What Are You Trying to Accomplish with Your Marketing?

I was listening to a speaker the other day, who I’ll call Frank. Frank is the owner of a webdesign firm and he was talking about how he was sitting in a meeting for an hour listening to his sales guys and a CEO of a company and their sales team talk back and forth about what they wanted to accomplish from their website.

“Well we want it to do ‘blah,’ and we need it to do ‘X’,” the sales team said.

Finally Frank said to the CEO, “What do you think so far?”

Unimpressed with any of it, the CEO said, “I don’t know, what do you think?”

Then Frank said, “I feel like I’ve been sitting here for an hour and not one person has said what they want to accomplish from this site. Do you want it to be informational, drive sales or collect people’s email? What do you want this site to do?”

Immediately the CEO said, “I need this site to drive qualified leads to these guys!”

Sometimes you have to sit around and listen to people go on and on about what they think they want and the features they want, but they aren’t getting down to brass-tacks.

Other times you’ll have someone say, “What is it that you really want to happen here?” And there will be some wise person sitting in the back that says, “We need it to do ____.”

Hopefully one day this will be you with your own project. If you don’t have a team to help you stay on track, remember this question, what are you trying to accomplish?

Answer that and you’ll be on the right track.


Every Penny Counts

I ate at Firehouse Subs today, which is a franchise started by Firemen. When I was a kid, I knew a guy who was a fireman but also owned 4 Subways. I guess firemen got tired of giving Subway their money.

Anyway, when the owner rang me out, he said, “Your total will be $9.17, unless you want to round it up and give the change to the ‘First Responder Fund’.”

Being that I worked in law enforcement for 15 years, I said, “Absolutely, round it up.”

He said, “We’ve raised more than $15,000,000 dollars last year for first responders and their families. It just goes to show you, ‘Every penny counts.'”

It made me realize that when you have 10’s-of-millions of customers, a little spare change goes a long way.

And as Smash Mouth says, “We could all use a little change.”

I Wish I Knew What I Wanted To Be When I Grow Up

Are you one of those people who jump from thing to thing? One day you want to be a writer and the next day you want to drive a big rig. Ever buy 5 adult coloring books and never even open one of them?

In Barbara Sher’s classic book Refuse To Choose, she writes about people who can’t seem to pick one thing to focus on work wise. She calls these people scanners.

I could write a book on how many times I’ve jumped from thing to thing. I’m really good at starting stuff, but I’m not great at finishing it. There is a reason why I have 8 or 9 registered domain names. I’ve also had many different websites that have come and gone.

The difference for myself now is I think I’ve picked a theme that can cover my many interests under one website. (Helping other’s pursue entrepreneurship and helping them start non-traditional businesses.)

But if for some reason my topic gets too far off base, you’ll be able to read those type of posts on my personal site at: www.douglasthomaswallace.com .

If you think you’re a scanner and you need some guidance, check out Barbara Sher’s book. Just make sure you don’t buy all her books at once and then not actually read any of them. Just get this one, for now.

How Can I Get Something For Nothing?

The above question depends on what you consider, “for nothing.” If you consider your time, “for nothing,” then you can get a lot if you’re willing to work hard. However, most people put a value on their time. That’s why we get paid to work.

I’ve been running across a lot of people lately who have been wanting to barter. I told you about me bartering my writing skills for two custom made ukuleles last month. Well, this week I had two barters with the same guy in one day. Let me explain…

It’s been raining a lot here in the St. Louis area over the last week. Well, my girlfriend’s roof started leaking in a second spot on Sunday.

A second spot, you ask?

Yeah a second spot. The first spot was over the bathtub, so it didn’t seem to be a big emergency to me. But when it started leaking over the toilet, well that’s hard to ignore. It was kind of like an agonizing Chinese water torture while I was sitting there trying to do my business, so I called my buddy who owns a roofing company.

He said, “Well do you think it has hail damage, because we don’t just fix leaky roofs.”

I didn’t know if it had hail damage, but I did see evidence that we had had hail from the little pea-sized marks that were on the wood railing outside. So I told my friend, “It could be. I know we had some hail.”

Long-story short, my friend came over and accessed that we had no hail damage. He then proceeded to fix the leaky-roof that his company normally doesn’t fix.

I had talked to him in the past about setting up a soft-power washing business for roofs. He began bugging me about when we are actually going to do that.

Being that I’m a scanner-or someone who’s always looking to see what is out there, I had moved on to something else by the time he got back to me.

Then my friend told me that he needs the copy for his website written. Actually what he said was, “Hey. I need you to write the words for my website.”

“Ok,” I said, “what do you want the copy to say?”

“What the hell is ‘copy?’ Don’t start using technical terms on me,” he said. “I just want it to say how great we are and I want it to describe what we do.”

After we talked for a while, I got it narrowed down to what he really wanted and that was a landing page that doubled as a sales letter, even though he didn’t know that. (He most likely doesn’t even know what a landing page is.)

But what he really really wanted deep down inside and didn’t even know how to articulate it was, he wanted the consumer to call him.

Easy enough right? Not really.

Bringing you back to the main point, this week I found myself in a two, “something for nothing,” deals. And when I say, “nothing,” I mean, “no money out of pocket.”

Broke is temporary, poor is a mindset.

Even if you have no money, you can start looking for opportunities and things will come your way. And when I say, “come your way,” I mean you’ll start seeing them. They are all around you.

Don’t believe me?

Start looking around at how many dirty roofs you see. If you live in the Mid-West, you’ll start seeing all those black, nasty roofs. Now look again, that isn’t dirt. That’s algae. And algae eats the limestone in roof shingles.

And that my friends is why my friend wants me to help him with his soft-wash roof cleaning business.

Start looking around and all you will see are opportunities around you. But almost everyone else will just see dirty roofs, just depends on your perspective.


Word Camp St. Louis 2016

I just attended my first Word Camp. For those who have never heard of Word Camp, it’s tech seminar on using WordPress. (And don’t worry, I had only heard about it a month ago.)

So what’s WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system and this site was built using it.

I made this blog posting in a seminar on blogs. The speaker said if we are going to be considered an expert in anything, we are going to need to write more. So I took him up on the opportunity.

He also said that people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in 5 years. I’m 41 years old, I figured I don’t have that much time, I better start writing as much as I can.