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You’ve Been Given Some BAD ADVICE from Well-Meaning Marketing People…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, Pool Builder Marketing LLC

BadAdvice.jpgI’ve spilled a lot of ink offering advice on the best ways to generate leadsbuild websitessetup auto follow up systems, and much, much more. But lately, I seem to be explaining to business owners why the well-intentioned advice they’ve heard from others might actually be pretty bad advice for them. So for my next few newsletters, I’m going to offer my “corrective guidance” on various myths and misunderstandings of what is and isn’t good marketing.

Now let me point out that I often ruffle some feathers when I “buck the trend” and try to dispel some long-held beliefs that mainstream marketers are still desperately clutching onto. But this is the sacrifice I make to ensure YOUR success. So let me start with one of my favorite examples of bad advice…

BAD ADVICE #1: “You Should Write a Blog!”

Now before you have a panic attack, and think I’ve lost my mind, let me clarify something – YES, it would be highly beneficial to have a super-popular blog that is well-respected and lots of people love to read. But that’s the problem. To have that blog, you’ve got to be:

  • A talented writer
  • Who is also prolific
  • And an expert in your field
  • And writing about something that lots of other people care about.

And let’s face the brutal facts – Odds are 99 to 1 that you aren’t that guy.

You know who is that guy? Marcus Sheridan.
Marcus Sheridan is that guy.

And you sir, are no Marcus Sheridan.

MarcusSheridan.jpgI have the utmost respect for Marcus Sheridan. He is a talented and prolific writer, and an expert in “sales” and “fiberglass pools.” And he has written hundreds of articles about things that other people really care about. And he has many thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of followers who want to read his articles.

So yes, Marcus gets a ton of traction with his prolific writings.

But you sir, are no Marcus Sheridan.

Now if you were to HIRE Marcus to write your blog posts for you, THEN you would likely get some traction. Or better yet, just pay him to let you use the articles he’s already written. Because his stuff is really good.

MichaelJordan1.jpgBut to think that you can watch and follow in Marcus’ footsteps of world-class blogging is like me thinking I can watch and follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan and become a world-class basketball player. And I can assure you, that ain’t gonna happen. Not for you, and not for me either.

Because even if you are part of that top 1% of awesome prolific writers, we’ve still got a couple of other issues to deal with, namely:

  1. That train has already left the station. More than 10 years ago (back when Marcus started blogging), the Internet was ripe and ready for “fresh content.” In the decade since, the Internet has become SATURATED with boring, poorly-produced content that nobody reads.
  2. And the Internet isn’t all that hungry for our information anyway. There’s a voracious appetite for cutting-edge sales advice, marketing advice, fashion advice, healthy living/weight loss advice, and more. But not so much for “new pool construction” and/or “how to maintain your swimming pool.”

Now this doesn’t mean you SHOULDN’T write a blog.

This just means you shouldn’t feel COMPELLED to start a blog, just because some marketing person SAID you should.

By all means, if you’ve got the writing bug, or have someone on your team who really wants to write, then by all means give it a whirl. But don’t expect it to have much impact on your overall business. There are lots of other things today that are much more important to your business success than you writing a blog.

Whew, I’m glad I got that off my chest!

Go back to our main blog posts/newsletters page…

2 Responses to “Bad Advice from Good Marketing People (part 1)”

  1. Now I have to admit, I’m biased because I’ve worked with Marcus for 2 years now and I’ve seen the great work he’s done with hundreds of companies, including many pool builders.

    First, learning how to have a successful company blog and learning to be Michael Jordan are two completely different things. Marcus has developed a playbook, called They Ask You Answer, that explains exactly how anyone can do exactly what he has done. And we’ve seen even the most blue-collar, old school companies adopt these principles and literally dominate the conversation in their industry.

    Second, creating content is not just for SEO, in fact, most companies see results with their content in the sales process way before they see it in their search rankings. Content has proven to significantly speed up the sales process and close more deals, and help sales reps work with more sales opportunities because they don’t have to have the same conversations over and over again.

    Third, Marcus teaches that writing blog articles is only one way to do content marketing. Video is certainly another. If we’re being honest with ourselves, there are so many channels for creating content, and anyone can do what Marcus did, even in the pool industry, if they’re willing to do what it takes.

    Lastly, we have yet to see a company have more success by outsourcing their marketing to an agency compared to learning how do do it themselves. This is just a fact. It’s not rocket science, anyone can do it. When Marcus started blogging, he was no better than anyone else. He will self-admittingly call himself “just a pool guy.” He just cared enough to figure it out. I’m sure most of your readers can figure it out too.

    If they’re not willing to though, outsourcing to an agency may be a decent option. We just have seen too many people give up on agencies because it just wasn’t working for them.

  2. Good points, Bob. To reiterate what I said before, I have the utmost respect and admiration for Marcus Sheridan. And I consider the “They Ask, You Answer” approach to be an OUTSTANDING way to provide great content, be it blog, video, email or web page content. Because you and I agree, if it’s written for HUMANS rather than Google, it will make it easier for Sales People to close sales.

    Where you and I disagree a little is that in MY experience, MOST business owners are (1) too busy “running the business” and (2) too weak in the content creation area to really succeed with their own blogs. ESPECIALLY when they assume If I blog, people will read it.”

    EXCEPTION – If you RE-PURPOSE or RESTRUCTURE that blog content into a useful online GUIDE that tells people what they need to know, there’s definitely value there. And (unlike OTHER marketing people), I think that’s EXACTLY what you’re recommending. So we certainly agree on that.

    So let me say this to the world – If you’ve read my cautions about blogs being (1) too hard and (2) “over-rated,” and you STILL want to give it a try, you should DEFINITELY purchase Marcus’ book. There is probably no better guide anywhere on the planet to teach you how – ESPECIALLY if you are in the pool industry.

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