I am been writing a book for a while and decided to make another push. Here’s the introduction and a hint of what is to come.
Introduction: Why This Book (And Why Me)
Keep Marketing is a roadmap to help grow your business and create customers through conversation. More conversations lead to more closings. That is the ultimate goal of all marketing campaigns: To start conversations with your target audiences, nurture those conversations, and convert them into sales. They are the gateway to all revenue. This is how you grow a business.
Conversations can happen anywhere – on email, text, phone call, mobile money, Facebook Messenger, or in your prospect’s head. It doesn’t matter. The more conversations you’re having about your product or service, regardless of how you do it, the more customers you will acquire.
By following the guidelines I layout in this book, you will get more traffic, attract more leads, and make more sales. Your business will prosper.
My goals in writing this are to:
1) Help you grow your business with the “right” marketing. It kills me to hear so many horror stories of companies being taken advantage of or businesses that failed because they can’t seem to produce sales or have adopted the wrong kinds of practices and strategies for growth. I will help you avoid that problem.
2) Give you the tools and confidence necessary to run a successful online marketing campaign. This includes; how you’re going to find customers, what you’re going to say to them, how online marketing will work for you, and what platforms you’ll use to grow your business.
3) Prevent you from making costly mistakes and getting scammed by bogus marketing companies (90 percent of them are terrible, and it’s a real problem, but more on that later). Too often, businesses hire a self-proclaimed “expert” who, in fact, has little or no knowledge, and they’ll cost you both time and money. This goes for your father-in-law or your best friend down the street who decides they can build a website and run your marketing. It may be tempting, and it may be cheap. But it’s not going to work.
4) How to set expectations and understand how much work it takes to succeed online. Simply having an online presence is not the same as having online marketing success. So many times, businesses set up a Facebook or LinkedIn, or Instagram account and believe customers will flock to them. That is an unrealistic expectation. Success is a function of how hard you want to work, what you want to spend, and who you want to reach. Successful businesses align their expectations with the answers to those questions.
5) Keep marketing simple so you can create a successful campaign. Don’t overcomplicate the goal behind a business. Don’t overthink. Don’t overanalyze. Marketing is about telling people about the value your product or service has to offer. As I have frequently said, “Business is about building a great product or service and letting people know about it.” It’s just that simple.
Speaking of expectations, please understand one thing:
This book is not going to answer every single marketing question. I am not going to discuss the details of how to set up a YouTube campaign or how to create Google ads. But I will touch on the why behind using these platforms so you can make the correct decisions and provide access to training videos that will offer that kind of instruction (I’ll tell you how to get them in a second).
But Keep Marketing isn’t just a book title. It’s a philosophy – how I’ve lived my life and run my businesses.
I’m a big fan of playing basketball, and I am always trying to get better at the game. I think I’m the only 6’1″ white guy who has ever dunked a basketball on Shaquille O’Neal. (You’ll have to YouTube that one.) Anyway, I followed this shooting coach on Instagram, and at the end of every one of his videos or posts, he would say, “Keep shooting.” I liked it.
A good shooter, like James Harden, Steph Curry, or Michael Jordan, hits less than 50 percent of their shots, but they keep shooting. Shooters shoot. If they are going through a slump, they keep shooting because the law of averages always works in their favor.
That’s the kind of mentality I want business owners to have. Let the law of averages work in your favor. There are a lot of ups and downs in business:
- Seasonality, platforms change.
- Accounts get shut down.
- The rules shift.
- Ads just quit working.
When this happens, keep marketing.
I use the hashtag #keepmarketing in just about everything I do. Whenever I end a video, I tell my audience to keep marketing. You have to keep marketing no matter what. Adapt and do what’s necessary to create conversations. As I said and will continue to say, that’s how businesses grow and succeed.
My basketball-related philosophy aside, let me take a moment to give you some background about who I am and why that background is a pretty solid foundation for this book.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with business. Growing up, I wanted to become the chief executive officer of a large corporation and build a public company. Then I realized I had a hard time working for other people and discovered it would be best to do my own thing – and make myself the CEO.
I started my first business in college, called WADWA (Washers Against Dirty Windows of America). My roommate took me out one day and taught me how to wash windows. I set my hours, and I could work as little or as hard as I wanted. Plus, nobody was telling me what I should and should not be doing.
I was hooked.
I loved setting my schedule and wasn’t afraid to work hard and put in long hours. I had mad skills for selling, and interestingly, those skills had begun to emerge while serving a mission in El Salvador. In the two years I was there, I would knock on doors and teach the gospel of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints to strangers who were unfamiliar with its messages. The experience was challenging and rewarding at once. 2 years of knocking on doors and getting rejected was just what I needed.
While that message may not have been the selling process for the same as WADWA, it was the same as my mission; the process was similar. After classes, I would drive to different neighborhoods and knock on doors to get business from people I’d never met. The goal was to sell $400 to $600 worth of services before going home. The following day I would return to that neighborhood to do the window washing I’d sold the day before. My approach was, in many ways, just like it was in El Salvador, Open a conversation with the prospect, and be authentic, discover their need, create value, and close the sale. I always was honest, competent, and confident in what I was doing. If you’re faking it, the audience can tell.
It paid off, too. Before long, this little window washing company earned me $50 an hour compared with the average of $7 that most of my friends were making. (Of course, there’s always rejection and disappointment, and we will get to that later, too.)
Once I got out of college, I left the window washing company behind and started a lending business. I had no idea what I was doing. But I liked money and was good with numbers. As I had already seen first-hand, you can make up for what you lack in skill by working longer and harder than anyone, and I did, putting in 60-hour weeks. There’s a lesson there as well: The man or woman who’s willing to work twice as long is bound to go twice as far, especially in business. I was, and I did.
I would cold-call numbers from the phone book and knock on doors to see if someone wanted to refinance or buy a home. My strategy was simple: create a conversation, discover their need, create value and close the sale.
Over time I built a pipeline of qualified prospects through pure hustle; nurture them through consistent follow-up, and wait for them to close automatically when the time was right.
It took about four months before I closed my first loan. But once I did, I never looked back. I made about $18,000 that first month, and it grew every month after that. All the results of that simple formula for sales: build, nurture, close.
After a few years of success in the lending game, I started to play around with online marketing. It was like magic. I couldn’t believe that you could run an ad and show up on Google for words that people were searching for. Google had taken away the need for cold calling prospects, and I didn’t have to spend hours networking or knocking on doors. And now, in addition to Google Search, we have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Ads, Google Local, Linkedin, email, and Classifieds. The rules, such as they were, have been turned upside down and inside out.
But let me say again: Just having a presence on these platforms doesn’t bring success. It’s incredibly competitive, and everyone is trying to take your money, including Google and Facebook. It’s a game, and you have to play both offense and defense so that you don’t lose. You have to work at it to keep your customer pipeline full. If you do, good things will happen. To that end, and underscoring a central theme of this book, I’ve divided Keep Marketing it into three parts:
Section 1: Lead Capture – Finding your audience
Section 2: Lead Nurture – Getting your audience make the purchase decision
Section 3: Lead Conversion – Turning your audience into raving fans of your business
At the end of each chapter, there will be a to-do list or action recommendations. I’ll also include some case studies, tips, checklists, and practical applications. And as I said above, I will give you direct access to tutorial videos and training. If you don’t know how to do something that I discuss, the videos will show you how. To view them, visit jacevernon.com/book. Also, if you have questions as you’re reading, all you have to do is reach out to me. I will do my best to answer your questions.
To sum up, this book will help you build some of the critical skills for business success. You will learn marketing, sales, and how to grow your business. It’s written to be a guide to help you navigate the confusing world of marketing. It will get you to think in new and different ways and adjust your ideas and strategies to meet the demands of an online marketplace.
Okay. Let’s get started.