Any marketing strategy you execute is only as strong as your foundation.
That seems simple enough, right? But so many people get this wrong.
Your “foundation” includes more than a solid strategy for ads – when I say “build a solid foundation,” I’m talking about the building blocks of your whole business!
Can you explain “who” you serve in two sentences or less?
Can you tell me your exact goals (with numbers!) for your most recent funnel?
Can you walk me through the exact “how” you’ll get from $0 to sales?
(If so, great! You’re heading in the right direction. If not, LISTEN UP.)
Your foundation is everything.
Because, if you layer marketing strategies (even good ones!) on top of a shaky foundation… the whole thing is likely to fall apart.
We’ll dive deeper into this inside this episode, plus I’ll explain…
- What parts of your foundation matter for marketing
- Why tracking your PROCESS is crucial
- And the mistake most people make (+how to avoid it!)
Tune into this pep-talk episode, and then head over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to leave a comment or question on our most recent post!
If you want help building your strong foundation to marketing, head to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply to work with Team Hirsh! We have world-class systems+processes to support you + your company in the best way.
[2:57] What do I mean by “foundation”?
[4:40] Any strategy you execute is only as strong as your foundation
[6:36] Most people do this – but that’s what puts you behind!
[9:37] Here’s how we organized our marketing for IGNITE
[12:04] Recording the entire process is part of your foundation
[14:25] And remember, if you don’t know who you’re targeting, your foundation is shaky
Hello everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you are having an amazing January, first month of 2020… and crushing those goals, and just off to a great start this year in business and life and everything. I am so close to having a baby, it’s not even funny. What like, three weeks [from the release of this episode]? I don’t even know, soon, February 11 is my due date, so really soon, a couple of weeks away, which is crazy! And I’ll have three kids.
I’m not really sure how to comprehend it. One felt doable. Two [felt] okay, one parent a kid. Three is like, “Okay, now we’re outnumbered,” and there’s so many things I don’t know like, how are we going to do bedtime at night? So we’ll see how I survive this. I will survive, though. I’m very fortunate to have a great partner in parenting, with our kids, and a lot of house help. That is the key.
So today I’m diving into, your marketing is only as strong as your foundation. And I think that if you were to listen to all 144 of my podcasts and you really got The Hirsh Process and dove deep into this and what we preach, the importance of having a solid foundation is probably one of the most important things that I talk about over and over and over again in different ways, because I know that it’s the key to success.
I know because I’ve seen hundreds of clients and students learn this and master this. I know because this is true for myself. I know this is true, because I have friends who have done this in their own company, that are massively huge and scaling and successful. Your marketing is only as strong as the foundation. So whatever marketing and strategy and execution that you build out on top of it, on top of your foundation, it can only be as good as that foundation that you set up.
So what is your foundation and how do you set it up for success? In my opinion, this is what your foundation is. And this really does, actually, go back to Step 1 of The Hirsh Process, and looking at this foundation, because that is step 1 is, strategize. It’s [about] setting the foundation for your marketing before you get to actually spend any money.
But I actually added one component here, because this has been coming up a lot for myself and my own business. I’m also helping a good friend of mine with their marketing, and it’s been, actually, a really cool learning experience for me, because they’re just my friend, and so we’ll meet up for coffee or whatever, and I’ll give him a lot of advice to direct his team in his own marketing… but it’s helping me learn where the gaps are in other people’s marketing, so it’s actually making me better.
But, your foundation is this. Your numbers. So, knowing your numbers, knowing your goals, knowing what you’re trying to do with your marketing. And everybody on the same page with that. You, your marketing team, your ads agency, everybody’s on the same page with our goals, because then there’s nothing that we can argue. It’s very clear what we need to work on when we look at numbers, and what’s not working and what is working, and where the focus goes each week.
The second thing is your messaging. If you haven’t really taken a lot of time to get very clear about who you’re targeting, about your messaging, about who you’re trying to reach with your marketing… and also being consistent from your organic [marketing] and your content that you put out, to your paid traffic, to your funnels, to your emails. Consistency across the board in that messaging and in trying to reach that person that you’re going to define is super important. And that’s your foundation. And any strategy, anything that you build on top, to execute on top of your foundation, is only going to be as strong as the messaging that you defined. Because if you haven’t taken that first step, it’s going to be really hard to be able to create something powerful and create something that actually gets attention and attracts the person that you want to attract, if you haven’t even defined them.
The third piece to your foundation is your strategy, so the foundational strategy that you’re going to build on top of, and optimize, and add to, and change… matters. And that really should be looked at as just, how are we going to take somebody on a journey from having no idea who we are as a brand, or who I am as a brand or a person or product or whatever, to buying from me? And what does that journey look like? And have you created it custom for your product, your offer, your audience… and really thought that through? That goes into your foundation.
What I just described is really step 1 of The Hirsch Process. Now, the one thing I want to add in here that is important for your foundation that goes with numbers… but I’m pulling it out into a separate category. And this is what I’ve learned. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last quarter, in my own marketing and my own business… following our process and actually doing it for our business, because my time hasn’t been so stretched that I didn’t have time for that. We also have our IGNITE funnel, so we’re basically a client, I am a client to the ads team for that webinar funnel. And then also helping this friend. And here’s what’s continually come up, that is so crucial for your foundation, before you can really build something successful on top of it is, the organization and the documentation and the tracking that you have set up for your marketing.
And so, I think a lot of people launch a strategy, and it kind of looks like this, where… They’ve half-thought through the actual strategy, because they probably pulled it from an idea that they got at an event or from a mentor or program that they’re in. They didn’t define their numbers. In their head they think they know who their ideal customer or client is, but they haven’t really sat down and spent a couple hours writing it out and documenting it and describing it, so that they can give that to anybody else on their team, and everybody’s on the same page, whether it’s content, copy, everything is talking to that person. And so, in their head they’re like, “Yeah, we know who we’re targeting,” but then you ask them, and they can’t say it in two sentences, very clear, “Who are you targeting, how are you going to help them?” And then they don’t have organization at all or tracking set up to know, “Okay, once we launch this, is it successful or not?”
And I think that’s kind of the most common scenario for people launching something new is, they do that. They have a half-strategy. They think they know their messaging, but they haven’t really done it 100%, they’re maybe 60% there… haven’t defined success in their numbers, because that overwhelms them or they don’t know how or they don’t have data. And then they don’t have organization and tracking setup and that foundation.
And so, what that does is, it puts you in this scenario. You’re going to spend money on ads. You might get some results, I’m not saying you actually can’t get any results, even with the bare minimum done, which is what most people do. If you have a really good offer, then you might still get some results, but you’re going to get some results. It’s going to get overwhelming, and you’re going to have to pull everything back, reset the foundation, and then restart it. And I’ve seen that happen many times. I’ve had clients who had to go through that, because they come on, and we’re like, “We need this, this, this, and this, and this in place before we can run ads.” And they have to go do it before we run ads. At least we are doing it before they run ads, but maybe they’ve been running ads before without all those things, and it’s honestly just a waste of time and money if you don’t have this foundation set up.
I want to dive into this tracking and organization just a little bit deeper, what I mean by it. So, what I’ve spent a lot of time in my own marketing… and just with our team, with my internal marketing team, and just helping my friend, and this constant theme that’s come up of, “Have we dug down and really analyzed everything in our backend marketing until we got to the foundation, and then rebuilt it?” And that’s what we did. And the reason I did that is because I’ve been in business for four years, I’ve been, the last two years, very consistent with this brand and my agency. And so there’s things I haven’t looked at in that long, to fix in my own marketing. And so I went through and fixed everything.
But let’s talk about my IGNITE funnel, for example, and the tracking and the organization. It probably took us about two to three weeks to get to the place where I was like, “We have every metric that we need in a spreadsheet for the ad’s performance and for the funnel performance,” and everything that we could do. So now it’s a matter of driving as much traffic in the funnel [and] looking at all those numbers. And so, the type of metrics I’m talking about here for tracking is not just ads. Obviously there’s ads, but then there’s your funnel performance… So your webinar show up rate, my ads team will would report on that for you, because that’s a key metric. But we wanted to go deeper, so I actually had my marketing team go in and pull out exactly when people are dropping off in a webinar, because I wanted to know that.
And then the emails, usually an ads team won’t go into each email. We can see, “Oh the sales conversion is low, so we need to focus on the emails.” But I wanted to see the open rate for all the emails, and the click rate, and go through and understand, “Where are people dropping off? Where do we potentially have issues? How do we increase that purchase conversion?” And so if you don’t have process in place for actually tracking all of those metrics… And each part of your funnel has a metric. And so, each step somebody takes… so they opt-in to your webinar, there’s a metric. They watch your webinar, there’s a metric. What they do after the webinar, there’s a metric. The emails, there’s a metric. So every piece has a metric, and the key is that you’re consistently able to have a process set up where you’re tracking all of those, so you can then make decisions.
Because if I was to start ads to our funnel, and I didn’t have a process in place for gathering all that data, putting it in a place where we can understand and make decisions off of, I really wouldn’t have known anywhere that I needed to fix. And so we’ve made little tweaks like, changing this email and the way that we’re timing things. And actually, our funnel is converting pretty well, but let’s say it wasn’t: I wouldn’t know what I needed to fix if I don’t already, before starting ads, have a process in place for tracking, and for that organization of my funnel, so I can quickly say, “Okay, here’s the numbers, here’s what I’m being told, here is what I need to change, and here’s easily how I can do it,” because my entire funnel is documented, and it’s clear, and if I get a tech VA to help me, they’re going to be able to help me.
So that’s part of the foundation. And so I added that in, because it does have to do with numbers, but there’s also process associated with it. And that’s something that I am kind of obsessed with is, process, because everything kind of comes down to process. Everything you do! So I love that, I love to think that way. And so, you need to have a process in place of, “Okay, once we’ve launched this funnel, how are we gathering all the data from it? How are we going to get all the metrics?” …so that maybe you as the CEO, or if you have a marketing director or marketing team, [are] able to constantly look at those metrics and make decisions right away. Not in a month from now, once you figure out the tracking. But within the first week of starting ads, so you know where everything’s at. And really as a CEO, you should just have those things reported to you.
So I get on a weekly call, and my marketing coordinator comes and is like, “Here’s all our numbers.” And so I instantly know where everything is at, and I can give feedback if I want, but at least I know, and then it’s not overwhelming. And I think that’s the cool part is, taking out the overwhelm, too, of marketing and spending your money and not knowing how it’s working is… If you know exactly what’s going on, and you have that process and that foundation in place, it doesn’t feel overwhelming, because it’s a very clear path to success and a clear path to the actions that you need to take to either improve things or optimize things or scale things, if that’s where you’re at.
So just to reiterate and kind of recap here. Everything you build, any cool strategy, any marketing initiative that you go execute is only going to be as strong as your foundation. So let’s say you decide, “I want to add YouTube to my list of things that I want to do,” or, “I want to launch a new funnel.” All of that can only be as strong as the foundation that you’ve built underneath it. And your foundation is your numbers and your goals, knowing those before starting anything. If you’re starting a new initiative like YouTube or like organic traffic or a new funnel, you need to know numbers. What’s our goal with this? What is our actual bottom line, very simple goal that we’re going to achieve, with numbers and metrics attached to it with this new marketing initiative? If we go launch something new and we don’t have that, we don’t have a solid foundation.
The second thing is your messaging. If you don’t know on a deep level… and I say this, I could hound this into you guys… on a deep level, who it is you’re targeting… your ad copy, your emails, your landing pages, your content that you create, your videos, it’s all going to be off. It’s not going to be powerful enough to attract people at the level that you want and need until you sit down and you understand, “Who is that person that we’re trying to attract? And what is the problem we solve for them? How are we going to communicate that on a deep level? Their objections? Their emotional struggle? What keeps them up at night?” All of those things, because anything you go add… you add the YouTube, you add the new funnel, you add whatever initiative launch… If that’s not in place, you’re going to have a broken foundation underneath it.
The third thing is your strategy. So that’s your core strategy, the basic of your strategy that you want to create, and what is that? And making sure that you step back and that you make sure that strategy was created for your ideal audience that you’ve already defined and the offer that you’re selling. It’s not a cookie cutter strategy that you pulled from a course, but you’ve thought through, “Does this make sense for my audience?” And then anything you create, if you haven’t done that, it’s going to not be good. You’re going to have a broken foundation.
The [fourth] thing is the process around your tracking and your funnel organization. Have you documented your funnel? Have you documented your marketing strategy so that your team can help you with it? Have you figured out how you’re going to get metrics reported to you, and what those metrics are, so that once you launch, you can make decisions? Because you’ve set… the first thing I said was numbers and your goal. So you’re setting goals, you’re setting what success is, but then, “How are you going to actually track success?” is another piece to that, and comes with process and organization and having that set up. And so, anything you go launch, the YouTube channel, the new funnel, the live launch in the next month… if you don’t have a process for how you’re going to receive that data and how you’ve documented the entire experience and what you’re doing, it’s going to be really hard to know if it was successful, if you met your goals, and make decisions off of it.
So build that strong foundation, because your marketing is only as strong as your foundation. Your foundation is the most important thing that you build and should get so much focus onto it, because if you don’t do that, then you’re going to build something broken on top of it.
All right, you guys, if you want help with your marketing this year, from Hirsh Marketing… we are really good about building the foundation, really good about not launching ads that don’t have a strong foundation, and also obsessing over those numbers and those goals and helping you get that tracking setup. We have world-class, in my opinion… I use them all for my own company, for my own webinar funnel… templates and tracking tools that we’ve set up [as] spreadsheets, to be able to tell how a funnel is converting, how ads are converting, and get that data kind of pushed to you, and then tell you what decisions are being made based on that data and anything we need from you.
But you have that knowledge, so you’ll never feel overwhelmed. And that should be your goal, whether it’s with us or with someone else or with your own team, that you can make decisions in marketing, you know what’s going on, and you feel like, “We’re making decisions to move forward,” every single week. So if you want that type of support, go to HelpMyStrategy.com and apply to work with Team Hirsh, and I’ll see you all on the next episode.