If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to make difficult decisions every day in your business. How much to invest in your marketing is not one of them.
If you believe in your team, there’s no limit to what you should invest in marketing. We’ll discuss a few reasons why you might be considering reigning in your marketing spend later in this article, but here’s the truth: it almost always comes down to confidence.
If you’re not confident that your team can convert the lead into new business when a call comes in or a contact form gets filled out, you’ll invariably ease up on marketing.
Why? Because you don’t want to squander a lead and waste your money.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Once you acknowledge the problem—that your hiring or training processes are killing your confidence in your team—you can fix what needs to be fixed and crank up your marketing spend knowing it won’t be wasted.
Let’s dive a little deeper into this issue to see what’s really going on.
Two Struggles Tied to Confidence
Early on, entrepreneurs feel like they have to do everything in their business. I speak from experience here. It’s hard to have confidence in anyone else, so you only invest up to what you can personally handle. By doing that, you become the bottleneck.
As your team grows and the business matures, that trust in others should begin to develop, allowing you to let go of the reigns and increase your marketing spend. But what happens if the money you invest causes you to experience massive growth?
Again, I speak from experience here. My business has grown 1,500 percent in the last three years in large part due to our marketing efforts. It’s amazing, but at the same time, it’s intimidating. There are only so many spots on the calendar and so many account executives to go around. If you find yourself in this situation and your confidence is shaken, it’s not due to a lack of confidence in your existing team members.
It’s due to a lack of confidence in your hiring process. You’re worried that you won’t be able to hire the right people to fill the seats you desperately need filled.
It’s Not Really About Capacity
Sometimes entrepreneurs really do face a capacity problem and need to pause their marketing to focus on hiring new people. But I’d say that’s 2 percent of all cases.
The other 98 percent is all about a lack of confidence. If they crank up the marketing spend, they’re worried that the phones won’t be answered perfectly every time, or that a contact form won’t be responded to right away. Granted, they’ll never admit that.
However, their actions betray their true feelings. After all, if they believed their team was the equivalent of Seal Team Six, and that they would perfectly execute every mission no matter how chaotic things got, why wouldn’t they infinitely invest in their marketing?
To help increase my confidence in my team—and increase their self-confidence—I will regularly stress test them with doomsday scenarios. Stuff like: the file server is down, two people have called in sick, one person missed their flight on the way to a client shoot, a client wants a refund, and I can’t be reached. What do you do?
At first, these fire drills scared them to death. But now, they expect me to throw these crazy scenarios at them and they’re prepared to respond. That makes me confident that no matter what happens, I can trust my team to handle it, even if I’m not there.
How to Gain Confidence in Your Team
So, now that we know confidence is the real culprit behind the desire to pull back your marketing spend, let’s look at ways to build confidence in your team. The first step is being able to pull yourself out of the sales and marketing processes. The team you’ve hired and trained must be able to close deals and drive revenue without you.
If you trust the people, systems, and processes you have in place, you’ve got to be willing to step back and let your team work. If your team is reliant on you to close deals, then you become the bottleneck. Your willingness to scale yourself out of those departments will be directly correlated to how confident you are in your team.
That speaks to another aspect of confidence: getting the right people in the right seats. When you determine the seats you need filled and put people in those seats, you have to trust that they’re going to hit their targets no matter what comes their way. A team that inspires confidence doesn’t need to be micromanaged. It’s filled with people who can tell you what needs to be done because they totally own their role and their metrics.
Again, this comes down to having hiring and training processes in place that set your team up to succeed. Without those processes in place, it’s going to be a disaster if you ramp up your marketing spend. But if you trust those processes, why hold back?
Pour gasoline on that fire and let it go. As you grow, remember that there will be levels you hit where you need to scale up your infrastructure or your people. Sometimes the team members and processes that got you to one level won’t get you to the next one.
That’s okay. Trust that your hiring and training can get the right people in the right seats, and that those people are capable of helping you scale the infrastructure.
Once that’s done, you can increase your marketing spend with confidence.