What Marketing Stuff Is Worth Your Time?

Ever have that experience where you look up at the clock and suddenly it’s 10PM and you have NO IDEA where the day went or why you’re still on your computer futzing with something you thought would take you 1 hour?

That was me this week.

Six 12-hour days later and I’ve successfully transferred everything from MailChimp to ConvertKit. In fairness to CK, the software is incredible and I love what they’ve created.

Seriously look:

becomes…

If you’ve ever tried to A/B test email, you’ll recognize how seamless and beautiful this is.

SO easy!!

Still, learning the nomenclature alone was a nightmare. They don’t use lists, “Automation” and “Sequences” mean entirely different things, and “forms” are, honestly, I’m still not totally sure.

If you have anything more than one broadcast email a week set up (like an onboarding sequence or a lead-magnet autoresponder funnel or more than one entry point to your list), transferring ESP’s is a terribly unpleasant experience.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using ConvertKit, Active Campaign, GetResponse, Ontraport, or anything else.

It’s not the software that’s the problem – it’s the manual stuff. 

Like going through every single Medium article to make sure the CTA is not linking to your old ESP. Or remembering what software you’ve integrated with MailChimp (um hi, Leadpages. Upscribe. WordPress. SumoMe. A-bunch-I’m-sure-I-forgot-and-will-discover-when-there’s-a-problem).

Not to mention testing the new sequences to make sure the links are working, which is how this happened:

best marketer conversion rate funny

Today, to do marketing “right” you have to have a staff and backend that can support it. Look at all the marketing software options you have today. It looks like one of those kids’ books where you stare at it and see a 3D image

Ryan Deiss called this “job security” at Traffic and Conversion this year.

It’s absurd. You cannot reasonably become fluent in all these. Even knowing what you don’t need is a tall order.

His advice: hire someone. It’s your job to be good at your domain (dentistry, psychology, law, parenting….not-marketing). It’s our job to know this stuff.

Eh. I love Ryan D, but imma call B.S. on that one.

To a hammer, everything is a nail. If we tell you you’re reliant on us, so you don’t get a headache from looking at your tech stack…you’ll pay us forever. Great for us, crappy for you.

Because you can’t outsource this part of your business.

I mean, you can. But you shouldn’t. For two reasons.

Reason 1: You need to own your relationship with your customers.

Ogilvy, Hopkins, and Proctor & Gamble are famous for going door-to-door to talk to people IRL. It’s not an accident they were the best. You cannot have a buffer between you and the people you serve.

That’s where bad ideas are born. When you’re out of touch with your customers.

Reason 2: You can’t hire for something you don’t understand.

The reason I spent 6 laborious days figuring out ConvertKit was because now I can hire someone. You don’t know what you don’t know.

I had a client who told me she was above learning “this stuff.” Her time was best spent being the subject matter expert.

Debatable.

By skipping the steps she saw as “beneath” her, she wasted $60k over 2 years on hiring and strategy mistakes because she didn’t ask the right questions or know how to vet talent and skill level for these tasks.

Had she invested a few days learning, she’d have saved herself a lot of money (and headache). 

Needless to say, her business hasn’t moved at all. She may be an expert. but none of you have ever heard of her.

The only way to shortcut the learning curve is to get comfortable asking dumb questions.

Like, “What’s the difference between CSS, Javascript, and HTML?” or “How does SEO actually work?”

The good news is you can get really far doing things wrong.

Messing up and playing around is one of the best things for your business. You learn about your customers, you learn about yourself (like, trying to teach Margo design is a waste of time. Better to hire Jake), and (most importantly) you figure out what works.

It’s up to you to know the difference between what matters and what’s a waste of your time. What matters: understanding your audience, over-delivering on your product or service (that includes your content).

What doesn’t matter: getting everything “perfect.”

convertikit customer support message
Conversation with Haley at Convertkit, 2017

This is what a ConvertKit staffer said when I told them it was too confusing and I was going back to MailChimp.

There were a lot of things wrong and missing, but the things that worked (like this on-demand chat feature) worked so well, I didn’t care about the kinks.

They also sent me a personalized video to check in and thank me for being a customer. WHO DOES THAT?! People who know what matters.

Customers are willing to overlook what’s not perfect when you nail what matters. 

And that includes you, overlooking the fact that this article is longer than I wanted and probably has some typos in it.

That’s how this works.

Try. Test. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

You cannot do it all.

But you sure as hell better try.

Please join this list so it’s not just my mom