A first-time Facebook ad gone horribly wrong

I’ve talked about a local business near my house that popped their Facebook “ad cherry”, but it was nothing but dinner specials on a menu.

That’s not an ad, nor is it worth buying a penny of traffic for.

And if you’ve ever seen a show with Gordon Ramsey, he’ll tell you dinner specials are nothing but B.S. Dinner specials consist of all the ingredients the restaurant is trying to get out the door.

But over a year ago, I saw a Facebook ad that screamed “I’m 100% a complete newbie.”

Check it out…

It was so great I had to screenshot it.

I looked for it and it was actually saved in my cloud back-up.

So many errors. So many mis-steps.

And the ad was linked to a Blogspot site! I love it!

And check out the comments…

Yikes.

Apparently he hadn’t figured out location targeting.

To be fair, he did run this ad for a while. I remember this kept popping up on my feed for weeks on end, surprisingly.

I wanna say he got a fair amount of comments. I’m not sure you’d want to read them, but he got engagement.

I would be shocked if there was a soul on Earth who bought from this guy after this ad.

I mean, he’s not currently re-targeting me now. So I’m guessing that ad was a one-and-doner.

But I’m sure with some practice he could’ve been the next Tai Lopez.

Alright, enough entertainment for this morning.

Next time you post some marketing, have some sort of plan (  ;

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty

When you waste time at networking events for over a year

When I finally escaped the dreaded clutches of retails sales, I did absolutely everything I could to embrace B2B sales.

I told myself I was finally going to go to all the networking events near me now that I was working for a real company.

The best part was my company already had memberships at all the local chambers in town, so I could either just attend for free, or expense the fee at the door.

As excited as I was, I remembered just sitting at those chamber events, trying desperately not to look like a loner. It reminded me of high school, trying to avoid sitting by myself in the cafeteria. At the time, I struggled to make just simple small-talk with other people in the room.

And I remembered there was a guy who was probably 5-10 years older than me. He was an account executive at a local financial advisor firm that was actually near my office.

And every event I attended, this guy was there too, and he was always talking with somebody. While I was struggling with just basic conversation, he was laughing with others, having a good time and made it look super easy.

At those events, I’d always be thinking in the back of my mind about the deals I was trying to close for that week. I just remember being super stressed because I was overthinking about how I was going to meet my quota for the month.

Meanwhile the other guy looked incredibly relaxed and always had a smile on his face. He didn’t seem to have a worry in his mind. I really envied that guy’s relaxed demeanor.

This guy was at multiple chamber events too. I’d see him at early-morning breakfasts, lunch speed-networking rounds, after-work evening mixers. Literally wherever I was, this guy was too.

I remembered even when I was door-knocking in an area of town, I was turning my car around at a nearby local brewery. While I was busy prospecting, low and behold, this guy was walking into the restaurant with his portfolio in hand.

I assumed while I was cold-calling my ass off, this guy was already meeting clients who were interested in what this guy had to say.

He also looked older than me by 10 years, and I thought he knew some secret to selling that I didn’t.

One night, one of the local chambers held a big after-hours trade show where there was a big open area with local vendors. They had good food and drinks. It was just a relaxed after-hours event.

I remembered I was walking around, and I ran into this guy, and I figured I’d strike up small-talk with him.

And I remembered the guy was kinda quiet and reserved. It was totally the opposite of what I initially expected. I always saw him talking with someone else, but in our conversation, I was doing all the talking.

But the big shocker was I told him, ‘Hey, I always see you at these events, but we’ve never actually met.’

And he replied, ‘Yeah I always go to these events, but I never get any leads. Have you had any luck at these things?’

And that answer was a big eye-opener for me.

For one, I thought this guy was successful when really he was just trying to make it like I was.

And two, we were both wasting our time going to chamber events where we weren’t going to run into a qualified buyer to save our life.

So things aren’t always as they appear, especially in business. 

That and don’t waste your time going to events where you’re not going to meet qualified buyers you want. Spend your time on real marketing activities that grow your business, and save your time for the events that actually count for you.

Take it from my one-to-two years worth of experience attending those things.

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty

The time I started to get smart about B2B prospecting

In my last email I talked about what it was really like to cold call.

Basically my days were busy as hell.

If I wasn’t hammering the phones, I was driving out and meeting prospects.

If I wasn’t actively talking to new people, I was following up trying to chase down deals I sent out.

It was a vicious cycle. It basically boiled down to I’d be on the phone all day, or I’d be in the car all day.

But honestly, I just felt completely drained everyday.

But I took one step out of cold calling Hell towards smarter marketing.

You see, I had this list of emails I was collecting of business owners I met.

And I had the idea of sending them an email newsletter every week to follow up.

And one week, I put together an informational article.

For the life of me, I couldn’t even tell you what it was about.

But I wrote the email, and pressed send.

A few days later, a business owner I had been chasing for a year and a half called me out of the blue.

He was one of the first prospects I met, but I could never get ahold of him.

He called to tell me that he just purchased a new phone system, but his brother was moving into a new office building and needed to get set-up.

He gave me his brother’s number, I called him and boom, instant qualified appointment.

I met him at his new office space, talked with him for about a half hour and he signed a new purchase order.

I’m sure that first email newsletter came down to good timing and luck, but it really showed me the power of marketing.

And it sure beat hammering the phones for hours on end.

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty

Just how hard is it to cold call?

From time to time, I’ll check out YouTube videos of people cold calling.

Sometimes I watch those videos for nostalgia since I don’t cold call anymore.

There was one clip that came up on my feed. Some guy was cold calling prospects for his social media marketing business.

And on the first call, the guy scheduled a meeting with a prospect.

And he couldn’t believe it. He didn’t think he would schedule a meeting on the first try.

He was super happy of the outcome of that call.

That’s wonderful and all, however…

Scheduling one meeting is just the first step.

If you haven’t had a sales job, let me give you some insight.

Getting new customers from cold calling is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I had to make a ton of calls just to schedule one appointment.

I had decision-makers hang up on me.

Told me “No” before I even got a word in.

I’ve had secretaries give me every reason why a decision-maker wasn’t available.

Seriously, I’ve heard it all.

And that’s just getting a first meeting with someone.

I’ve gone to meetings and gotten completely ghosted.

Either the decision-makers didn’t care about keeping the appointment…

Or never showed up to begin with.

Sometimes I met with someone who completely lied and wasn’t the decision-maker at all.

They’re just sitting in-front of you just to get a price.

And only when you follow up with them, you find out they have to get approval from someone else.

Sometimes you meet with a business owner, and you find out there’s nothing you can do for them.

Sometimes you meet with someone, and you could 100% solve their problem for them, and it makes total financial sense.

The “Stars are aligned” essentially.

But for some x, y or z reason, they stil don’t buy from you.

And now you need to find another buyer.

The somewhat good news is if you cold call, you will get a sale eventually.

But by then you’ve spent so much time, wasting your time with the wrong people, tire-kickers, and just getting strung along…

By the time you actually make a sale, you find out the hard way that the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze to begin with.

Thank God we got this thing called the internet these days.

Still, prospecting can be hard.

There’s still a decent amount of rejection and B.S. that goes around.

And nothing that’s worth it comes easy.

But at least you can form relationships with real people who kind of give a crap about you.

And getting the word out gets easier and easier.

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty

Selling in a crappy economy

Well, it’s that time again. Every 5-10 years, the economy takes a complete nose dive in the crapper.

If you’re an employee at a company, your ears are to the ground and your fingers are crossed making sure your job isn’t on the chopping block.

If you’re a business owner, you’re doing what you can to sell your ass off to pay the bills.

Right now there are two ways to sell. One is sitting down and waiting for the phone to ring because hardly anybody ever prospects.

The other way includes the tried and true ways that everybody else in the world sells. The problem with these methods is everyone is trained to use them too.

And when everyone uses these methods, they just don’t work as well anymore.

Here are some examples of things that every salesperson was taught, but nobody really likes to do.

  • Making a hundred calls a day because you’re told it’s a numbers game
  • Setting 10 qualified appointments a week
  • Asking for the decision-maker, but not leaving a voicemail or even giving your name to the receptionist
  • Getting all these little “yes” commitments when you actually sit down with the decision-maker
  • Trying a pull a trail-close on a prospect
  • Follow-up until you get an answer

All this and a whole bunch of out-dated advice.

The other problem with all these methods is when the economy isn’t doing so hot, and companies aren’t buying, salespeople just double-down on their efforts.

But all they do is just end up annoying prospects, torpedo’ing their deals left and right.

You can only follow-up so many times over the phone and over email. If someone isn’t buying from you, you should probably take the hint.

We just got done refinanced our house, and when we finished up I noticed what got me to actually pull the trigger.

First, I reached out on Facebook and asked for a good mortgage company to work with. Surprisingly a bunch of people recommended their mortgage guy. I got so many replies, you’d think I was asking for a good tattoo artist.

But one friend was adamant about me using his mortgage guy. He posted on my comment, and even called my wife and told her that we should use his guy.

I mean, how could I not after that?

But his mortgage guy did not disappoint. He was freakin awesome, mostly because it didn’t give a fuck about anything.

You see, it’s easier to become a referable person than you think. You just have to get out of your own way and stop acting like a needy asshole.

On the flip side, I’m Facebook friends with my old mortgage guy still. When he saw my post, the dude texted me, emailed and DM’ed me, multiple times. Now I know what chicks go through dating.

Just another couple notes from my buying experience:

  • My new mortgage guy never pressured me into making a decision. He was an older, more seasoned sales guy, but his attitude was he could take my business or leave it
  • The guy was genuinely funny. At one point, he told me he was married 30 years… best 12 years of his life
  • He didn’t make me meet in-person. Every meeting was done over the phone
  • He would text me when rates were good, and asked me if I was ready to lock-in. He only sent one text too. If I never texted back, he couldn’t have cared less. Totally chill
  • He made my life easy as possible. We scheduled an appraisal, but the underwriter ended up submitting a value and it got accepted anyways

At the end, I ended up writing a 5-star review for the guy.

And I never met the guy in-person once. He wasn’t even at the closing.

The biggest trait I thought was the most beneficial was it pays to just be more relaxed. Much like golf, the more relaxed you are, the better you will do.

Even if you desperately need a deal, you have to get to a spot mentally where you don’t need it. If you need it, people will sense that and get turned off.

If you don’t need a deal, buyers will pick up on that to, mostly because everyone they talk to acts like they really need their deal.

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty

Why it’s good to stay in your own lane

I just got back from mowing the lawn like I do every Saturday, actively trying to look better than my neighbor’s house (Why else do you mow your lawn?) and I was listening to a recent podcast episode with Bill Burr and Bert Kreischer.

And they talked about how important it is not to reach out to every show out there because not every audience is going to be into them.

At one point Bill Burr talked about how he was trying to get on an all-female show to promote his stand-up special but it was just awkward as hell…

I tried to get on one of those all-women talk shows to promote my special, and one of the chicks just weirded us out.

It was like somebody called up and we asked, “Hey did you watch his special?” and the main person said, “I saw it…” and that was it! Didn’t say if it was good or bad.

I ended up saying, “You know, things are going real good for me…” It could’ve been great, it could’ve been bad. I don’t know. But I think I ended up avoiding stepping in some major crap.

Bert also added, as much as you want a larger diverse crowd, sometimes that crowd hates you.

Bill also said that there’s a balancing act between staying in your lane and consistently evolving.

I’ve seen some people where they put out work like, this is what I do, people know that I do this, and I’m just gonna keep on doing this. I don’t give a crap if the critics keep saying I’m doing the same thing. This is what the people want.

Like AC/DC, my favorite band ever. For 40 years, they wrote songs about women, the devil, their balls and 3 chords and Malcom had a way of always coming up with a new rift that I enjoyed.

Anyways, it’s a good episode. Plus, it’s got Dave Portnoy from Barstool, and he talks about how he started his business.

Enjoy it.

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty

The super duper, ultimate don’t panic, we’re here for you during covid-19 email

My investment guy called me up back in April, which was shocking because he’s never called me.

But unless you were living in a cave and you only invest in pieces of silver and ammo, everyone’s investments took a major hit this year.

My account has taken a bunch of hits in the past, but I was surprised when my investment guy actually called. I didn’t know if he was desperate, afraid or both.

But when I called him back, he told me exactly what I expected…

He told me not to panic about the market, and that he was working to find opportunities to invest in. He sounded a little rattled and probably rightfully so because he told me 2 of his clients completely backed out and pulled out all of their money. He told me they actually did lose money, but in my opinion they should’ve stayed in.

My investment guy also briefly mentioned that his firm was doing new email marketing, which I did notice and to be nice, their email marketing kinda needs work.

I’m not going to even paraphrase their email but it was paragraphs long. The main point of the email was even though the markets have been volitile lately, you shouldn’t be afraid. It raises several points:

  • It explains how bear markets have worked since WWII
  • The email references Warren Buffet, because why not?
  • It tries to explain the psychology of panic, even from the days of our ancestors
  • It references a psychology study from 70’s regarding confirmation bias
  • It references all the other recessions in the 20th century including the Great Depression
  • It talks about leveraging other assets like real estate, commodities, collectibles, etc.

This email tries to accomplish a lot, but it doesn’t do anything. It pretty much did two things wrong.

It gave way too much information all at one time. There was no human-interest, and no use of emotion. It was just a bunch of hard facts about history, psychology and finance all rolled into one email. I felt like I was reading a college paper. And although facts are great and all, people make emotional decisions, and that includes decisions about their money.

The other thing this email did wrong was this email could’ve been split up into several interesting emails with different stories and lessons from history. But instead they just crammed a bunch of bullet points all over the place and pressed send.

I will give the marketer a break. They wrote one of those “letters from the CEO” emails and having written those articles before myself, they tend to be all over the place and full of fluff. So I genuinely feel bad for their marketing manager.

Aside from the email, I did watch an interesting Warren Buffet video from one of his Berkshire Hathaway meetings. In the meeting, he talked about how his dad not only lost his job at the bank he worked at during the Great Depression, he lost all the money in the bank because none of that money was insured.

And he basically said, times were extremely tough back then but they endured and there were better times in the years that followed.

Now you just think about that. Can you imagine today if people went to their banks and their money wasn’t there?

Anyways, I think that’s a better story my investment firm could’ve shared in their emails.

Anyways, the big takeaway is stay focused on telling just one story at a time.

Like Steve Martin said in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, “The next time you tell a story… Have a point!”

Also fun fact: I’ve seen Warren Buffett’s house in Omaha, because I have family that live there. It’s a nice big $600K house, but it’s not as big as Lebron’s mansion. You definitely wouldn’t think one of the richest men in the US lives there.

Write emails that don’t get ignored with my guide: Email List Loyalty

Sometimes there are no marketing shortcuts

I’m a big fan of using old school methods. In fact, the more dependent and hooked people get to the online/app world, the more I retreat the other way.

Like Facebook was great during my college days. Now it’s completely off my phone.

One old-school method I like is the hand-written note. They go a long way, probably because nobody writes them out by hand anymore.

I got the idea from a job hunting book titled “Knock Em Dead”. Before I graduated college, I asked my Dad for tips on how to get a job, and all he did was buy me that book.

And I used to send hand-written notes to hiring managers after every interview. Not like they sealed any deals, but I think that’s just the nature of job interviews.

But still, it’s great to get a hand-written note every once in a while. It’ll make your month.

But onto my main story. Similar to the letters from the cable company that I get every week, I get letters from a window company every now and again.

And it’s a really good idea, except it’s kinda executed poorly.

First, this specific window company will install windows at a house in our neighborhood. After they complete a job, they will mail every house a letter telling everybody they just finished a local job.

And there are great reasons to do this. It demonstrates social proof that other people are buying your product and the timeliness of the sale.

Not to mention, it’s a method that’s completely  offline. The window company is using a marketing channel where their competitors don’t even show up.

The only thing this company messes up on is how the letters look.

They make the letter look like a hand-written note, but you can totally tell it’s printed.

Not only is the writing print, it’s also printed in cursive so I can barely read it.

But the biggest fail is it’s not personal at all. Nobody’s first name is printed on the letter, and it completely removes the biggest strength of a hand-written letter.

When you get a hand-written note, it’s also special because it’s super-scarce. It’s because the note is only meant for an audience of one. You know that none of that note was copy and pasted.

Plus it takes work to write a hand-written note. If you think it doesn’t, try to write a few paragraphs by hand. Also try to make sure they’re legible. It definitely takes some time.

There are some scenarios where you can’t cut corners. As much as something looks like a personal hand-written note, deep down inside, people know what it really is.

When do you stop sending direct response mail?

I’m lucky enough to have Verizon Fios, so I have fiber internet. To my knowledge, my internet and TV has never had an outage, and it never lags.

*Okay… Super flex over*

But since I got Fios, Spectrum has been sending me mail nonstop with offers on their “lowest price” internet. Every week, I get postcards, letters and even fake plastic gift cards with their latest and greatest offer.

Here’s my honest question? Is it dumb for Spectrum to keep sending me mail? I don’t have an answer for this, I just really want to know more than anything.

Do they keep sending me mail in the hopes that one day I’ll get sick of my fiber provider and come running back to them?

Or are they just sending me mail because they have to keep acquiring new customers and they want to have their bases covered on the mail front.

If I had to guess, I’d say it was the second option. And I’m not a fan of this option. There’s always going to be a percentage of people who will never buy from you as long as you live.

But what could they do? Well, they could develop a new offer and sell it to people who are already customers.

You think big clunky telecom companies couldn’t do this because they only offer TV, internet and phone, but they absolutely can and they do find extra ways to drive revenue all the time.

A recent example of this was I just got an all-black brochure from Verizon Wireless. All it says is “Your monthly bill, lower” in bold white font.

And they were trying to sell me something, but it wasn’t some neat gadget or a money-saving plan. They offered their own version credit card, and their incentive was to take a little bit off my  bill every month.

Do I want this credit card? Honestly I’m kinda thinking about it. Do a lot of companies do this already? Tons. But it was smart of Verizon Wireless to send me this because:

  • I already own multiple credit cards
  • I have decent credit that isn’t in the toilet
  • I’m already a customer

Bottom line is they didn’t just throw a bunch of low-price offers my way. They knew I was a customer already and probably did a soft pull on my credit score to see if I was qualified.

I know Spectrum is a big dumb company, and I’ll never convince them otherwise, but they shouldn’t play a game they’re never going to win. Instead they should learn to play smart and find out where the easiest wins are.

In a world where entire platforms are getting banned

I’m not big into reporting trends and news, but this got on my radar recently.

I guess US legislators are looking to ban TikTok.

Some influencers who have a huge following on either YouTube and Instagram absolutely detest TikTok and want nothing to do with it.

Personally, I think TikTok is kinda entertaining. It’s got some funny videos, even though you hear the same rotation of a dozen songs over and over.

Honestly, I don’t know the reason for this. There are a bunch of reasons out there floating around, all speculation at this point.

One is that, it’s a Chinese app, secretly collecting data.

Another is it reveals military locations when soldiers use it.

Another is it reveals information about famous people, that can be used for social engineering.

Honestly, who knows if it’ll be banned here.

But the fact remains, you can’t truly rely on just social media platforms to build and maintain your business. Because for all the people who built their following on TikTok because it was the newest app, will go away.

Thankfully, I have seen some users who try to move their viewers to their own email list by using funnels. Not a whole lot of users do this, but it’s ridiculously smart.

Because when a platform decides to flip a switch in their algorithm, and it buries your content…

Or in this case, an app just gets totally banned, you should have a backup plan as insurance.

And in all these cases, an email list is your Ace in the hole.

Is it a lot of work to set up a funnel pointing to an email list? You bet. Anything that’s worth doing is never easy.

For every disaster, you need an escape plan, so let your audience escape somewhere that’s a safe haven for you and them.