I talked to a potential client last week and I knew already the story that I was going to hear. Because I hear it a lot.  She has a great product. It is already selling in premium stores in London and luxury homeware stores online.   

She had this fantastic idea. She has created some amazing products. But as she said herself, she has never run a business. She has taught herself everything that she knows about marketing. She wanted to get investment.  

I have heard this story many times. These are my ideal clients.

Founders that have great products, but who need strategic marketing and business advice to scale up.  

Founders that want help getting investment so they need a proper marketing strategy in place. Then they need someone like me to help them put it all in place.

She had spent quite a lot of money on marketing. She had spent money on a ‘marketing expert’. She had spent money on paid media.  Nothing had worked.

Those marketing activities don’t work she told me.

I explained that it wasn’t necessarily the marketing activities that didn’t work. There are many reasons why the campaign might not have worked. It might have been the wrong agency. It could have been the wrong targeting or the wrong creative. Maybe it wasn’t being tracked correctly.

The agency and client relationship are not always aligned and this can be a problem. Sometimes people want to make a quick win and don’t care about the long term. Decisions are made that are not always in the best interests of the clients. Sometimes mistakes are made (have seen this happen a lot when junior people are managing the account)

It’s so easy to waste money on Google Ads if it’s not set up correctly.  It’s so easy to waste money on paid ads on Facebook and Instagram if you are not using the right targeting, or the right creative or you are not tracking it.  It’s so easy to waste money if your agency doesn’t have the same end goals as you.

There is a market for her product as people are buying it elsewhere online.  She wants customers to buy from her site. She wants to grow her e-commerce business, which is totally understandable.

The brand has a big Instagram following and she is very active on social media.  But, she told me that not much of this is converting into sales. We talked about her ‘ideal customer’. She had already identified who they might be. Where they live, what their preferences are and why they are buying her products.  

We need to find more of those I told her. Find more of her ideal customers. And we can. But that involves a bit of work up front. Strategy work.

Many start-ups get burnt in the early days. Spending money on marketing that doesn’t work.  There is no strategy and no plan in place. It’s so easy for this to happen.

We need to measure everything.  We need to test everything. Before we spend any money there needs to be a very clear plan in place.

Always make sure that you are using a recommended agency.  Know that you are putting your precious start-up funds to the best use that you can.  

It makes me sad to hear these stories. Founders sometimes feel that it’s too late when they talk to me. They have wasted the money and they have no more budget to work with someone like me that can help them. I know how to identify profitable customers. I know how to scale a business. Testing, measuring and supporting my clients. If I can get in there before its too late I can help them turn things around and I’ve done that before. It’s what I love. To show people that there is another way.