"...no one in Nigeria is going to make a special trip to your flower shop to see what you have on sale" R.M.
They are not Jeff's Crew...
We see them all the time, and we ban them as fast as we see them in any group we own, manage or moderate for. Even during the time I wrote this, my phone rang, and the caller ID shows a local cellular phone number, but that was not anyone locally on the other end of the phone. I cheerfully answered to hear a recording " This is Amazon to discuss an unauthorized purchase for a MacBook on your Amazon account" They asked me to verify the email for my Amazon account, but I did not comply. While some departments at Amazon will make outbound calls to customers, Amazon will never ask you to disclose or verify sensitive personal information or offer you a refund you do not expect. I went undercover and did a story on this for the Madison County News Network in April. The story went a little deeper than we knew when I wrote it. The Fake Profiles are running rampant and stealing real people's profiles, catfishing them into thinking they are applying for a job, but in reality, they are only stealing your information.
When You Learn to Spot Them, It Will Make You Sick. I left LinkedIn over it, canceled partnerships over it, and joined forces with companies in our space that share the same view. In the business development world, we see it all the time, a random LinkedIn request to connect with someone that said they can bring traffic to your business. Only to find out they were nothing more than hackers scraping data somehow and then using it to target people they thought were vulnerable. Business owner friends, I hate to say it harshly, but the company you are dreaming of does not drop random connection requests. They are the ones who will educate you and show you how to build it yourself. There is a platform that, if you do not know what you are doing, you should be extremely careful shopping for services on. It's called Fivver. I give err of caution to you because there are services and prices that, when you first look at them, you are going to think, "that's it" or "there's my solution." I know I sure the hell did. In this series, I will tell you my story in detail so you won't spend the money I did.
Why Does THIS happen?
Just like many of my followers here on The Funded Project, I am also a business owner. But what the consumer community does not understand is when a business is not getting the right return on investment in the marketing dollar, the community where that business is located suffers. That ****es me off... Their shenanigans cost business owners, myself included, a lot of money, and it can cost the community with higher prices for services or products they need and depend on that business to provide, or worse. Businesses that take a hit in the pocketbook run the risk of going out of business. In smaller markets like Anderson, IN. or Cheyenne, WY, it could really hurt a community if that was a local favorite. In Anderson, the locals tell the Madison County News Network about times they had at the Mounds Mall when it was full of small local businesses that served the community; and they share the same heartache that locals miss at Sawgito Bar in San Angelo, Texas, again, the community suffers. Our news partners at San Angelino Live are no strangers to this,
I teach by doing it in front of you, then you repeat after me.
I show business owners how to network online, so they don't waste their money on the "I will get you to the top of google " salesman. I do this because I don't want to see another person struggle the way I did with Metromedia Funding Solutions working with countless lead providers that would charge up to $50.00 a lead and make you buy 100 at a time only to learn that they were not looking for your services in the first place. At the time this was happening to me, my wife was still living out of state, and I was in Anderson fighting for my oldest daughter (from a prior relationship) in Anderson, Indiana. I won the custody battle; This was way before the pandemic, but I was a smaller business, and I only wanted to grow; I put my money into the hands of people I thought would bring me the leads that I could help. But instead, they took thousands of dollars away from my business. I had to learn how to do it on my own and bounce back.
I will never sell a class; I am an educator by heart first, and charging people for knowledge is not my thing. I had to go down this path in an industry many hated because the people they would sell the "good leads" to were not in it to help the businesses in the first place. You have to make some friends first. Connect with people who are like-minded. Have some friends and family share your social post for your business, and do what you say you are going to do when you get an opportunity; make sure there is social proof of that, and do it again and again. Metromedia Funding Solutions started off as a newspaper marketing company. We were the people that would talk you into taking subscriptions to newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Toledo Blade. Printed Media went downhill with the digital era, and I tried going into other industries that proved not to be the right match for me. I found my way, and you will too.
If you find yourself out here looking for marketing companies and leads, there are a few things you should note:
Have you seen proof this will work?
Do you have a backup plan if it doesn't
You should never spend 100% of your budget working with one company.
Is their following reacting to the content they are putting out?
Have you checked a few of their following's public profiles to see a real person?
Businesses looking for customers for anything eCommerce, remember impressions are not sales, bots don't buy anything, and overseas PPC campaigns for your US-based business are a flat-out waste of effort because no one in Nigeria is going to make a special trip to your Savanna, GA flower shop to see what you have on sale. Businesses that are targeting a certain customer feel the pinch two-fold, especially when they sell the same leads to 50 other companies, and you all start to call them. Think about it from the person on the other end of the phone who filled out a simple opt-in form and is getting pitched by 50 companies that all paid full price for the lead. Denver-based Home Advisor had just been in trouble for something like this. Many consumers fail to realize that cost is passed to them in their estimates. We have spoken with many small contractors that have spent thousands of dollars not to get a quality sale for their small business. It really makes you not like anyone in the business-to-business world. That is why I am doing this; that is why The Funded Project exists because I wanted to be the partner that brings the customers to the business, and it is fun to watch someone grow. I cannot begin to tell you how many I have seen go from small and struggling to stable and growing. I remind you, it's called growing pains for a reason.
Mark has enough money...
I will not pay for Google or Facebook ad space; I represent the rest of us, the community, and businesses that would rather not have to get everything from the Amazon truck or overseas. We ask the communities we serve to help out by sharing posts, following us, and even visiting sponsors for the news sites we are involved in, as each has its own mission, and none of them will accept a political advertisement or post a politically charged story on behalf of any candidate, even the ones we like and follow personally. We are often asked why, and the answer is the value of local news and making it free for the community is more important to us. People are capable and smart enough to figure out what is best for them. We only deliver the news. How someone processes the information we showed is their decision, and we stand on a firm belief that we should never be responsible for tilting that in any direction. Our goal is to make this available to every community and hope to grow into more markets and see them get their own news page like the Hamilton County News Network did in Noblesville, IN. The page may be smaller, but it has to start somewhere, and so do you as a business owner.
Lock the doors
Also, secure your stuff. Nothing is more heartbreaking than building an audience and losing your ability to connect with them. I have seen this happen to small businesses, and almost every time, it breaks the morale of the person that built it. We have seen this a lot more on TikTok, influencers who have a million followers, and then the channel is gone. This is why it is important to either navigate with caution or work with someone who understands that.
If your business is less than five years old or is making less than 250K a year, you really need to think about multiple ways to make money in your business. I have a client with a professional cleaning company. When he came to me, he was only doing 5K a month, we figured out how to network with a few local social influencers, and we funded him enough to get himself up and going with a good streaming camera, he spends his days doing his job, but he makes money from YouTube simply live-streaming himself doing it. He is doing 30K a month now, but not with any additional cleaning jobs; that other 25K is coming from his channel payouts on YouTube,
Bootcamp Welcomes You
If you are not a business owner and have made it to this point in the article, thank you on behalf of the businesses we hope you will discover and fall in love with on social sites like ours. We encourage you to follow us. In our new private group. These businesses are run by people like you. If you are a business owner, remember to google, YouTube it, TikTok it, and if you still are stuck on it that is when you need to call. If you taking care of your own marketing, you need to know that organic marketing is time-consuming, and you will end up sacrificing time for something else. Can you afford to do that? If you cannot afford to lose the time AND don't have the cash it takes, that is what is nice about our platform; we finance, we fund, and we do this every day; you can find information out here.
You can always reach out to me by clicking any of the links below, and I am never too far away. I am also willing to jump on the phone and brainstorm ideas with you. We should always make that a two-way street and learn from each other as business owners, collaborate and grow. It will never fail you. You just have to start,
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