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3 Uncomfortable Truths Every Business Owner Should Face

 June 25, 2018

By  Paul Feeney

When facing the mountainous challenge of building or growing a business having the right mindset is vital.

In order to grow a business we must:

● Clarify your message
● Build that message into a brand
● Build that brand upon a website which converts
● Build strategies into the website which sends traffic to the website which converts

In a nutshell:

we must face most (if not all) of the below marketing strategies

● Branding
● Web Design
● SEO
● Blogging
● Email Marketing
● Sales Pages / Funnels
● Facebook Marketing (or some form of Social Media Marketing)

However, before any business owner can tackle all or some the above marketing strategies it would be hugely beneficial to their overall success if they faced a few hard truths. 

Harsh Truth No.1

What are "normal" expectations?

This is a simple truth which I feel is very beneficial for business owners to realise. What are "normal" fees, "normal" budgets or "normal" expectations when it comes to digital marketing.

With digital marketing still be relatively new and with very few business owners having utilised large scale digital advertising mediums, what they assume or feel is "normal" usually sets them up to fail.

Normal

🙂 Spending €1000 on radio advertising
🙂 Spending €1000 on newspaper advertising
🙂 Spending €1000 on magazine advertising
🙂 Spending €1000 on billboard advertising
🙂 Spending €1000 on Sponsorship advertising

​crazy

🙁 Spending €1000 on Facebook Advertising
🙁 Spending €1000 on Email Marketing
🙁 Spending €1000 on Email Marketing

If you feel spending €1000 on Facebook in the first place is crazy money, then we have a problem.


If you don't want to, nor have the budget to spend €1000 on a Facebook marketing campaign THAT IS OK.

The issue is if you feel spending €1000 on Facebook in the first place is crazy; then we have a problem. It shines a light on the fact that you have not embraced the digital era and I now have an uphill battle fighting with an owner that Yes, wants to grow his or her business, but deep down wants to return to what they know and what they are comfortable with.

Harsh Truth Number 1 is if you feel spending a €1000 on Facebook is crazy, that means you have no idea of the true potential power of Facebook marketing (or digital marketing in general). It means you are slightly out of touch with digital marketing. The good news of course is knowing your weakness is a good thing.

Fully embrace the digital era and your company will benefit greatly from it.

Want to discuss Digital Marketing or Facebook Marketing? 
Get in touch Today.

To grow your business, you must CONSTANTLY be thinking about your message.
the one week marketing plan book
email marketing cork

The above book and post are examples of the bullshit narrative that you can spend a week on a project and you will have a successful business.

Harsh Truth No.2

GROWING A BUSINESS TAKES TIME

No, of course it is not a steadfast rule, but I feel if business owners started their attempts at growing their business' with this in mind, they would be better equipped to handle the slow progress, set backs and time it usually takes.

Business owners today are inundated with adverts from companies stating they can increase their revenue immediately or "Get that Number 1 spot on Google in 1 Week".

Of course their are X-Factor exceptions out there and Banks, TV and Media are all too happy to showcase their latest success story of the company that went from obscurity to national success in 1 year. But in truth to grow a company takes times. Many ducks must be in a row (Brand, Message, Website, Revenue Streams, Production, Customer Case, Staff etc) before true success can be achieved.

(By true success, I mean you as the owner can return to a hopeful 9-5 day with weekends off, steady and safe salary and a life) 

irish digital nomad paul feeney

Once I honed my skills in online marketing and SEO I travelled the world for 6 years working in over 22 countries. 

I wish someone had told me when I embarked on my business journey to simply choose a marketing medium and stick with it until success had been achieved. And if I had asked that someone, "how long will it take?", I wish that person had told me the truth and said "Roughly 2 years".

I don't say this to scare you, piss you off or manipulate you into hiring me and give me 2 years to make progress! I simply say it to get your frame of mind in the right way and that the conversation on growing your business begins in the right way with "truthful" expectations.

I still get calls all the time from clients saying, 'Paul a company just rang me saying they can get me on page 1 of Google, is this real?'. I always reply the same way, if a company could get themselves on page 1 of Google so easily they would be selling diamonds.

Harsh Truth Number 2 of growing a company is
● It Takes time,
● will be Expensive,
● Complex,
● Slow,
● there will be Set backs
● And you won't see results straight away

And I think you need to hear that and that it’s good to hear that!

Go to the personal trainer and ask what will it take to get a six pack? - A lot of training will be the response! Much more effort than people know. Success in business is the same.

I think knowing that helps

Know this and own it. Begin the challenge being prepared for a 1 to 2 years of hard work. If you approach the growth of your business with this mindset your chances of success increase ​​exponentially.

For this article I asked a few of my friends the simple question
"How did it take until you were successful?"

http://www.webstrategists.co.uk/

Picture of me and Tim

profile-pic

CEO of Pushowl

Shashank Kumar - CEO

I don't consider myself to be successful yet. But the journey to the state where I can live each day not worrying about the things like when I had a day job, took ~ 3 years.

profile-pic

CEO of Web Strategist

Tim Petch

Overnight success, but it was 15 years in the making

How long did it take?



Niall Doherty

Picture of me and Niall



Flyerheros



Harsh Truth No.3

whose responsibility is it?

Whose responsible for the growth of your company? You or the designer?

If you are trying to grow your company, you are essentially trying to solve a problem and marketing is NOT a solution. Marketing is the shouting of the an attempted solution to the problem, but what if that solution is not correct?

For example:

You need a brand.
To most people a brand is simply a logo.
So you hire a graphic designer and he designs you a logo, done.

You need a website.
you hire a web designer
He designs you a website - website looks good, done.

You need some marketing.
You decide to print some flyers.
You go to a print company, they print you some flyers, done.

However, does a new logo, new website and some flyers result in a solid business? No, they result in a new logo, new website and some flyers! That's it.

Without a message, without a strategy, without a vision, they are simply tools we use to market. Marketing does work. Marketing will bring you sales, but it will not build you a business.

Sales stem from communicating a message that resonates with your target market and nowhere in the above examples is that fundamental truth addressed, and there in lies the issue.


If you hire me to design your website, I can build you a website, but who comes up with the brand, angle, message, copy, photography, style, sales pages and more?


For most business owners, they want me to do it, or worse it's an after thought

Over the years I've had countless businesses come to me with briefs such as:

"We need a website and we sell kitchens, so just put up some pictures, we want our logo nice and big, and you take the info from this old brochure (which is ten years old)"

Or

"We have an important exhibition coming up! Next week! And it's so important! We need banners, brochures, Exhibition banners etc. What will we say I ask? Oh whatever - Cranes for hire, 30 years in operation - whatever, just knock it up, we need it by tomorrow"

The best one is the restaurant owner, who will spend €50,000 on his new kitchen and interior and not leave €1000 to market the establishment once open.

Marketing does work!

Websites, email marketing, Facebook marketing or any form of marketing work!

Design a flyer today and distribute it tomorrow and you will get sales!

But it is the message ON the flyer where true power lies and where true success and growth lies; and so whose responsible for that message?

Graphic designers, web designers or social media managers are not there to create your message. They are there to wrap your message in a bow, make it look good and get it out there, but the message has to come from you.

In order to grow your business, you must always be thinking of the message, that's it!

Once you fully understand this, you can then hire designers and say, this is the message, - They can then decide upon the best medium to get that message to the right people.

It's the message that counts and it will always be the message that counts.

Harsh Truth Number 3 is Business owners who understands the truth that web designers and graphic designers are not there to grow their companies will help business owner take responsibility for his or her companies message.

It is only in fully understanding your companies message and vision where success lies.

IN CONCLUSION

It is for these reasons (especially Truth 3) why I became a brand consultant / brand strategist.

As a brand strategist I can take responsibility for the success of my clients companies. 

I want to increase revenue for my clients - that's it;  and it was only by taking full control over all their marketing was I able to deliver.

By working to contracts I can handle everything. I can make sure every duck is in a row from the message to the brand, brand to the website, website to marketing mediums.

Want to grow your business?
● Understand your message,
● Outline a strategy and expectations,
● Do not stop implementation of strategy A until success is achieved

or

Get in touch today.

Paul Feeney


Hi, I'm Paul Feeney, Brand Strategist, Copywriter, SEO Specialist, Marketer and Designer who helps businesses increase traffic, attract more visitors, convert leads and close sales.

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