I've been getting bombarded by emails lately and it's a little annoying. In the past few months, I submitted my email to a bunch of different self-proclaimed marketing experts in an effort to stay up-to-date on what others in my industry are doing, and I was shocked to find how many of them have tried to monetize their expertise without any of them really having anything new to contribute.
These so-called experts all follow the same formula: boast about how they were struggling to make ends meet chasing after clients but now make a six figure income, while also traveling and pursuing other life passions. Doesn't that sound great?! Wouldn't you pay hard-earned money to learn their secrets of the trade to live just like them?!
There's just one problem: most of them are probably full of crap.
Seeing Is Not Believing With Marketing
If, like me, you recently watched the Netflix documentary about the Fyre Festival--the world's most successful marketing campaign and most colossal event failure--then you know that good marketers don't feel beholden to tell the truth all the time. They tell whatever version of the truth they think you need to hear to make a purchase. And many of these experts who promise to teach you how to become a marketing guru just like them are also telling you some twisted version of the truth. They might be lying about their income or their lifestyle, their success or their failures.
The truth is that there is no secret formula. Anyone selling you a fast-track way of mastering marketing is probably hustling you.
That said, if you are considering signing up for one of these courses, there are a few things you should keep in mind about marketing before doling out the cash:
It Takes Time To Build A Following
Very few brands become viral sensations overnight. It takes time, patience, and consistency--especially when it comes to content--to not only build a following, but to also build a loyal fan base that will engage with your brand time and time again. Although it's looked down upon, there are people who pay to have a lot of followers on social media, although many of those "followers" end up being bots. You can usually spot a fake influencer by their comparatively low engagement on posts in relation to the amount of their followers.
Trial And Error Are Inevitable
When you first launch a marketing campaign, you have to make certain assumptions based on the information available for you. And you could be making the wrong assumptions. The more you work at it, the more data you can collect and the more you can tweak your messaging and improve your campaign. Data is absolutely the best way to create a smart marketing campaign, and that is hard to collect without doing a little bit of legwork first.
Focus On Quality Content
For many years, companies saw value in creating cheap, low-quality content because it was stuffed with keywords that would help them rank in a Google search. That no longer works anymore, however. Google has adjusted their algorithm so that good, high-quality content that provides a relevant solution or answer to a customer's problem or question is weighted more heavily when it comes to SEO. And there are marketing benefits to putting out regular quality content as well: you can build more trust with clients, create brand awareness, and work on getting customers into the funnel to start the process of making a conversion. Without high-quality content, no one will take you seriously.
Know When To Bring In An Expert
Instead of investing big money in a one-size-fits-all marketing webinar/seminar/workshop, consider putting money into hiring a content and marketing consultant who already knows how to do all of this and can tailor a solution to fit your business' needs. With a customized solution, you have the advantage of not doing what everyone else is doing and being able to stand out in the crowd.