We've all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.
Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, "gurus" pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn't work.
Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.
If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:
1. "You need to be everywhere"
I'm sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? "Experts" spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live . . . be everywhere! They'll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don't forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.
ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can't. And you shouldn't. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I'm not giving any titles because I'd have to Google them and then I'd be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)
It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don't mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these "experts" would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.
Don't allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.
2. "It takes money to make money"
I didn't take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn't come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren't lending to businesses like mine. The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I've only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want -- a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.
3. The Schmo-bags
The worst are who I call the "Ferrari Marketers." They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven't even used in their own business.
They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.
Did I mention they suck?
But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can't be distracted by shiny objects any longer.
As Jack Welch says, "Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion."
Don't allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the "latest and greatest/not greatest" new social media strategy, channel or tactic.
Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.
Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.