Confession.... I'm not a good marketer.
There's one tool in (supposedly) every good marketer's tool box that I dont use and refrain from ever using. As a euphenism... some people call it "polarity".
It's a fact that marketers can easily connect with others by drawing a line-in-the-sand and saying, "Hey! These guys are the enemies! Do you agree? Are you with me!?"
And basic human psychology will show, more-often-than not, people yearn for identification. They want to feel like they know who they are... and who they aren't. And when marketers help them figure that out, there's an easy connection made.
In my humble opinion, its cheap marketing.
I'm all about positivity. I want to make the world happier, even if I'm not as effective as the other marketer next to me.
But each to their own.
Anyhow, want an example of this in the SEO industry?
Black hat SEO vs White hat SEO.
You know who really wins in this battle?
While SEOs are hyped up about being dead set on being purists about their hat colors... do you know which camp gets the best result?
The best result comes from combining the best tactics from both white hat and black hat.
I believe test results. Not hype. Not marketers. Data and data alone.
Believe tests. Believe data. Don't even believe my tests. Do your own.
Believe that and that alone.
Want to know the best piece of business advice I have ever received while running Ness Marketing? Of course, I’ve been told to use high-quality solo ads on more than one occasion 🙂
But that’s not it. This one doesn’t have much to do with actually ranking websites, building websites or growing brands. But it has everything to do with the execution required to do so.
Best business advice: Always do what you say you’re doing to do.
I’m talking about everything. Even the little things. Actually, ESPECIALLY, the little things.
– If you say to yourself that you’re going to build 10 PBNs by Wednesday, do it.
– If you’ve told your client that you’re going to rank a site in three months, then get it done.
– If you have a meeting at 2pm, get there at 1:30 to ensure you won’t be late.
– If you told your mom you’ll call her every month, call her.
The key is to assign time obligations to your action items and ALWAYS meet them, no matter what the cost. Even if you have to skip sleep to pull it off.
Overtime, you’ll find that your ability to get things done multiplies because you trust yourself completely and you have a track record of success. You’ll attract better business partners and opportunities because people know you’ll execute. Lastly, projects that might have seemed to be daunting before will become possible because you’ve committed yourself to a life centered around “keeping your word.”
The world will begin to learn that when you say you’ll do something, you’ll do the work to make that something happen. But eventually, things start to happen simply because you say them. That’s the power of intense focus and intention.
If you were to ask me what’s my best business tip, this is what it is. And it has everything to do with the level I’m at now and the level I’ll be at tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.
A whole lot of SEO problems could be diagnosed down to 1 thing.
Everyone’s seen this happen in the group:
“Hey guys, I’ve done absolutely EVERYTHING I can think of, but no matter how many links I add… my site won’t rank”
“Weird, right? How long has it been?”
Only for everyone to laugh at them for thinking they would rank in days or weeks.
SEO is an industry where you get to test your patience because it takes time to see results.
But business in general, including the SEO business, is the same.
In 2010 I made around Mjengo worker money. My day job paid me peanuts. I was a year shy of graduating from Uni.
In 2014, I comfortably cleared 6 figures consistently.
Pretty cool, right? All that change in a year?
Except, it’s really not all in a year. Same as overnight successes are never overnight.
I started trying to build a business in 2009.
And started building websites for fun, around 2 years prior to that in 2006 inside strathmore university labs.
Too many people enter this business wanting top rankings tomorrow, and 6 figure revenues the day after.
It doesn’t happen like that. It wont happen in any business.
If the thought of going into the negative for the next 12 months isn’t worth it to you, for you to come out the other side with a successful business… you’re not committed enough, and you may as well just quit now.
Relax. Keep at it. You’ll get there.
A little patience will go a long way.
Looking for SEO company in Kenyaa? Look no further. Check out the case studies of our digital marketing agency in Nairobi and apply to be one of our clients. We get you the results that’ll stick for ages.
Chase Jarvis, the photographer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of CreativeLive is famous for saying:
"The best camera is the one that's with you"
He literally wrote a book on it.
And he's got a point.
If you find a great shot, it doesn't matter if you don't have your DSLR with you... whip out your phone and capture it.
Thankfully even phones these days take great quality photos.
But the point is, it all comes down to that "perfectionist trap" we all find ourselves in.
I've consulted for a few guys who were doing an app. They talked big. We met Sam Gichuru of Kuhustle. Engaged developers for months. Still, these guys never purchased a domain, never purchased hosting...but we had meetings. Proposals. Coffee.
I call this the perfectionist trap.
"I WILL setup a business website for my company", says a beginner confidently.
Only to proceed to spend 3-4 weeks creating it, trying to "perfect" it.
If you have people visiting your website, it's a big deal.
But 90% of people would be far better served by throwing up a basic site in a few days, then moving onto actually marketing themselves.
Because that "perfect" site is useful without any visitors.
So how do you escape the perfectionist trap?
2. Ask yourself constantly, "Is this the right thing to be spending my time on?" Start investing efforts into marketing.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others at a different stage of the journey to you
And ultimately, understand what it is you need to do to get results.
Watched a great TV series recently. It is ongoing.
It's called "Black Sails".
It has been out for a few years. I never got to watch it. But I finally got round to seeing it.
All 3 previous seasons. A total 34 episodes 🙂
It's majorly about a guy, Captain Flint, a former navy officer and pirate ship captain, who many consider to be the greatest pirate ship captain in that world.
What's great about it is the love and passion he has for his work, and for achieving mastery.
Despite everything, captain Flint is always working an angle. In the deep seas with his brothers and on the mainland. The waves. The drama.
At the end of it, he escapes home to a noble woman. And the chains of his past loves.
To Flint, he's working for the freedom of Nassau... and being a pirate ship captain is a way of life to him. Not just a job.
That's inspiring to me.
Working until the day you die, not because you have to, just out of pure love for what you do.
Will that be digital marketing strategy? Will that be SEO? Will it be affiliate marketing?
Who knows, it's a long time away (hopefully), but here's the point...
If you fall in love with the process.
You obsess over mastering it.
And you repeat it, every day, for years...
You'll obviously become great at it.
Especially when you run a digital marketing agency or a best infrared heater company.
But too many people have no interest in that.
They want to see the world and work only 30 minutes a day.
To have and build "passive income" that lets them slack all day. Wasting away.
And hey, if that's your thing, I get it.
But honestly, I don't know anyone doing well that didn't put in the hours, didn't run into repeated "roadblocks" holding them back, and didn't have huge struggles at some point.
So here's my advice:
Find a part of it you love - by doing everything, especially the parts you hate.
Outsource the rest.
Focus on mastering your "thing", and keep making small gradual improvements while repeating it over a long time.
You can just try it for a month, get bored, move onto the next item... and repeat, all while wondering why nothing is working.
We have mastered them. We obsess over them. And that's what we sell.
Ready to take your digital marketing to the next level?
Have a fruitful marketing week.
Had a not so great tiff with two new clients I was on-boarding yesterday afternoon.
The topic was what type of websites I got them on. Guest post opportunities.
They suddenly became the experts and were schooling me on each of the spots their budget could get.
In my expert opinion, I did more than their $200 could afford and deserved a pat 🙂
In my dreams I guess.
Instead, we have reached a decision and fired them to create room for new clients who identify with our values.
This brings me to a different business case.
I chat with this buddy of mine over coffee. He is a performance marketer named Billy.
Now Billy doesn't beat around the bush. Him, me and any expert digital marketer obsesses over processes.
The topic of discussion was marketing ROI. Specifically, we discussed SEO clients. The things that hold their businesses back from experience.
But one of the interesting things he said was:
"Most people overthink things."
I couldn't agree more.
Rather than seek budgets to build read buy more links, or add more content to their websites or pay for more landing pages to take care of their offers, they're obsessing over the perfect keyword density someone used.
To designers, this statement; "Make the logo bigger".
Sounds familiar right?
In SEO, it is different.
They are obsessing over Spyfu, Majestic, or what any of these commercial SAAS products have to say. Not real power or the results they can get. Or the PROCESS.
That's not to say that these things are not important. You can definitely over-optimize or under-optimize them.
But if you hire decent writers and focus on creating great content, or an expert SEO who has seen 100s of scenarios and success stories, you'll do fine.
Back to the topic. It's extremely easy to overanalyze everything especially when you're clueless.
Its not a virtue. It slows you down. Affects your prospects. If you had tried to sign up with us, we fire you on the spot.
I call it "overthinkitus".
Which WP theme is best?
Is this 20 dollar link you bought for us enough? Is this powerful enough? Are there better cheaper links. I know of Fivver? Do you know the Fivver founder? He is a baddass you know. I read an article on Inc. Man, that website is so authoritative yada yada. And GSA? It is a gem...smh.
From an experts' point of view. His SEO budget afforded him PR on INC.com dumbass 🙂 And GSA can kill you. It might also be good depending.
Politely speaking, STFU.
You put up capital. It affords you something. Ask the expert in explicit terms what it affords you.
Get that or keep your day job.
Either way, get the ball rolling. And build up the momentum. Get your phones ringing.
Keep your sales people and assistants busy with leads.
Create a business strategy. Hire the right people. Identify more talent.
Stop thinking about Majestic and Spyfu or what a Page 6 article or another basement dweller on Facebook says.
If you're on this page you need help.
Act like it. Accept it.
Experts get you there faster.
Should you add posts or pages?
What is the ideal keyword density?
It's all overthinking, rather than just doing and scaling your growth.
Pick a theme, any is fine. Minimalist will load faster.
Get decent links. If you can afford it, buy placements on Forbes.
But get the ball going.
Posts, some links, or pages don't make a difference.
And there's no "ideal keyword density", Trust level, or "AUTHORITY." They all vary. Just try to be natural and get what it takes to get your first sales.
And that's why if you don't have time to do it...you go to an expert to move you from 0-100 in no time.
That's food for thought.
As for what you should be thinking about...
Building your business at scale.
Your business needs real results. A presence. More sales. More profits.
We are experts when it comes to digital marketing. But we have a very clear caveat.
Come to us only if you NEED help.
If you're an expert, we partner with agencies- content, links, design, etc. Enquire about that.
But for our ideal client; we want only people obsessed about growing their sales and business revenue.
The ideal client MUST have proper resources and budgets needed to get them to the next level of growth.
If you want real partners who don't BS about how chilly the morning is, or how awesome you are, or how majestic works its index on Sunday or how salesforce is better than Market Hero, get in touch.
We know what works.
If not, BYE.
But if you want performance driven digital marketing, GET IN TOUCH.
Contact us here.
You have drafted your business plan, polished your product or services and are raring to go. What next?
Caution! Competition is real and cutthroat, are you ready?
Small businesses especially Startups in Kenya and the world over are faced with shoestring budgets and a myriad of other challenges. The statistics in Kenya indicate that up to 70% of small businesses don’t get to see their 3rd anniversary. An even more alarming percentage don’t see the end of their first year. There are so many registered businesses at Sheria house but most exist as mere names. How do you escape the jaws of death?
Here comes the shocker. To be a successful small business you need to spend up to 10% of your total revenue on Marketing. Yes, you read that right, 10% of your revenue on Marketing efforts. This is the average amount most successful businesses spend but it is divided amongst various forms of Marketing as discussed ahead. Think about it, almost all your favorite brands or services are successful due to their marketing spend. They managed to convince you didn’t they? and some of them have your undivided loyalty. Wouldn’t you want to achieve the same with your business? Established firms spend a lot more for instance Reckitt spend around 1.7 billion shillings while Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom Kenya (Orange) collective spend between Sh7-9 billion shillings every year. Successful Small and Medium enterprises do the same albeit correlating the spend with their income.
What is Marketing? Why should you spend on it?
What is Marketing?
Marketing is what drives business. Wikipedia defines it as the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling it. It is a critical business function for attracting customers. Marketing includes:
· Market research
· Media planning
· Public relations
· Product pricing
· Customer support
· Sales Strategy and
· Community Involvement
Most people easily confuse Marketing and Advertising. However Advertising is only a component of Marketing, the most important and expensive one at that. Advertising is defined by the English lexicon as paid communication brought to audiences through different forms of media. The sole purpose is to inform, persuade, manipulate (I love this one) or remind its target market of its products & services. The common desired result is to drive consumer behavior that induce sale.
Why is Marketing important?
Marketing is important for three main reasons
· To attract new customers
· Increase the average customer spend
· Maintain customer loyalty
How do you develop your Marketing Plan?
These are pointers to what you should consider before determining your marketing path. There are many avenues out there and without proper consideration you may throw away good money just to wink in the dark.
1). Understand your market & competition: You have to thoroughly understand the market you wish to venture in and be an expert. Keep a constant eye on competitor activity. If possible be a step ahead.
2). Understand your customer: Proper knowledge of the target market will put you above the rest. This involves studying their habits especially ones that are somehow related to your product. Solve the challenges they face when dealing with competing products.
3). Pick a niche: Start with one product or service before adding more. It is better to be an expert of something than nothing. If you have various products pick one to push at a time. The product can be used as a launching pad of the rest.
4). Develop your Marketing message: Communicate and emphasize something that makes you unique, stand out from your competitors. It could be your competitors or overall industry weakness.
5). Determine your Marketing medium: After understanding your customer you need to determine the medium they consume, where & when. See part 2 for details: Factors to consider when choosing Advertising Medium
6). Develop your Marketing Budget: Pick the medium with the best exposure, maximum conversion rate and at the best price.
Factors to consider when choosing Advertising Medium
This is the budget your small business marketing department wishes to spend. This can be calculated by asking yourself, how much you are willing to spend per new customer? It is important to consider the amount the average customer spends on your product or services at a given time then multiply that with the years this person will be a customer. Not to mention the plenty of referral if He/ She is satisfied.
2) Your Product / Service
A high end product should be presented in high end, elitist media with prime slots. This will position the brand and achieve desired effect. The marketing campaign must be sophisticated.
3) Target Market
To reach your target audience one must do a research to ascertain their behavior, where they hang out, what they watch, read, listen to and who their peers are. If you intend to sell energy drink to the youth. You need to know where they hang or take their drinks and thus ensure your product will be available there with the right communication. If it is targeted to certain geographical locations, consider using local media i.e. vernacular FM stations.
It is important to determine the number of people your medium of choice will reach. If it is print, the circulation figures including the intricacies like the most popular days of the week if it is a Daily Newspaper. If it’s Radio; the number of listeners of a specific show and the demographics. Same applies to TV.
There are various Advertising mediums available to your small business.
Depending on the advertising budget prescribed on your marketing plan you may use a combination of the medium below:
Above The Line
· TV Ads
· Radio Ads
· Newspaper / Magazine Ads
Below The Line
· Notice boards
· Car Branding
· Brochure / Fliers
· Social Media
· Display Ads
· Email Advertising
All this medium should be used systematically. Your message should run over a period of time to ensure you get your market share and maintain it. The message should also be somewhat consistent. It can be tweaked but there has to be a common denominator. Above The Line media demand a lot of marketing spend whereas as Social Media is one of the most affordable.
In Kenya we have the privilege of having several Agencies, which specialize, on various forms of Marketing as stated above, Ness Marketing is one of them. When selecting the agency, you can scrutinize their Case Studies (See ours here) / Portfolio to gauge them against competitors. Also ensure you get value for your money in terms of actual conversions. Feel free to pay us a visit or contact us for any enquiries on Advertising in particular or Marketing as a whole.
Time to either get back to work, or for anyone like us, continue like any other day of the week.
Thankfully, these days I'm in a position where I love my work.
(Mostly, of course)
It wasn't always that way.
And being completely honest, there's still work work that sucks.
But for the most part, I enjoy it.
That comes down to outsourcing.
Find it boring to setup and manage PBNs?
Don't like writing all the content for your (or your clients) sites?
Bored of doing extremely simple onpage fixes?
These are all things I've successfully outsourced, so I don't waste a minute on them.
All I need to do is check things, and even that, I've got someone hired for.
That's the benefit of this business. It's super easy to do this.
And why I love Mondays and Tuesdays (they're all back to work days).
But the first part is simplifying things.
Creating a simple process, a "system", for managing your PBNs.
Getting your supply chain properly done. Ensuring that you have a proper digital marketing plan to get you customers.
It is all about systems for us here at Ness Marketing.
That's how we do marketing- from ads, to social, to websites and website design.
That'll be a good start.
We are on boarding a few local businesses into our digital marketing clients slots this week.
You could be one if you take some action.
Send me a message here.