Now-a-days it seems like everybody wants to work from home and make six figures in six months! The internet marketing folks are quick to pander to those who are believers. They are also quick to take advantage of impatient and inexperienced views of what it really takes to be successful.
If you think that all you have to do is follow a process and you therefore deserve success, you may as well have a big target on your back with a dollar sign in the bull’s eye. They are looking for you. It seems like every month there’s a new marketer selling a process for success with Facebook ads, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. What they all have in common is some kind of funnel. You build the funnel, start advertising, throw out your net and you find your market. It’s as simple as that. Right? Not so fast.
If they can get you to buy in on their “conversion” metrics, they’ve got you. You see, they don’t want to be held responsible for actual sales. So, for them, a “conversion” is just getting someone’s email. And if you give enough stuff away, you will get those emails. Now they want to get paid because you thought that just getting a bunch of emails was what you needed. You bought into the idea that you must start with a wide funnel of folks and whittle it down to the folks who give you their emails… as if that meant money in the bank.
But wait; there’s more. What about open rates, unique visits, page visits, time on page, shares and the list goes on. No mention of sales. They want you to pay them whether they make sales happen or not. They are banking on your concept that you deserve success if you just follow their process. Typically, they will tell you to expect a very small open rate, and very few people to give you their email. So now you have spent all this money on their process to get a few emails. They will say to expect an even smaller percentage of sales. They will tell you it’s “normal.”
The fact is you don’t “deserve” success by just following a process. And you can’t do it quickly. Success is earned over time. It usually takes a few years just to figure what you are doing right and wrong, who your customer really is, what your customer really wants, and what it is that you are selling that satisfies their needs. The process, by itself, will only give you a format to achieve those non-bankable metrics. You have to add life to the process. You have to aim the process. You have to close the deals. In other words, success is based on sales, not “conversion metrics.”
Have we gotten so afraid to meet people in person that we hide behind these ad-spend processes and pay large sums to just get to our market? Whatever happened to attending conferences, expo’s and educational events?
Meeting people in person will give you the feedback you need to sharpen your pitch, ask the right questions, and clarify your value to your customers. There’s nothing like a real-time, face-to- face conversation with a person who is either more successful than you, can introduce you to the help you need, or a potential customer.
Grab the funnel by the waist, start with a few relevant people, branch out to discover your market, and refine your offering. Isn’t it about time to go out and shake some hands?
Who Are We.
Having built and sold a bestselling national brand, we appreciate the value of brands and everything it takes to make them successful. Companies are valued by their brand equity. Achieving and maximizing brand equity requires tremendous respect for all your customers, from your wholesaler to your end user.
Starting in our laundry room with no money and no knowledge of the industry, we built the famous Barefoot Wine brand. We learned a lot they don’t teach in school and much of it the hard way. Although our success was in consumer products, our real world experience will be helpful to anyone looking for information and advice about brands.
We have written the New York Times Bestselling Business Book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, which chronicles the history of the famous brand from its inception through its acquisition. Our book is now required reading in schools of entrepreneurship across the country. We hope this book will provide inspiration and encouragement for all those contemplating starting a brand or wanting to improve their existing brand.
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
-Barefoot Wine Founders