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Making the Simple Complex

Simplifying things is always better than making them complicated. Right?

I’m a serial simplifier. I adopt the big, bold slogan as fact the moment the words leave my mouth for the first time. But even I realize that some things just aren’t simple and should never be simplified.

Your marketing is one of those things.

Marketing your agency typically takes too much time, too much effort and too much money, and has too little return. As each year passes and new technologies come out, this painful dynamic doesn’t get better — it gets worse. The purveyors of many of these tools promise that using their product is just like riding a bike; you’ll be off and running in no time. The truth is that you’ll be paying them their monthly fee in no time, and 12 months later you’ll look back and realize that you never got around to using the majority of the features that made you buy the tool in the first place. Because you never learned how to. Because it was too complicated.

In recent months I’ve had conversations with a number of agencies who have tried very hard over the years to create the right lead development systems for their firms, and in each case they almost got there. They were doing many things exactly right, but also had some others dead wrong. The problem was, they weren’t sure which was which.

In my conversations I saw that these people were frustrated, they were marketing-poor, and incredibly skeptical. Yet, they still needed to market themselves. I have a question I like to ask people in this mindset:

Are you ready to resign yourself to the fact that it’s simply impossible for your firm to be effectively marketed?

That’s a big, sobering question that leaves no place to hide. If the answer is yes, it is time to shut the firm down today. Fortunately, for most agencies that have survived the tumult of the past decade, the answer is rarely yes. For most of you, it is possible to successfully market your firm, but it’s not simple. Regardless of what talent you have in house, you cannot do it on your own. Marketing your clients is a fundamentally different act than marketing yourself.

The problem with the way agencies market themselves is that they tend to either innocently misunderstand or subconsciously oversimplify the modern digital marketing landscape. Spending an hour or two here and there will lead you to a simplified solution that will continue to waste your money and time.

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