This marketing strategy will destroy you

What’s the most common marketing strategy among small business owners?

Before I flick back the feather boa and reveal the answer, let’s take a look at the small business wilderness. 

Hope marketing will kill your business. You need direct response marketing instead,

Follow me as we venture onto Facebook and orbit the circle-jerk of “like ladders” and “engagement strategies”.

Go into almost any business group on the book of faces and you’ll inevitably find a muppet with virtual pompoms jumping up and down and shouting “let’s all share our business pages in this post and like each other!”

Never mind that there’s no reason to do so and most of those other people aren’t even a tiny bit interested in what you’re offering.

Now let’s leave the world of business and watch the business owners on their personal pages as they ask inane questions like:

Pepsi or Coke? Which side of the pillow? Do you leave your bedroom door open or not?

These questions all appear over and over again on different people’s newsfeeds, with a pretty coloured background — and they’re from a cheat sheet given away by a bunch of online coaches. A whole bunch of business owners all doing the same thing… but they don’t all have the same audience, or the same personality, or — of course — the same products and services.

Who cares if someone prefers Coke over Pepsi? It’s not telling you anything about what your customers get worked up about, and what they might think of you and your brand.

It’s a whole lot of Who Cares.

It’s people putting out content with no thought behind it, and desperately circle-jerk-liking other business Facebook pages, in the hope someone will buy from them sometime eventually.

But let’s step away from social media for a moment and go outside. I know, I know — steady on.

Let’s go to the kind of soul-sucking local networking meeting *coughbnicough* where you’re only allowed to have one of each business type and everyone’s eyes glaze over while they wait for you to stop desperately pitching so they can desperately pitch you themselves.

It’s full of people ramping up on coffee and hoping someone in the room will buy from them sometime eventually.

It’s a whole lot of noise and poverty-mindset nonsense.

Now let’s get back to the less tangible world of advertising and look at the marketing that’s going on out there: content for the sake of content. Meaningless chit-chat. “Clever” adverts with no reason to respond. Beautifully designed HTML emails nobody wants to read.

Advertising to “raise awareness” in the hope that someone will buy from them sometime eventually.

Back to that common marketing strategy most small business owners rely on — do you know what it is yet?

It’s called Hope Marketing.

Put stuff out there and hope someone buys from you.

You are not Coca-Cola or Starbucks or Kellogg’s. You cannot afford to spend money on advertising and marketing you hope will work. You can’t afford to “raise awareness” of your business and splash money on lots of white space with your company name and logo all over it.

Nobody cares.

You’re a small business and every penny you spend on marketing must increase your profits, or it’s wasted.

Most marketing is a bloody stupid waste of time and money.

I do not want you to waste your time and money. I want you to get results from your marketing.

Hope Marketing ain’t gonna get it done, grasshopper.

What you need is direct response marketing. Marketing that asks for action. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow, but for now consider this:

Advertising and marketing is salesmanship in print.

Your marketing has to do the job of a master salesman, only on a larger scale.

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About the Author

Vicky Fraser

Please do share any articles from this site in part or in full — as long as you leave all links intact, give credit to the author, and include a link to this website and the following bio. Vicky is a gin-quaffing, pole-dancing, trapeze-swinging copywriter who writes about the perils and joys of writing, velociraptor training, and running a small business. She writes this stuff on her websites and She’s the author of one book (with two more in utero) and teaches small business owners how to write copy that sells, and how to be more fecking interesting. You can follow her on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

PS Tomorrow I’ll share one of the biggest mistakes most people make when they’re writing (or filming or recording) any piece of marketing… and I’ll have a free gift for you too.


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