Stop Random Acts Of Marketing: 9 Lessons From The 1 Page Marketing Plan
“If I had to summarize the essence of this book in one sentence it would be, “the fastest path to the money.” This book is blatantly and unashamedly about growing your business fast and reaping the rewards of that kind of success.”
That’s how Allan Dib’s book The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From The Crowd begins.
That got my attention.
Read anything about marketing and it’s approximately 5 minutes before your head is going to be spinning.
The advice is often vague and contradictory. Or the same thing repacked 10 different ways.
Make personas. No actually don’t make them anymore.
Content is King. Nope content is dead.
Put all your money in Facebook ads. Never mind Facebook doesn’t work.
Is it any wonder people get stuck?
When I read Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Sales and Marketing I finally found something that made me sit up. I realized I had been marketing wrong. No wonder I had been spinning my wheels for I don’t even want to tell you how long.
I’d been spending a lot of my time on what Allan Dib calls ‘random acts of marketing.’ Things I felt like I should be doing, rather than the things that were going to strategically get me the right clients who were happy to pay for my services.
Combined, I think these two books are complimentary and rely on some similar principles to help you (and me) start doing the stuff that actually grows your business.
In this post, I want to share 9 lessons from The 1-Page Marketing Plan. Why 9? Because the The 1-Page Marketing Plan is broken into 9 sections, three before the sales process, three during, and three after a prospect becomes a customer.
Phase 1: Before
As awesome as you might be, the vast majority of people in the world don’t even know you (or your business) exists. So the goal of this phase is to get prospects to know who you are and indicate interest.
This is where you will see Lessons 1–3.
Phase 2: During
In the during phase, prospects become leads. These are the people who have are raising their hand that they want more of what you have to offer. They are interested and they become buyers. Yay.
This is where you will see Lessons 4–6.
Phase 3: After
Here, we’re working with people who are customers. The goal here is to get these people to come back and buy again. And, not only that, get them to tell other people they should buy from you too.
This is where you will see Lessons 7–9.
Here’s a little graphic summary of the three phases:
Now, let’s get to the lessons.
Lesson 1: Niching Makes Price Irrelevant
Being all things to all people leads to marketing failure. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer a broad range of services, but understand that each category of service is a separate campaign.
This lesson is soooooooo hard. It’s probably a big reason why a lot of people struggle. Niching down, really niching, just feels counterintuitive like you are going to lose money.
But, if you make yourself a specialist, price suddenly doesn’t matter nearly as much. You are the person that dominates that niche, and the good news? You don’t need thousands or even hundreds of clients. Pick the right niche that solves a real problem and you’ll be off to the races.
Then once you’ve got your niche dominated, add a new service.
Lesson 2: Most Ads Are Bad
Rather than trying to sell directly from your ad, simply invite prospects to put their hand up and indicate interest. This lowers resistance and helps you build a marketing database — one of the most valuable assets in your business.
When I read this line, the advice of two famous marketers came to mind.
First, Perry Marshall. This is what he’s talking about when he says pay attention to the leads who turn their heads when you rack the shotgun. Ignore the rest.
The other is Gary Vaynerchuck and what he calls the 19 year old dude move, trying to close on first date.
Most ads try to close on the first date, and worse, are totally boring while trying to do it. Instead, focus on not on closing but on getting a list of people who are interested.
From there, it’s time to start building a relationship.
Lesson 3: Don’t Get Your Name “Out There” Get Your Prospects Names “In Here”
Creating a highly responsive list of email subscribers practically enables you to produce cash on demand…It’s a great way of cheaply testing offers prior to investing in more expensive media, such as print or pay-per-click advertising.
Yea, I’m guilty of this one too. I’ve even said, I have to get my name “out there” to attract potential clients.
Skrrrt. Wrong move.
Once again, where you put your efforts matter. Beyond the 80/20 rule, Dib also talks about the 64/4 rule in the book too.
He describes it simply (I’m paraphrasing), ‘64% of effects come from 4% of causes, thus 96% of what you do, comparatively, is a waste of time.’
Getting your name out there is a waste of time, it’s part of that 96%. Focusing on getting a list of the people who have raised their hand about their interest in you, is part of the 4% that matters.
Lesson 4: Be a Farmer, Not a Hunter
When you educate and teach, you are seen as an expert and an authority. You’re no longer questioned; instead you are obeyed and seen to have a personal, genuine, helpful interest in other people.
Most of the time, we’re taught that sales is all about going out there, finding prospects, and closing them.
AKA being a hunter.
Dib says the better approach is to be a farmer. Farmers look to invest in the future. They plant seeds, nurture them, and take care of them over time. The seeds won’t grow tomorrow, but eventually, the farmer will have a field full of crops they can sell.
Being a farmer is all about building relationships over the long term. It’s understanding that the majority of people you interact with aren’t ready to buy right now. So instead they nurture them over time until they are ready to buy.
Lesson 5: The Money is in the Follow Up
Fifty percent of all salespeople give up after one contact, 65% give up after two and 79.8% give up after three shots.
I see terrible pitches every day. Ugh. Most of them are pulling the 19 year old dude move and trying to close right away. And then, within 2–3 days, come the follow ups.
The same constant form follow ups that do the exact same thing. “Did you see my email? Answer me!”
No value added, and very little variation is offered. Is it a wonder these all go into the trash after the 2nd appearance in my inbox?
While I’m all for following up, it’s the way people do it that’s bad.
It always should be about adding value and keeping top of mind. Give, give, give.
And, finally, don’t stop following up. Sometimes it could take 8 or even 12 follow ups to land at the moment where the lead is ready to buy.
Lesson 6: Close Down Your Sales Prevention Department
It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses, large and small, make it difficult to buy from them. Leave the red tape, lengthy forms and inflexible rules for government departments. Your job is to make it easy for customers to buy from you.
How many times have you tried to buy or sign up for something and thought forget it after you had to jump through 17 hoops to get it done?
I’ve emailed or called companies in the past to complain that I’m trying to give them money so why are they making it so hard?
Think about this in your own business too. Are you making it way harder to buy than you need to?
Consider pricing too. Understand ways you can offer new models, including monthly payment plans that feel a lot more manageable to potential customers.
Remove the risk and the hoops from buying and some people will be more likely to buy.
Lesson 7: Sell Them What They Want but Give Them What They Need
To get them to take action and do what they need to do to get results may mean that you have to package things in a certain way. You may need to cut the process up into manageable, bite-sized pieces so that it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Waaaay too many businesses forget about customers after they buy. But, even a tiny increase in repeat business can translate into a huge jump in revenue.
Remember that your current customers are just as important (and maybe even more so) than the ones you don’t have yet. And what you want to do is find a way to set them up for the best possible success for your product or service.
Walk them through how to use it. Tell them the hacks and tricks you know and love to get real results. Show them how they can get what they need out of your product or service to solve their problems.
There are benefits to this approach.
First, it’s going to help your customer get what they need. And second, it goes a long way towards building a tribe of adoring fans who are going to spread the word about your business.
Lesson 8: Small Hinges Swing Big Doors
The main point is that measuring, managing and improving your key marketing numbers, even by an incremental amount, can have a massive impact on the end result.
People always want to talk about huge numbers. They often set unrealistic goals to shoot the moon and end up not among the stars but flat on the ground.
Understand that even tiny positive changes, as small as a few percentage points, can have dramatic results on the bottom line.
In the book, Dib likes to use an example where he focuses on improving three numbers by 10%:
Making your ad copy slightly better increases leads (from 8,000 to 8,800). Reducing the risk of working with you increases your conversion rate (from 5% to 5.5%). And offering an upsell or raising rates slightly increases that average transaction value (from $500 to $550).
Just those small changes quadruples total net profit (from $10k to $43k).
Not bad, right?
Lesson 9: Don’t Rely on a Free Lunch
Notice that the name of this chapter isn’t “Sit and Wait for Referrals”? It’s called “Orchestrating and Stimulating Referrals.” This implies that making referrals happen requires something very active on your part. Yet, many business owners see referrals as out of their hands and something that just (hopefully) happens.
Word of mouth referrals are great, but you can’t sit passively by and hope that a few fall into your lap.
Instead, you want to create a deliberate and reliable system that allows you to actively get referrals from your current happy customers on a consistent basis. Don’t sit around doing nothing, make referrals happen!
The easiest way to get referrals is to ask for them. But don’t passively ask, be specific. Dib recommends building a system of referral profiles for customers so they can be specifically targeted in ways that will help them respond positively to your request.
From there, use this repeatable and scaleable system as another channel to help rack the shotgun and get more leads.
Once I finished The 1 Page Marketing Plan, I had a notebook full of notes and a lot more direction in how I could continue to work on the small fraction of actions that actually get results.
It was just another reinforcement on how to stop following the magical trail of marketing breadcrumbs and deliberately use the right combination of strategies and tactics that will help me see success over the long term.
You can grab the book and spend 20 minutes filling out the marketing plan worksheet here.