Hey entrepreneur, cease chasing your tail.
July 10, 2021 5 minutes to read
The opinions of entrepreneurs’ contributors are their own.
I know how it is. Your company needs new customers. They do hundreds of Google searches for the latest marketing tips and tricks. What’s big on Instagram right now? What are the latest SEO strategies that we should be using? What should we blog about to get the most traffic?
You realize – desperately – how little you know.
Against panic and overwhelm, sign up for a marketing course that promises to fix your lead generation problems at lightning speed.
You dive in. Make pages of notes. As you near the end, another marketer will grab your attention. They talk about missed opportunities in your lead generation that you need to learn more about.
So if you buy this course, take more notes. The cycle repeats itself.
You have now invested hundreds of dollars in marketing courses (maybe thousands, depending on how motivated you are.) You have a mile-long list of new marketing tactics, but as you go along, you realize the more you know, the more you don’t know. And so it goes. Another course. Another marketing guru is to follow. Pages with notes. The greatest intention. But no implementation.
I’ve been there more times than I’d like to count. Welcome to squirrel syndrome.
Related Content: 7 Life Lessons from My Entrepreneur Trip
What is squirrel syndrome?
We all suffer from this at various points on our business trip. After all, there is some security there when you sign up for another marketing course. You are doing something to grow your business.
By investing in your marketing education, you have already broken away from the crowd. But if you don’t apply what you’ve already learned, how is it really helping your company?
Learning more marketing won’t bring you more customers. Massive implementation will. My old marketing mentor used to say, “Implement so many things that you create a dust storm of activity.” This is a powerful image to keep in mind.
So how do you determine which course to take to get more customers?
Here is my best advice from someone who has invested over two hundred thousand in their business and marketing education to date:
1. Choose a marketing expert to follow.
Resist the singing of the sirens to be drawn into the worlds of others. It’s hard to focus on just one expert, especially when you’re constantly being pitched by others. But if you focus on one, you have the benefit of following your workout step by step instead of being pulled in different directions or having to choose between conflicting pieces of advice.
When I started my marketing agency, I signed up for every marketing guru training course I could find, thinking the more I could learn, the faster my business would grow. Not only did I sometimes forget which training I bought, but as I remembered and completed course after course, I was so overwhelmed that I hardly knew where to start. So I started simplifying by following expert after expert. Sometimes I stayed a month or a couple of months or sometimes a couple of years to learn from this expert. When I felt I had learned and implemented as much as possible, I moved on to learn from the next.
2. Choose the expert who speaks to you the most, then invest in the course or training that best suits your needs.
That might sound simple, but how do you know if you get them? That’s a great question. Whenever I explore someone new, I always sign up for everything they offer for free. Free book? Count me in. Free weekly email? Sign me up. Then, while browsing their free resources, I look for those “a-ha moments,” which means, are they giving me value as a non-paying customer? Or are you someone who puts everything valuable behind a paywall? If I don’t learn anything valuable from their free stuff, I’ll quickly sign out and move on. But if they care enough about their customers to add value first, then I’ll pay much more attention and see if I can pay them to learn a lot more.
Related: 7 Things To Look For When Hiring Experts
3. Decide for your expert, which course you will choose and how you can get the most out of your lessons.
My personal methodology is to use an exercise book and make pages of good old-fashioned handwritten notes. For some reason, if I handwrite them instead of just typing them out, it helps the ideas reach my brain deeper. While I am going through a training session, I also create an implementation list so that at the end of the training I know exactly what to do next.
4. Implement like crazy.
Take your implementation list, prioritize everything, and get to work! Find out what the best and best use of your time is and delegate the rest.
Fighting overwhelming and distraction is one of the biggest challenges we face as entrepreneurs, but your results will be exponentially better by limiting your focus to learning from one expert at a time, focusing on your implementation, and leaving others to them to pursue their tail and shiny marketing objects. You’re too busy creating dust storms of activity anyway!
Related: 6 Critical Lessons I Learned as a Startup