SHOW NOTES

I hate to break it to you, but people aren’t really interested in WHAT you do. 

Odds are, there are thousands (if not millions) of other businesses that do the same thing you do.

The same is true for my business. Hirsh Marketing is NOT the only marketing and ads agency out there.

People don’t hire us simply because they want someone to manage their ads.

They hire us because they’re in alignment with, inspired by, and confident in our WHY. 

They believe in why we’re different, why we do the things we do, the way we do them, and what we believe in as a company.

In this new era of digital marketing where the online space is increasingly saturated, being clear on your why is more critical than ever if you want to stand out and attract an audience of true believers.

That’s why in this episode, I’m diving into the importance of finding clarity on YOUR why and sharing the raw and honest reasons behind my own why in my business.

The stronger, louder, and clearer you can be with it, the better everything will be in your business!

Click here to tune in.

DM me YOUR why over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!

Want To Work With Team Hirsh?

Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact! APPLY NOW!

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. This one is going to be a good one. It is going to be very simple, but very impactful, especially if this is a time you need to hear this. I recently read the book, Start With Why by Simon Sinek, and here’s the thing, it was actually the second time I’ve read the book. I read it a year ago, last summer, and then I read it again this year because our team chose it as our leadership book club choice. It’s really weird. You probably have this experience, whether it’s podcasts or books or a place, a speaker that you listened to, and sometimes you can hear a message and it barely does anything for you. Then other times you can hear a message and it was like exactly what you needed in that moment and it was life changing. 

That’s how reading this book was for me this time around, because I feel like I one, really needed to hear this, I also feel like it is extremely relevant to the industry right now and to marketing right now and how important this is. So that’s what we’re going to talk about. Then also, the combination of my team reading it with me. We do a book club meeting, and that conversation really got me thinking. The title says it all with that book, Start With Why. It’s about your why. What is your why for starting your company, for what you do in your life? What is your why, the importance of having that why, and that why being what drives everything that you do. I highly recommend the book. If you are not a big reader, he does have an 18 minute TedTalk, definitely go listen to that. We actually often send that to clients because it’s… we’re going to talk about why it’s so important. 

So the bottom line of this is that bear being very clear on your why, your company’s why is absolutely critical. Now it’s always been critical, but I think why hearing this message for me right now was so important was because I am seeing the examples of how the businesses who are clear on this are the ones succeeding today, and if you’re not, you’re going to struggle because people, your customers and your audience, the quote from the book is “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” He said that like probably 10, 15 times in the book, and it’s so true. You are delivering, whether it’s a service, or a product, or a course, or whatever it is that you deliver and you sell, it’s just a thing, right? There are more of them out there. You were not the only one who does X, Y, Z. I am not the only ads and marketing agency. I’m not the only person obviously providing Facebook ads and marketing support in our industry. There are so many other people out there. 

My customers are not going to come to me just because it’s like, “oh, I need a Facebook ads person,” or, “I need somebody to help me with my marketing strategy.” They’re going to come to me because they are in alignment, inspired, encouraged, and confident in our why, in why we’re different and why we do the things we do, the way we do them, and what we believe in as a company. The stronger and louder and clearer you can be with that, the better everything will be in your business, the better your marketing is going to be, the better your team’s going to feel, the better your customers will feel, the more sales you have. I see the connection to everything. 

When I personally read this book, I reflected on the fact that I don’t think that we are as clear on our why as we could be as a company. He talks about this piece, I forget exactly what he calls it, but it’s basically as you grow your company, I think he called it the founders gap or something, where as you grow your company as a CEO, in the beginning you’re very connected to your why. You understand exactly why you’re doing this. You’re in it every day, you’re inspired. You’ve got adrenaline going from it. You’re building this business. You’re probably in the hustle phase. You’re doing a little bit of everything, a little bit of everywhere because you don’t have a team yet and you’re in that beginning phase. But as you grow your company, there becomes a gap because you get removed from the day-to-day. If things go well, you get removed from the day-to-day and then potentially there becomes a disconnect from your why. That means if you’re not communicating that as the CEO to your team, there will be that disconnect across the board. 

I think for me, because I have a service business, it’s very easy to get into the mode of like, “well, we just deliver to our clients, we just deliver great Facebook ads and marketing services to our clients. That’s our why.” That’s not really our why, that’s not what separates us from other companies out there, from other people out there delivering this to clients and customers. What I saw happen was I used to be so in the thick of it, in the day-to-day inspired by a client’s ad campaign. Then that translated into a Facebook post on my personal page and I was in it and my quality of life, honestly, wasn’t as good then, but my inspiration and my excitement around my business was more and that’s a very natural thing. 

Anyway, what I reflected on was that I wanted to get more clear on our why. So I read the book, we went into our team meeting, and then we started talking about all the clients who have been the most successful with us. We named names and were talking about their launches, we were talking about their offers and how they’re successful. There truly is one theme that all of these clients had a massive understanding of their why, of their company why. They were clear, they were unapologetic about it. They knew their why. It was more than just making money. That should be a by-product of your why, because if you do a really great job with your delivery, with your service, then you will obviously make money. But that’s not a why, because you can go into any business and say, I just want to make money. That’s really not going to drive an audience and followers and customers and, and separate you from other companies. 

We reflected on how the companies who come in and are like, “well, I don’t care. I’m not connected to my why,” and they’re not saying that. It’s just that I think people forget it, or they never got clear on it in the beginning and they are just trying to go with what they’re maybe good at doing, or what they thought was a good idea, or somebody else said it was a good idea. But we reflected on how all of the clients, really all of our shining star clients that we can reflect on who have done incredible, who have grown over the years with us, who we’ve witnessed their growth, we’ve seen that are very clear on their why and got more clear with it as their marketing went on and continued to stay connected to it. That was really cool because it made us realize that we could probably support the clients who are not clear on their why in our messaging meetings and in our interaction with our creative team and pulling that out of them. 

So we had our creative team reading this book and we wanted to implement some of those questions and things, because I think a lot of people are not fully clear on their why, which is why I’m doing this podcast episode to encourage you guys on that. Following that meeting, I sat down and I spent two hours brainstorming what is our why? Why did I start this company? Why did I start a marketing agency? It’s not just, “I want to help people with their marketing strategies, and we care about impact.” This is still in a very rough draft phase of my brainstorming, but I actually like sharing it in that more raw state for you guys and some of the things that I came up with personally. I’m going to share these things because I think it might help you guys, especially if you maybe are a service business. Even if you’re delivering something that’s an essential thing that you deliver to people and everybody needs it or something, you still can have a why you still can have a why that’s bigger than just delivering your service. 

I started thinking about like, why did I build my business? For me, one thing that’s consistently come up since the very beginning of my business was the importance of freedom. I was somebody who didn’t graduate from college. I had a child at 20. Everybody said I was going to fail and I didn’t want to, of course, fail. I refuse to be that statistic. I also wanted freedom. I wanted to have the best of both worlds. I wanted to be home with my new baby, and I wanted to create a life for myself because I was still so young. I hadn’t had a career. I hadn’t done very much yet. I wanted both of those things. That is something that pushed me to start my company, and in that came consistently I started working with clients where it was their goal to get out of the day-to-day of their business, to pass their marketing off to a team of experts, or to me when it was just me, so that they could have that freedom. So they could be with their families more. So they could be the CEO in their business, they didn’t have to worry about leads and sales. 

Then also, I built a fully remote team. I built a team of people who we have the freedom. We do free space Fridays now where we don’t have any meetings and you can get off early if you finish your work and really more results-based versus hours clocked in based. A lot of people used to ask me, “aren’t you worried your team isn’t working?” I’m like, no, because we’re focused on results. So focusing on results. Having the freedom to travel. When I started my business, I took my 18 month old son a year after I started my business and we went to Europe for six weeks. I worked and we traveled, and I had my son and I was like, see, I can do it all. I can have it all. It’s my definition of freedom. 

I think that having a successful marketing strategy where leads and sales are able to come into your business automatically is a massive trigger for freedom, because then you’re not having to be like, “oh my gosh, I have to be on Instagram stories, 24/7, I have to do lives. I have to do this.” I know as a CEO, having that freedom to step away from the business and still generate leads and sales is a massive win. That’s what I want for all of our clients. That’s a really important piece for us, and that is one of our why’s. That’s one of our ways that we do things, and why I bring it in my team culture. But also, a big thing for clients is knowing that we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for them to create successful marketing strategies and do everything we can to take away the actual work of the strategy and the tactics from the client.

The other thing that came up a lot was how much I talk about sustainability and long-term success, and that this isn’t about the get rich quick scheme, the quick bandaid, “let’s just do a flash sale and then we’ll figure out how we’re going to pay the bills next month.” We focused on long term impact and success. This is true for both my company and the way I market it, and then our clients. We also reject clients who are in it for just the quick fix or focused on vanity metrics or overnight success. This shows up so much in our company with how we use projections with how I talk about having goals, and then your actual data with your first goal and step being breakeven, and then moving to profitability when you have a new funnel, and staying super innovative, and making sure you stay on top of trends so that you don’t become irrelevant. The Not For Lazy Marketers Process is a holistic process from beginning to end. It’s not looking at one piece of your marketing, but it’s looking at the entire customer journey tying together your brand, your messaging, your strategy, your paid ads, and not siloing one of those individual components. 

I also believe that in order to create a sustainable marketing strategy, you have to create a unique customer journey and experience for your customers. That’s the only way to create sustainability, because then you build followers, you build raving fans, and selling becomes easier. For me, this is a big why, because what we’re helping our clients do is generate leads and an audience that’s going to pay off, yes, hopefully in the next 30 days, but also in a year from now, in two years from now. Then by staying on top of the trends and collaborating as a team, as things shift and change in the industry, because they do, that allows us to create a more sustainable marketing strategy that’s not dependent on a platform, or the fact that webinars are working, or videos work right now. Whatever the “in” thing is, you don’t want to be dependent on that because then if that goes away, you are in trouble. 

We specifically only work with clients who are in alignment with this goal, because I’ve absolutely had people come in who either they’re like, “I just want to make money. I need to make money in 30 days,” or, “I don’t really care about anything but quickly making money with the easiest route.” We will not work with people like that. I have ranted about this many times, but business is not supposed to be easy. Marketing and creating a successful marketing strategy isn’t easy. It can be simple. It’s not easy. It’s going to require commitment, and resources, and time put into that. 

The last value that I really came up with for my company was challenging the status quo, because I always try to look at something and say, how can we do it different? How can we do it better? I think there’s a lot of brands, a lot of individuals who go with the grain, and we frequently go against the grain and are not afraid to try new things. This comes up with our new PDQ funnel, with our podcast secret series that we’ve tried, with micro-webinars that we’ve done. All of those have been successful, some have not, but we aren’t afraid to challenge what has been said is impossible or no longer works, like webinars. It’s like, do they no longer work, or is the strategy behind them just not good? 

So I push my team and my goal is that we are the most innovative marketing company, we are always first to market with testing something new because the one thing that’s constant is change and I value being on top of that change. I also think that as a person, as an individual, I’ve always challenged the status quo. Some of those things that come up for me that are outside of just marketing, but things that I believe in are at the heart of our company, whether it’s supporting our employees or our clients with this is things like you can’t have a work-life balance and work in a remote position or in an agency or in the online industry, or you can’t have a successful career and be a present mom. I hate that interpretation people have. 

To me, I think it’s crazy, but I have seen people out there say things, like I just saw this. Someone said, “I chose not to be the breadwinner in my family because I want to be able to be at my kid’s soccer games.” And I was like, what? Why can’t you do both? You can be the breadwinner and be at your kid’s soccer games. What are you talking about? I feel very passionate about showing, and proving, and inspiring people that you can have both. You can have a successful career, you can be the breadwinner of your family, and you can still be present and a good mom or dad. You also can have success and your own definition of freedom. I think that everybody has that. 

I think also, I will say employees, millennials, the generation before them, they value that more than money. Being able to travel, or have a day that they can work at a coffee shop, or work remotely, or have that flexibility is one of the main things that attracts people to our company, obviously money and being in the industry, but if you are able to offer that to your employees, even the 40 hour work week that came from factories, we have not questioned that in decades. And we should, because it should be results-based. 

So challenging that status quo for me, it was like going to college to be successful. That’s what I was told all my life. I did it differently. Having a kid when you’re young means X, Y, Z. All the things I was told, your freedom is gone, you’re going to be miserable, you’re going to get a divorce. All these things I not just wanted to prove wrong, but I wanted to prove that I knew what I was doing, and that I would make mistakes and I’m going to fail, and I’m going to definitely stumble and go over these bumps and challenges, but I’m gonna make it through. Because I believe that you can do anything if you go out and you do it, and you believe in it, and you do the work, and you have sustainability and you’re building something for the long term. 

That’s when I sat down and realized I wanted to share that with you one, because you’re my audience and I want you guys to understand that why, but also really get you thinking about what is your company why? For me, what was helpful was thinking about why did I even start this company? What drove me to go in this direction and what drove me to create the company that I have today? These are the things that came up in creating it. For me, one thing that’s always been important is creating incredible delivery and putting just as much attention in our delivery for our clients and our students as we put into marketing. That comes from that sustainability. That’s what’s required to create a sustainable business. 

So I sat down and I thought about those things that are non-negotiables. Why did I start my business? What inspires me? What makes me feel motivated when I sit down for work and I’m reconnected to that why? I did that, and now we’re in the process of bringing this to my team, making sure the team is clear on it, making sure this is clear on the website, this is clear on social media, this is clear in everything we do. Here’s the thing. I want this to be one speech and then everybody will remember the why. It’s not. My goal now is that all of this becomes cemented in my team’s, and my client’s, and my audience’s mind through micro-experiences through micro-touches. 

One of the examples that was used, there were several used in this book, but if you think about big companies like Apple or Walmart before the CEO left who was great at the why and now they’ve struggled with that, Southwest, these big companies who are so clear on their why. Any question that comes up that an employee, or a customer, or somebody is wondering what they should do, it should be able to be answered by coming back to the why. So an example of that for us could be do we let a client slide through who wants to do a live launch and spend a thousand dollars and make 12,000? We can pretend like it will work and just do our best and then at the end deal with the fallout of the fact that they didn’t hit those projections. Or do we say that’s not possible and if you want that, you won’t be able to work with us, but what we can do is give you realistic projections, give you a realistic strategy and be that partner for you. Of course you choose. We choose the latter. 

Anything like that that comes up that is maybe a challenging situation, or a challenging decision, you should be able to go back to your company why and that should be able to guide you. If you can do that, then your why is clear. Then you should evaluate and look at your marketing, emails, organic social media, your ads, your communication with your team, your communication with your clients, the way that you show up, is your why clear across the board? Your job as the CEO, as your company grows, as your team grows, is to continue to make sure that why is clear. I think, not that we’ve fallen off our why, I think we had it, it just wasn’t clear enough. Now I’m making it more clear. 

I think that comes from growing a team, right? Because then as the leader, if you are still connected to the why, but you’re not communicating it effectively, you’re not showing up with it in your everyday actions, your everyday conversations, then how is it going to stay strong? Then it’s getting cracks in it. The why starts fading and also, you know, looking at all the companies that I have worked, that my team has worked with, who have been radically successful are very, very clear on their why. Their why goes much deeper than just making money and building a business. They all have unique stories and different reasons why they’re doing things, but if they lose track of that why… I’ve also watched influencers and big companies lose track of that why, and what happens as a result of that. I think as you grow, this is a major vulnerability for a company if you’re not clear on that.

I hope this was helpful for you guys today. I do highly recommend that book, but I’m also hoping that my interpretation of it and experience with it from a marketing standpoint, and as somebody who’s gone in four years from no team to a team of 28 people that we’re at now, what that experience has been like, because I think it’s easy to lose a little bit of track of that. Not that we fully lost track of our why at all. I don’t think we did because we have very clear values around marketing always works, it’s just a matter of when, and data drives or every decision. Those are part of our why, but going deeper. Yes, we run Facebook ads. Yes, we manage marketing strategies. Yes, we help people create impact and income. But what else do we do and why are we doing this? Why are we showing up at work? 

The last example I want to share that I just thought of in the book that was really cool is there was a story, I don’t know if it was true or not, there was a bunch of guys building a cathedral and he asked one guy like, what are you doing? And he said, I’m just building this wall. I’m putting brick on the wall. I just show up every day and then I go home and I’m with my family, or something like that. Then he went to another person and he’s like, what are you doing? And he’s like, I’m building a cathedral and it might not be done by the time I’m finished working here, but I’m committing. I am a part of this bigger thing and it’s so cool. He was like, building the cathedral or putting brick on a wall, what is your interpretation? What’s your employee’s interpretation of how they show up at work? Are they just showing up, logging in, doing their tasks? Are they showing up, logging in, and understanding that they’re a part of a bigger movement? You want, of course, the latter of that. You want people, you want your clients, your customers, your audience, your team members, your employees, to feel that movement. It’s your job as the CEO and the leader through micro-experiences, micro-touches to make sure your company maintains that why. All right you guys, I’ll talk to you next week.