If you’re reading this, you know why people hate marketing. Some marketers are all kinds of shady. Overpromise and underdeliver is an accepted industry model.
Marketing Often Sucks, Which Is Why People Hate Marketing
Small businesses need to build their brand to grow revenue. They usually have one of the following four experiences with marketing:
- They go the DIY route and flounder. Months or years after they launch their business, they’re still trying to build an online presence and gain traction. They have no idea what to do or how to do it, and they don’t have the budget or the trust required to hire freelancers or an agency.
- They hire a variety of hit-or-miss freelancers or agencies that perform random acts of marketing. Months or years after they launch their business, they’re still trying to build an online presence and gain traction.
- They know enough about marketing to vet and hire exceptional freelancers or an agency that’s the real deal.
- They get lucky. They have a built-in audience or they thrive without an online audience or their offering is so distinctive that it practically sells itself.
When I started my business in 2003, I made one and only one cold call. Back then I was copywriting, and I didn’t know how to find clients. I scoured a list of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce contacts, picked a random name, broke into a sweat, and dialed. The woman on the line recognized immediately that I had no idea what the hell I was doing, and she delivered a curt lecture before hanging up.
I met that same woman in person two weeks later at a 10-person Chamber leads group meeting. I wish I were kidding.
Never again did I call random people. I’ve also never hounded anyone into closing a deal. I can pretend it’s because I’m too ethical, but the truth is that I suck at sales. I also got lucky. Pretty quickly, I drummed up a ready-made clientele of people with whom I had worked over the years. Because they knew me, no selling was required. To this day, I thank the universe for this gift.
Most small businesses aren’t as lucky as I was. Most fall into camps 1, 2, or 3. And that’s a problem.
Why People Hate Marketing in a Nutshell
People hate marketing (and many marketers) because those people feel in their bones that they’re being sold to, and people tend to recoil when the heat is on. Marketers seem to have a comeback or an answer for everything. They’re slick and slimy. They pretend they’re not selling (“Who, me?”), and then they sell, sell, sell.
Oh, and they’re masters at truth-optional humblebragging:
- “The outbound campaigns I design for my clients have an email open rate of 72%, which is SHOCKING since it’s four times the industry standard and since inbound is where I really shine.”
- “I still can’t believe my marketing strategy positioned my clients to close $192M in the last year alone. I honestly never thought my experience working with Elon Musk would come in so handy!”
- “I’ve been asked to share my marketing secrets at Harvard, my alma mater, a dozen times, but I have yet to land a TED Talk. What gives?”
- “I helped four companies each close $500,000+ in revenue last month using my 100% guaranteed cold call appointment setting system. Though I have literally no free time and will probably have to postpone my European vacation again, I’m offering it to 20 — just 20 — more small businesses right now because it feels selfish to keep this goldmine to myself.”
Not All Marketing (and Marketers) Suck
I suck at sales, but sales itself does not suck. High-pressure salespeople and terrible marketers piss me off, but amazing salespeople and marketers fill me with awe. The good ones are worth their weight in palladium.
I myself am pitched constantly in online forums, by email, and over the phone. That’s how the world works. And while I’m no fan of cold calls, I don’t have a problem with salespeople following up after I have expressed interest in whatever they’re selling. I also don’t have a problem with content marketing pitches in emails, on websites, and in e-books, etc.
What I have a problem with is BS. I think you may have the same problem. I don’t like when some cocky SOB thinks I’m so stupid that I’ll just up and buy whatever they’re selling, especially when they seem all kinds of shadesville.
The solution to the BS problem is to learn every damn thing about marketing, learn the essentials in order to DIY or hire with intention, or trust that you have legit freelance or agency support to get you where you want to go.
Fast Wins + Zero Fluff = Game Changer
My aim is to help small businesses and teams keep from making common (and costly) marketing mistakes and get out of their “random acts of marketing” rut. All fast wins and zero spam, smoke, mirrors, or fluff. Best of all: no marketing PhD required.
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