DISCLAIMER: Today I’m going to talk to you right from the heart about what you need to be doing with your marketing. This is my own personal opinion, after deciding to turn around a non-productive day into a helpful article to warn other people about what NOT to do.
So, I just wasted two hours of my life.
I found myself in one of those digital marketing webinars (or ‘sales’ webinars) that are almost definitely pre-recorded (although they’re not marketed that way) and set up to promise you the world. After all, why else would you be there?
They’ve either got the ONE HUGE SECRET you’re going to use to close £10,000 sales, or they’re got the BIG WINNING FORMULA YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO MISS – or something that you imagine is going to turn your life around.
Okay, so I hear you asking me this: “You’re a digital marketer – what the f*** were YOU doing in a digital marketing webinar?!”
Well, to be honest, we can all do better.
I’ve only JUST set up my own agency. I’ve written all my content, I’ve set up my workflows, I’ve started on my PPC, and I’ve got a strategy that’s going to help me get to where I want to be. Not only that, I KNOW it works – all I’m doing is the same thing I’ve done for other successful clients whilst freelancing for other agencies.
I’ve seen THEM get results, and I’m confident in my own abilities. However, as a rule of thumb, the less you have to start with, the longer things take to work. My website is only just getting started, and I need to get people’s attention, and get those first few clients under our belts.
Here’s the thing; when you really care about your business, and you’re looking for help and advice – ANY help and advice – to get you into a better position, it’s easy to take false promises. You think you’ve got nothing to lose – apart from maybe a couple of hours.
Why you should avoid sales and digital marketing webinars
Please don’t make the mistake I did and waste time on these things – unless you KNOW you’re going to take something worthwhile from it. I got maybe 3 – 5 minutes of actual (very basic) practical, helpful advice – the rest was selling, and testimonials, and more selling.
You know what else? They promised to answer our questions – they never did. The audio looked like it had been changed with bad editing, which prompted some people to point out in the comments that the session was pre-recorded.
You know what that meant? It meant they were actually OUTRIGHT LYING about people like ‘Bill from Montana’ who had just signed up to the free mastercourse or whatever the f*** it was they were selling.
I’m not saying ALL webinars are like this, but if you have two American men in fancy suits who look like they’re behind-the-scenes of a popular early ’90s chat show trying to hawk you these big secrets you need to make sales of £10,000, £20,000, £35,000-a-piece, I’d take that with a pinch of salt.
And if you’re just trying to find a way to successfully market your own business – whatever that may be – and bring in more sales, a digital marketing webinar is (most likely) NOT the place to do it.
Below, I’m going to tell you what you should be doing instead.
What you really need to be doing with your digital marketing
Say you want to learn how to market your business yourself. Maybe you own a software business – or any small or medium-sized business – and you’ve reached a growth plateau.
Or perhaps you’re selling your services or products as a B2B company. You’re looking to expand your reach, and find a way to get the attention of the right people, at the right time.
1. Learn the basics yourself – anyone can do it!
That is, if you have the time. There’s no shortage of blogs about how various elements of digital or content marketing works. There are resources available at your disposal that are, in a lot of cases, completely free.
Below, I’ve listed some of the best places you can learn the basics that’ll help you get to where you need to be with your business:
- Read blog posts and articles – or watch ‘how to’ videos
- Download free ebooks and guides (like ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing’, for example)
- Check out The Content Marketing Academy
- Sign up and take free courses at HubSpot Academy
- Take a course at ConversionXL – these guys are ON FIRE right now! (And one of the best things I ever did)
Content or digital marketing isn’t hard – it’s a system that once you know, you can implement successfully and see results. It just takes a bit of time and effort to get it right, and even the best of us are still learning new things every day.
2. Talk to a digital or content marketing agency
Don’t have time to run a business AND learn what to do to market it? Thought you might say that.
The best thing to do is to find a digital or content marketing agency (they should really be the same thing) that’s willing to listen and give you some free, impartial advice. That doesn’t mean they’ll fix all of your problems for free, but they could give you some valuable pointers.
From there, you can find out more about how they can help you to achieve your goals.
But remember, this should be a 1-on-1 (or 2-on-1 – or however many people in your team you want to involve) conversation where you can exchange meaningful words and get actual help. NOT where you’re sitting in a chat room with 1,000 other people, wondering what the bloody hell is going on. Mmm’kay?
Stuck on what to do with your digital marketing? You’ve got this. No – really. There’s no shortage of help out there, but a webinar probably isn’t the best start. Unless you want to be sold a bunch of scripts and workbooks telling you at least 70% of the stuff you already know.
Look online at free resources, download ebooks, learn the basics you need to get started. OR, if you don’t have the time or inclination, talk to a real person, 1-on-1, who can help you get started and give you the impartial advice you need.
Psst! Are you thinking of signing up to a digital marketing webinar? I’m not saying you should never try one – just ensure you’re going to get what you need from it. And remember, you can leave at any time!
Have you ever had an experience like mine? Kicking yourself because you should have known better? I’d love to hear your story! Just drop me a comment below!
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