How to Use The Saturation Method To Drive New Business

Employees may be passionate about your cause, but they’re not passionate enough to work for free. Money is the one necessity that every business shares. Getting enough of it also happens to be the leading cause of failure.

82% of businesses fail due to a lack of cash flow.

If businesses know this, why don’t they do anything to rectify the issue? They sit around and hope the right customer or client walks in the door. I empathize, I’ve been there myself. I figured if I delivered a quality product, clients would be busting down my door.

Sometimes they were…Sometimes they weren’t. I learned that passive business development is what leads to cash flow issues.

Sitting around and waiting for referrals and repeat business is unpredictable. You need to be more proactive if you want your business to survive (or thrive). My friend Cole from Honey Copy recently mentioned in his weekly email that he dedicates 20% of his day to marketing his business no matter how things are going.

Sounds easy, right? It’s not.

Building a daily habit is no small feat. It’s easy to let it slip when you’ve got a full plate of business. What happens when you finish those projects and your plate is empty? That’s not the time to start marketing and sales. You have to find, woo, and then close business before seeing a penny.

Slow your roll…

Hold up before you run out guns blazing firing off marketing tactics in every direction. I hope this post inspires action, but let’s take some time to put a little strategy into our efforts. Firing bullets in every direction makes it unlikely that you’ll hit the right target. You just end up wasting all your ammo (money and time).

Consistently executing a focused plan is what leads to a finely tuned business development machine. Follow these 4 steps of the saturation method and you’ll build a healthy stream of unicorn customers (wonderfully majestic creatures to be cherished and loved).

Step 1: Shrink The World

Stop trying to think big. Everyone is not your customer. Narrow your market down to what Seth Godin defines as the Minimally Viable Audience. If you haven’t read about the minimally viable audience, stop reading this and go back to the previous sentence and click the link. I promise his short post is worth your time.

Trying to speak to everyone is a recipe for speaking to no one. Here are a few simple prompts to define the right minimally viable audience:

  1. Who has the strongest need for your product/service? Focus on the people who have an aching desire or unbearable pain.
  2. Are they willing to pay for what you offer? Just because a group needs what you sell doesn’t mean they’ll pay for it. This is an important distinction to consider that many people brush past. Don’t waste your efforts on a market that doesn’t have the means to pay for your product.
  3. Can you reach them? It’s a necessity to have a clear channel to target and reach your audience with your message in some form or fashion (social media, tradeshows, industry publications, blogs, etc…). It’s preferable that they’re easily targeted via multiple channels.
  4. What makes them like each other and different from everyone else?Go beyond the surface level demographic description and tap into psychographics here. Figure out the fears, desires, and buying triggers that unite this group.

Answering these questions will help you paint a vivid picture of your minimally viable audience (MVA). Knowing who these people are will allow us to saturate them with the right message later.

Step 2: Write A Script

Repeated exposure to a consistent message drives recognition. Saying the same thing with the same language across every customer touchpoint will eventually make a message stick. How do you get everyone on your team saying the same thing?

Write a script.

Make it ridiculously simple by taking it down to one single sentence using the following prompt.

We help __________ do ______________.

Example: We help service businesses grow by connecting their brand, marketing, and sales strategies.

A single sentence is versatile. One sentence can power your website, social media profiles, and sales pitch. In fact, it should power all of these things. Customers must see this message everywhere they look and hear it from everyone they speak with at your company.

Step 3: Blitz The Hell Out Of Your Little Corner Of The World

You’ve identified who your minimally viable audience is, where to reach them, and what to say to them. Now it’s time to make them feel like you’re everywhere they look.

By shrinking the world, this is possible with a little budget and a lot of sweat. I like to break this out into two complementary categories.

Think of marketing like the farming portion of your efforts. You’ll be planting seeds and growing an audience of people that can be harvested when they’re ready. Marketing will consist of paid and organic efforts. You’ll want to capitalize on multiple marketing channels. A few regular channels to consider (but certainly not an exhaustive list) include:

  • Google Ads
  • Social Media
  • Tradeshows
  • Direct Mail
  • Blog Posts

Here’s an example sequence on how you can plant some seeds and start farming your fields:

Google Ads & Social Campaigns: Set up Google Ads and social media campaigns targeting your niche. You can be amazingly specific with your targeting parameters on Google and almost every social channel. Determine what your people are searching and consuming and be there when they look with helpful information. For most businesses, the best action is to establish credibility and trust as a first step.

Tradeshows: Attend the biggest tradeshow/tradeshows for your industry. Strategically invest in booth space and have a plan to stand out and drive engagement. Don’t just show up with the same lame presence as everyone else. Take the time to get creative and create a pattern interrupt.

Direct Mail: Follow up after the tradeshow with a two-tiered direct mail effort.

Tier 1: Legitimate Leads — This mailer is for people who are real prospects. They stopped by your booth, showed interest, and fit your customer profile. Send these people a handwritten note, relevant gift, or another item that further captures their attention and starts to build the relationship. Include one clear call to action in the mailer for the next step they need to take. This step alone captured three Fortune 500 companies for my last firm.

Tier 2: Show List — This mailer is for everyone who attended the show. You’d be shocked at how many people walked by your booth and may be interested, but they didn’t stop to talk for whatever reason. Use this timely mailer to establish awareness and include a clear call to action that delivers value. Make them take a simple step that can be tracked to receive whatever that valuable item is. If they take this action, you know they’re serious and you can move them into the tier 1 group.

Blogging: Post consistently to your blog and share with your network. Display your expertise and knowledge. Use your brand one-liner (script) that you created above as your editorial guide. Make sure everything you write relates to that single sentence. Continuously showcase your expertise and personality.

This is obviously a quick overview, but you get the idea. Your little niche is going to see you everywhere they look. You’ll go from zero awareness to industry fixture in months.

Marketing is key to driving awareness and trust, but there’s no substitute for sales efforts. The sales team are the hunters paired with the farmers in marketing. Being in sales requires thick skin and relentless execution. Put your ear to the phone, fingers on the keys, and your boots on the ground.

Sales aren’t dead as many have preached. I’d argue that an effective salesperson can be more useful today than at any time in history. It’s a matter of effectively complementing your marketing with the right sales efforts. Businesses don’t hire you, people hire you. People are influenced by emotion and relationships. Human interaction can be a powerful motivator. Learn how to leverage this to your benefit in sales.

If your organization properly implements a marketing plan as outlined above, you’ll be able to arm your salespeople with ripe leads. These salespeople will then be able to close these leads with a clear script that’s been provided in step 2. The combination of ongoing marketing cultivation with some human sales efforts leads to decision and action.

Step 4: Keep Showing Up

The final step is to continuously remind people that you exist. My weekly email has been a fantastic tool for keeping me relevant to clients and prospects. Projects that would have otherwise gone to someone else are shot my way because they remember I exist and they need help in an area where I have expertise.

Consistently execute a soft touch every single week. Don’t sell in this ongoing effort. Showcase your expertise.

Simply showing up is a big part of winning new business.

The Catch Is…

If you’re good at what you do, the saturation method will drive new business. The catch is that you have to actually start doing it now to see any benefit later. Commit to working on your business for at least 30 minutes every day. Build it into your daily activities no matter how good or bad things are going. That small 30-minute commitment adds up to significant progress and real money in the bank.

Every Friday morning I send a little story to your inbox. Each one contains a tip on how you can stand out and attract the right customers in this noisy world. You can end your week on a high note by signing up right here.

I Heart Butt Drugs

Did the name of this post make you stop and click?

There’s a reason for that, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s talk more about, “I Heart Butt Drugs” first.

That’s a direct quote from a billboard I came across as my family drove from Louisville, KY into Indiana.

The beautifully crafted copy was framed by ice cream cones.

Butt Drugs and ice cream cones?

My curiosity was peaked. Google was being searched within seconds. It turns out that Butt Drugs is a real pharmacy.

The store has been charming people with its unique name for three generations. William (Blackie) Butt, R.Ph. established the family pharmacy in 1952. The company operated as a standard pharmacy until 2001 when Katie Butt took over. It was Katie’s marketing chops that took the Butt dynasty to the next level.

She embraced the name that makes them stand out from national chains. Katie launched merch, an online store, and ad campaigns all about Butt Drugs.

Katie understands that their name is a pattern interrupt. You can’t read, “I Heart Butt Drugs” and not be curious. It’s the reason you clicked on this link and are reading my post right now.

This pattern interrupt alone won’t make them successful, BUTT it’s enough to give them a shot with customers who would otherwise drive down the street to Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid.

Don’t be afraid to be different. A little shock might do your brand some good.

The job of great marketing is to make the right people stop and take notice. Figure out the patterns of the people you’re trying to reach and how you can interrupt those patterns with a relevant message they want and need to hear.

This post was originally delivered to The Recipe community. The Recipe is an email I send each Friday for entrepreneurs and marketers. You can Sign Up Right Here

Obsess On Your Product

Every business is looking to acquire more customers and grow. But how?

Instagram influencers, Facebook ads, LinkedIn selling, blogging, Adwords, traditional advertising, and all the other tactics out there available are important tools at the right time.

But not yet.

There’s a much better investment for 90% of us looking to grow sustainable customer bases that organically expand.

Obsess on our product.

A fantastic product sells itself. Improving your product is the single highest return on investment you can make. Deliver a memorable experience and you’ll never struggle for customers.

Target a specific niche with a product that delivers results and you’ll get repeat business, referrals, and enjoy continuous growth.

Once you have this recipe nailed, you can pour fuel on the fire with other marketing tactics.

Too many people are trying to sell a crappy product hidden by a well-manicured ad campaign. You might sell that piece of poop once, but I can guarantee they won’t come back a second time or recommend you to anyone.

Don’t be tempted to skip straight to marketing tactics chasing immediate gratification. You’ll see a short spike and then a sharp decline.

Investments in your product continue to pay. You may not see immediate gratification, but I can guarantee that you’ll see a much healthier (and more sustainable) trajectory of growth.

Even though I came into Special Sauce with 15 years of experience running other companies, I didn’t just jump in and start pushing out ads. I’ve taken the time to polish our systems and make sure we’re delivering results for clients in a systematic fashion.

Now we can pour fuel on the fire.

If you’re struggling to identify what’s not working with your product or service, find someone like us to help. You need an objective set of eyes that can assess your strengths, weakness, competition, and industry opportunities. Identify your niche, focus your product, and clarify your message to build the foundation for growth.

I send an email each Friday for people working to build brands. I’ve been told it provides value (by people that weren’t my family). Sign Up Right Here

How Not To Use LinkedIn For Business Development

The following is pulled directly from my LinkedIn messages. I’ve replaced the name (it obviously wasn’t Kurt Russell) and samples, but I haven’t altered the message otherwise.

I get an almost exact copy of this message multiple times a week. It’s become a game I play with new website developer connections. I put odds on how long it will take to get this exact message after we connect on LinkedIn.

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for connecting with me. I hope you are doing well! We are the leading mobile digital agency offering integrated, dynamic and streamlined website design & development solution to businesses worldwide. We have established a reputation for consistently delivering critical and technically challenging projects under given timelines, while also providing exceptional customer service and support to our clients. We build quality websites, tailored to reflect your professional image and effectively market your services and expertise to new and established clients. We have a wide-ranged list of satisfied clients including: attorneys and law firms, accounting firms, medical professionals, and entrepreneurs. Our Hourly rate is $25/hr.

Portfolio: –
https://www.sample1.com
https://sampled2.com
https://sample3.com
http://www.sample4.com
http://sample5.com

If you are interested in our services. Do you have any availability this week or next week to set up a call with me? Thanks for your time and I hope to hear back from you! Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,
Kurt Russell

First, I’m amazed at how many “leading mobile & digital agencies” there are.

Second, who is teaching this technique and providing this script?

Getting a similar message from two different people is a coincidence. Getting an almost identical message 20+ times is not.

These people are blowing their one legitimate shot at making a strong first impression with me.

I can empathize with these men and women. We’re all trying to sell something. We all need to make a living and feed the family.

But nobody wants to be sold. That’s what these people don’t get. Let’s all learn from these “leading mobile and digital agencies.”

A simple adjustment in their approach would make all of the difference. Rather than sending me their hard sell script, they should take 5 minutes to research my business, identify content I’m putting out, show me some love and possibly provide some educational or useful information relevant to my interests.

Soften me up before going in for the kill.

Make an effort to build a relationship and create a level of trust before pitching your services. Make me think you care about me, show me your expertise (don’t just tell me), and give me a good reason to read that message when it hits my inbox.

And when you do come in for the kill, don’t use a canned message. Especially when you’re pitching a guy that builds brand messages for a living. Introduce some personality. Cut the jargon. Give me a reason to give a shit.

I’m willing to bet an approach along these lines would increase their conversion rate by double digits. A double-digit increase in conversions translates to substantial revenue.

This post was originally delivered to The Recipe community. The Recipe is an email I send each Friday for entrepreneurs and marketers. You can Sign Up Right Here

How To Create A Marketing Plan You’ll Actually Execute

I had grand plans for a blog I launched ten years ago. I posted three times and then let it slide behind everything else on my plate. I told myself I was too busy.

A great idea killed by poor execution.

I’m willing to bet you’ve got a similar story somewhere in your past.

Good intentions let down by poor execution.

The idea and launch are more fun than the monotonous execution. That’s a fact.

BUT, it’s the monotonous execution that separates successful marketing from everything else.

I learned this lesson the hard way and set myself back ten years. Oh well, shit happens.

It wasn’t until I started a weekly email last year that everything came together for me. All of my experience and learning seemed to fall into place. Things I knew, in theory, came together in practice.

These realizations have led to the construction of a marketing plan framework that I now use for myself and all of my clients. Please feel free to steal the process and use it for your own benefit.

I call this grand marketing strategy pyramid planning. Here’s a quick view of the steps of the pyramid:

  • Goal
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Systems

Let’s dive into each step in a little detail so you can understand exactly why this marketing strategy makes sense.

Big Hairy Goal

Sitting up top is the goal you want to achieve.

I want to help 100,000 businesses grow through my Growth Recipe Brand & Marketing System by 2027. Sound crazy? Maybe it does to everyone else, but I’ve got a path to making it happen thanks to this plan. Your goal should be BIG & HAIRY. Your steps below will break things down into achievable steps.

Strategery

The step below your goal is strategy. What is the unique approach that will take you to your goal?

My strategy is to turn my Growth Recipe into a recognizable brand and marketing methodology. I will have four delivery vehicles for the Growth Recipe methodology (working with Special Sauce directly to implement the system, group workshops, taking my online workshop, or reading the book I’m going to release). This four-headed strategy allows me to continue working with clients (which I enjoy) while scaling up the number of businesses I can help to hit my 100,000 business goal.

Time For Tactics

Now you can lay out specific tactics that will bring your strategy to life.

I’ll be using weekly posts to my blog, Medium articles, The Recipe weekly email, and some strong new efforts on LinkedIn as my regular drivers. These will be amplified by some big effort items that include mentoring and public speaking to raise the awareness of my Growth Recipe methodology.

Systems Trump Discipline

The final piece of the pyramid is the foundation. Just like building a home, your foundation holds everything up. It’s not sexy and nobody will see it, but it’s the most important part of the building process if you want a solid house. In this case, the foundation is the systems you’ll use to ensure your tactics are consistently executed.

Goals are just dreams without systems to make them happen. Discipline will break down for all of us unless there’s a system in place to hold you accountable. My Friday email is a prime example. I am held accountable by the fact that I’ve made a promise to deliver an email every Friday. I take that promise seriously. The accountability has lead to a Friday schedule that ensures The Recipe gets sent. I’m now applying this across all of my marketing. Every tactic will be backed by a system moving forward.

To Sum It All Up

Setting big goals is pointless if you don’t have the strategy, tactics, and systems in place to make them happen. On the flip side, strategy, tactics, and systems are pointless if they aren’t moving you toward a Big Hairy Goal.

If you’re struggling to get something off the ground, try giving the pyramid planning system a go. Dip your toe in the water by only committing to one tactic backed by a single system. Small actions can add up to big things. The pyramids of ancient Egypt certainly weren’t built in a day.

Have a friend struggling to move past go? Share this with them. Let’s help them get off the ground.

This post was originally delivered to The Recipe community. The Recipe is an email I send each Friday for entrepreneurs and marketers. You can Sign Up Right Here

How To Use Social Proof

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”

— Mark Zuckerberg, CEO

People have always made decisions on what to wear, eat, listen to, visit, and buy based on referrals from friends. Why else would mullets exist? One friend convinced a few others it was a good idea. Thanks, Tom!

Nothing has changed today.

A friend just called and asked me where he should go while visiting Chattanooga (I lived in Chattanooga for a while during our nomadic days). I spouted off a few places and I’m willing to bet they make it to those spots while visiting.

I casually mentioned a fantastic ice cream spot here in Boulder (Glacier…not fancy but so good) to another friend this week. I’ll bet he takes his family the next time they get ice cream.

I had a client reach out this week and tell me they need help with website development and maintenance. I passed along a recommendation and now the site developer I recommended has a new client.

These are three simple examples of social proof in one week. I made the decision of where to go easy for each person.

The businesses I recommended didn’t have to do anything beyond delivering a fantastic product or experience to get new customers. No fancy funnels or expensive ads.

You should also note that these businesses are in vastly different industries. Referrals are industry-agnostic. From craft beer to CRM software, people want to know they’re making the right choice.

What about when you don’t have a friend to ask?

Great question. Referrals are now compounded with the presence of Google ratings and reviews. When we don’t have a trusted friend to tell us who to pick, we go to the Google machine.

In an unfamiliar city and looking for a restaurant? We go to Google and filter out all of the restaurants with anything below 4-stars. Then we read the reviews of the remaining restaurants to find the perfect fit.

We’re simply seeking social proof to reinforce our decision. This is referrals at scale. Like friend referrals, ratings and reviews have become industry-agnostic.

I don’t care what you sell. You need referrals. I encourage you to spend a few minutes today to determine how you can become easier to refer.

Can you improve your product to make it more memorable?

Are there simple changes you can make in the way your product is delivered?

Are you dropping the ball somewhere in the service experience?

Do you leave clients with a bad taste in their mouth?

How do you look online? Is there an opportunity to improve how you appear to someone searching Google?

Focus on becoming referable. Build systems to make it easy. The time you spend won’t be wasted.

I send an email each Friday for entrepreneurs and marketers. I’ve been told it provides value (by people that weren’t my family). Sign Up Right Here