Episode 49: The Marketing Mistakes Costing You $10,000 Per Month In Your eCommerce Business

eCommerce Marketing

As long as marketing remains a mystery to you, you’ll struggle. Chasing random shiny-objects on the internet won’t work. Throwing spaghetti won’t work. The only thing that WILL work is to design a marketing strategy with scientific precision.

In this episode, I explain why your marketing efforts aren't yielding the desired results.  If you are looking to turn your product-based business into a well-oiled profit machine, you need to understand that marketing follows a very specific framework. And if you’re not following it, you’ll be banging your head against a revenue ceiling of your own making.

To begin, I will dissect two frequent scenarios that explain why your marketing isn't generating the desired results.

Scenario 1 – Seasonality

So you're getting some product sales, but your revenue is always on a rollercoaster. You feel like some months you're getting some sales and nothing in others. One thing you need to understand is the seasonality of your business. If you're selling a planner or a journal, your sales will peak from Q4 to Q1 and taper down in the summer. So don't say that summer months are super slow; it's just the seasonality of the business. 

Look at it from an average standpoint. How are your sales typically trending? Do you get something month over month? Or do you get some really high months and crickets in the next two months? Then, evaluate it outside of seasonality and look at your last year. For example, did you have some sales coming in month over month, or did you have some months where there was a high uptick and then some months the sales tapered down?

Scenario 2 – Lack of Intentionality In Your Marketing Efforts

Secondly, do you feel like you're working hard to get customers or leads, and nobody is converting? If so, remember that the purpose of marketing is to bring your vision to life. Marketing is how people find you; branding is why people buy. We must be very intentional with our marketing activities. We have to be very strategic, and we have to be willing to put in the work to make things happen, even when we don't feel like things are happening. 

Three keys to effective marketing

Three things have to happen when it comes to effective marketing: 

  • Intentionality 
  • Being strategic
  • Being willing to put in the work.

This is where we constantly talk about investing when other people are divesting. I recommend being consistent and sticking with something you've committed to for more than six months because that's when you'll start seeing ROI. 

What often happens in marketing is that people start and stop frequently. So you start doing some live videos, do it for two weeks, and then stop. Or you start being very consistent in sending your weekly email nurture, then you stop. But every time you start and stop, you will always start again. So it's much easier for you to be consistent than it is for you to start and stop all the time because you always have to pick back up again, nurture your people again, and reintroduce yourself to your audience. 

Three things have to happen when it comes to effective marketing: intentionality, being strategic and being willing to work to make things happen. 

Lastly, marketing is not fun and games. It requires us to work when other people are sleeping. It requires us to go all in when others are willing to give up. It requires us to choose courage over comfort. But, most importantly, it requires us to invest in our businesses when other people are choosing to divest.

Faith will get you there

Many people ask me why I usually have the courage and the certainty to do the things that I do or to continue going all in and to continue investing and trying again even when things don't work. Because I truly understand and believe this. The bridge between where I am today and where I want to be is faith, and I cannot know how to do something until I take that first step. 

…the bridge between where I am today and where I want to be is faith, and I cannot know how to do something until I take that first step.

The journey you have stepped into, the journey of being an entrepreneur, the journey of you building something for your family, or a legacy you can leave for your children requires faith. Faith will get you where you want to be, but you have to be willing to bet on yourself in moments when you don't feel like doing it. 

 You must understand that faith will get you where you want to be. You must be willing to bet on yourself when you don't feel like doing it. 

Being an entrepreneur is risky, and so is marketing. Whenever you choose to be an entrepreneur, you choose to become a marketer every day of your life. This means that you're not relying on a hope-and-hustle strategy. Hope and hustle doesn’t put money in the bank account. Hope and hustle don't build empires. Instead, it's strategy, precision, and faith that actually build empires. 

Hope and hustle don't build empires. Instead, it's strategy, precision, and faith that actually build empires. 

Three types of entrepreneurs

There are three types of entrepreneurs I have often interacted with: 

Type #1 – The strategy fanatic

What it means to be a strategy fanatic is somebody who's constantly strategising day in and day out to find the next best tactic for their business. What happens is this entrepreneur never takes any action. Instead, they spend so much time dreaming, praying, and hoping. Remember, 

Delaying taking any action often shows up as perfectionism. So ask yourself, has perfectionism served you? Where else in your life is perfectionism showing up? Because how you do one thing is how you do everything. What result has perfectionism generated? When you were saying yes, what are you saying no to? And who are you trying to play right when you're constantly in perfectionism? 

…every time you're caught in the strategy, planning, and preparation to figure out the next best thing, you're trapped in perfectionism. So ask yourself, has perfectionism served you? 

Type #2 - The spaghetti strategy entrepreneur

This entrepreneur is constantly doing so many things to see what actually sticks. First, you must understand that marketing is a science. Marketing requires you to check your data and ensure you're testing and seeing what resonates with your audience. When you leverage different tactics and strategies, hoping to see what’s going to work, you’ll barely make any progress.

Commit to one process. Become a master at that process. Duplicate the results that are working once you’ve achieved a level of mastery.

Why your marketing is not generating the desired $10,000 per month.

Reason #1 – You don't understand the four emotional phases of every customer journey.

What is your audience thinking about regarding the problem you claim to solve? What are they doing to address the problem you're claiming to solve? And how are they doing it? Once you have those three things, it's your chance to explain and show them why your product or your process is the right solution for them. 

I'm going to use an example. of one of my clients. She sells haircare products for the sisterlock/dreadlock community. Her biggest problem was figuring out how she can develop messaging that generates interest and eventually leads to a purchase.

Many times, those who transition to sisterlocks/dreadlocks are either tired of maintaining their hair or the cost of maintaining their hair is very expensive. So they'll find themselves gravitating towards dreadlocks or sisterlocks/dreadlocks. Unfortunately, most people think maintaining their sisterlocks/dreadlocks will be much easier than maintaining their natural hair. 

It may or may not be the case. 

Basically, her customers are transitioning to sisterlocks/dreadlocks because they think it’s a simple process to manage their hair.  However, they forget that they still have to manage their hair even when they have dreadlocks; otherwise, the hair will experience breakage. This is all content. This is how you communicate. If you don't manage your dreadlocks, you will continue experiencing breakage. 

When crafting her narrative, she basically has to articulate why she is the best solution for her audience. A quick and easy way to do so is by constantly showcasing her two-step hair care process.  

Reason #2 – You are telling your own story, not your audience's

If your marketing isn't delivering results, you're potentially telling your own story instead of your audience's. And in this case, I have a good example. 

…the reason why your marketing isn't delivering results is that you're potentially telling your own story instead of your audience's. 

Reason #3 – You're delegating your marketing efforts when your fundamentals are not in place

The third mistake is you're delegating your marketing efforts and hiring an agency when your fundamentals are not in place. Why is this a problem? First, you have to understand that if you as a CEO do not have the clarity when it comes to your audience, your messaging, your positioning, your copy and creative that converts, your agency will not have that clarity. 

With agencies, it's always garbage in, garbage out. The results you see from an agency are usually because of the input that you have given them. Agencies that produce outstanding results will tell you that the CEO had clarity and knew what they wanted. If you're finding yourself delegating to an agency, and not getting your desired results; you need to look at your fundamentals. 

Reason #4 – You're skipping the fundamental elements of your business

If you're skipping over fundamental elements in your business and skipping strategies that you're supposed to work on, you're building your business on an unstable foundation. I usually use the example of a house. If you've ever been part of the construction process of a house, you will notice architects, contractors, and designers spend a very long time laying the foundation of the house. 

Once they’ve laid the foundation, we see walls, windows, and a well-designed home. The reason why the house is sturdy is because of the solid foundation. Our businesses’ too need to have a solid foundation. Sustainable profitable businesses thrive because the fundamentals are in place. 

What does foundational work look like for an e-commerce business? First, you need to begin by identifying what your customers want to buy. Then you need to understand what messaging speaks to them. Once you understand the message that speaks to them, you must learn how to convey that message in your product, pricing, and placement. Then learn how to use marketing, sales, and distribution strategies to pull the levers you need to establish your brand. 

If you believe you've skipped over these steps, you need to go back and properly refine them. Once you do these four steps, everything else will fall into place. 

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