Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a party with a ton of incredibly brilliant, successful entrepreneurs.

I met up with an acquaintance of mine and spent hours discussing the state of digital marketing today and what it takes to succeed in this new era.

Together, we identified the brutal reality that fake businesses have been de-platformed.

But who exactly are these “fake” businesses, and what does it take to truly thrive as an online business in our current landscape?

I’m spilling all the tea in today’s episode of The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, and trust me, it’s PIPPING hot.

Tune in what it takes to build true, sustainable, long-term success as an online business today, and what mindset and actions are causing fake businesses to get weeded it.

If this episode was a bit of a reality check for you, I’d love to hear your biggest takeaways! Send me a DM on Instagram and let’s chat.


Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact! APPLY NOW!


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Emily Hirsh:

Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope your week has been amazing and you’re preparing to take some time off next week, I guess only if you’re in the U S and you celebrate Thanksgiving. I have team members in Canada, and I know you guys already had your Thanksgiving, but next week is the U.S. Thanksgiving. I’ll be going to Santa Cruz with our family, which I’m very excited. I’m gonna leave my laptop home. We’ll be gone Wednesday through Sunday next week on the beach with my family. I get to see all my brothers, so I’m very excited for that. I’m also so excited to bring you this podcast episode. 

So living in Austin is amazing because there is a lot of incredible entrepreneurs in this town. I got to go to a party last weekend that had some really smart, amazing people, and it really made me realize how I need to do more of that. I just love being put in social situations where I’m around just inspiring, successful, incredible people who are so much smarter than me. Especially because I’m young, I’m only 27, I know that I have a lot of business experience to still gain, and I know I have a lot to learn from people who are older than me and have been in this game longer. It’s humbling to be in those type of conversations and to still contribute some value, but really to listen, to learn from their experience. 

I was at this party and I had literally a two hour conversation, I’m actually not going to name him because I don’t know if he’d want me to name him, but I had a two hour conversation with an incredible marketer that you guys all probably know. I know him, I’ve been acquaintances slash friends with him in the past. We ran into each other at the party and literally talked one-on-one for two hours just about marketing and this year, and how it’s been for his businesses. He also has so much experience. He has been basically doing digital marketing and since the early 2000’s. So he was telling me about the Google slap that happened, I think he said 2005, and then there was something else that happened in 2008/2009, and just the different experiences he’s had that have been similar to iOS 14 in the sense of like it’s impacted all marketers and it’s been a big shift in a new era of what I’ve been talking about. I obviously knew about some of those past things, but I never lived through any of them and actually experienced it with my business, with a marketing business.

I was just so enjoying hearing him explain the trends and what this means. So we got talking about this year and where marketing’s going, and this new era, and what’s important, and what businesses should focus on. Then he also was like, “you remind me so much of me when I was in my twenties,” and I asked him, “what was the mistakes that you made? What should I not do?” That was also really insightful. So I want to bring a part of that conversation cause I left that conversation. So then actually just side note for you guys, you’ll like this. Then the conversation turned from that and then other people came in, joined us and was sitting around us. Then it turned from marketing and the current era, to Meta and web 3.0, and crypto, and NFTs. Then I didn’t really have as much to contribute. I mean, I know about those things and I’ve shared my thoughts on Meta and Web 3.0, but these guys were like so smart with the things that they were saying that I actually felt like my brain hurt leaving this party. 

As an entrepreneur, like that’s a good party for me because I left and I got home and I was supposed to come home at like nine, and I got home at like 11. My husband was with the kids and I was like, “I just couldn’t leave. I was in the best conversations and my mind is blown. I have to go sleep on this and think about my takeaways because I’m just still processing everything that I just talked about.” So it was incredible, and those are just like such soul filling conversations. For me, it really drives me to be in a situation where I’m just like eating up and learning from somebody who’s just so wise and so intelligent, especially in our space. 

So anyways, we talked a lot about what’s happening right now in the industry, and it was really confirming for me that a lot of what he was saying aligned with what I have been saying. Some of those things I’ll share, which was how important messaging is and how important your offer is and the way he positioned it. This aligns what I’ve been saying on here. In the last year or two years, your marketing foundations are now more important than ever. The way that he put it, which I loved was up until this point, Facebook ads and digital marketing has very much been about a targeting game, right? You could retarget, you could get really accurate with that retargeting and retarget people that have taken all these certain steps, and you’ll be able to kind of like hack the data a little bit and you had this massive advantage because of the data that Facebook and these other platforms were gathering. 

Now that you’re losing that, it’s gone back to the original foundations of marketing that we all know works and that hasn’t changed, which is your messaging and having the strongest messaging. I think that messaging is often used as like a very broad term, but when I say messaging, it means your understanding of your ideal customer, not just their demographics, but the emotional understanding and the connection to their pain, to their frustrations, to all of those pieces that allow you to create amazing marketing. That also means your offer, and your offer positioning, and what makes you different as a brand, and how you’re going to stand out and all of those core things that really allow you to stand out, right? That’s foundational. 

What we were talking about was how you go back 20 plus years ago, or even more, that was all that is and will always be the foundation of marketing. It used to be where you could get away with playing a targeting game and you could kind of hack that system ,and ads were cheaper, and you could do all this retargeting, so your messaging didn’t have to be as dialed in. Now you can’t do that. You have to dial your messaging in even more, which it was so confirming beause I was like, “I’ve been saying this. This is so good.” 

So he shared with me how, it’s so funny, he shared with me how they just interviewed 30 of their customers to get more intel on what their customers were experiencing and all of the pain, and the frustrations, and the troubles they have. And I was like, “we just did that! We interviewed 50 people two months ago.” And he was like, “the businesses who are willing to go talk to their customers and get feedback and really go deep on what they need, they’re going to win all day long.” So let this come from, not just me you guys, this is someone who has a multiple eight figure company who is saying these things. I just felt so, I’m not trying to be like, “hi, I’m doing everything right,” but I felt like, “yes, I’m so happy you’re validating the decisions I’ve been making and telling people to go and do,” because he’s so much smarter than me, right? That felt really good. 

So really dialing in your messaging, and if you haven’t talked to your audience recently, you might need to, and your customers, if you have them to talk to, you might need to. One kind of trend I’ve been noticing is that entrepreneurs are saying things like, “well, this worked a year ago,” or” this worked two years ago, this was profitable in spring of 2020,” or whatever. And yeah, things have changed. The sooner you can come to the realization of that fact, that things have changed, the better that’s going to be for you. So that might mean you have to shift your offer and your positioning of your offer. In a lot of cases, that’s actually going to be your offer. That’s what we have done, both of our offers, we have shifted both of them to meet our audience and our customers where they’re at. You’re not serving yourself by staying in that place of being like, “well, it’s worked before, so it should work now.” The sooner you step in and do that the better. 

So that’s the one big piece was that I loved the viewpoint of it used to be a targeting game, and it used to be like an ad hack game how you could get these inexpensive ads and allow you to be really successful. Now that that’s not reality. It’s back to the foundations of marketing that are all around your messaging. Nothing is possible without your messaging. We were talking about iOS 14 and how so many people freaked out about it and struggled from it. And he said he has like a really big group of entrepreneurs that he was like watching. And he’s like, “I just watched this whole thing happen. I watched people totally freak out. I watched their ad costs go up. I watched it impact their businesses.” And he’s like, “and the one thing that I sat back and said was may the best copywriter win.” Iit was so simple, but so true, and that ties into messaging, right?

His viewpoint has been through all this, through the increased cost, through the iOS 14 and the loss of data, who’s going to win, may the best copywriter win. Meaning, may the company with the best messaging, with the best connection with their audience, with the best ability to attract their audience will still win. That’s confirming around that, and so true. We have added two copywriters to our team in the last few months internally, and then also for our clients, because this has become so important. And not just like writing good copy, but being able to come up with creative angles and different ways of looking at things and how you’re going to stand out, because copy and messaging drives everything. That drives the creative, that drives the video that you should be creating, that drives the angles that you should create around how you’re going to attract your audience. Without that you really can’t do anything. So allow that to really look internally at your marketing and see if you’re doing that, if you are prioritizing that. 

Then I brought up to him of my feelings around the online industry and how the fake businesses that don’t, you know I did a podcast if you guys want to go back probably a couple of weeks, podcast episode 333, I talked about what nobody else is telling you about the online business industry. So I brought that to him about how I’ve been talking about it, and he totally agreed. He was like, “this is the great purge happening right now. And it’s not the first time, and it’s not the last time that this is going to be happening online.” But the reality is these people, these entrepreneurs like quote “entrepreneurs” who want to come on and treat growing an online business like a hobby, and have zero ability to invest in time and money into the long game of their business, and want to follow this shiny object syndrome of these other influencers who are essentially teaching you how to be successful when the success they created happened 6, 8, 10 years ago, and so therefore their strategies and viewpoint of the industry is no longer relevant. 

Essentially, if you are that type of business where you don’t have strong messaging, where you don’t have a unique angle, where you don’t have the ability to stand out, where you don’t have a good offer, where you’re not about delivering value, and where you’re just in it for, “how do I get the quickest success with the least amount of effort and the least amount of investment, and not willing to play the long game,” those businesses are being purged right now. They’re being deplatformed because they can’t afford their business anymore. They can’t afford to advertise. They can’t afford to play the game. The businesses who are still in the game are the ones playing that long game, are the ones putting in the grinding work on nailing their messaging, on understanding their ideal customer, on pivoting their offer, on adjusting to what their audience needs, on figuring out how they can niche down or stand out or be better, on delivering a better offer. Those are the businesses who are still relevant and will continue to be relevant, but the ones who aren’t willing to do that, they have been deplatformed. 

When you look at like, what are their options anymore? They don’t have any. There’s no easy, quick fix marketing. It’s not there. There’s no solution that’s going to bring you success right now if you don’t have those things. There used to be when you could get dollar leads or 50 cent leads and build a funnel that was like 70% good, but the messaging wasn’t that good, but there wasn’t a lot of people doing what you’re doing. You could create success. That is no longer possible. So the sooner we all realize that, and then we all step up to what is required now to be successful.

Which is essentially a dialed in marketing strategy. It’s not one piece to the puzzle, it’s all the pieces of the puzzle working together. And it’s the ability to stand out. It’s the ability to be the best. All of those things are what’s going to result in you still being successful. The fake businesses and the ones who are in it for the overnight success, who don’t want to put in the work, who don’t want to put in the investment, who aren’t willing to make it happen no matter what, and have that attitude, they have been deplatformed. And it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for all of us legit businesses that we’re going to take back this industry and have it be that level of value. That makes it so it’s good in the long run, but it’s harder right now. 

So it was just such an inspiring conversation, and what I want you to get from it is the importance of a solid marketing foundation, of the fact that there are marketing golden rules, which is may the best copywriter win, or master your messaging and you master your marketing, or the business who can pay the most to acquire a customer will win. That’s a Dan Kennedy statement, still true today. That will always be true, is still true. The businesses who have the foundation, who grind, who pushed through the times that are harder, are the ones who are relevant. 

I also want to share this individual told me this was one of the hardest years for their business. They have, again, a very successful business in all of his career, 2020. So if you experienced going backwards or a dip in your sales, or you feel like you were struggling this year, just know you’re not alone. I also shared that in that episode that I mentioned, 333, that I know many launches and behind the scenes of big entrepreneurs and influencers, and they did less this year than they did the previous year. We have to remember last year was PPE money. COVID hit, you didn’t feel the negative impact yet because it was driving so many people to make all these crazy decisions and jump in with their business, and that isn’t here this year. Now we’re feeling the impact of that last year. So I think that if you can look at your sales and combined like this year and last year, and look at what’s your collective growth between the two, and if you’ve grown from 2019, that’s good. And we get to go into a new year soon, that’s the good news. 

Another thing that we agreed on in this conversation was it’s not going to get better from here. Digital marketing and the easem or the cost, or the success with it, it’s not going to get better from here. It’s probably not going to get worse right now, but it’s not going to get better. That means, that’s not said to be like, “well, you’re screwed.” Then said to me, like, you need to figure out how to be successful still. That’s the other thing is you can be successful. Is it more work? Yes. Does it potentially require more of an investment both in your time and your money? Yes. Can you do it though? Absolutely. If you’re willing to have that grit to play that long game, to put the work into your foundation, that maybe you’re having to go back and put this work in because you didn’t have it and then all of this stuff happened and expose those cracks. You’re not the only one going through that. You’re not the only one who has to pivot your offer, if that’s what you have to do. Many, many people are having to do that. The faster you accept that, and the faster you take action on that, the faster you’re going to get to results. 

So results are still possible, but if you are waiting for things to go back to how they were before the iOS updates, or before this year, or whatever you’re waiting for, stop waiting and start acting and moving forward with actions and understanding that the businesses who prioritize their messaging, who prioritize a solid marketing foundation, who prioritize having the best offer that you can have in your niche. And you ask yourself, how do I have that? How do I solve every problem of my ideal customers? The businesses who are going to put out a tremendous amount of value, who play the long game and understand the benefit of growing a warm audience, of generating leads consistently of putting back into their business, those businesses are going to win, and they will be relevant next year. The fake businesses in it for that overnight success, they are, are being purged. That’s the reality. 

I think that not enough people are maybe giving this reality check, but the good thing is, I know if you guys are listening to my podcast, you know I talk all day long about the reality and what a real business needs to do in order to be successful. I give you guys that truth, and I’m very real with you. So I think you are one of those businesses, and again, I want you to hold on to the fact that even right now, you can still be successful. We just had a client, we put it on Instagram, who just had their biggest live launch to date ever. We had another client who did $50,000 in sales over a weekend after not making a lot of sales. They were down, they were in negative ROAS. We’ve made changes. Marketing comes from the optimization, it comes from the refinement. True success in marketing comes from expecting something to not work, and then what you do with that defines your success. 

All right, you guys. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode as much as I enjoyed the conversation I had. If you loved it, or you got some big takeaways, send me a message on Instagram. I asked that like a week ago from you guys and you guys sent me some great messages. So I love that. It’s always rewarding to know what hits home for you in my content, or what you want more of, or what was like, “oh, this is such a good idea.” So thanks so much for tuning in today, guys. I’ll talk to you soon.