Don’t Be Like Marketing Marvin

Dec 14, 2023

All great marketing starts with WHO, not WHAT.

If you’re a “what” marketer, you inevitably end up with a solution looking for a problem. I have a few cautionary tales of my own to tell, but since I didn’t plan on writing a novel today, I’ll do you the courtesy of skipping those.

Only when you start with a “who” do you have advantages like:

  • Solving a specific problem somebody already has
  • Distancing yourself from other service providers who “do the same thing you do”
  • Building offers that are VERY specific to a certain group of people
  • Commanding higher prices than most others offering services like yours
  • and more

It’s hard to do any of those things without clarity around a WHO that your business primarily services. Can you serve other people too? Of course! But you’re marketing dollars and/or energy will be far less effective.

Trust me. Do not go down the generalist road, at least not in the beginning. It’s hard to make your way like that.

An example:

Two of my students recently found themselves within the grubby grips of another “web design influencer” (for lack of a better term).

In full disclosure, I like this other person, have had personal conversations with them, and we even have quite a bit in common.

But there’s one problem:

The solution they sell web designers is a cookie-cutter set of activities that do not honor the reality of target markets. In their program, every customer is a customer who needs your widget. And your widget is a conglomerate of services that essentially turns you into a marketing agency instead of a web designer. (I think we’ll call them Marketing Marvin from now on, as a stand-in for anyone who thinks you HAVE to build a marketing agency as a web designer.)

Now, nothing wrong with becoming a marketing agency.

Unless you don’t want to and/or your market doesn’t need that from you!

Then, it’s a problem.

A better way?

Come up with a few packages that incorporate only the services your WHO actually needs, and offer those!

Way less to learn.

A more specific deliverable.

And a simpler menu of services (and simple is almost always better).

Here’s how we fixed this for one of my students recently:

She, after an interaction with Marketing Marvin, had a website FULL of stuff that she (by her OWN admission!) didn’t even want to do. Not only that, her target customer really didn’t even need all of it!

So we came up with a far simpler (and far more impactful) set of service packages:

  1. Package 1 would be a simple website.
  2. Package 2 would be the website and would include email capture and a 5-email followup sequence, as well as evergreen blog content
  3. Package 3 would include all of the above and also integrate a client booking system into the website so customers could focus on client acquisition as well

See that?

Simple. It addresses the needs of her customers. It shows she is intelligent and in tune with what her customers need. It’s not an à la carte menu of services that she may or may not even be good at or want the headache of managing.

Targeted. Specific. Intentional.

On YOUR side of this, it’s important to remember why you got into this business.

If it was to create a lifestyle of freedom and fewer headaches, offering a suite of marketing services is not the way to do that, for a number of reasons beyond what I have space to share here.

You do you, but I didn’t get into business to hate my days.

Not every day in business is rosy. Lots aren’t.

But you have control over most of that. If you wanna build a marketing agency, please do! I mean, I did — LOL. But I’ve built a team and we work together to accomplish goals for our clients. And it’s taken a long time to get here (and we still have a long way to go).

Nuff gabbin’:

If you want me to help you design your business model, here’s the link to make it happen: