Because 2018 has been such a growth year for so many clients, the tension around what next year holds is growing. Here’s what I’m hearing.
The Economic Bubble Will Pop
Yes, the market has been on a good growth track and yes, we’ve all benefited from that over 2018. I’ve seen more acquisitions and scaling up happening in this year than I’ve seen in the last five. Unemployment is low, business seems good, and opportunity seems to drop out of the sky. Utopia?
Far from it. But I do think we’ll be okay.
No, things can’t stay the same forever. But that is not to say they have to dive sharply the other way, either. I think it’s part of our nature to think in terms of good or bad, but I don’t think that is how the markets seem to work.
I think we are far from calling this past year a bubble. So the “pop” will not be an explosion, but more of a train slowly coming to a halt. We’ll see it coming, things will slow down, but we’ll arrive. Not fall off a cliff.
But despite what I, or anyone else has to say, we should not treat the change in growth trajectory 2019 with fear, but as an opportunity to approach with balanced expectation.
Lead Generation Is Getting Harder
You bet it is. Because it’s getting easier for people who are bad at it to do it poorly in massive scale. An ol’ tip of the hat to you – the cold callers who have killed the phone line, and all the spammers that built up the firewalls to be overly aggressive at email filtering, and you Black Hat SEO pirates that now make ranking in Google a 40K endeavor. Thank you a ton. You’ve made our job of connecting businesses with each other even harder.
But it’s not out of reach. Yes, it will be harder to connect with people if you are trying to take the easy road. The “noise” level is at an all time high, and it takes new tactics and approaches to connect with people in your market.
So yes, it is harder if you were signed up for the easy road. But those who understand relationship development and truly care will find the same ripe fields for their services and products if they can get outside the noise in front of their buyer. See my post on shifts in sales for 2019.
I’m Not Doing X, and I Need to Do X!
“We need to be on the Twitter.” “On the Twitter eh?” This happens a lot. And when I throw out the logical question of “why,” the backpedaling begins. Many actually do have a logical reason why they need to add this or that tactic to their marketing plan. But for many, there’s an irrational drive to find a solution to a problem they’ve made up in their heads. That’s often the real problem.
The simple point is this: if you’re not on LinkedIn now, being on it tomorrow is not going to help you. LinkedIn will help you if you do it well – in fact, most tactics will. But there is no silver bullet.
The realistic silver bullet is measured return over time. It’s much like investing; if you’re in a stock for a week, you’re much more likely to lose than if you see it through for years.
To make something a longterm strategy, you need to know what you are doing, what the rate of return could be, and how much of an investment to make. That is where working with an agency can come in. It’s a lot of what I do every meeting – making sure our clients are putting the right dollars in the right spaces to maximize their investments.
Don’t fall into a fad. Take the far less exciting, but far more reliable road of structured, measured engagement. And don’t get in to panic mode about what you are or are not doing today. Don’t cave into the fear of missing out without thinking through the “why”.
Lay All Fears Aside…
I hope that helps lay some of your fears aside and gives you the perspective of an agency leader who works with many professionals just like yourself. We are all trying to grow business and make one dollar turn into two. Being wise, calm and unshaken by fear is going to be the path to success in 2019. Join us in that approach.