Innocent or guilty I shouted, ‘guilty’ she replied.
And god was she guilty.
I felt like saying to her…
“You madam are guilty of the crime of marketing stupidity.
- Your crime has cost 17 jobs.
- Your crime has cost the loss of property.
- Your crime has created loss of income.
- Your crime has made you two children homeless.
And your crime – the crime of stupidity – has caused you to lose your home, your husband, your own income and your business.
I sentence you to be an employee for the rest of your natural life.”
That’s actually what I wanted to say to her after I got her email. I didn’t say that though and let me tell you why.
The beginning is always a good place to start so lets travel back in time to May 2011.
I got a call following an email from a company in London that wanted to know about Marketing.
“Hello is this Alan at orange Beetle?”
“Yes how can I help you?”
“I am about to open a very large holistic center in London and I would like to know how to do my marketing and copy”
“Sure can you tell me a little more?”
So she did, she told me more and more and everything she could about her new business adventure.
In total she would employ 17 staff to run all five floors. This included a beautiful organic cafe, yoga rooms, massage areas and various levels of consultants doing different things and differing advices.
She had also gone against her husbands advice because in her own words, “he didn’t want to put all the business onto the mortgage as he felt the risk was too great” and that is why she called me.
She took consulting advice to start with, just one hour and it was more like a Q&A session.
She would ask about her fliers and other adverts. I would tell her how to create them and how to make them work. She would reply, “hmmm”
She would then ask about her website, her cards and just about everything and anything she could throw into the mix. I gave her my time-tested advice that my clients rave about and she again would simply reply, “hmmmm”
I started to get the feeling that whatever she asked and whatever I replied she would simply say, “hmmmm”
“So you are telling me I should be doing things this way then?”
“Yes if you want to reduce your risk and fill your studio fast”
“And you are telling me my materials should be written in a way that it’s direct and sells?”
“Yes but it will be created according to your target marketplace”
And one hour later the client asked me if I would send over a brief and a quote to go with it.
And then I closed Skype to start thinking about her actual needs rather her wants.
You see she had a vision of things being done a very particular way.
- She didn’t want to sell
- She didn’t want to use many words
- She didn’t agree with calls to action
- She thought asking for payment was crass and cheap
- She just never felt it would work for her in her business.
So of course I thought about it and thought about all the marketing i had studied over the past 30 years, I thought about all the similar projects I had been involved with and created really great sales with like the one holistic business I wrote sales copy for and built a strategy for that generated over $100,000 in sale from scratch!
Like the other holistic businesses I had worked with that had packed out their treatment rooms with paying clients. And like others I had written for, consulted with and worked with over the past 15 years or so.
Now this new clients had some particular problem that had to be dealt with and it was this. She was surrounded with business almost identical to hers. When I say surrounded we worked out there were around 43 business doing what appeared to be almost the same as she was doing. They weren’t of course but as far as the public are concerned unit they know you they are mostly the same.
So not only did she need a
- Unique angle
- Strong positioning
- Meme branding
- Cohesive seeding
- Heavy framing
- Solid strategy
In fact she would also need a water tight strategy that would make her target see her as the only option.
I wrote her a brief, sent her a quote and it came to just under £27,400 in total.
- Her rent was £8,000 per month
- Her wage bill for 17 staff was well – can you just imagine!
- Her bank loan was heavyweight
- Her mortgage was now bursting at the seams
- And in total she had borrowed well over £200,000 just to open her doors.
She emailed me back and actually said something a bit like this.
“Hi Alan, despite it being a great price for everything you quoted I really don’t want to sell or look like I am selling. We are holistic here and the universe will send us clients if it is meant to be”
“Pray as you may but the universe rarely saves the day”
I have to say I almost swallowed my tongue but at the same time I have seen this many times before.
- Like the fitness client that invested borrowings of over £2 million and ignored my advice and after years of preparations sunk on their first outing
- Like the womens toys (not scrabble bzzzzz) that changed everything we did for them and got zero sales
- Like the seminar company that ignored all the years of advice i have had in seminars and went away only to vanish from the face of the Earth
So what I was hearing and seeing wasn’t new, I’d seen it all before!
Lets move forward to today and tell you about an email I got from her just last week.
“Dear Alan it is with great sadness I have to announce the closure of our wonderful retreat. From our first day we have always struggled to be a financial success and sadly we can continue to go no further”
The email went on and got more depressing by the paragraph.
Of course I felt sad for her because she also sent me a note that told me a little more that I can’t reveal here as she reads these emails (so I have changed a few details).
- Yes her debts were monstrous
- Yes she was losing her home
- Yes her husband decided he wanted no more part of the relationship
- Yes her sons lost the crazy, quirky bedrooms they loved to fill with stuff
- Yes she would now have to go live with mum as her bankruptcy went through and nailed her down for the next few years.
You know why I wanted to share this with you?
Because we are in the stupid world of stupid marketing – here’s what I mean!
- The stupid world tells us that we know better than an expert
- The stupid world tells us to go with our heart and it’ll all be fine
- The stupid world says things like, “we don’t really need to do any advertising”
- The stupid world of stupid marketing does nothing that an expert would do
Here’s what I do know from being self-employed businessman since 1985 and working with literally hundreds and hundreds of businesses in that time.
- If you do no marketing you goer no business
- If you do a little marketing you get a little business
- If you do quite a bit of marketing you get quite a bit of business
- If you do a ton of marketing you get a ton of business
If you invest nothing into marketing you will get nothing back
Scales have to always be balanced. Natural laws prove to us that balance, cause and affect, invest to return is never changed.
- Do nothing get nothing
- Do lots get lots
The plan I created four this client was 12 month plan at an investment of £27,400
The first 4-8 weeks of that plan are always signed to get most or all or more of that initial investment back.
I had created for her a system that was proven and almost as good as guaranteed to have her place packed to the hilt despite being surrounded by plenty of other very similar business.
She never saw through her stupidity to take expert advice and lost her risk and her husband and all her worldly goods.
Let me tell you this.
You don’t have to take risks with your marketing.
Once the strategy is in place. Once the tactics are worked out. Once everything is actioned and measured marketing should always be the best investment you ever make into your business whether it’s old or new.
- Old businesses can be resurrected
- Ageing businesses can be revived
- New business can be launched into the stratosphere much easier than you might think.
Now the one thing that always goes through my mind with businesses when they say to me, “we don’t want to appear to be selling anything”
I know it sounds like a contradiction after all how can you not try and sell when you need sales to survive, thrive and prosper?
So let me explain how not so stupid selling actually works.
First of all you only have to try and sell when you try and do impulse selling to impulse buyers.
Generally most buying decisions are made months before the purchase takes place. So if someone buys from you they already decided ages ago to spend and buy so the truth is that part of the job is already done for you.
So in reality you never have to create selling anything.
Alan what is it I create then?
Simple you just have to give the clients a good enough reason to buy from you and not a competitor.
That means for you selling has just become a lot easier.
You see the client above that has lost everything she didn’t get that and in fact ignored that fact.
Research showed that her location was perfect; the targets were abundant yet she never gave them a reason to spend money with her and allowed her competition to swallow her up.
Your business really doesn’t have to suffer and you don’t have to lose everything.
If you like to talk to book some premium consulting time with myself I charge from £700 per hour. For that you get 60 minutes plus of fast problem solving and solid direct response marketing business solutions.
If you’d like to book business consulting time with my partner Tamara her fee starts at £200 per hour. Tamara is also highly experienced as a business marketing consultant with a good track record.
If you need your marketing and business critiqued we can come to your business premises for the day.
- I charge from £4,995 for a full day
- Tamara charges from £1,995 for a full day
Did you know also …
We can put together a strategy for you based on time-tested direct response marketing?
We can write some of the best sales copy you’ll ever use
From £1,495 (price on asking)
We can MENTOR you and your business from as low as £1,995 per month
And let me tell you about prices.
All our prices are designed to be an investment not a fee.
That simply means the first thing we do is make sure that our fist calls are designed for you to get double your initial investment back or save you double your investment.
All you have to do is ask us for an initial 10 minute chat and we will try and find out exactly what you need from there.
There’s no commitment from the call.
Don’t end up with a life of loss when it could have so easily been prevent. The client above is now on her own with two kids and living at her mums while she waits her her bankruptcy to come through while another client that had a same business I worked with took over $100,000 from a single campaign.
It’s a stupid world and an even more stupid world when we take risks with stuff marketing that has just failure written all over it.
I can save you a ton of cash
I can make you a ton of cash.
All you have to do is get in touch
Text: 07793 069 486 or call and leave a message and we will call right back
OK I’m out of here.
Enjoy whatever is left of your day.
Love and peace
Your bearded marketing genius
Alan Forrest Smith
P.s: I should have introduced Tamara more formally to you. She has marketing credentials coming out of her pockets but likes to keep it quiet here. She deals with clients all the time here and frankly gets incredible results. She is a red-hot consultant you can trust 100%