SuperFail: Marketing After All Your Money’s Gone
I do a lot of consults. They’re my favorite part of the job – getting to know people and their brands, brainstorming ways to make them succeed. It’s super fun – if my day were nonstop consult calls I’d be happy.
I talk to a ton of people with a small advertising budget. Most of these folks are working a 9 to 5, trying to create or sustain a side business they’re someday hoping will end up as a primary source of income. It’s the whole American dream thing, right? People do it every day – develop awesome, successful businesses that become their life’s work and the way they support themselves.
Except when they don’t have two nickels to rub together after spending thousands of dollars on a website.
Think of Your Site as a Brick and Mortar Store.
Imagine you decide to build a brick and mortar business. Your location is off the beaten path – you won’t have a location in a shopping mall or a space with a good bit of foot traffic.
You want your business to be massive and beautiful. You spend tens of thousands of dollars creating an amazing store with just the right signage, the right furnishings …
… then it’s time to do marketing. You have your grand opening. Friends and family show. You take out a small ad in your local paper with the meager amount of funds you’ve managed to set aside for advertising. Then, you wait.
And no one shows.
A month goes by. Your ad does nothing and now you’re out of funds to do things you know would bring business – a local radio spot, a billboard or even optimizing a local presence online. Your products and your store are awesome, but you’re screwed.
I See This All the Time – Except Online.
If you spend thousands of dollars on your website and you don’t have money to spend on marketing, you might find yourself in some hot water. Marketing teams overseas often give you junk traffic that’s hard to recover from SEO-wise – I actually witnessed another example of this happen to a potential client today. Firms located in your own country are a good place to start, but I guarantee most of us aren’t going to work for $100 a month.
So what do you do?
Take Preventive Measures
I’ve talked about this before online – the Field of Dreams mentality – “If You Build It, They Will Come”. No, no they won’t come. You can’t wish traffic into being – but you CAN take steps to avoid building a beautiful website that sits – and sits- and sits.
Get Your Advertiser Involved At the Beginning of the Process
Don’t wait until your site’s up and running to get a marketing pro involved. If they’re guaranteed work, many marketing teams will want to be involved in the design and implementation process without charging you an arm and a leg. It’s certainly worth a shot to talk to someone. If nothing else, a marketing pro can help you make sure your site is optimized for conversion/sale – not all web designers know how to do this. It’s their job to make things pretty, and some are more concerned with this than giving you a site that is easy to market/optimized for conversions in the future.
Get a Recommended Budget Before the Process Starts
Ask a marketing pro to give you a quote for the entire process from top to bottom. If you’re not excited about their web design prices, get another firm to step in and help – then engage a marketing pro afterward.
If It’s Too Late?
Ask a marketing pro straight up for a budget recommendation, and if there are any corners that can be cut with execution if you keep them on as a marketing consultant. Many advertisers will consider doing this for you and ensure that execution teams are quality.
Try out Elance
There are tons of hungry folks on Elance hoping to get their feet wet. Test out a new marketer for a month. Ask for a resume – many marketing Elancers have a great resume’ but don’t have any feedback just yet. Try ’em out! Make sure deadlines are clearly communicated, payment is based on the fulfillment of milestones and that you feel you have a good rapport/connection with your freelancer. Consider hourly work as well – this is a good way to get a feel for a Freelancer.
Or, you know – if you’ve run through your budget – you could just contact me and I’ll see what I can do! Let’s chat. :)