2022 was a big year for a lot of people. So for the last episode of 2022 we are looking back on the year in the franchising industry and at Ask...
At Ask April Porter our business is built on filling the gaps in the franchising industry. Joining me this week is a very special guest, the Director of Marketing for Ask April Porter, Lauren Seiler.
Lauren constantly has her finger on the "marketing button". She devotes a lot of time keeping up with the latest marketing trends by reading articles, listening to podcasts, testing strategies she has heard, the list goes on.
During our conversation, Lauren shares the 3 marketing gaps franchisees and small business owners need to avoid not only in 2023, but in every year going forward.
You can work with Lauren and April in the MegaProfit Marketing Academy. Learn more here:
For more business tips and strategies, join the Franchisees Focused on Infinite Success Facebook Group (and watch the Infinite Franchisee Show LIVE every Wednesday at 12:00 pm CST): www.facebook.com/groups/ifzcommunity
Prefer to read what we talked about in the episode? Read below!
April Porter: On this week's episode of the Infinite Franchisee show we have a special guest, our very own marketing director Lauren Seiler from Ask April Porter. Hey Lauren!
Lauren Seiler: Hey! Thanks for having me. It's been long overdue.
April: Of course, I mean, really, I have you every single day, I guess you can get behind the microphone,here in the background, making things work. But we're gonna show you off to the whole world today, as we talk marketing for 2023. And marketing, I think is one of the areas of business that most small business owners really kind of fall into one of two categories, either, they admittedly don't know a whole lot about marketing, or kind of just, you know, doing the best they can maybe we always talk about it as like, throwing spaghetti on the wall, right? Like, they don't know what to do. So they're going to try this, and they're going to try that and just see what works, what sticks. Of course, that's a very easy way to run through a lot of your capital, without getting much in return. So that's one category. The other category of business owner are people that maybe are more creative, they love doing marketing, because they find it to be fun, and so they, but maybe they don't quite understand marketing. So the other type of business owner is one who is maybe kind of creative, they really enjoy that, you know, designing a flyer and the graphic design or posting on social media really comfortable with it, but they don't necessarily understand the strategy behind it. And so even though it's fun, and they're comfortable doing it, they may not be getting the effective results that they would want, and they may not even be able to identify that their results are ineffective. Of course, you always have the third small business owner who has a background in marketing, or is very well versed in marketing, and they're killing it, right? That's the top 1% that everybody else in the franchise is like, “What are you doing? How are you doing this?”, and they're looking for that magic pill, or little trick that has made that particular business owner skyrocket to the top. But there really isn't a magic pill, you have to get better versed, you have to become more intelligent when it comes to marketing strategy, if you really want to get great results and a high ROI. And that's what we're going to talk to Lauren about. So Lauren, I know that you have your eye on the prize all the time and are constantly doing research. Can we talk about that? To start just like, as someone whose full time job is focused on marketing? How much time do you actually spend doing research versus execution?
Lauren: Definitely research way more than execution. I really don't know, percentage wise, but even whatever, I'm just scrolling on social media, I'm constantly looking for different ideas, or what is, what are the trends that people are starting to post more and more about, or whatever the case is. So it's constantly just learning and keeping your eyes open for it. But definitely more recently coming into the new year, where I mean, social media is like a whole different game right now in general, but even not as even not as much as social media, but just even how you write an email that's changing for 2023. And how are you going to be putting out your digital ads? That's going to be changing for 2023. So everything in marketing is gonna be changing next year.
April: Yeah, well, and and you don't just like, I mean, you have a different eye for those changes than the average person. I mean, you notice things that I would never notice, as you scroll through the different platforms. I mean, some of the platforms. I don't even scroll through, Lauren’s my eyes on that platform, to be quite honest. But also, I mean, you read articles, you listen to podcasts, you spend time learning from other people in your industry in your field, as to everything that's going on and that's coming down the pipeline, too.
Lauren: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think mainly just because it interests me, and it's just that, like you were saying like that business owner number three, it just comes natural to them. It just comes natural. It's interesting. It's what's going to end up driving me that's why I'm the Marketing Director for you.
April: Right. And we know that most of our clients, most of our small business clients, I mean, let's be honest, like most small business owners, a lot our our clients are managing their time better than many out there because that's one of the things that we work on with them so that they can focus more time on growth strategies versus just execution strategies, but they don't have time to be listening to podcasts and reading articles and doing all of this marketing research on top of the marketing execution and the marketing strategy they're doing with their agencies or their marketing people. Like they have to be able to focus on other aspects of their business versus podcasts. That's why I think it's so amazing to work with a true marketing professional, who understands that you have to keep up on that stuff every single day, because the changes are coming so fast.
Lauren: Yeah, definitely. And all the different changes that is not only just one change this week, it's like five changes across the board in a week. And then they're all going to change again next week. So yeah, definitely keeping up on that stuff, too. But also, like you said, finding someone that you trust to actually either work for you or get your information from, that's the key right there is finding someone that you trust.
April: Yeah. Okay, so I know you've, you've been looking to 2023 and getting us all prepared for the differences that are coming in 2023? Can you share your top three things that these small businesses owners out there need to be aware of, or that are going to impact the effectiveness of their marketing in the biggest ways as we move into the new year?
Lauren: Yeah. So first off, the first thing is that there are these changes that we're talking about already, they're coming. And it's not just going to be in the social media world, it's going to be in your copywriting, your email funnels, your digital ads, all that type of stuff. So that's number one.
Number two, I would say the biggest thing is the gap of how to strategically plan out your marketing for the year and actually doing it in advance also.
And then number three, I would say is confidence. It comes down to the confidence of the business owner, not only just from like, “Oh, I don't feel comfortable recording a video to post on social media”, or “I know my writing isn't good enough to write this email out to people, it's not gonna be worth anything”. It's just just the confidence and even knowing who to work with or who to trust, like we just talked about.
April: Okay, cool. Let's talk about it. So okay, so number one, we have some changes coming? What are those going to look like?
Lauren: It's going to look different across the board. From more, you're gonna be seeing more chat bots, to you're going to be getting more emails to, you're going to be getting less of those, like, are you sure you want to subscribe emails where you subscribe to someone's the double opt in where you subscribe to like someone newsletter, and you're not going to get that email coming back saying like, hey, just to make sure you want to subscribe, click here. We're going to be seeing less of those throughout next year. To social media where Twitter's talking about having a subscription plan on their platform, Pinterest is making a really big comeback. Facebook and Instagram are just trying to stay relevant. So they're going to be trying anything and everything basically clawing at the walls to see what works, you know, throwing that spaghetti at the walls to even just more AR technology going to be coming to play across the board on websites and social media, all the things. So there's a lot.
April: Okay, so of those things, what are a couple that a small business owner could right now - what what could you educate a small business owner right now so that they can be aware of the change and make an adjustment to adapt to the change for next year?
Lauren: Yeah, I would say that, regardless of the changes, the main key to, I guess, make sure that you stay afloat through all the changes would just be staying consistent, stay consistent, and sending out emails, stay consistent showing up on social media. Just stay consistent. Sharing your story and talking about your brand out there to the general public. This consistency is a game changer across the board.
April: Okay, so rather than dabbling and saying, “Okay, this week, I'm going to focus on social media and I'm going to do a post every day. But oops, I haven't sent out any emails, okay, well, I'm gonna do an email next week, but because I'm focusing on email, I don't have time now to make sure I'm posting. But I think that I need to, like, do posting and emails and I need to do some text too.” So it's kind of that same thing that we, I mean, it's not a new concept. It's like when you spread yourself too thin, you do everything half assed, right? And pardon my french, but that's what happens. And so maybe picking a couple of areas, and really doing it well is more important and consistently, than trying to do everything.
Lauren: Yeah, yeah, definitely. It's very comparable to working out in the gym, you know, where it's like, Hey, I'm gonna like hit the gym hard, but I'm gonna do all these things and work out for two hours a day and all the stuff I'm gonna eat right and drink all my water. It's like, just pick out what you can do, what you can be consistent with, and you'll start seeing the results.
April: Okay, awesome. So then number two, the the second big thing coming in 2023, remind me of what that was -
Lauren: Yeah, how to strategically plan out your marketing ahead of time. Okay, just being ahead of time. The key is ahead of time.
April: So we're taking a page out of number one where we need to focus our efforts and be consistent. And then we add that into number two, planning it out in advance, and be strategic. Where do you see people struggling with that?
Lauren: The first thing that comes to mind is just the simple marketing booth that you would have at a 5k or something. People are like, yeah, it's gonna be great, I'm gonna have my pins that they can take, and then I'm gonna have my brochure that they can take, most of the time, they take their stuff, and they walk away, and then you really don't have anything, right? So you have to think strategically, okay, how can I get the information from them? It's just little things like that on how do you actually think strategically, in order to get what you want to make sure that you get an ROI on your marketing efforts, instead of just hoping that it works, right? Hope isn't a strategy. So right.
April: We see that all the time! Okay, so with number two, what I hear you saying is that most small business owners are kind of flying by the seat of their pants, rather than creating a strategy. And we see this over and over again. In fact, now we have and if you've tuned in to our episode, last week, you'll hear about our two year update, Ask April Porter just turned two years old, and we have accomplished quite a bit in the two years as far as different products and services that we have developed in order to fill different gaps in the franchising world and the small business world. And with that, we noticed this exact thing as a gap, which was small business owners, not quite really understanding how to build a strategy around their marketing, and instead, flying by the seat of their pants, and just trying to like, “Oh, my gosh, I see that they're having a 5k this weekend, or two weeks from now. All right, I'll get a booth at that. And I'll show up”. And it's like, rushed. It's not planned. There's not a strategy, not just for how to conduct the booth itself, but there's not necessarily a strategy for “Wait a second, what did I do last week for marketing? And how is that going to tie into holding this booth? How am I going to get the people that I've already connected with, to come to the booth and meet me in person? And when I have the people approaching me at the booth? How am I going to capture them and get them on my email list or get them to make an appointment with me so that I can touch them again after the booth and continue to work them through my pipeline”. And that's really what we're talking about when we talk about marketing strategy. It's not about just what marketing effort are you going to do on which day and have a plan for all of your marketing campaigns or efforts for the next three months. That's a marketing plan. When you have your account or a marketing calendar, when you have everything calendared out. The strategy comes into place with how do those things connect? How do the dots connect so that it pushes people through your pipeline and, and it increases the chances that every person you're coming into contact with are ultimately going to end up in a sales conversation with you.
Lauren: Right, and not only pushing them through the pipeline, but also shrinking that pipeline eventually, from, you've already pushed through the pipeline.
April: Exactly, exactly. Because we've been talking the stats right now, it takes 18 to 24 touches for someone to go from a stranger not knowing anything about your business to purchasing from you. So that means that you need to have some type of connection with them. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean you know, a face to face connection or a conversation. It's not 18 to 24 conversations. It's 18 to 24 touches. And when we talk about touches in the marketing world, we're talking about opportunities for them to interact with your brand in one way shape, or form, whether it's seeing your logo, or whether it's taking action on something that's related to your business or having an in person conversation. But one of those things needs to happen 18 to 24 times on average for them to purchase from you. And so like Lauren said, the goal isn't just to navigate those 18 to 24 touches but to shrink that down so that if you use the right strategies instead of it taking 18 to 24 it might do 7 to 11 like it was when we very first started out in 2014, it was seven touches. And back then no digital platform offered paid ads. Now think about that. So there's less opportunity to get in front of people but yet, it only took seven touches. And part of that is because now our audiences are so saturated with advertisements, and they're being inundated and hit in the face by solicitations that they're numb to it. So it takes - you have to be savvy or you have to be more educated, you have to be more strategic, if you want to break through the noise that your audience is hearing. And you want to be a standout where they will see you, they will know you, like you trust you and take action with you. And that's where that strategy comes into play. That's why we created the MegaProfit Marketing Academy, is not because you all need more marketing tactics, it's because you need to understand behind the scenes, how to create a marketing strategy, and how those different things connect and how to get them to connect in order to shrink the funnel and to make it more effective. So if you haven't checked out that Marketing Academy yet, definitely jump onto our website at AskAprilPorter.com, under services, you're going to find the MegaProfit Marketing Academy. It's extremely reasonable, it's $99 a month and gives you a library to all of the strategic trainings. Plus you get to meet with Lauren and our team at least once a month to work through your actual marketing strategies. So the little plug there because we got the solution to this problem to number one and to really, but let's talk about number three. Now that you mentioned, the third reason why small business owners struggle so much with really creating a high ROI and effective marketing strategy and plan. You said it's due to competence.
Lauren: Yeah, across the board. And what I mean by that is more so like, like I said before, like maybe they're not confident recording the video, and maybe they're not confident in their writing skills. But it also even comes down to just marketing is a friction task for a lot of different people. Because it isn't, the majority of them are not in that third category, like you said, where it just comes naturally to them. It's a friction test, they don't like it, everything they try doesn't work, it seems like so then the first time that someone walks into their office or calls them up on the phone, like hey, we do marketing, and we want to help you out with it, they're like, yes, please take it, you know, but even if they they're not gonna be the best fit for them. So well.
April: And it's difficult. It's difficult to properly vet someone to help you execute a topic or a subject matter that you feel inadequate in your own knowledge of, like, how do you judge if this person is an expert If you don't know enough to ask the right questions and to judge their answers, right?
Lauren: Right. Or they can even get the good results for you.
Lauren: Results, you know.
April: Right. And there is a huge range, let's just be really honest, there is a huge section of the marketing industry that probably doesn't know any more than you do as a small business owner. Marketing, especially creating your marketing agency or becoming a social media manager, or these different titles that you see where people own their own businesses, and they're like, I can help you post in these things. Remember, all it takes is creating base, a social media page, I mean, a lot of these, you don't even need a website any longer, you can just do a Facebook page and an Instagram page. And say, I'm a social media manager, and put it out there, go to local Chamber of Commerce meetings, and say, “Yeah, I'll manage your social media for X dollar X number of dollars a month”. And you might like the person and you hire him to your social media, but they don't necessarily know how to do a marketing strategy. They aren't even necessarily - they don't love it as much as Lauren does, maybe, and they're not listening to the podcast, they're not going to conferences, they're not signing up for the seminars, to learn about what's coming down the road and how to adapt to it and optimize your social media. They're literally just doing what they think is fun. And it's like getting the results that you want. And then of course, you get burned. And we've heard that time and time and time again from our clients that you know, I put all this money into this marketing agency, and I'm not getting any leads. I don't feel like I'm getting the results I should be getting. And then I asked “Well, what results are you getting?” And they don't know because a lot of people don't understand how to even measure the results of marketing. And the way that people are measuring it is they're using the vernacular and the metrics that the agency tells them. So it's like, you know, it's like the self fulfilling prophecy where the agency's like, “We're doing a good job here, lead will tell you, it's this much cost per click, and it's this much cost per lead”. And that's really good. And if you're social, or if you're a small business owner, who doesn't know how to measure it against the industry standard or against what should happen with the strategy, you have to take their word for it, and you're like, “Oh, that's good? Okay, great”. Meanwhile, you're putting out a bunch of money, you're blowing through your capital, and you're not raising your revenues, because you're not truly getting a good ROI on the efforts.So getting your own competence up is essential, so that you can vet the people who are, who you're hiring to execute your marketing, and so that you can also create consistent predictable pathway to the results that you want.
Lauren: Yeah, well, 100%, everything that you said. Couldn't have said it better myself.
April: Well, that's why we make such a good team.
April: All right. So things to watch out for in 2023 include changes coming across every area of marketing, email, social media, copywriting, funnel building, digital ads, all of that is going to be changing. And let me ask you another question, Lauren.
Now, because you do all this research, and I know we have listeners out there saying like, “Okay, yes, I hear what you're saying. But I still don't have any more hours in the day to do any of this”. Alright. So, in the MegaProfit Marketing Academy, well, our listeners and those that become members of the academy, will they be able to get these updates from you on a regular basis?
Lauren: Oh, yeah. I mean, even just being in the Facebook group on top of it, it'd be like anytime that there's some type of update major, all those go live in there, you know, but if it isn't super major, there's a bunch of little minor things, weekly emails and our monthly meetings, for sure. And then updates on the portal are coming.
April: Right. So that is - that's why we designed it, guys, because we saw that there's this gap where you need this information, but you need it to be simple, easily digestible, and you need it to be user friendly, so that you can actually take it and implement it in your businesses, to increase your revenues. And to honestly increase your time, nobody got time for this, you got to do more, working smarter, not harder. So do more in less time. And that's what we're here to help you do with that Academy. So thank you so much for joining us today. Lauren. You know, I love you and think you do a fantastic job. And if you haven't yet, please subscribe to this podcast and leave us a review. But also, go check us out on social media, because Lauren is responsible for a lot of what you see there. I've just done the I'm just the person in front of the camera, and she just tells me what to do. So -
Lauren: Our actress.
April: The actress. She's the director, and the creative team and all of the other things. So yeah, if you see us out there, give us a shout on social media. Give us a comment. We'd love to talk to you there and see what you are inspired to do based on how you have been developing your marketing strategy and plan. So, okay. This is gonna kick off 2023 and help you guys maximize your visibility and your impact this year. Can't wait to see it.
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