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I know what it’s like. Your business needs new clients. You do a hundred Google searches on the latest marketing tips and tricks. What’s big on Instagram right now? What are the newest SEO strategies we should be using? What should we be blogging about to get the most traffic?
You realize — frantically — how little you know.
Fighting panic and overwhelm, you sign up for a marketing course that promises to cure your lead generation problems at lightning speed.
You immerse yourself. Make pages of notes. As you near the end, another marketer catches your attention. They talk about missed opportunities in your lead generation that you have to learn more about.
So you buy that course, take more notes. The cycle repeats itself.
You’ve now invested hundreds of dollars on marketing courses (maybe thousands, depending on how driven you are.) You’ve got a list of new marketing tactics a mile long, but all the while, you realize the more you know, the more you don’t know. And so it goes. Another course. Another marketing guru to follow. Pages of notes. The greatest of intentions. But no implementation.
I have been there, more times than I care to count. Welcome to Squirrel Syndrome.
Related content: 7 Life Lessons From My Entrepreneur Journey
What is Squirrel Syndrome?
We all suffer from it at various points along our entrepreneur journey. After all, there’s a certain peace of mind that follows from registering for another marketing course. You are doing something to grow your business.
By investing in your marketing education, you have already separated yourself from the pack. But if you’re not implementing what you’ve learned already, then how is it really helping your business?
Learning more marketing isn’t going to get you more clients. Massive implementation will. My old marketing mentor used to say, “Implement so many things that you kick up a dust storm of activity.” That’s a powerful image to keep in mind.
So how do you determine which course to take to get more clients?
Here’s my best advice, coming from someone who’s invested over two hundred thousand on their business and marketing education to date:
1. Choose one expert on marketing to follow.
Resist the siren song to be pulled into the worlds of others. It is hard to focus on just one expert, especially when you’re being pitched non-stop by others. But by focusing on one, you’ll have the benefit of following their training step-by-step, instead of being pulled in different directions, or worse, having to decide between conflicting advice.
When I first started my marketing agency, I signed up for every marketing guru’s training course I could find, thinking that the more I could learn, the faster my business would grow. Not only did I wind up sometimes forgetting who’s training I had purchased, but when I did remember and completed course after course, I was so overwhelmed that I hardly knew where to begin. So that’s when I started to simplify by following one expert at a time. Sometimes I would stay learning from that expert for a month or a few months, or sometimes a few years. When I felt I had learned and implemented as much as I could, I moved on to learn from the next.
2. Choose the expert that resonates the most with you and then invest in their class or training that is the best fit for your needs.
This might sound easy but how do you know if they resonate with you? That’s a great question. When I’m exploring someone new, I always sign up for everything they offer for free. Free book? I’m in. Free weekly email? Sign me up. Then, as I go through their free resources, I’m looking for those “A-ha moments,” meaning: Are they conveying value to me as a non-paying customer? Or are they someone who puts everything of value behind a paywall? If I learn nothing of value from their free things, I unsubscribe fast and move on. But if they care enough about their clients to provide value first, then I pay much closer attention and look to see if I can pay them to learn a lot more.
3. Decide on your expert and which course to take and how to get the most out of your lessons.
My personal methodology is that I use an exercise book and take pages of good old-fashioned hand-written notes. For some reason, it helps the ideas reach my brain more deeply if I handwrite them versus just typing them up. As I go through a training, I’m also simultaneously making an implementation list so that by 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! Figure out what’s the highest and best use of your time, and delegate the rest.
Fighting overwhelm and distraction is one of the biggest challenges we have as entrepreneurs, but your results will be exponentially better by narrowing your focus to learn from one expert at a time, focusing on your implementation and leaving others to chase their tails and the shiny marketing objects. You’re too busy creating dust storms of activity anyhow!