I love watching Moneyball. Yes, my wife thinks it’s boring, but I have seen it 3 times and still can’t get enough. It is a story about perseverance, numbers, consistency and a bit of luck. The kind of luck that comes when preparation meets opportunity. The movie is also about how sticking to a plan can produce victory.
The Moneyball plot goes like this: Before the 2002 season, the Oakland A’s had one of the smallest payrolls in baseball, had lost key players to free agency, and team ownership expected them to compete with the big teams like the Angels, Rangers, and Yankees. Billy Beane, the general manager, had a choice – do the same thing as the rest of the league and accept his fate or be bold and try something different to create a better outcome. The results were incredible and revolutionized baseball. The A’s became the first team in over a 100 years in the American League to win 20 straight games.
What changed? The A’s still had a small payroll and few resources. It was Billy Beane’s approach that changed.
Lets start there.
Moneyball Teaches us To:
The majority isn’t always right, yet we tend to accept that since everyone else is doing it then it must be right. Well, that can be a recipe for disaster. Billy Beane was forced to think differently about the game of baseball. He didn’t have a huge budget to lure top players like big market teams. He didn’t have lucrative TV deals and sponsors to generate the resources similar to other clubs. If he was going toe to toe with the competition, doing things the way they did, the A’s were doomed to fail.
So… he focused on what he did have – a great minor league farm system, all the data he could want on players, and the authority to change things up.
Billy’s unique approach changed the team’s priorities, analyzed data differently and focused where the competition wasn’t, such as spending more time looking for great high school players. Billy didn’t blindly follow the rest of baseball, or even listen to his own scouts, instead he looked for a new way to do things to create better results.
Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) hired an assistant who looked at the numbers and not the players. While the rest of the league was obsessed with home runs and batting average, the A’s focus was on base percentage, reducing errors, and favoring matchups that resulted in more wins. Billy wasn’t just looking at numbers differently, he was also looking at the right numbers.
Often times we get so distracted by things that have nothing do with actual performance – in this case, how stable a player’s relationship was with his girlfriend (that was in the movie, btw). By looking at the actual numbers you will see what is really working. If a webpage gives you a 5% conversion rate compared to 2%, does it really matter what the page looks like? Stick to the actual numbers and not the eye. It can be deceiving. For business it is all about the results regardless of what your circumstances or challenges may be.
Results are the name of the game. The movie Moneyball would have never hit the theaters if the Oakland A’s did not achieve results. The same goes for your business. It’s not about traffic, likes, tweets etc. It is about the results – wins! Do what works for you business and if you have not discovered it yet, keep planting the seeds until the success that really matters starts to come. Also remember to hire and surround yourself with people that get results – no matter their age, gender, nationality or sleep habits.
“Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players, your goal should be to buy wins.”
– Billy Beane from the movie Moneyball
Let me illustrate this by a typical conversation I have with business owners.
Me: What are you looking for?
Business: We need to get to the top of Google. Our business is struggling and our numbers are looking ugly. What can you do for me?
Me: Is your goal to get to the top of Google or to get more sales?
Business: Well both, we are looking for SEO experts who can get us to the top.
Me. Getting on page 1 of Google can take a lot of content, time and research. It may or may not produce the conversion. What kind of budget are you setting aside for this?
Business: Well I have my cousin who is charging $500 a month to put me on the first page of Google. We have been with him for 10 months and have not seen much traffic.
Me. Here is the thing; you do not need an SEO guy. Most of them do not understand business. You need sales. Getting to page one of Google may or may not produce sales. You need to research then test, and then test some more. Find out what is actually producing results. You need to capture leads, nurture leads and then convert those leads into loyal customers. Your online marketing efforts need to be focused on results, not hitting page one of Google. Page one of Google will come automatically if you put in the right system.
Make a Plan and See It Through
Once the system is put into place you have to trust that it will work. The Oakland A’s won 20 consecutive games all because Billy Beane had some faith in the system he created. He didn’t cave when ownership started asking questions or the press second-guessed his moves. He stayed the course and the results did come… in a big way!
In marketing you have to have a little faith and some patience too. It’s tempting to instantly jump on board when the next new rookie comes to town – Don’t do it! Why dive into Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter just to leave it all behind for the “next big thing”? Moneyball teaches us to stick to the plan until you see it through.
Stick to the task ’till it sticks to you,
Beginners are many but enders are few.
Honor, power, place and praise
Will come in time to the one who stays.
Stick to the task ’till it sticks to you,
Bend at it, sweat at it, and smile at it too.
For out of the bend, the sweat, and the smile,
Will come life’s victory after awhile.
– Thomas S. Monson
Believe in the System (believe in yourself)
What is the best attribute of a winner? Let me put it this way. I’m a winner and people often times come to me for advice. Why do they? Well, it is not because of my good looks. It is because I believe that I deserve to win no matter the barriers.
“Winners have developed a strong sense of self-worth, regardless of their status. They weren’t necessarily born with these good feelings, but they’ve learned to like themselves through practice.”
– The Key to Winning by Dennis Waitley
The simple practice of believing in yourself will propel you to put in the necessary effort to do what it takes to win. It’s not easy and the first guy through the wall usually gets bloody. There will be opposition, resistance and challenges – count on it. Your belief in the system will be the strength to help get you through to the other side when others are saying “give up”, or “it’s time for something else”.
Oh, and by the way, Billy Beane is still the manager of the Oakland A’s and recently had his contract extended to 2019. The A’s are in the playoffs again this year while the Yankees, Angels and Rangers are all watching from the stands. Think his system still works? Yep, it sure does.
Until next time this is Jace Vernon signing off. Keep up the amazing work and remember to do business the Moneyball way!
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” The Bible
Let me explain.
One of the big mistakes people make when creating a video, especially from scratch, is they don’t POLARIZE. They do not do want to offend anyone so they keep everything general.
Polarity is probably the number one reason why a video and your message fails.
We work with some of the biggest companies in the world and it’s frustrating how much effort, money, and resources are spent trying not to offend the masses. Instead of focusing their message on their fans and users, they get distracted and try and create a message that makes everyone happy.
Not saying you can’t have both…
Well actually, yes I am.
Lukewarm is the enemy.
“Please make sure the drawings include one girl, one black guy, two Chinese people, one gay guy and a tranny. We want to make sure the world knows how diverse we are.”
“Our product or service is for everyone. We have to make sure we include the following features…..”
“We can’t say that. We may offend someone.”
“Hurry take down the video because we had a complaint.”
“But ignoring a portion of our customers needs might backfire. Our complaints could skyrocket.”
Or… “We’re getting calls from some of our customers who find our video offensive. Shouldn’t we create videos that all our customers like?”
I always tell my clients that a great way to know if their marketing works…is by the number of angry responses you get. You will have haters.
“When your messages cause polarity, it attracts attention and people will pay for it. Neutrality is boring, and rarely is money made or changed created when you stay neutral. Being polar is what will attract raving fans and people who will follow you and pay for your advice.” Russel Brunson
This may hurt…
If you’re like me, you hate when people do not like you. It’s actually a real struggle for me. I come across that it doesn’t bother me, but deep down it does. I want people to like me and my intentions are to help them.
Every email sequence I send out, I will get a couple of harsh responses sent back to me. It’s frustrating and can turn into a time suck. I used to respond, but I have learned to let it go and spend time and resources with those who are my fans.
For every 100 people that love you, there’s a few that will hate.
Just move on.
“You see, marketing formulated for the masses is guaranteed to deliver quiet and understated ad copy, and creating a likable ad isn’t your goal. Again, your goal is persuasion. So choose who to lose and let the cash register determine the success of your marketing.”
Here’s a story for you.
Have you ever wanted to admit that you are #2 in your market? Me neither. I would think this would be a formula for instant disaster.
In 1962, Avis was going under and they needed to make a change quickly. Since its inception, Hertz was the dominate player in the care rental space and AVIS was clearly going down.
So the ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach decided to pitch a different kind of Idea to the executive. They would embrace their second-place status as a sneaky way to tout the brand’s customer service.
I have not idea how they got the executives to buy into this. I can hear the complaints now. I guess when a company is desperate they are willing to try anything.
Here is a screen shot of the ad.
“When you’re only No. 2, you try harder. Or else.”
Within a few years Avis had taken a huge market share and were no longer #2.
Here’s another one of their ads.
“Don’t be afraid to polarize people. Most companies want to create the holy grail of products that appeals to every demographic, social-economic background, and geographic location. To attempt to do so guarantees mediocrity. Instead, create great products that make segments of people very happy. And fear not if these products make other segments unhappy. The worst case is to incite no passionate reactions at all, and that happens when companies try to make everyone happy.” Guy Kawasaki
When can this polarity fire?
When you cross the line into CRAZY.
A good example of this is Kathy Griffin. She has always been polarizing and it served her well. She has made millions. You either love her or hate her. She had a loyal following that produced a lot of money and fame.
Everything came to a screeching and pathetic halt with her latest stunt. Kathy Griffin crossed the crazy line. Even her loyal fans have deserted her.
This seldom happens so do not let Kathy’s story be an excuse on why you should not push the line.
A video that is trying to target everybody: skinny, fat, big, small, old, young. May not offend. But, it’s just another flavor of vanilla. If you don’t polarize your audience, you don’t create a following.
If you do not create a following, you will not have enough persuasion to get them to purchase your product or service.
I Love Podcasts and I have been listening to some of the top Marketing Podcasts over the past 12 months. It’s kind of crazy that we can learn from the best minds in our industry all for free.
I am always preaching that people should skip college, listen to Podcast and watch YouTube Videos. You will learn more. It’s a great habit to get into especially if you are running a business. Podcasts can keep you focused and inspire you to keep moving. Plus it’s fun listening and learning about the struggles, challenges, triumphs, and successes that others are going through.
So here are…
The Top 10 Marketing Podcasts that are worth your time.
Growth Everywhere is a lot like The Top. Eric interviews all types of Entrepreneurs. They give you a lot of little tips you can apply to your business. I also like the fact that Eric interviews people who are just starting out.
The Social Media Marketing podcast is hit-or-miss for me. They have some good content, but I have to pick and choose what I want to listen to. They hit almost every social media avenue, so it’s a great start if you are looking to get an overall view of all things Social Media.
If you are running a SaaS business you have to listen to this Podcast. Jason Lemkin is all about getting you from $0 to 100m Annual Recurring Revenue. (ARR) It is jammed packed with ideas and great interviews.
If you have no idea what SaaS stands for, get in line. I probably heard this term for 2 years before I even knew what the word meant. SaaS stands for Software as a Service. Now doesn’t that feel better?
The online marketing arena, like the real world, is full of shysters, con artists, and wannabes. They have so many different angles, tactics, and maneuvers that they’re hard to keep track of. But that will not stop us from revealing who they are. We are nice like that… 🙂
We are going to paint a picture of the online marketing companies or people that you need to watch out for. They are costly, and have a negative impact on your business. This list comes from real life companies that we have visited and consulted with.
So here we go:
1. The Do Nothing Guy (most common)
Description: These marketers can charge a lot or a little for their services. It doesn’t really matter to them because they don’t do anything to earn it. They capitalize on your lack of knowledge and will talk over your head so they can keep you confused.
It’s an easy trap to fall into due to the fact that once everything is set up and running, an online marketer can just sit back and relax. At least for a little while. Eventually rankings, ads, and leads will die, but that could take some time.
I have talked with a few small businesses who are paying upwards of $10,000 to $18,000 a month and not getting anything in return. Let me phrase that another way: There’s online shysters who are taking in $2160,000 a year and not doing anything for it. The problem isn’t they money. Some companies are worth way more than that. The problem is in quality of work one is getting.
They might of set up a PPC campaign, they might have built your website, and you might be turning a nice profit. And the worse case scenario is your company is booming so you think they are doing a great job. This is where the opportunity costs come in. You could be making way more money, but the do nothing guy is holding you back.
Fix it: Online marketing is not a set it and forget it type of process. There’s always more that can be done. Any guy that thinks he can just sit back and relax is going to be trampled by professional online marketers who are doing the work. Online marketing is not easy and it can take months to see some results. But once the system is figured out and leads start to come in. It can be a huge revenues source for your company.
Below will show you how to protect yourself from these types of dudes.
2. No Brains
Description: These online marketers have zero education and do not know what they are doing. They can talk the lingo, but fall short when it comes to actual performance. They have never been successful nor do they take the time necessary to learn the trade.
You know you are working with a “No Brains Guy” when you have hired your uncle, your cousin, your friend, or a referral from a friend who has watched a few YouTube videos and is now in the business. You may be his first client. There are a lot of “No Brain Guys” out there and it would shock you to know who they are.
3. Over Promising Salesman
Description: “Page One of Google for Lawyers in 5 Days Guaranteed!”
These guys are amazing salesman and will promise you the world. Profits, immediate results, huge returns, page one, ranks of all your keywords, etc.
One of my first employees called me a while back to tell me about an internet company called 180fusion. They are well known and you can read about them on the web. I am not trying to pick on them or call them out, I just want to be very open about what is happening out there.
She had 99 clients under her and was getting paid a ridiculously low amount of money. There’s no way that one person can take care of 99 different clients. Her job…was to try and keep the clients as long as possible before they realize they are being ripped off.
This type of online marketing company will call you endlessly to get you to sign up for their service. Their sales force makes up the majority of their company. Their survival depends on it because they lose clients as fast as they bring them on.
4. Cheapest Guy In The Room ($299 a month service)
Description: This is extremely common and my guess is that most of you have signed up for one of these types of services. I myself have been guilty of taking on clients for a low $299 and end up giving them a bad service because my time has to be spent with clients who pay. Let me tell you how they work.
They undercut legit companies because their model is based on the numbers. They will ask you to pay whatever you can afford to pay. $299, $1500 or $5000 it doesn’t really matter because once you sign up they are off to get their next clients. These companies are all about adding accounts as quickly as possible. They are famous for saying, “It’s only $299, they won’t cancel.”
Sure they will have one or two success stories but it is based off of luck. Think about it…if they can sign up 100 companies, one or two of them will be successful not matter how bad they screw things up.
Ask yourself, how much time can a company really put into my business for $299 a month?
Doctors, Chiropractors, Dentists, and other local businesses are great victims of these services, so keep your eye open. I am guessing, most of you have 5 or 6 charges a month around that $200 dollar range. I would cancel them.
Oh wait, it is only $299 a month. What if it is working? lol
5. Do It All Guy (Owner)
Description: Nothing bad to say about these guys because they are usually the owner or manager of the company. They are making things happen, working long hours, stressing about growth, and taking all the risk. I have been there and still am some days. My heart goes out to these guys because they just can’t seem to let go and let the professionals grow their business.
Three weeks ago I met with the owner of a growing business. They were bringing in a $150,000 a month in revenue, which is pretty good for a startup.
That $150,000 was all going out, and the owner was broke. Couldn’t afford to spend money on online marketing even though that is where his revenue was coming from.
What is the problem?
The owner is trying to do everything and is losing money in the process. He has no idea where his conversions are coming from, his website is a disaster, no up sells, no email campaigns, no content creation plan, and no tracking. He has started a great company that has huge potential but he will not let go so he can grow.
Like the other fraudsters, the “Do It All Guy” is usually harming himself. His ego has taken over. This must be stopped.
How to protect yourself from bad online marketing companies.
Now for the good part! We have identified the shysters, so now it’s time to get educated on how online marketing really works. That way you can know when to run.
1. How to hit page one of Google.
If any SEO company promises you rankings on the first page of Google in a short amount of time…(6 months or less) it is time to run. Google makes the rules, and they are very strict on how the game is played. There are always exceptions and it is easy to rank for keywords that nobody is looking for. I am talking about real money keywords. Ones that will actually bring you business. These keywords are extremely hard to rank for and you are competing against companies with millions to spend.
The only way to rank for competitive keywords is to create amazing content consistently and get qualified backlinks. This takes a lot of money, time, and effort. 4 blogs, 500 words+ per week is a good place to start.
If you can not afford to pay someone to do a good job than you might as well forget about it, because the 5 fraudsters above are not going to take the time necessary to get you ranked. It’s too much work!
2. How does Pay Per Click (PPC) work?
PPC is one of my favorites avenues because you can get immediate results. Every company should be running some type of PPC campaign even if it’s for remarketing only.
A PPC campaign is easy set up and it is even easier to forget about it. Some companies may check your account once a month others may not check it at all. This is where a lot of businesses can get in trouble. If you make a mistake in PPC… Google, YouTube, and Facebook will take your money within minutes.
Make sure you are monitoring your accounts daily, build out multiple landing pages, and start slow. It takes strategic planning to set up a profitable campaign and it may take a couple of months. Track everything down to a conversion.
This should give you a good idea of what to expect. Once again, the 5 shysters above are not going to put in the time, effort, or work…especially if you are paying them $299 a month.
3. How do email marketing campaigns work?
This is an area that you can create once and receive the benefits for years to come. I usually like to build out a 12 email sequence. Email provides you with a way to nurture and educate your audience after they have chosen to interact with your company. They should be carefully crafted and, ideally, you will want to build out different campaigns according to the needs of the customer.
Emails campaigns are the glue that holds everything together and it’s a must for marketing campaigns.
You can use Aweber, Infusionsoft, MailChimp or Constant Contact to create your sequences. The cost and time will be spent on creating the right content to help the audience convert. It’s that simple!
Not all marketing companies are bad and most of them have good intentions.
So here are some questions to ask yourself:
How much time should a company spend on your online marketing? How much time does it take to be successful?
Can you pay $299 a month and get 40 hours of work?
In my opinion you need 40 hours for a small startup and it can go up from there. Some companies need 20 employees at 40 hours a week. It just depends on your size and growth.
So that leads you to the next set of questions:
Do you bring someone in-house or do you hire it out?
Both options are great but both have their problems. If you decide to bring someone in-house you will want to make sure they are educated and know what they are doing. If you hire it out, you will want to verify that they are working and progress is being made.
Now for the final question:
How much should you pay? $10,000 a month? $5000 a month?
A professional marketer is not going to work 40 hours a week for free. Some of them could be worth $100 an hour, others $25 an hour. It depends on their skills and the results they are able to achieve.
This is where you have to put in the time and research necessary to hire the right people. If they are good, you will end up keeping them forever. If they are bad, your ship may sink with theirs.
The goal is that your business will become their business, and your growth their growth. Over time all cylinders will be firing and your online marketing efforts will pay huge dividends.
Tread carefully when you are hiring an online marketing agency. You only want to do it once…
Thanks for reading
How To Protect Yourself From Hiring The Wrong Online Marketing Company