I'm bombarded daily with ads hocking the latest and greatest way to get leads for my company. "Forget the old ways," they tout. Others leverage their own experience, "How I grew my marketing agency from zero clients to over $10,000 a month in revenue!" Not convinced, I forget about these minor distractions and move on with my day.
Working with a number of different marketing strategies and consistently learning new ways to drive sales, I'd call myself an advertising and marketing connoisseur. From learning the ropes of cold calling to utilizing my network for referrals, I'd like to think I've done it all. Along with doing, I also have developed very strong opinions on what works and what doesn't. Let me tell you why I'm done with one particular type of marketing.
Coined by HubSpot in a blog post, the idea of inbound marketing is that created, engaging content can pique potential customers' interest and have them contact you directly. Being familiar with a number of agencies, customers and colleagues that have used this formula, here's why I'm against it.
I'm motivated daily by reading hundreds of motivational quotes on my Instagram feed. They all tell me the same thing. If I'm going to succeed, I need to wake up before my competition, go to sleep after my competition, work through weekends, holidays, my child's birth, and watching the New York Football Giants lose every game each season. There are no excuses except excuses themselves. Hustle. Grind. Rinse. Repeat. Who needs sleep? I'll sleep when I'm dead.
The idea that I don't need to hustle every day in order to get potential leads is stressful because the hustle is all that I know. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (Though I'm broke, but... different story.)
Who says fighting for clients is time-consuming, exhausting and borderline depressing? Our ancestors fought for their food, fought for their freedoms and even fought for their lives. If I give up fighting, who am I really honoring then? If I need to cold call 1,500 people for one client, it's worth the 37 hours I spent cold calling people. If I must send out 5,116 cold emails each week to get one person to give me the time of day for a 15 minute phone consultation, proposal follow up and ghosting, then I'll do what I must.
Potential clients don't just come to you when they need your help. Being an expert in your field? Leave that to doctors and scientists, this is the jungle - every one for themselves.
I hate participation trophies. You win some, you lose some. That's how the game is played. If I can't handle being rejected or ghosted by 95% of potential clients, then something is wrong with me. Losing is a part of life, and life is hard. I just keep pressing the reset button each day after a "game over" and keep working through it until I finally grind out a win. A win that will keep me going for the next 8 months until my next win. If you need to win often to be happy, you're just spoiled.
In today's day and age, businesspeople are smart. You can't just pre-qualify someone with content, bots, AI and forms so that you don't waste your time. You never know if that "waste of your time" could become a client that gives you $100 a month. That's a nice dinner each month!
It might sound hyperbolic, but these three examples are excuses I hear daily for companies and brands that don't want to invest in their own marketing beyond what they have been doing for years. The truth is, marketing is changing. People are bombarded with messages that miss the mark. Instead of wasting time chasing prospects that will never make it to the major leagues, why not consider investing in a system that will create awareness, intrigue and opportunities for years to come?
The true future is inbound marketing, creative content and qualified interactions. Do you have a place in the future? It's time to put up or get out.