I was emailed by a service provider recently, about a problem he has encountered with his marketing. It’s something a lot of business owners struggle with. So, I’m sharing it with you along with my reply.
Here’s part of his email, published with his permission.
“I needed to boost traffic to my web site and the number of people who read my newsletter. […] I was advised to start using attention grabbing headlines and dumb down my content so it was more inclusive. It worked in a way because I get more traffic but now I’m attracting enquiries from idiots!”
Before I reply…
Enquiries from idiots?
Up front, let’s deal with his use of the word idiot. I’m extremely uncomfortable about the use of that word, in this context. If your marketing attracts the wrong type of people, this doesn’t make them idiots.
It means your marketing sucks!
That kind of inaccurate labelling of people disavows your responsibility. It passes the blame from you, to them. It’s extremely unhelpful.
Okay. Now we’re free to look at the actual problem.
In order to increase the reach of their work, build their list or get more social media shares, many people swap meaning, for clicks. Before they know it, their message is no longer resonating with the right people.
It’s being seen, sure. But by using mass-appeal, clickbait headlines, their marketing is no longer attracting the right people. And when you combine that with a message that’s “more inclusive”, you end up with a toxic mix of the wrong people and the wrong message.
In short: Poor targeting + Poor content = Poor results.
A better approach
Focus on the right thing.
If you want to get more traffic or build your list, there are thousands of places offering ways to do it. Most use a version of what the guy who emailed me described. And if you’re selling ads on a website based on clicks, this may prove (somewhat) useful.
If you want to attract more clients, you need a strategy designed to attract more clients. First, you determine exactly who your ideal client is. Next, you focus like a laser on being as useful as possible to this niche. Then, make it extremely easy for them to hire you or share your work. It works. Really, really well.
Just don’t confuse the two. Because those 2 different challenges require 2 very different strategies.