Quit asking me what tools you should use


Posted on July 6, 2017 in Business, Small Business Thursday

It’s time for a truth bomb.

When you hear about someone having success with online marketing, you need to stop asking “what tools did you use for that?”

I hear this question time and time and time again.

“What’s your marketing stack?”

“Who do you use for email marketing?”

“What 3 tactics did you use to get those SEO results for your client?”

These questions are work light. They’re amateur.

They are looking for a silver bullet quick fix to growth rather than getting your head down and doing the work required to see real growth.

People look at my company from the outside and see a business doing well.

It sends great projects to the agencies and consultants on the platform.

It’s growing.

It’s starting to accomplish what I wanted it to accomplish – helping businesses find the right agency or consultant to work with to grow their business.

But most of the time when someone asks me about my business, whether someone in the marketing world or a regular business person, they ask me something like:

What tools do you use for [channel]? I’ve been trying to decide between X and Y.

Then I ask them what their business is, and they go:

Oh, I don’t have a business yet.

😐

Wait what?

Other conversations go something like:

Oh that’s great that your business has done better. What are the top 3 tactics you’ve used to do it?

Once again, I facepalm.

Business is not about tactics or tools

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to do better.

Starting and running a business is about three things:

  1. Taking action
  2. Making decisive decisions to fix things that are broken
  3. Perseverance

That’s it.

All the tactics and tools in the world will not make your business successful.

Sure, you can take inspiration from them and you should indeed seek to learn from people who have been somewhat successful in building a business. If a channel worked for them to drive traffic, you should as well see if that channel could work for you.

But if you don’t have a business, don’t get caught up in the tiny details that even with an established business would move the needle by .01%.

When you’re starting, you need the strategies that will take you from 1 to 10, and then 10 to 100, and then 100 to 1000. And those strategies will change with each step.

Just yesterday I had this exchange via Twitter DM:

I see this time and time again – getting hung up on the details of “trying to figure out how to write/plan content” instead of starting to write content and learning how to get your words out into the world and then getting other people to see, read, and share them.

This from Ramit Sethi yesterday also further underscores the point:

Don’t get caught up in the minutiae of starting a business. Start doing what people will pay you for – consulting, creating a physical product, teaching people how to do things.

  1. Figure out what you have to offer to people;
  2. Start getting it in front of them;
  3. Ring the cash register;
  4. Build from there.

Good luck.