You know, even though I'm no longer a teen-ager, there are a lot of things I simply don't get.
(Now I admit, on some things I am just real slow.)
But here's one that, for the life of me, remains a mystery:
You know, those things landscape crews wear on their backs that just blow crap around. Instead of sucking debris up, it simply blows it around. Rearranges it. To a place where its less visible. Less conspicuous.
But blow as they might … the dreck is still there.
A lot of us do this with our marketing. And it creates massive profit holes in our business.
Instead of solving problems, we rearrange them. Hide them. Pretty them up. Give them a fresh face. We may even think they're gone. But when we check our balance sheets … we receive a rude awaking!
Right now, in that inbox of yours, are several invitations. (You know what I'm talking about). Some are genuine. Some really are the solution to your problems.
And while many of them work, alot of us use them like leaf blowers. To make cosmetic changes. Instead of the fundamental upgrades they were designed for.
So how can you avoid that fate? And how can you make sure that each one is the road to help? Instead of the road to hell?
Here are four ideas that can make things clear. And save you thousands of dollars, and years of struggle:
1. Make the problem more painful.
Why? You can't blow pain around. You can't pretty it up. And if something is painful enough, we deal with it.
When you go to the doctor, what is the first thing they do? They make it hurt. You tell them your arm hurts. And they jerk it around until you yell.
Why? Because a good doctor knows the first step to being whole is an accurate diagnosis. And the first step to an accurate diagnosis is knowing where the pain is.
So don't hide the pain. Make it hurt more. Because when you can't run from it any more, you can start to deal with it.
2. Transform the problem, don't just disguise it.
The problem with many of us is we are suckers for improvement. And when we try to improve, we are simply blowing the leaves around. We move our opt-in box. We re-design our website. We create a cool Facebook Fan page. Now a lot of these are nice. They may even boost our response a bit.
But for the most part, we are simply blowing our pre-existing non-effective marketing around. Rather than fundamentally transforming it.
Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows: Its not about cutting the number of Oreos you eat in half. Its about fundamentally changing your lifestyle.
Fundamental change scares us. But its the only thing that really makes our business (and our lives) like we want them to be.
It may mean totally re-creating your message. It may be radically altering how you position yourself. It may mean taking the time to REALLY NAIL what your prospects want. in THEIR language. Not yours.
And asking yourself what fundamental changes you can make to your marketing to boost its effectiveness. Rather than simply giving your ineffective marketing a new face.
3. What's invisible stinks like hell
One of the nasty things that happen when we blow leaves into a less visible place (like into the gutter, planters or the ivy bed) is they start to fester. Decay. So even though we can't see them … boy do they stink!
And this creates the most damaging result of Leaf Blower Marketing:
Because when we can't see our problems clearly, we don't know where to begin to solve them.
And what forces many business owners to give up is not the size of their problems. Its that they don't even know what the problems are!
Overwhelm is not caused by the things we can see clearly. Its caused by the things we can't.
Yes cosmetic Leaf Blower tactics are tempting. Sexy. But next time you are looking at one, ask yourself:
Will this really help the situation? Or am I just conspiring to create a bigger problem down the road?
4. Once you put the Leaf Blower away, busting your ideal prospects on their own leaf blowing becomes insanely profitable.
The good news is: Once we are hip to our own leaf blowing, we see it everywhere. Especially in our prospects. And this can become insanely profitable. For both you and them.
Now here comes the challenging part:
In order to make them aware of it, you have to confront them with it. And this almost always involves (egad!) becoming a lot more aggressive in your marketing.
The good news is, this can be insanely profitable. Because deep down, people in pain really are looking for their messiah. And if you really do have their solution, your prospects want you to be aggressive.
Let me ask you this: If you are hanging off a cliff, do you want someone to be really aggressive in trying to rescue you? Even if you get a few scratches in the process? Or do you want them to stand passively by, affirming that all is unfolding as it should be?
Here is the key:
People who are in danger want someone to save them. (Really!) In fact, the more aggressive and up front you are in showing how you can save them, the more grateful they are. The more they tell their friends. And the more money you make.
So the next time you are tempted to break out the leaf blower … stop.
Because secretly, deep down, just about everyone is using one. And everyone knows its hurting their business. And when you stop using them in your own business, you can then show others how to stop using one in theirs.
And rejoice as you both laugh all the way to the bank.