How To Fix Your Broken Marketing

This is a guest post by Joel Fortner. He is a Small Business Marketing Coach and the creator behind the Get Serve Keep marketing blog.

At the end of the day, you want marketing to drive people to your business who will buy.

Oftentimes though, businesses don’t have a clue whether they’re marketing actually does that or not. To me that’s insane.

But today, we’re going to fix that by unpacking how to develop a step-by-step online marketing strategy that’s measurable and effective. Yes, no more sucky!

Your Get business

Before someone becomes a customer, they’re in, what I call, your Get business. Your other two businesses (congrats I just made you a multi-business owner for free), are Serve and Keep.

Each one of them contains specific, measurable actions to take to accomplish a specific mission. For Get, that mission is to get customers. It’s the most challenging and delicate of the three businesses because people don’t know you well, don’t like you yet, and definitely don’t trust you.

Here are four steps to solve that pesky problem and generate quality leads who convert. 

  1. Find – Targeting is the most important step in developing effective marketing strategies, and it’s so often botched. If you don’t get this right, your marketing ideas will fall short because everything is linked to who you’re trying to build a relationship with and motivate to buy.
  2. Identify – Once you’ve found potential customers, you won’t know it until they identify themselves. This is where calls to action come in to get people to give you their email or phone number. Once you have it, you can then regularly communicate with them to develop a relationship.
  3. Educate – After someone has identified himself or herself to you, it’s time to educate them. It’s NOT time to try to sell them something. Instead, educate them to who you are, what you do, and how you can solve their problem. The goal here is to build trust and rapport.
  4. Motivate – Once you’ve educated them and built trust and rapport, it’s time to motivate them to act by making some sort of an offer. This is where many people need to improve. They execute steps to get people to this point and then they wait on the person to come to them. Bad move. Don’t do this. Take the leadership role in the relationship and make an offer. It gets a person to either do it or walk away.

The thing is many people who would have bought don’t buy when they aren’t asked to. So always make an offer!

Step by Step Example

In this example, we’ll pretend to be an estate planning lawyer named Sally who works in Chattanooga, TN. Now don’t get wrapped up on who we are in this example because these steps work for all business. The specific tactics are what change.

  1. Find step – Sally knows people do online research, and she knows people stew on a decision to get a will done for a long time. So she starts a blog as part of a content marketing plan to put fresh, relevant content online to help her get found when people perform certain keyword searches, such as “chattanooga estate planning lawyer.”
  2. Identify step – Once on her site, she offers a free guide on information she knows her target customer desires. She does this in exchange for a name and email address. The person has now identified himself or herself, and now Sally knows they exist. Being a smart marketer, Sally avoids the temptation to try to sell them something and instead focuses on building trust and rapport.
  3. Educate step – In addition to the helpful free guide, during the next few weeks, Sally educates subscribers with an auto responder series of emails. These emails are packed full of valuable information about estate planning, the process, preparation tips, and more, all designed to educate and build confidence.
  4. Motivate step – After a specified amount of time, Sally makes a low-commitment and very attractive offer to do a free 30-minute Skype or phone consultation but only to subscribers who have opened a certain number of emails. This is easily tracked in systems like MailChimp and AWeber. Chances are the people who have shown the most interest in the information provided are the ones most likely to respond to this offer. For those who didn’t open the emails, she’ll continue to provide content and track open and click-through rates until they’ve shown more interest.
  5. Offer – Finally, during the consultation she sets the conditions for a sales offer by providing more value and building trust and rapport, and then makes the offer to complete their will. At this point, her conversion rate will be very high.

There isn’t a business out there that can’t do this. Just remember, the find, identify, educate and motivate steps are your framework and the tactics should be tailored for your business and target market.

You can go deeper with marketing by downloading Joel’s free eBook, Small Business Guide to Marketing: Ideas You Must Know & Mistakes You Must Avoid, by subscribing to his marketing blog

Question: How is your marketing working today?



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

13 thoughts on “How To Fix Your Broken Marketing”

  1. Love it Joel and I love how SERVE is wedged in the middle. There’s this element that serves flows out into the other two. You get by serving, you keep by serving and it’s an internally fueled system.

    Do you know of any tutorials or guides for MailChimp? That’s my next step in learning the online world so I can begin conversations rather than update emails and social media interaction. Thanks!

    1. Thanks brother! I’m not sure how much MailChimp will help you achieve conversations as it’s an email delivery service. MailChimp’s site is full of tutorials adn guides though. If you want to get conversations going though, social media is best for that. One thing you could try is a Facebook Group to bring like-minded people together.

  2. DESIGNS by Rashada

    I thought that this was incredibly helpful in streamlining a process that can seem so overwhelming! Thank you for the motivation to start doing this in my design business ;D

      1. DESIGNS by Rashada

        I completely agree with that. As I read through this post, I saw that I am doing a few of these things but not quite a cohesively as I would like and not with the amount of purpose that it requires 😉 I like action steps, so seeing it all laid out deliberately is helpful for me 😀

  3. Thanks for modeling this, Joel! It’s sparking some ideas that I believe will be helpful for our company, and (perhaps more importantly) the businesses we SERVE!

      1. To use very broad brushtrokes, the ideas are simply to use the strategy you’ve presented and apply/implement that strategy (on behalf of our customers) using the suite of tools we are already providing to our customers.

        We’ve been methodically pulling together the tools (websites, email, social marketing, direct mail marketing) that were once presented as individual products to our customers, and making the whole greater than the sum of the parts. The model you present provides a great roadmap for us to use to allow these tools to come together in an integrated way.

        Those are the broad brushstrokes, onto the finer details! 🙂

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