Marketing Basics: Lessons Learned From a… Powerwashing Biz!

“Marketing Basics: Lessons Learned From a… Powerwashing Biz!”

Odd title for an ecommerce “marketing basics” blog post, I know.

“Basics” is certainly applicable. But “Powerwashing”…?

After all, I am a longtime, full-time online marketer, immersed in advanced, ‘next-wave’ stuff.

And that means my livelihood revolves around technology & optimization.

Employing a new app, running multi-variate split-testing, re-thinking funnel optimization ad nauseum, etc.

I do these things in order to boost conversions, lift rankings, or eke out a few percentage points of improvement somewhere, and so this is often where my time & effort is focused.

But focusing so intently on these things can also be detrimental to the overall success of an online business, especially in the beginning.

Last week I happened across an old Reddit post that brought that thought to mind and absolutely rocked me!

It wasn’t the post itself – though I found it very interesting – but rather a blog post that was referenced way deep within the comments.

The blog post was a case study of… a guy starting a one-man power-washing business.

Talk about ‘unrelated’… what does that have to do with ecommerce or marketing?

On it’s face, nothing.

Until you read it:

Powerwashing Flyers that took business from zero to $13,202 per month

(Note: I have no relationship with the guy, his blog, or anything else mentioned there.)

I found it to be inspiring, incredibly interesting, and a fantastic real-world illustration of the ‘power of fundamentals’!

Sometimes we get so caught up in technology & optimization, new shiny objects, and the next ‘big thing’ in marketing approaches, etc., that we lose sight of the basics – the fundamentals that ‘make or break’ any business, online or otherwise.

I’m talking about the things that determine whether our path is one of general growth & success, or whether we get ‘stuck’ on a treadmill of constantly trying to squeeze out some marginal success because we haven’t built on a strong foundation of basic business & marketing fundamentals.

Marketing Basics

I’m talking about the basics:

  • Basic sales & marketing copywriting e.g. “WIIFM” (“What’s In It For Me?”)
  • Basic marketing automation e.g. customer & prospect lists and email marketing
  • Basic marketing psychology e.g. upsells, scarcity, etc.
  • Basic human psychology e.g. testimonials & social proof
  • Basic management efficiency & optimization e.g. outsourcing

What does this mean for someone trying to make a go at succeeding with an online store – or any other internet business for that matter?

Simply this – if you want to give yourself the greatest likelihood of succeeding, you should:

— Consider whatever you’re doing from your prospective customer’s standpoint – what’s in it for them? If that isn’t immediately – and clearly – obvious, you should immediately re-think and re-do your product descriptions, pricing rationale, ad copy, etc., even your market or product selection.

— Start building a list, immediately. As in, now.

And not just of buyers, but prospects as well. Then use it to start building a relationship with the people on your list. Send out regular communications, but make sure they’re worth opening.

— Don’t squander the greatest selling moment we ever get: when someone already has their wallet out.

Make sure that when someone buys something, you have something to follow up with immediately, whether it’s an ‘upgrade’ upsell, an additional related “if you liked that, you might like this” product or offer, or a lower-cost (‘downsell’) option.

— Leverage the strongest motivating force in human nature: social proof. ASK people who bought from you for a testimonial. Don’t like asking for a testimonial? Ask for a review. Or ask for feedback.

If someone does business with you, and isn’t unhappy, you have the opportunity to radically improve your business just by making that fact visible to others.

— Focus on the things only you can do, and use others to do everything else.

Not outsourcing is akin to trying to build a house with only one or two tools; some of it will go well, the rest, probably not as well as it could or should.

If you get nothing else from this post, get this:

Without understanding and employing the basics of building & growing a business, we will at best be forever spinning our wheels, trying to make a lemon drive like a Cadillac.

The flip side is that we can forego almost everything else and still have a tremendously successful venture, just by building a solid foundation and attending to the basics!


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