In this episode I dive into the real-world impact of the economy on businesses and marketing. Drawing on my experience working with over 100 businesses, I provide valuable insights into how the current economic landscape is influencing buyer behavior and shaping marketing strategies. By offering practical advice and examples, I emphasize the importance of adapting and optimizing marketing approaches to meet the changing needs of consumers in uncertain economic times.


Whether you’re a business owner or a marketing professional, this episode will provide you with actionable strategies for navigating economic challenges and positioning your business for success in the evolving marketplace. Listen now to discover how to thrive in today’s economic climate and elevate your marketing strategies for lasting impact and growth.


Key Points: 

  • Adapting to economic challenges:
      • Understand the impact of economic fluctuations on buyer behavior and decision-making.
      • Emphasize the need to counteract buyer hesitancy through intentional marketing and messaging.
      • Recognize the importance of continuously refining offers and strategies to align with shifting market dynamics.
  • Navigating buyer hesitancy:
      • Prioritize connecting with audience frustrations, desires, and underlying problems to tailor compelling offers.
      • Consider pivoting offers, adding valuable bonuses, and refining messaging to remain relevant and appealing to potential buyers.
      • Actively involve leadership and CEO engagement in driving strategic shifts and establishing resonance with the target audience.
  • Staying present and adaptable:
    • Emphasize the value of consistent audience and lead growth to mitigate the impact of buyer hesitancy.
    • Encourage business leaders to maintain a present, intentional, and open-minded approach to marketing strategies for long-term success.
    • Empower decision-making based on the abundance of opportunities while avoiding fear-based choices in uncertain economic climates.


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Emily Hirsh:

Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Happy Thursday if you were tuning in live on the day this episode drops. I’m back from our Thanksgiving holiday. It was a quick trip to California. Always great to hang out with my family. I’m pretty close with my family, especially my brothers, so it was awesome. And I am a little sick with a cold, you know how it goes if you have littles in the cold and flu season. It’s not terrible. It’s just a cold, but it feels like there’s always something in our house between my three kids. So here we are, and I’m feeling very excited because the day this episode drops, I get to announce something really big.


So I get to share it here first with you guys. I’m officially launching and filling spots for my mastermind. This has been in the works for probably 1 or 2 years, and I’ve played with things like this in doing a three-month mentorship package, VIP days, and really stepping into helping people on a much higher level. And this year got really clear between the work I’ve done and then the retreat I went to that I want to help people at such a big level and be able to go so deep in all areas of their life.


Yes, of course, business but also their life, their relationships, their health, living out, and truly being able to experience having it all. So with that said, I get to announce the mastermind, and we’re only accepting 8 spots into this mastermind. And this is an overview of what’s included. So you’ll get a six-month container, two 1-on-1 calls with me during the six months, we’re going to do them in the beginning and towards the end. We will do group calls about 3 times a month, three to 4 times a month. There will sometimes be guest experts, or it will be an opportunity to get coaching from me. There’s going to be an in-person event in Austin in the spring, so towards the end of the six months, basically, it will run from January through June. The event will probably be in May; we don’t want it to be later than that in Austin because it’ll be really hot, but the house is covered, the food is covered. It will be just get yourself to Austin and then experience the retreat and the event. And then there’s going to be a private WhatsApp group. 


That’s something I’ve done in a group experience I was in recently, and I really like it.

It’s a little bit better than Voxer, I think, and it’s like having a text message group so you have support in between the calls. I’m also filming six months so that there’s going to be some extra content, not really trainings, not the depth of a training but content around that month’s theme. And the whole theme of the mastermind is six months to completely reset and optimize your business and your life. We are, of course, heavily focusing on business because that is my expertise. I can help you grow your business, I can help you with your marketing. I mean, the growth that you will have in your business alone will be huge, but more than that, I feel that I have really mastered—I mean, you’re never a master at this, it’s an ever-evolving process—but the personal growth, the leadership, the healing, and up leveling that needs to happen to actually have the business that you want to have.


And so we’re going to be incorporating things around your health, your relationships, your habits, like your rituals, how you want to show up in your business as a CEO, so that we’re not just addressing the marketing strategy and the business strategy and the offer strategy, but we’re actually going deeper and addressing you where it starts and where it matters the most.

So it’s a six-month experience that is going to change your life, and honestly, it’s for people who hear this and they’re like, “Oh hell yes, I am in, this feels right. This is what I want in 2024. I want to have the best year yet. I know and I feel called to working with Emily in this way.” You probably feel inspired by what I’ve built, by what I have accomplished, but also who I am and how I show up in all areas of my life, not just business but also as a mom, also as a wife, also as a friend, and also for myself. So if you feel inspired and you feel called to step into that and experience this, like it should feel like a hell. Yes, if you’re a little bit on the fence because you’re nervous about the investment, that’s okay, we’ll chat about that. But I mean, it’s only 8 spots, and we’re only putting this out to our audience, and we already have a couple of clients interested in this because I’ve talked to them about it on a private training. So if you are interested in more details on this, you’re going to send me a DM on Instagram with the word Elevate. 


The mastermind is going to be called Elevate going in our “E” theme. We’ve got Evolved, Essential, Elite, and now the mastermind is Elevate. So send me a message that says Elevate, and I will send you the application. I’m personally vetting everybody and bringing on the 8 women that we—it is going to be just women, that is another piece. The 8 women that are going to go through this experience, and it’s going to be absolutely incredible. I am so excited, and this for me personally feels like a step into a massive next level because I know that I am here to make an impact that goes so much farther beyond marketing and even business and has a true lifelong impact on people and their success and their happiness and really living that life of your dreams. Whatever that is and the concept of being able to have it all, so I’m very excited, send me a message on Instagram, and we will connect. I’ll send you the application; I’ll share investment details. And if you feel something when I say this, I want you to send me a message that we can chat with. That said, let’s talk about today’s episode. 


I was sitting here brainstorming an entire list of podcast episodes I was going to record, and this one came to me, it just popped in my head, which I love and feel very called to talk about and that you guys need to hear this, need to talk about this, and it is just around the economy.

Is the economy right now and in the year of 2023 going into 2024 impacting businesses and impacting marketing now? I’m not an economist, I’m not an expert on the stock market or any of those things. I really don’t even pay attention to that. So I think that number one, it’s obvious that the economy is not in the best place when you look at inflation, food prices, gas prices, and all of that, so we can all see that. But then there’s like, okay, but how is it really impacting, especially small business owners and marketing and the success because we can hear these things and see the costs and probably feel the pain of it when we go grocery shopping right now. But like, how is it really impacting business and sales and success?


So my perspective on this is my frontline experience in my own business and our clients, I have access to over 100 businesses actively working with Hirsh Marketing right now, and so that is my experience that I’m sharing not from statistics and looking at the economy and the stock market. So I want to be clear on that so that I don’t get nitpicked on what I say in this episode.

The short answer to “Is it having an impact on business and marketing?” is yes, obviously it is. I think that this year, especially this year and last year, but probably more so this year, a lot of small business owners are feeling the impact of the economy and the shifts. And people, basically, I think when the economy isn’t doing well and we go into a recession, which I know there’s like an official definition of that, but we’re basically in a recession. Buyer hesitancy increases, people become more hesitant to pull the trigger to buy from a business because money is less abundant. Now here’s the thing, though; even in harder times in an economy downturn and not as abundant time in the economy, people have money to spend. It is not so scarce that nobody can spend money, at least not right now in this time.


So my take on this is yes, the economy is impacting businesses, it is impacting marketing and sales. But how you counteract that is you just have to dial things in more, and that has been my experience for the last two plus years is you have to put a little bit more energy, a little bit more intention, a little bit more work into your marketing, into your messaging, into your offer, in order to be successful. If we go back 7 eight years ago when I started my business and when I was doing marketing for people then, it was way easier. It was really inexpensive cost per leads. It was like a gold mine. People were figuring out the online world, but people were buying courses, and there was so much opportunity, and so therefore, people had the money to buy all these courses, buy all these programs, buy all these masterminds. It was starting to blow up, and it was a lot easier back then to sell and to get paid traffic and get leads. Even organic, the algorithms were probably better back then, but that wasn’t sustainable, like that was never going to last forever.


And so I think now and today is actually a more realistic view and a realistic reality of what it’s like to market a business and how much intention and effort and constant optimization has to happen in order for it to be successful. So yes, our clients and myself have noticed the impact of the economy on our sales, on our marketing, and on our business. But we have been able to still create success, and so I think that’s the differentiation is yes, and success is still fully possible and achievable. But in order for that to happen, you’ve got to dial in everything a little bit more. And the businesses doing that are still successful and still winning. I mean, I think it was last month we made $1,000,000 for all of our clients, and that’s just our ‘done for you’ clients – a million dollars in collective revenue. The money is still there. The buyers are just being a little bit more intentional and a little bit more hesitant, meaning they might take a little bit longer than they were three or four years ago, and we just have to combat that through our marketing, through our strategy, and through how we run our business.


I think especially the offer that you sell has to be very dialed in. I have found us supporting clients even in the marketing packages and how we work with clients in marketing that we are spending time and energy and a strategy shift. Pivoting, sometimes pivoting offers, adding in bonuses, trying to have constant kind of fresh wrapping paper, and really trying to make sure that offer stands out from everything else and is positioned as a no-brainer, and that people need to have it. Need to have this service, need to have this offer, because if it’s just like a nice-to-have, if it’s a want, if it’s like ‘oh, that would be nice, but I don’t really need it to be successful to achieve my goals,’ etc., then you’re going to have a harder time selling it in a time where the economy is not doing as well.


People don’t really make buying decisions on nice-to-have things. It goes down to like, what do I need to have, so success is still absolutely possible. I think that most businesses right now who are feeling the impact of the economy probably haven’t pivoted enough to meet their audience and their customers where they are at today and connected back with their – what do I say all the time – frustrations, desires, pain. Okay, problems, frustration, desires. So if you haven’t in a long time or in a year, even, spent time intentionally connecting back to those three things of your ideal customer, there is a high chance that your offer has a disconnect from those things. Because those three things and the way that your audience and your ideal customer speaks about those things, at the least, speaks about it. But maybe even the actual things have shifted, and so if your business has not adapted and pivoted to those shifts, you are going to have a harder time selling your offer compared to the businesses that stay on top of it.


I think that it’s probably one of the number 1 killers in a business is a CEO or a leadership team or a company culture that is very adverse to change and that is very adverse to staying open. Constant optimization, constant listening to their audience and their customers and their potential customers and taking that intel and actually taking action on it. If you go look at any history of companies, usually the ones that become irrelevant over time are the ones that, for whatever reason, if it’s in their culture or the CEO got burned out or they stopped paying attention, they stopped pivoting, and they stopped listening and taking action based on that. So right now, I see directly that the companies who are having the hardest time fall in a couple of these buckets, one of these buckets being. They were previously successful. Maybe it was a year ago, two years, three years ago, and they haven’t been able to get back to that level of success, but they’re trying to do the same thing that they were doing back then and not making many changes or if they are, they’re very small changes.


But they haven’t paused and used this as permission to reflect and listen and dig deep on what bigger shifts they might need to make to stay relevant and to keep sales up. Number 2 is the companies who are still of the mindset of, at one point, someone told me or I saw how easy digital marketing and growing a business was and that all you have to do is build a landing page, post it on Facebook, run ads to it, and it’s going to be successful. So if I build a funnel and run ads, I will then be successful, but they’re not actually building the foundation of the offer, the messaging, the strategy, and all of those pieces because they don’t think they need it, whether it’s intentional or not. And so they are struggling. They’re lacking that foundation.


So right now, usually those people in that second bucket are ones who haven’t actually accomplished success in the past because you’ve got the people who were successful at one point and they’re like, ‘this works,’ and it’s like, ‘I am going to make this work,’ but I am also not going to change. You know it’s the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, or there’s the people who haven’t found this success yet, but they have this idea of how it should look in their head and so they’re very closed off to the changes, to the pivots, to staying open to what needs to happen.

I know I have talked a lot in my content about the word ‘easy’ and how previously I talked a lot about how I mean to use a story. I mean use this as an example so previously I’ve talked about how marketing isn’t easy. Business is not easy. You have to put in the work. This podcast is called the not-for-lazy marketers podcast. Like this was my entire brand. The problem is my definition of easy was wrong. And I do believe marketing and business can be easy, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in work. That doesn’t mean that you can hire out somebody else to do the work you have to do to refine your offer. And you as a CEO be a leader in that. It doesn’t mean that you are putting up a landing page and running ads and raking in money like that is not easy. That’s lazy. Okay, easy means there’s not – it means a lack of resistance. Easy means that we create a strategy and an offer and messaging that feels very true and in alignment and exciting and leverages your gifts and you’re still going to put in the work, and you’re still going to have to show up. And you’re still probably going to be uncomfortable at times. But that’s what’s going to create success. It still feels easy to address the challenges because you’re in alignment.


So I’m going to tell you the story of a client. So we have a client who we have worked with often for maybe 4 years, 3 or 4 years, and they would go through different things in their business where there was a partnership and then that partnership ended or they would make massive changes to their offers. But for a while, one thing that they were constantly trying to do with two things they were trying to. Not change their strategy and sell an offer without changing it because it had previously worked, and then the leadership of the company was also trying to. Basically not be involved in any of the problem-solving when there was like a huge foundational problem. So I’m not saying that you can’t outsource and hire for support. But you have to be an active leader in that especially when the foundation of your business needs shifting. So they would try to hire out the help, and then they would basically go like MIA and it wouldn’t it wouldn’t work well. So we worked with them off and on, and we’ve had a great relationship, but they’ve gone through a lot of shifts. Well, they recently came back on to work with us and have done their. First like big launch, big promo, and it was out of the water, by far the most successful launch they have had in years. 


Okay, we’re in the economy downturn, we’re in you know all of these things, and they just had the most successful launch. Okay, why? Because they made massive shifts to their offer after listening to their audience, and the CEO of the company is now back actively very involved in the vision, in the values, and the direction. Our team is doing all the work. Our team is running all the ads in the funnels and the ad copy. And auditing and doing all of it, but she has a very active role that she’s playing in the collaboration because this vision was so important for her to see through. Those two things created the massive success, and it took her learning, and she knows this. We’ve had a conversation about it. It took her learning and going through the harder experiences to realize what she needed to do in order to create the success. So bottom line of this is success is absolutely possible in the current economy. Even if it gets worse. It is absolutely possible. 


But especially right now it’s going to take a very active and committed and intentional role of the CEO to dial in your offer, your messaging, and your strategy. If you are unwilling to do that or unwilling to look at that and continually put the work and the energy into that you will have a hard time because you are up against the businesses that are doing that, and you’re also up against the buyer hesitancy in the economy.


When buyer hesitancy goes up, consistency becomes even more important. Next year, and this was true for this year, but next year the businesses that will win will be the businesses that spend every single month making sure they grow their audience and they grow their leads, hands down. Because that’s an asset for your business. If buyer hesitancy is up, if people take a little bit longer to make decisions than if you’re not growing your list. You are gonna pay for it in the months to come, so what I keep telling people if in December you are not marketing and you are not growing your list. You are gonna pay for it. In January and February, I promise you you might not feel it right now, and it might be the holidays, and you might be like, ‘well, people aren’t mine.’ You need to list build so that January and February and March are successful. So the businesses that are consistent, the businesses that stay present, to their audience and their customers and listen and continue to focus on serving, if you do that, you will win. There actually is a lot of opportunity right now. People are still spending money. Like people will always find a way to spend money if they want what you sell. And they need what you sell and they see that they need what you sell and it truly solves a problem that they have or fulfills a desire that they have, people will spend the money.


It is your job to make sure the offer and the messaging and the strategy allow somebody to have the experience and the clarity that your offer is what they need, and that’s what good marketing does. So that is what we’re focused on with clients. That’s how we’ve been able to maintain success. Do we have to work harder? Yeah, is my creative team bigger than it ever has been because messaging is so important? Did I just lower the amount of clients that an account manager is responsible for so that we could have more depth in the client accounts that we are working with? Yes, to all of those because I had to adjust to meet the market where they’re at which is one thing that I’ve done very, very well over the last several years. So hope you guys found this helpful. I ultimately want you to understand that it does no good and has no benefit for you to have fear around the economy that is with the news and even social media wants you to feel. You should be scared like this is going to get worse all those messages it might. But also you control your own reality and so for me I don’t even pay attention to those things I know my current reality. I mean. Yes, I’m growing my own food. My husband likes guns like we’re protected but outside of that like I’m not a prepper and I’m also not scared for the future because I know I can only control myself right now. 


So worrying about that and making decisions around that when I don’t even know what’s going to happen is going to not help at all so continue to stay open, continue to stay present and don’t make decisions based off of fear of the future that isn’t even here yet meaning. Don’t be afraid to invest in your business to bet on an offer to bet on your future to take action because you know you’re going to make it work not because you’re like ‘oh, I don’t know if I can do this because everybody says the economy is bad. So maybe I’m just going to wait and do nothing.’ That’s not a solution. So ultimately I want you guys to feel empowered and know that there is a ton of opportunity out there a ton and the businesses and the CEOs who stay present who stay intentional, who listen and who are very open to pivoting, adjusting and optimizing will be absolutely fine through now and anything that the economy brings. Alright everybody, I can’t wait to talk with you guys in the DMs about the mastermind for those of you who feel called and I’ll talk to you all next week. Thanks so much for tuning in!