Traction Thinking: A Marketing Manifesto

You need to start marketing now.

But before you begin, you need to understand WHY.

If you don’t understand why, you won’t commit 100%, which is what is required to build a successful local service business over the long-term.

The type of business that gives you more time, more money, and more freedom.

Now, when it comes to marketing, you may be wondering…

Where do I start? How much time/money should I spend? How do I know if it’s working (or not)?

Don’t worry.

This series will answer those questions and so much more.

Because our number one goal is to re-shape your beliefs around marketing.

Once you understand what marketing is and how marketing works, you will be fully prepared to implement the strategies and tactics we cover over the next few months.

But if you don’t develop a marketing mindset, you will remain stuck in a vicious cycle.

You’ll jump from one marketing channel to the next, with little regard for opportunity cost.

Does this sound like you?

If you’re nodding your head right now, you’re going to love what’s next.

Let’s begin…

Lesson 1

Spend 50% of Your Time on Marketing

If you run a local service business, chances are you provide a solid service.

Almost every company that’s just getting by has a good enough service offering.

But what most struggling businesses don’t have is enough customers.

Every month feels like you’re just getting by.

A common story goes like this…

A soon-to-be business owner gets his or her start by working for another company.

They spend a few years learning everything about the industry but eventually grow tired of working for someone else.

Something about the company rubs them the wrong way, and they feel like they can do things better, so they decide to strike out on their own and start their own business.

The problem is, though, that sooner or later, they realize customers aren’t flocking to them like they thought they would, and then the pressure sinks in. 

You see, you can do everything else right, but if you’re unable to acquire customers predictably and consistently, you have a MASSIVE problem on your hands.

So what is the solution?

You need to focus 50% of your efforts on marketing from day one.

And if your business has been around for a few years, well, you’re going to want to start marketing now so you can avoid (or dig yourself out) all of these traps…

  • The “No Market” Trap: you offer a great service, but are unable to figure out a viable business model. The numbers just don’t make sense. An example of this is when potential customers think your prices are too high, so you begrudgingly lower them. The problem is, at this new price point, you are unable to meet payroll and pay your bills.
  • The “Small Market” Trap: you offer a great service, but there aren’t enough customers to keep the lights on. Either your business model is too niche (EXAMPLE), or your service area is too small/underpopulated. There aren’t obvious ways to expand. 
  • The “Hard to Reach Market” Trap: you offer a great service, but reaching customers is cost-prohibitive. Advertising either costs you and arm-and-leg OR you have to hire an expensive sales force to close deals. Here, you have no problem acquiring customers, but spending time and/or money on advertising puts you in the red.
  • The “Competitive Market” Trap: you offer a great service, but so does everyone else. In this scenario, you are in a hypercompetitive market, meaning you aren’t the only show in town. Here, either you have a tough time differentiating your business from the competition, or most of the marketing tactics are work are a race to the bottom. 

Now, you’re going to feel the urge to stop (or heavily) reduce your marketing efforts. 

Do NOT listen to that little voice inside your head.

Focusing 50% of your efforts on marketing is a must at all times, and here’s why…

It helps you build a well-rounded business.

You see, when you’re just getting started, most of your customers are your family and friends. 

They’re going to tell you what you want to hear and support you no matter what, which doesn’t benefit you in the long run. 

However, when you spend 50% of your time/money on marketing, you start working with people outside of your inner circle, which is where all the magic happens.

An easy way to visualize this is to picture a leaky bucket.

When you first start marketing, you are pouring water into a leaky bucket, which means all of your business systems aren’t perfect at this stage.

Perhaps you’re generating leads, but failing to close them…

Or you’re closing customers, but they’re not happy with the service they’ve received.

This is completely normal and okay at this stage.

What’s not okay is thinking because there are holes in your business, your marketing dollars are being wasted. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Marketing early on allows you to identify and patch the holes in your business.

And on the flip side, marketing early on also teaches you what IS working in your business.

You’ll learn what messaging is resonating with customers, which services they’re most interested in, and what characteristics your best customers all have in common.

This allows you to double-down on what’s working and lean into the path of resistance.

Which is awesome! I wish I could say that’s all it takes to grow your business, but the truth is…

Growth happens in spurts.

Initially, growth is slow.

After a while, it spikes when you unlock an effective marketing channel.

And then it flattens out once that channel gets saturated and becomes less effective.

Luckily, I am going to show you how to keep your marketing fresh, but first, let’s take a look at why at any given time, your growth goal should be focused on accomplishing just one thing.

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