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Feel Free To Polish Your Own Turd


Feel Free To Polish Your Own Turd

24 April, 2018

A local business was referred to me in January. I spent half an hour having a telephone conversation on what looked like a day’s work. I got access to Analytics and advised them they’d just spent a few thousand of pounds on Adwords with a company they’d worked with, which got them about 40 visitors to their website over three months.

I won’t repeat what they said, but it included the ultimate swear word (as a plural) and the word bunch.

I gave the prospect my day rate, spent half an hour putting together a short proposal, which I emailed, and left it with them.

They contacted me again about two months later to arrange a meeting.

Then, on the day of the meeting, they called me to say they needed to cancel it.

We re-arranged.

On the day of the second meeting, I got an email cancelling it.

I replied that because I get paid for my time, and they’ve cancelled two meetings, I would have to decline another one as I’d spent too much time already.

I got a one-word email… “Charming!!!”

From using the C-word in our first conversation to the way I was dealt with as a prospective supplier, I just wasn’t feeling it.

This episode reminded me of a small garage owner I once built a website to get new customers. One of the key issues for his business – as I saw it – was that it was out of town and not easy to access. I used to mention it to him quite a lot and questioned whether a move more centrally, although more expensive, would yield more customers.

He couldn’t see it. He had a list of a million and one reasons why his business wasn’t doing that well, and none of them were his fault.  He just needed a website to get new customers because that’s what websites do!

A couple of months after go-live, he called me to berate me for his website doing ‘nothing’. He’d received a few enquiries on a web form, but he told me in no uncertain terms that he got no phone calls, ever, and he was wasting his money on me.

I checked a few things out, and then called him back that afternoon to explain a few things. No-one answered.

I called another five times throughout the afternoon, and no one answered.

I wonder why he never got any phone calls.

The thing is, with marketing, it doesn’t matter what you do at the front end; if the back end doesn’t work and isn’t organised, you’re wasting your money.

Unless you have mass-scale as a business, you are in the people business, and if you treat people badly, it doesn’t matter how shiny your website is; they will vote with their feet.

Focus on making your business worthy (above marketing activity), then keep refining and adapting to improve.

In a world where social media has given every idiot a voice to moan about you in public, why give them a chance?

Stop being vanilla, focus on an audience and make sure you’re not running a turd factory.

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