies that made life hell before) and the expectation is that you’re going to be on call 24/7 to deal with it NOW. The tools to manage it are out there, and cheap, but unless you’re a digital native your as good as stuffed in the future (IMO).

    I’m now way off topic, but I think you bring up many points that are relevant in today’s world about how to survive and prosper in the future. Whether it’s marketing or not, simplistic one size fits all solutions have never worked and never will.

    An ideal reality? That’s a tough one.

    It starts with educating our kids about the reality of the modern world and giving them the best shot to deal with it, after that I have no f…ing idea :)

    #1217703
    Peter – FS Administrator
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,889
    Johny, post: 262627, member: 34822 wrote:
    Peter – HAHAHA

    Everything old is new again. Very fashionable in downtown country Qld in the 70’s/80’s.. Probably made to last all of 10 minutes these days, but once upon a time were virtually indestructible. The equivalent where I am is Converse and now even they have taken what is a very basic shoe and tried to turn it into a fashion item, purely to add margin. Not sure how well it is working.

    Yes, Converse has a similar cool to uncool to cool story that seems to go in waves. The canvas Converse boots do seem to be the show of choice for my teenage kids. Vinyl records sales are bouncing back too apparently :)

    If I am to be honest, I am not sure I agree with this.

    I reckon people want good, but when they find out how much “good” costs, they will settle for average, then complain about it.
    I reckon people demand reliability, but don’t practice what they preach when it is their turn.
    I reckon people say they want relationships, then complain they are too busy to spend the time developing them.

    OOH! I better stop. I reckon I have already earned the title of Mr. Grumpy today.

    Haha! I don’t think it’s grumpy to disagree, and I do very much take your point. In general (probably the vast majority??) people aren’t prepared to pay for quality for most things. I was talking to a builder yesterday who lamented that if he was to include top quality ‘everything’ (fittings/fixtures/finishes etc) in his quotes he would rarely win a job as he would be 20% more expensive than others – even though he knows they would love the result long term. So as a craftsman he has to make compromises that clients may then complain about down the track :(

    That being the case, I think as a small business owner the marketing challenge is to work hard to find those minority of ideal clients/customers that do appreciate quality (if you can demonstrate that what you offer is worth paying a premium). It’s not easy to do. And as has been said, blasting out digital content won’t always find the cream.

    But if you want to be at the high end of the market (i.e. not compete on price alone), you need to let other people service those bargain hunters in the middle, and find ways to draw out the top end prospects. One description I have suggested people aim for is “they’re really good, but not cheap”, or even “expensive but worth it”.

    #1217704
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    Yep, the entitlement thing has made it harder to come by the right kind relationships, though I do find that it’s simpler amongst old coots like me, probably because that was the most common way we were raised…suck it up, and take responsibility for your actions…do unto others…and we tend to only work/deal with people of similar mind.

    I was thinking about that comment Greg. It dawned on me that anyone under about 40 probably doesn’t even know of a time when the local bank manager was a pillar of the community whose advise was sought and respected.

    While I truly don’t want to be one of those “back in my day” people, if you haven’t experienced it, you don’t really know if what you have is really better. In many ways it is for sure, but not everything is. I go on LinkedIn every day and see gurus telling me of some great new system/process etc. only to think back and recall them in my work history – a bit like flared jeans?

    I’m now way off topic, but I think you bring up many points that are relevant in today’s world about how to survive and prosper in the future. Whether it’s marketing or not, simplistic one size fits all solutions have never worked and never will.

    Not sure that matters.

    It starts with educating our kids about the reality of the modern world and giving them the best shot to deal with it, after that I have no f…ing idea :)

    My 10 year old sets up all my new phones and stuff I need for my computer. That says it all. But she has no clue about being punctual. Not sure that isn’t just part of being a kid, but when adults are the same then you have to wonder.

    #1217705
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    That being the case, I think as a small business owner the marketing challenge is to work hard to find those minority of ideal clients/customers that do appreciate quality (if you can demonstrate that what you offer is worth paying a premium). It’s not easy to do. And as has been said, blasting out digital content won’t always find the cream.

    I agree Peter. It is one thing to come online and spruik what works and what doesn’t – a whole other story to actually do it.

    Not easy to find that balance.

    #1217706
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    Johny, post: 262665, member: 34822 wrote:
    I was thinking about that comment Greg. It dawned on me that anyone under about 40 probably doesn’t even know of a time when the local bank manager was a pillar of the community whose advise was sought and respected.

    While I truly don’t want to be one of those “back in my day” people, if you haven’t experienced it, you don’t really know if what you have is really better. In many ways it is for sure, but not everything is. I go on LinkedIn every day and see gurus telling me of some great new system/process etc. only to think back and recall them in my work history – a bit like flared jeans?

    Not sure that matters.

    My 10 year old sets up all my new phones and stuff I need for my computer. That says it all. But she has no clue about being punctual. Not sure that isn’t just part of being a kid, but when adults are the same then you have to wonder.

    Agreed, “back in my day” can get boring quickly, even at my age I prefer to look forward for solutions, but I can’t help noticing that some basic principals never change and like you’ve observed, “systems” just come and go.

    Often they’re more about providing a living for those promoting and selling them than offering any real lasting benefit to the user. I regularly fall into the trap of trialling some whiz bang app that’s going to make my day easier. With a couple of exceptions, they inevitably fail to deliver what I want and back I go to actually doing the real work.

    Marketing is no different imo. Systems based approaches, whether digital or not, often produce a short term boost in leads/conversions, but if the business itself is hollow in the middle it won’t last…unless you keep chucking huge $ at it to “keep them coming”.

    In the end it’s about choice, personally I prefer to keep it simple, a few tried and true customers/clients = an easier life.

    #1217707
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,173

    A quick one.

    “Back in my day”
    =
    Change

    Change in business =

    Opportunity

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