I have recently become fascinated with the possibilities of digital marketing. As a result, I’ve spent a good bit of time researching the different methods and applications available for small business owners to efficiently and effectively market their products on the web. One of these methods is the podcast, which allows businesses (with a relatively small up-front investment) to have a pipeline to broadcast their knowledge directly to their target audience.
Podcasts are also a great tool for the casual observer (like home inspectors), as it allows us an easy (and free) method to enhance our knowledge and gain insight into many different areas that can benefit us in our lives and our businesses. And the best part is that we can do it while riding in our car each day, on the way to and from work! Now, my intent is not to make this a blog about the benefits of podcasting (which we will certainly explore in future posts), but rather to expound on a recent podcast episode that I encountered.
One of the podcasts that I’ve listened to is called Digital Marketing Radio, and the host, David Bain, interviews the movers and shakers in the digital marketing realm. In one of his podcasts he interviewed Andrew McCauley, entrepreneur and co-founder of the website autopilotyourbusiness.com. Their discussion centered on how small businesses often struggle getting started in digital marketing. The central point of Andrew’s explanation was that when you’re just starting out, the multitude of options available to a small business owner often proves to be overwhelming.
He goes on to say that whenever we’re trying to branch out into something new, like adding some type of digital marketing to our business, the sheer volume of options can prove to be an obstacle to our success. So often in our quest to make sure we’re doing the right thing, we spend our valuable time trying to learn how to do everything. We end up getting so overwhelmed by the number of different options available to us, and as a result, end up doing nothing.
He compared it to trying to catch goats, using the example that if you try to chase three goats, it’s likely that you’ll end up with none. Try to catch only one of the goats, and at least you’ll have some measure of success.
Through this example, he’s trying to tell us to pick one thing and get started on it. Don’t try to be a part of every different type of digital market available. You can’t jump right in and be good at Facebook exchange, Google pay-per-click, Instagram stories, run a TikTok and YouTube channel and LinkedIn ads campaign. There’s simply not enough time in the day.
If we try to do everything, we end up doing nothing. Version one is better than version none. Pick one thing to try, give it a shot, see how it works, and make changes as needed.
Obviously, this is excellent advice for building your presence in the digital realm. It can also be applied directly to our inspection business. Too many times, new inspectors try to offer every service under the sun. In an (understandable) attempt to become immediately profitable, we often fall prey to every marketer promising boundless income if we will just add their service to our inspection offerings. Whether it’s thermal imaging, mold testing, air quality testing, video pipe inspections or any of the other ancillary inspection service “certifications” marketed to home inspectors, we often fall prey to every “can’t miss” new business offer.
While no one can be blamed for wanting to expand their offerings or increase their income, we certainly need to guard against looking like “a jack of all trades and master of none.”
Andrew’s advice regarding digital marketing certainly is applicable in our situation: pick one thing that we would like to master and become an expert in that area. If we become the “go to” authority in one particular area, people will be drawn to us for our knowledge, and we will start to gain their trust.
And the importance of trust in the world of small business cannot be overstated.
We’ll end with a quote from Albert Einstein, who said “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”
When we start out by nurturing our business relationships, cultivating the trust of our clients by becoming their go-to authority in one specific area, that earned trust will soon expand to all areas.
And then we’ll have a successful business.
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