Since I launched my startup last year, my social media and email have been seeing much more activity from digital marketing agencies and coaches of coaches than clients or friends. Most of these businesses are startups themselves who are in the business of serving other startups. And pretty much all of them are using digital technology to sell digital technology-based services. The DIGITAL AGE has arrived if you haven’t noticed! And it’s making a great deal of data and very sophisticated technology available to the average person. So launching a new business is seeming simpler and simpler but is success also going to be much easier for the new entrants or incumbents?
I have been taking much of these online ads and marketing material pretty seriously, but deciding whether I need any of these services and picking a provider has been a real struggle on multiple levels:
- Taking all of this digital activity seriously means that I don’t take my own business seriously! There are simply not enough hours in the day to review and evaluate every piece of communication we receive about a coach of coaches, a digital media agency, or a marketing and sales consultant supporting coaches and consultants. Let alone the time and energy we need to live, work, and address our responsibilities.
- Well structured digital campaigns make differentiation a real challenge. The combination of very similar messages and almost identical techniques makes it near impossible to understand what differentiates one business from another. The email, LinkedIn InMail, or Facebook message structure is pretty modular like they are all written by the same sender for the same recipient. Also, most providers follow very similar schedules of communication, advertising, and content releases like they are all part of the same machine. Their LinkedIn profiles are structured in very similar ways that it is sometimes boring to go through them. Even their promises sound very similar which makes it extremely difficult to pick any of them with confidence.
- I wonder how they’re all going to help me “get high ticket clients” when their digital marketing is not making me feel like one. Receiving identical messages and responses to what every other lead receives doesn’t make me feel like these providers appreciates my unique situation and needs. Even when it comes to scheduling meetings, I am being sent to an online calendar to schedule my own calls. I am finding it pretty difficult to believe that high ticket clients can really be won without some real human interaction to establish credibility and win confidence.
- Apparently many of these providers have built multi-million dollar businesses and want to show us all how to by exactly building businesses like theirs. No comment there!
Digital technology provides businesses and the larger economy with access to unlimited amounts of data and communication and analytic tools. But since digitalization is at the fingertips of most (if not all) professionals and businesses, differentiating our offerings has become very challenging. This is especially the case for startups that are still working on building their brands. When it comes to doing business, I believe that digitalization will only succeed when it enhances the human experience rather than fully replace it.