Does anyone really know what they are doing when it comes to marketing?
That's a question I found myself asking when I felt I had hit "the slumps" in my marketing efforts.
As someone who is still fairly new to the inbound marketing world, I have found myself in a whirlwind of "what am I doing, what works, and what doesn't?!"
I think everyone who has ever dipped their toes into the water of the world that is marketing, has felt the exact same way.
There's so many different opinions and tactics out there that claim to be the "end all be all" to marketing that will "win every time".
However, some people have tried, or will try, a couple of these different methods, and may or may not see a return on their investment of money or time as soon as they hope, or at all.
When I was starting out, I came across videos, blogs, eBook offers, ect. that claimed to have the "long lost marketing secret" that was supposed to change the game of marketing forever, and thought to myself multiple times - "This is it, this is what I have to do!"
So I would try some, and then...nothing.
Traffic and leads wouldn't be where I wanted, or even thought they should be, and ultimately I would wind up feeling like a failure.
Can you relate?
After a while of feeling in the slums about myself, my ability, and the content I was producing, I finally had a eureka moment, I guess you could say.
People who have found success in marketing did not wake up one day and just decide to grow their company in a five hours.
It doesn't work like that.
People who have found that "successful niche" to boost their marketing have more than likely tried multiple other methods and failed, or knocked out before hitting success, just like the rest of us.
So where's the difference?
Are we all just waiting for our lucky turn to hit a home run instead of strike again?
See, I truly believe that no one just wakes up and suddenly has the exact answer to solve our "what is the best marketing method" dilemma.
We may be taught how to go about marketing or even given advice of what direction to lean in, but to truly find what works for you and your business will take time, test and experiments, data collecting and investigating, and then some more tests and experiments.
There are no shortcuts.
Marketing is a long term investment - not only for your clients, but your business as well.
That is where success lies.
Let's say a million dollar company swears that if you send twenty emails a day to clients you will be a marketing bad ass within three months...let's say you try it, and then at the end of those months you still feel no better off than you were before - that doesn't mean you're a failure!
It means you tested a method, it didn't work for your business or your clients, and now you need to try something else.
You could choose to look back at those three months as a waste of time, or, you could look back and figure out exactly what it was you were doing that you know for sure you do not need to continue in the future, and why it didn't work for your company.
It's all trial and error.
Which is why I say - no one knows what they are doing.
That isn't me saying people are not educated, and cannot come up with ideas that work, that is simply me saying that no one has perfected the perfect formula, because it isn't possible.
Marekting is ever changing.
What works today, won't work tomorrow.
And what works for one company, may not work for another.
You may find a way that works specifically for your company and no one else.
It's about knowing who you are as a business, who your target audience is, what your clients like and don't like, and then slowly working your way from there.
Again, people who have found marketing success did not wake up one day and just figure out the secret formula - they did research, tested their ideas against their research, and sunk their investment of time and possibly even money to see if it would work.
Some do and some don't!
I am not saying don't try any of these other companies methods.
If you're feeling down or frustrated about your marketing efforts at the moment, try different tactics - they may work for you!
But, I encourage you to go into with the mindset "hey, I think this looks good, so I have decided it is worth an investment of my time to test if it will be beneficial to my company", rather than, "this is it! This will work. I will grow and be rich within five months", and then fall into a failure mindset if it doesn't.
Coming to the conclusion that marketing is an ever changing game that no one can win the exact same way every time, gave me a boost in my confidence that if what I was previously trying was not working as quickly as I wanted, then it was o.k. to venture out and try something new!
Don't let bad marketing numbers feel like a defeat - let them represent a new opportunity to branch out and try different things.
This is all personal opinion, so I won't sell it as the "emotional 101: do this and never be frustrated in marketing again", but I will say the shift in my mindset has allowed me to look forward to work again - rather than dread I was just going to clock in and be a failure for a couple hours, and then clock back out.
Stay positive, and have the mindset that if one thing doesn't work, it'll be the next thing.
Always look higher and keep rising!