Today I’m going to go into a little bit of a potentially controversial subject matter. Stop all marketing immediately. Stop it! Don't do any more. You gotta rethink everything. Now, before you jump through the screen and call me an idiot, let's just back off a bit. I’m not losing my mind. I once said in a meeting to my employees that I would rather spend money on marketing than breathe. So, you can get the fact that, yeah, I love marketing. I’m extremely, extremely passionate about marketing, but I think we got to do a few things before we go and dump more cash into the marketing machine. And today, I am going to share with you two things that we absolutely, positively have to master before we start spending more money on marketing. I see this time and time and time again. Where entrepreneurs just go write big ass checks to Facebook and Google and LinkedIn and they're doing a whole bunch of marketing stuff. It doesn't make any damn sense because they haven't really mastered these two areas that I’m going to talk about today. Hello and welcome to the SAVAGE Entrepreneur. My name is Mike Savage. My greatest enjoyment in life is helping other entrepreneurs go through the journey and kick butt. Win both personally and professionally. So, I’m not losing my mind! I flat out love marketing. But we gotta stop just going through the motions. We gotta stop it. And I’m going to share some thoughts. I’ve seen this executed perfectly from some of my clients. I’ve also seen and experienced this approach from the greatest companies in the world. They flat out understand this. They use this every single time before they put any ad out there. The bigger companies, the most successful companies, they completely get this. Before I go much further into that, I want to step back and talk a tiny bit about my philosophical approach. What I do for a living is, I help people build companies. I think that when we go through the process of building a business, as entrepreneurs, we go lock, stock, and barrel into the business part. Business, business, business. Guess what? We were men and women long before we were businessmen and women, long before we decided to take on this entrepreneurial journey. And there are just some fundamental things. Now, I built a lot of companies. I built several businesses, a few multi-million-dollar companies. I understand the challenge of building companies and one thing that I know for sure, especially at this stage in my life, is it's more than just business. I live by this philosophy called the Entrepreneur’s Trilogy™ and I believe that we live three movies simultaneously. I call them HEARTset, MINDset and SKILLset. I am not going to go into a bunch of detail on HEARTset and MINDset today. I’m going to focus on some skills. I’m going to focus on basically the fundamentals, I believe, of running a company; and it's foundational. So, the SKILLset portion of the Entrepreneur’s Trilogy™, I call this the heartbeat of business. I believe that SKILLset, our SKILLset, the foundation, the fundamentals of building a business, begins and ends with three things. First and foremost is our product or service. What is it that we are sharing with the world? Every business on the planet exists for one reason and one reason only, and that is to solve a problem. So, if you are an entrepreneur and you are listening to this on a podcast or even watching it on YouTube or reading it on my blog, there is a reality: you solve a problem. What is that problem that you solve? You should be able to articulate that very clearly because it's your company. That's step one. Then in conjunction with that, as you come up with your product or your service, you in your brain are already thinking about who is that target market? Who is my ideal client? Who is the person that is best positioned to purchase from me? Once we understand who our target market is, once we fully can articulate what our product or service is, then we take the next step which is strategic marketing. And strategic marketing is nothing more than a dating service. Now, let me explain where I’m going with this—actually I’m not even going to explain it right now. I’m going to wait until we get a little bit further in on the training but trust me: strategic marketing does nothing more than bring your product or service and connect it with your ideal client and target market. So, the first component of SKILLset, the heartbeat of business, is our product or service. What problem are you solving? I would challenge you to write it down right now in excruciating detail. What problem are you solving? Number two is who are you solving it for? That really is the definition of your target market or ideal client is, who are you solving the problem for? And then ultimately, the strategic marketing plan is, how do you connect the two? So that is the fundamental or the foundation of the training that I want to go through today, but I’m going to call the business Clueless Business, Inc. or I could call it I am Clueless, Inc. or I Don't Know What I’m Doing, Inc. And I see so many companies, so many businesses, so many entrepreneurs, that are living in this world where they have a product or service, and “I make stuff,” or “I do stuff”. That's their—"yeah, yeah, I’m in construction.” “Yeah, I build things.” “I run a restaurant.” “I have some software.” Whatever it is like, “I make and do some stuff.” Then one of the biggest mistakes I see happening in so many businesses is, just because someone has a pulse does not mean they are one of your customers. I hear this time and time and time again. “Anyone can use my product or service.” No! It's not how it works. Everybody can't use your product or service. You've got to be able to narrow down who your perfect target market is, your perfect ideal client, your perfect customer. And once you can clearly articulate exactly who he or she is, once you can do that, the next step in the process is easier. But too many people: “oh yeah, I make some stuff. I can sell my services to pretty much anybody.” And then they go off and they start writing big checks. They will spend some money on Facebook ads or Google SEO or LinkedIn, and they'll send a bunch of emails, and they'll start doing stuff and not really understanding that you can't do a very good job of strategic marketing until you are absolutely, positively crystal clear on who your ideal client is and exactly what you're selling them. Your key product, your service, satisfies a specific demographic. And I’m going to go through some things. I’m going to share some examples. I’m going to actually use my own business as an example, and you'll be able to take and translate some of these thoughts, some of these ideas to your business. As I said earlier, there is a step-by-step process that I believe we need to do in sequential order, and maybe that's the nerd engineer in me that's like, “well, you got to follow a process.” Well, yeah. What you do as you start to build your business, you're going to realize that the more people you get, the more employees you have, the more team members you have, you need to have a process. Well business is the same way. You've got to absolutely, step number one is, fully be able to articulate your product. Step number two is you need to be able to identify in excruciating detail who your target market is, and then, then, and only then, do we start spending some money on marketing. Way too many entrepreneurs are writing checks irresponsibly just because they think it's the thing to do. Now, here's what I love. I love when I see a company that is doing a phenomenal, phenomenal job at this process of really fully understanding their product, understanding who their target market is, and then executing on a beautiful strategic marketing plan. You see it all the time. So, there are so many companies that do this and I think it's phenomenal, but the reality is, if you pick a marketing medium, for example you pick television. If you pick television and you are marketing to a certain demographic, let's take ESPN for example. I enjoy watching ESPN. I love my sports. I am from Boston, and I love all of my Boston sports. In any event, a lot of people that watch ESPN are in their 20’s, their teens, younger kids, and there is a ton of advertisement on ESPN for fast food, junk food, all that shit that people put in their body. The reason they're doing it, it's also very inexpensive. So really crappy food, at a very low price, and you get a whole ton of it for five bucks? I think there's a lot of teenagers or kids in their 20’s that like, “hey, I’m down with that. Bring it on!” They know you, they know their product, and they're really good at marketing and advertising. So if you're choosing to advertise on television, do you know how many channels there are to advertise? There are thousands of channels! Now, if you have a product or service that's designed for the outdoors person, the person that's living in the wilderness, what are the chances that you're going to be advertising some super high-tech product to them? No. You're probably not going to advertise a high-tech product on Animal Planet. On the other hand, you may want to advertise a high-tech product, or something along those lines, to a channel like CNBC. Where CNBC has a whole bunch of people that are businesspeople, entrepreneurs. Why do you think that Shark Tank is on CNBC? All the reruns anyway. If you watch Shark Tank and you watch the people that are advertising on Shark Tank, you understand that I am their ideal client. They know that there are people that are watching this that are entrepreneurs or people that are aspiring or just want to see people succeed. They love the stories or maybe even they get a high off of watching people on CNBC or on Shark Tank, watching them get crushed. Whatever the situation may be, they go in and ask for a whole bunch of money and then all the sharks say, “Go screw. You don't have a really good business model.” But the point is, the advertisements that they're doing on television, they know you. They know who you are. So it's essential to understand this. Now, I’m going to start with the first thing that we need to do before—BEFORE—we go and spend money on marketing. We got to do this first which is really, really understand what is the problem that we are solving. What is your product or service? Now, I built a bunch of different companies, in a bunch of different industries. Each time, each situation is different. So, if I look at my business now, I have in my Savage Secrets business, I have multiple products. Now the greatest opportunity is when you have a product or service and your target market, you've got that person nailed, and then what you want to do is okay, well, how can I grow my business? You have a product, or a service and you already know your target market, your ideal client, and all you do is you add more products or more services to your portfolio that can satisfy that same ideal client. Really, what is your product? So, let's talk about my business. Now, I’ve got several products, as I mentioned, but one of the products is private coaching, where I coach entrepreneurs one-on-one. We meet two to four times a month and we just go through the journey together. Because I’ve always said, “The greatest learning laboratory on earth is at the feet of someone who's already done what you're trying to do.” Now, I’m going a little bit off track right now, but one of my products is private coaching. Another product is keynote speaking. The most important thing to understand is that the target market for private coaching is completely different than the target market for my speaking business. In my speaking business, I am reaching out to people that put on events. I’m reaching out to associations. I’m reaching out to chambers of commerce. I’m reaching out to organizations. I speak on the global stage for an organization called BNI, Business Networking International, but I’m reaching out to different people. If I’m working to grow my business as far as my private coaching, which I’m limited on the number of clients that I take, but I know where they are. They're running a company. And they're running a business, they're probably running a business between a quarter of a million and five million dollars in sales, they've got two to twenty employees, they have been in business for at least two years. I can be specific. I understand. But you really gotta understand your product. The next thing is when you're talking about your product or service, what is your superpower? What makes you unique and distinct? Okay, Mike, what makes you unique and distinct? Well, when it comes to my philosophy on teaching, I just don't go out there and talk about business and marketing and sales and cash flow and operations and logistics and sourcing and income statements. No. I get all that. Yeah, when you run a business, you gotta know all the business stuff. But I have some very successful, rich, dead friends that focused so heavily on the business stuff, that they missed the health thing. And so, my superpower or my unique strategic position in the marketplace is I look at entrepreneurship holistically. That's where I came up with the Entrepreneur’s Trilogy™. You can't just win in one area and lose in the other areas. If you are successful as heck in business and you got all the money in the world and success and accolades and you've lost your health or you've lost those most important relationships in your life: your family, your friends, your co-workers; and you're not happy, that's not winning! So, you got to win in the other areas also. So that's what I would look at as my superpower and my brand promise is, I’m authentic. I’m not going to come and just throw you a line of bullshit. And the reason that I believe I’m authentic is I’ve lived it. I’ve had the highest of highs. I’ve had the lowest of lows. Hollywood wins and soul-crushing defeats. And I’m here because my promise to you, if you are that entrepreneur, is I’m going to share with you, in really great detail, some of the experiences that have gone on in my life. So again, when you look at your business, answer these questions: what is your specific product or service? What is your superpower? What is your brand promise? What are those things, as you're running your business, that are non-negotiable? Someone could come to you and, say hypothetically you're in the construction industry, and your sole focus is that my goal is I’m only going to do an excellent, top-notch, leadership quality project. And someone comes says, “hey, would you mind putting in a new bathroom? Don't worry about fixing the walls up or doing a goo—just bang some stuff together, and just make it work for a little while, because I’m trying to sell my home.” No. You have to have that belief in yourself and your product and your service. It's a non-negotiable. I’m not going to do a half-assed job at anything. I either go all in or I don't. And another big piece is, in every single business, you have a competitor. I don't care what you do, what you sell, what you make, or what your service is. You have competitors. And it's essential for you to understand your competitors. Not just understand what they do and what they serve—now guess what? There are a lot of businesses that do the same thing. If you're looking for fast food and you drive down the road, guess what? You're going to find a whole ton of them, but some of them sell chicken. Some of them sell burgers. Some of them sell other stuff. Like, they have the unique thing and when you watch the advertisements on television, what they're trying to do is, they're trying to differentiate their product. The final piece is, what's your pricing? How do you want to price your product? You're out in the world solving a problem, how are you going to price it? Do you want to be a commodity and sell it at the lowest price possible? Do you want to be a premium product? Do you want to be somewhere in the middle? Whatever it is, you got to pick something. When you are picking your pricing, you have to be really in the state of understanding who your target market is. Because there are things in the world—a Mercedes-Benz and Lamborghini, the target market for a $100,000 Mercedes or a $300,000 Lamborghini, is not a kid in college. Now, there are some kids in college or in their 20’s, professional athletes or they've built a business and they got a whole ton of cash, but that's not who Mercedes and Lamborghini are marketing to. If you're looking to buy, say an engagement ring or whatever, and if you're in a certain revenue or income bracket, if you're a low income bracket the chances of you going to Tiffany’s to buy a $80,000 engagement ring are probably not good. Tiffany’s sells to a certain clientele, but then there's a whole bunch of jewelry stores in the mall that they're happy to be able to—and I don't even know how much engagement rings costs anymore, but years ago a few thousand bucks. But understanding your product is essential. So, all of these steps, you ask yourself, what problem am I solving? So, this is really step one. I said there were two things I was going to talk about. Step one is fully understanding all of the specifics of your product or service. Understand it really well. Step two in the process is, who is your target market? Who are you solving this problem for? And there's a lot of things that we can do when we go through the process of identifying our target market. Now, there is a free pdf handout that will be part of the show notes that you can download, and it’s basically a list of 21 questions that you can ask to better narrow down who your target market is. But some of the things like demographics. What is your age? What is your income level? What is your ethnicity? Where do you live? So, there are all these demographic aspects of your target market that you want to—so, when I look at my world, well, I help entrepreneurs build companies. So, guess what? Is there an age limit for this? Nope. Is there a gender differentiation? Nope. Men and women, any age, are building companies. They're striving to get to that next level. But then there are certain other things that can change who exactly is a perfect client for me. Now, when you're looking at your ideal client, what are some of the values? What are the things that are important to them? So, when you start to put your product out there and you want to be able to marry it to that target market, you want to have an alignment in values, right? Your product or your service is going to be aligned with the values of your ideal client. And so, when you start to think about that, what are some of the things that are important to them? Do they value quality? Do they value honesty? There's a lot of—I hate to say it—but there's a lot of shady, scumbag, entrepreneur, business owners out there that are more than happy to take your buck. Lots of times you're watching their stories on CNN, America's Most Wanted, or something like that. But there's a misalignment, so you want to be aligned with the values of your ideal client. And when you think, and you put yourself in the position of your ideal client, what are some of the things that are frustrating them? So, for example, if you sell a software product—I have a client that sells mobile cellular technology. Lots of times when some of his clients are out in the world, they're in the construction business. And if you see big buildings going up, you always see next to those big buildings going up, whether it be a commercial building or residential building, oftentimes there's a trailer where the management team gets together, they talk about what's going on with the building. When they want to communicate with the outside world, there is no wi-fi and cellular service may not be working. So, my client comes in and provides them a solution to their frustration. Their frustration is I want to be able to communicate via email, via text, via messaging, to the rest of the world; but there is no hardwired, there is no technology to where they're putting up the building. And so, he provides that service. But that's their frustration. When I look at my world and I look at my ideal client, what's their frustration? Their frustration is they're working an insane number of hours. They are not having a personal life. They may be missing their kids. They may not be healthy. They may not be bringing the cash in that they want. Their business may not be growing as fast as they want their business to be growing. Those are some of the frustrations that my ideal client has. Another is, what are some of the pains and fears? Now when you're building a business, and again I’m talking about my ideal client as it relates to my coaching business, what are some of their pains? What are some of their fears? They're scared that this thing may never work. They may have fears about taking that next step or hiring that next employee or investing in that next product or investing in that next service. Or say you run a restaurant; you build restaurants. I was just in a restaurant the other day, absolutely stunning! This organization owns five or six restaurants, absolutely stunning, but they wrote a check for five and a half million dollars to just fit up this new restaurant. Fantastic! It's beautiful, but they wrote a check. Lots of times my ideal clients are fearful. They're fearful of investing in a coach, they're fearful investing in training. But they have certain pains and oftentimes if I have the ability to speak to those pains, and I have a solution, my product and my service has a solution to those pains, I need to understand those. So, think about your target market and your ideal client. What are the pains that they're experiencing? And as you go to align your product or your service with your target market, you really want to understand their pains and their frustrations. And what are their lifestyle goals? I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my ideal client, their lifestyle goals is, I want to be able to do what I want, when I want, with who I want. I want a boatload of money. I want to be able to take my family on phenomenal vacations. I want to enjoy. I want to be happy. I want to be happy! Just think about that. I hate to say this, but I work with so many, and I see so many entrepreneurs that are just miserable. Is it because of the business? What comes first happiness or business success? “Well I don't know, I’m not going to be happy until my business is successful.” Well, guess what? That could be a problem, right? That's why I have a course called the Savage Sunrise. That's why I talk about the Entrepreneur’s Trilogy™ with HEARTset, MINDset, and SKILLset. Because this thing that sits on our shoulders is so powerful and it's so beautiful. But if your ideal client, your target market has goals, what are they? What are their lifestyle goals? I’m just sharing from my perspective. Your client may have completely different goals unrelated to that. And then ultimately, the final piece of this equation is, well I understand the demographics, the values, the frustration, the lifestyle goals; and this isn't really a next attribute of your target market, but I’m going to share with you that the riches are in the niches. And what do I mean by that? Newsflash! Everybody is not your customer. And the more that you have the ability to narrow down and be specific about who your ideal client is or who your target market is, the better you're able to niche that down, the better you will be in the next step. And the next step is strategic marketing, and the next step is marketing spend and advertising. So the two things—step one: you really have to be able to explain and understand your product in excruciating detail. Number two: you want to be able to go out and understand your target market. You are solving a problem for someone. You're out in the world solving a problem and when you can get to that point where you create a product or a service and you sell it to someone and they love it they love it, that's the greatest high. To me. The greatest high is when you can create something from a vision that you had. You have an idea, you have a thought, you have a belief, and you actually take the initiative, spend some money, you go and create this product or the service, and then you find someone and they say, “Hey, I would like to give you my hard-earned money for that product or service.” That's a high! That is a high and I don't care if you're making toilet plungers, you're weaving baskets, or you're selling services such as finance and investment. This is why I love entrepreneurship so much. I’m addicted. I don't know what I love more, building companies or helping people. I just love it, and this isn't for everybody. If you're an entrepreneur and you're sitting on the other side of this training and you're listening or watching this, guess what? You got an addiction and it's called entrepreneurship, and it can be healthy, or it could also eat you alive. So, now what I want to do is, I want to go into that next step. The final step, which is strategic marketing. Strategic marketing is like a dating service. Now, what do I mean by that? Think about it. Think about a company like match.com. What do they do? Match.com, or any other dating service, they bring two people together, right? Two people that have similar likes, similar dislikes, similar attractions. They're trying to bring them together. This is what strategic marketing, is in my opinion. You have your product or service on one side, and then you have your ideal client on the other side, and strategic marketing is the strategy or the process of bringing them together. Right? I mentioned it earlier. It's a freaking high. It's a high when you can take your product and you can connect it with someone, and they buy it and they love it and they give you five stars or they give you a great testimonial. The key is, it's in the world, this world of strategic marketing, this world of bringing together, or trying to create a magnetic attraction between your product and your target market. The challenge with strategic marketing is that there is an insane number of options. There is an unlimited number of things that you can do when you're going to connect your target market with your product or service. There's everything from advertising in bathrooms in restaurants. There are billboards. There is television advertising. There is obviously the digital marketing world of Facebook and Google and LinkedIn and YouTube and Instagram and TikTok and wherever else the world is, and Twitter. Wherever else the world is going from a digital marketing perspective. And there are tons and tons of gurus out there that can articulate the exact specific strategies that you need to do when you're creating Facebook ads. I ain't that guy. I have people that help me. I’m not a specialist in that area. Quite frankly, you can be, or you may outsource it. But the point is, when you're putting together your strategic marketing strategy, your strategic marketing plan, those two words strategy and plan are essential to making sure that your investments make sense. Spending a whole bunch of money on doing stuff just for the sake of doing it doesn't make sense. You could be a podcast guest; you could create your own podcast—which I just created my own podcast—there are so many things that you can do. So, my recommendation is pick one or two or three that you can be really good at. When I started this business a few years ago I said I want to be really good at just a few things. I’ve expanded. So, I started doing webinars. During the world of Covid, webinars were phenomenal. Well, the world's opening up again, so will webinars be as powerful? Don't know. But I wanted to be good at a couple things. I wanted to be good at creating an email list and being able to share content. That's another marketing thing, content creation. I try and create a valuable piece of content every single week. And I started to do webinars where I was able to bring people in and share with them in a live format some of the things that I thought were important and essential for them to run their business. But the secret sauce is, don't try and be everything to everybody. Don't go out into the world of marketing say I want to go do everything. Pick one or two, be great at it. And once you become great at it, then go to three and four. And then if you can become great at three or four, then go to five and six. But ultimately the formula doesn't change. Ultimately the only purpose, the sole function of strategic marketing, is to connect your product or service to your ideal client and help them along the path or the journey of knowing you, liking you, and trusting you. Because when you can get to the point where your target market, your ideal client, they know you, they like you, and they trust you; when you can get there, it makes the next step in business—sales, generating revenue—so much easier. It breaks down the barrier. We want to do business with people we know, like, and trust. We want to buy products from brands that we know, like, and trust. There are companies out there that have mastered this, and they've been doing it for generations. Companies like Apple and Amazon. These are the big ones. I’m just using the big, but there are a lot of small niche companies that have created a brand and a promise, and they have attracted you based on their messaging or their product portfolio. They have attracted you to know, like, and trust them. That's why I always say, if you get an order that's wonderful. Getting an order though, I think is useless. If you get a customer, a customer is someone that will buy from you more than once, and in addition, not only will they buy from you, if they really love you, they're going to tell others about it! That's the holy grail of business. When people buy from you and they love it, five stars, and they tell others about it. The holy grail. So, the three components, the three pieces in the first two you gotta get right. You got to fully understand your product. You got to understand your target market, your ideal client. Then go spend money on marketing. This is why the title of this training was, Stop All Spending on Marketing! Stop doing marketing. It's not stop doing it, it's don't do it until you get the other two right, because it is going to be a huge help. Now, like I said, there is a free download that we put in the show notes. 21 Questions You Must Ask to Find Your Ideal Client. To identify him or her. It's not a super elaborate handout, but it will get you thinking a little bit. There are some questions in there, it's like yeah, what if I ask that question? I fully understand that it's going to help me create better messaging, better content. I hope that this helps. if you're watching on my YouTube channel, please subscribe and like this. If you want to leave me a comment, I’d love that as well. If you're listening on a podcast, I would love for you to subscribe to my podcast. If you loved the episode, give me a five-star rating. If you didn't like the episode, rather than give me a one-star rating, shoot me an email, and tell me what you didn't like about it. No, I’m serious, I ain't perfect. I’m going to screw up. I’m going to put content out there that is not for everybody. But if you liked it, I’d love for you to subscribe and rate my podcast. So, DREAM BIG! Go kick some ass. I want to again thank you; I am delighted. I love doing this. I want to wish you an absolutely amazing day and have a ton of fun building your company. See you soon.