“You can lie to yourself and to the rest of the world but
your results will always tell the absolute truth.”
I try not to preach at people on this blog (at least at much as I used to) but I warn you this is post is a rant.
If you want more teaching and less preaching, check my other blog posts. But if you don’t mind hearing some harsh truths about small business, then you can keep reading.
These days, I always tell my clients (after I remind myself) that “Your Results NEVER Lie.”
The results of what you are doing (or not doing) online or off – always tells the truth on you and your business.
What you or I say is nothing compared to the actions we take and the results that we produce because of those actions.
Because I work as a website developer and web marketing specialist for the business community in my hometown, I get to talk to all kinds of people. And all the time, I hear the same stuff over and over…
- Gee, I wish I had a website…
- My website’s ugly…
- My website is not working or making me any money…
- All my leads have dried up…
- No one is hiring me…
- Nobody is coming by the shop/store/office…
- “Chancer, you don’t understand how bad things suck right now but it’s not my fault”…
And I say “Okay, you’re right. Things do suck right now. but..” Then I look them in the eyes, as I tell them as gently as I can,“But you’re a liar – we’re all liars. It is our fault, to a certain extent.”
As a fellow small business owner, I will take the hit first and admit it… “I’m a liar”. Now, don’t get me wrong. I not some sort of con-artist, fraud or pathological liar or anything like that.
What I mean is that I am prone to letting my emotions, my hopes and dreams lead me astray when it comes to my business.
I want to BELIEVE things will get better (without me doing a whole lot of work to make things happen).
We ALL like to think that nothing is ‘really’ wrong with our business (because we love what we do or because we have been doing it so long it’s like an old comfortable friend.)
So when things go bad, it just can’t be our fault!
It has to be because the economy is terrible, the government is full of fools (okay it is, you know) and people just don’t have any money to spend anymore, we say.
Blah, blah, blah, whatever – its all a lie.
First we lie to our selves then we lie to our families and friends and say that “things are going fine, just fine”. Or we tell everyone who will listen that’s “it’s not my fault”.
If you haven’t taken the time or effort to change how you market and promote your business over the last few years – and you have poor sales as a result – then It’s your fault because your RESULTS say it is.
Okay, let’s lay it all out on the kitchen table – despite what the TV goo-roos or newspaper pundits have said – here’s a bitter reality pill, not every small business in this country is failing or is in trouble.
No matter how badly things might be with the economy in your area, all you have to do is pull your head out of your……navel (thought I was going to say something worst, huh?) and look around.
Then you will see that not every small business is going or has gone under. Sure, a lot of small businesses got hit and struggled (and are still struggling) with some hard times in the past several years.
But both you and I know that some businesses landed softer than others when the economic slide finally bottomed out. This was because they took their marketing seriously.
While other companies, kicked their marketing campaigns to the curb in a mistaken attempt to “save money”, these companies took the money they had and invested it back into even more marketing systems – not less.
Now, I know from personal experience this was no accident – those business owners starting paying close attention to their marketing results when the crap hit the fans in 2008 and in 1938!
During the Great Depression the companies that survived and thrived – just continued to act as if people still had money to spend on their products or services! They just found new or different ways to connect with those paying customers!
They created demand for their products and services despite the hard times. And I discovered that the same thing happened during the 2008 Great Recession.
My clients that thrived were willing to do whatever it took to stay afloat – so they tried out new things – things they might never had considered doing before, such as aggressively marketing online.
And more importantly, they diligently tracked their results – did this new online marketing stuff work for them or not?
- Did posting on Facebook or Twitter bring in more leads or traffic – yes or no?
- Did blogging vs. using a standard website, help with sales – yes or no?
- Are the advertisements they have in newspapers, magazines etc still working – yes or no?
- Was what they were doing marketing wise, working or was it crap?
They didn’t just jump on the blogging or social media bandwagon, as it rode thru town. They took a deep interest in what happened after they put something online.
I worked with several of these business people during the free-fall period (from 2008 to 2010) of the so-called “Great Recession”. Here’s a photo of one of them > Mountain Made Art Gallery
Was all this online marketing stuff I had been yakking on about really bringing in leads, foot traffic and sales?
And they expected me to PROVE that what I did actually worked.
A couple of them stood over my shoulder and looked at my marketing stats and tracking results every week!
I understood one thing very quickly, these clients expected to see some positive, forward momentum or I wouldn’t be getting any more checks from them!
And if the online marketing tools, techniques I implemented weren’t working, they fully expected me to “fail that one and find something else that works” – fast!
But if the results were good for business, I was told to keep at – not matter how boring things got.
And I did.
Now I had happy to report that these clients haven’t failed but are still alive and kicking. They routinely get more leads, traffic and REAL sales from people who found from the Internet, than they get from any other marketing source.
And as a result of my online marketing efforts, they are all in the top 10 rankings in all the major search engines – for multiple search terms.
Now this is not to brag or boast, but to explain, how I learned not to “lie” to myself anymore. I test and track the results of just about everything i do online now.
Like I said before, “RESULTS never lie”. If your marketing plan isn’t working, i.e. producing the results you want – then figure out what’s wrong, fix it or fail it and find something else that DOES works.
Just my 2 sense! Okay rant over.
Let me critique your business website and I will let you know what’s right and what’s missing and what you can do to improve your results. Click to learn more about > Is your website really working for you?