Here's Why Content, SEO, and "Funnels" are Killing Your Business
By Lloyd Yip
November 8, 2019
Have you ever seen a puppy that's obsessed with chasing cars, squirrels, and any other shiny object that passes on by? They can’t help but go for it.

Guess what? As entrepreneurs, we are puppies. And it's absolutely killing us.

As I'm writing this blog post, I can't help but recall a conversation I had with a prospective client. I remember asking, "So what have you been doing when it comes to generating sales?"

And he answered, "Everything really. I have a blog that I update once a week. I'm really active on Linkedin. I go to networking events all the time. I even dabbled a little into Facebook ads."

But guess how he responded when I asked him, "So, what are your sales likes?"

All that excitement melted off his face. His answer? Just 3 clients in the last 6 months.

There's something wrong with this picture folks. If we aren't making sales, if we aren't able to actually afford putting food on the table, then what the hell are we running a business and working so hard for?

The Shiny Object Syndrome Is Killing Your Business

As business owners, we can't help but hear a million different methods from a million different people on how to best grow our businesses. 

We go to events talking about how to be better at event marketing. We Google how to generate traffic and it says invest in building your SEO. We get Facebook ads about how to run Facebook ads. We see annoying pre-load videos on YouTube with a dude in his garage and a Lamborghini, promising us the world if we just read a book a day.

So what the hell do we do? How do we actually know what's the right tactic?

And just like when you go to a Chinese restaurant where the menu is literally 22 pages long (believe me, I’m Chinese), you truly don’t know what to do. The kung pao chicken looks good, but man seafood fried rice looks sweet too.

For most founders, they react in one of two ways.

Reaction One: You Freeze

So you do nothing. It’s called paralysis by analysis. When you’re faced with SO MANY THINGS that could in theory help you scale, you freeze up.

Maybe we end up wasting a few days researching each channel and method and playing it out in our mind. We'll ask, “Do I have the money to implement that? The time? The skill?” 

We spend time messaging our friends, or going on forums, asking people for their input on if it's a worthwhile tactic.

You know what we’re NOT doing though? We’re NOT executing. We’re NOT selling. We’re NOT having conversations with prospects and bringing them on as paid clients.

I know this, because this was me. When I started building my first online business 5 years ago, I spent 3 months JUST RESEARCHING.

I wanted to know EVERYTHING about SEO before even making a website. I paid $1000 to go to a digital marketing class, before even knowing exactly what I was even trying to sell. I became a total "bedroom business expert" without having made a single dollar in online marketing.

Classic definition of a "wantrepreneur".

You know what happened to me? I lost steam, got tired of researching, and eventually just stopped.

Has that ever happened to you? Where you got this fake feeling of having been productive just because you were hanging out on r/Entrepreneur on Reddit, when in reality nothing tangible was actually accomplished on your business?

This is a massive trap that founders always fall into.

Reaction Two: You Try Everything 

What do I do if I see a big menu at a Chinese restaurant? Well, 5 year old Lloyd would've tried to convince his mom to order absolutely everything.

Now, that sounds a bit absurd. Not only would that cost a ton of money, but you'll only be able to take a small bite out of each thing before you have to tap out.

Well, reaction two is this. As founders, if we hear about a lot of shiny new marketing tactics, we try to implement every marketing strategy.

That's what my prospective client was doing. He'd read online or heard in some podcast that he needs to be on every single channel. That he needs to be posting content, going to events, handing out business cards, and a million other things at the same time. So he did all of it.

And because he was trying to do absolutely everything, he was doing absolutely nothing well.

He spent 50 hours a week hustling his face off, and there was no real result.

How can this possibly be?

Well, the truth is, in order to truly get any real ROI out of marketing tactic, you HAVE to actually build a real strategy around it. Then, you have to invest significant time in implementing it, optimizing it, and making sure that it actually can provide real results. This goes for EACH individual client acquisition strategy.

Anyone who just dips their toes in the water a few hours a week into SEO, guest podcasting, or any new marketing tactic, with zero plan or long-term strategic implication is going to just waste their time.

It's as though you wanted to learn how to play guitar, learn Spanish, do gymnastics, all at the same time. But instead of actually spending a significant amount of time on each skill, and getting a real teacher to help you understand the exact process to acquire those skills, you just googled "How-To" videos and spent an hour a week practicing each thing.

How can you be shocked when you don't get the results you were looking for?

Laser Focus and Vicious Implementation Will Save You

Although those two reactions are different, the outcome is the same.

Either way, your business will not grow.

Not working enough because you're too busy thinking, or working needlessly with no long-term plan are just two sides of the same coin.

What the successful entrepreneur does is laser focusing on the ONE task that will add the absolutely largest amount of impact relative to the time spent. Then, they viciously double down on that ONE task that will add disproportionally significant value.

This is called the 80/20 rule. 80% of your results realistically will come from only 20% of your inputs. So choose the right inputs to spend your time on!

As Bruce Lee said, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times".

When you are an early stage entrepeneur, the ONE thing that matters is getting in front of prospective clients, winning deals, and validating that your business has legs through generating real paying clients.

Making your website pretty, printing out business cards, and writing blog posts doesn't get you anywhere closer to that goal. It's not that those things aren't important, but they should be done during a certain time and place of your business.

If you have no clients, why the f*ck aren't you spending every waking moment actually try to win deals and get paid?

Now, I know what you're thinking. 

"Blogging gets clients! A cool website gets clients!"

You're right. Content has it's place. It would be hypocritical for me to say it doesn't, given you're literally reading a blogpost right now.

But, let's not be naive here. Certain activities have more impact to your business at certain times.

Sure, blogging can get you clients, but it'll take you forever to have enough content to actually make your content strategy truly impactful. Are you willing to wait 6 months, maybe a year, before your weekly commitment to writing a blog post pays off?

Are you willing to to invest $10,000 on making your website gorgeous, only to realize that no one knows it even exists? Then, you have to spend another $5,000 on ads to get people to arrive on your site, and even then there's no guarantee that they'll even jump on the phone with you, let alone buy your stuff.

When you are early in your business, the highest leverage goal once again is to get paying clients.

And the highest leverage input activity that you can actually execute on to accomplish that goal is to just reach out directly to your ideal audience, and straight up talk to them about what you're up to.

Call them, email them, send them a message on Facebook or Linkedin. Hell, knock on their door if you can. That's how I built my first business as an 18 year old.

It sounds stupid and rudimentary, but the benefit here is that you go straight to the horse's mouth, and you can get a response immediately.

You can go from having just an idea and no clients, to within a week having 10 meetings with prospects set up, and several of them giving you intent to work. Hell, if you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe Gary Vee.

You just have to be proactive and go to them.

Thankfully, this stage doesn't last forever. As you grow your business and get better access to capital by actually winning your first few clients, a whole new world opens up to you.

Now you have the money to spend on ads. Now, you have client testimonials you can publish into a blog post. And as your resources grow, your ONE GOAL and the ONE MOST POTENT INPUT may change.

You as a business owner will have to readjust, recalibrate, and think about what is the highest leverage activity to do in your new reality. Content will eventually become a very high impact strategy.

But, bring it back to basics if you are just beginning your journey. Don't be a dog chasing shiny objects, or the kid that tries to order everything in the menu.

Filter out the noise, and focus on what actually matters.

From being at $0 revenue, working your way to $10,000 monthly revenue, and eventually $50,000 monthly revenue and beyond, I break down what an entrepreneur at each of those stages should be focusing their time on so they aren't chasing cars.

Attract & Scale
8 Park Rd, Toronto, Canada 

DISCLAIMER: Any sales figures stated above are not typical, I’m not implying you’ll duplicate them (or do anything for that matter). I have the benefit of practicing direct response marketing and sales since 2012. The average person who follows or buys any "how to" information gets little to no results, typically because no action is taken. Your results will vary (they could be better than mine, worse, or zero) and depend on many factors …including but not limited to your background and work ethic. All business entails risk as well as consistent effort and action. If you're not willing to accept that, please do not get or access our information. This website is not part of Facebook or Facebook Inc. Additionally, this site is NOT endorsed by Facebook in any way. FACEBOOK is a trademark of FACEBOOK Inc.