For “Eddie” – Coaching, Ad Strategies, and Gladiator

For “Eddie” – Coaching, Ad Strategies, and Gladiator

I received some Viewer Mail from “Eddie” who is struggling with ads. The types of ad strategies that work for others in his space aren’t working for him. So now what?

Key topics:

✔️ Eddie has hired a few “experts” who promised to help him and blow up his social media… yet nothing happened and they really weren’t accountable for that.
✔️ If your business is tanking and you want someone else to bail you out, everyone in that situation is in trouble.
✔️ A coach can’t fight in the arena for you. The image that comes to mind for me is Proximo in the movie Gladiator. He’s a gruff mentor but he doesn’t fight Maximus’ battles for him.
✔️ Just because your competitors are dropping hellafied money on social media ads DOES NOT MEAN you must do the same thing! If you don’t know what you are doing, you can throw massive amounts of cash away.

Need more? Email me:


Transcription by Please forgive any typos!


Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Causey Consulting So today I was going to record an episode for this week called free range rude. But I’m going to hit the pause button on that because I received some viewer mail related to last week’s episode about impatience in the creation process. And in the spirit of not making that person wait another week to get a response to his question, I wanted to go ahead and record this broadcast to go out this week. So I received an email from a person that all call Eddie, that’s not his real name. It’s just simply a pseudonym alternative to the ever eponymous john doe. And Eddie was telling me that the part I mentioned in last week’s episode about trying advertising strategies that typically work for people in the space that he’s in, and it not working, and him feeling very impatient and frustrated, that really resonated with him. And it’s a common problem. And I felt like it made sense to not only record this episode to answer his question, but also to put it out in a broader audience. Because I know a lot of people who have been through this as they’re trying to get their business started. Or maybe they’ve hit a plateau or a sales slump, and they’re trying to supercharge the business again, but they feel like they’re hitting a brick wall. And Eddie fields not only emotionally frustrated, but financially frustrated, too, because he’s hired some so called experts who said they could figure out the bottleneck, like, Where’s this not working? Is it your budget? Is it the ads themselves? Is it the pawns you’re fishing in, like, you know, don’t worry, it will solve this problem for you. But then they haven’t. And he feels like he’s just constantly throwing good money after bad and giving money to people that over promise and under deliver. He’s really frustrated about why this isn’t jelling. So first of all, I want to thank you for writing in, I appreciate it. And this is a great topic to talk about. It’s also candidly speaking, a topic that I relate to myself, and I think a lot of people listening, if you’re a solopreneur, or a small business owner, you’re gonna relate to it as well. It can be incredibly frustrating to go, Okay, so this sales strategy, or this advertising platform works so well, for other people in my exact same space. But yet I try it and I get no freaking results at all. Or I feel like I’ve spent tons of money trying to get something going and it’s it’s just not happening. Like, why are these other people over there having massive success with what seems to be the same thing, but yet I keep hitting one brick wall after another after another? Like, am I cursed? What What is wrong? What What is going on here? One of the reasons that I like to talk about the value of a good coach, what a good coach should be doing versus what’s an unrealistic expectation for any coach is because I’ve seen both sides of that equation. I’ve been the person who hired a business advisor, hired a so called experts hired a coach to try to help me solve some particular problem or some set of problems and then felt incredibly disappointed and ripped off by the outcome. When nothing actually changed. Nothing actually happened. Now I have worked with advisors and coaches who were awesome, who really did help me make a paradigm shift. They helped me put money in my pocket, they gave me sales strategies that I still use to this day. So I am not by any means painting in broad strokes and saying entire industries of people are worthless, or it’s pointless to engage with them. I do not think that at all. The point I’m making here is I hired certain people with unrealistic expectations of what they could actually do for me. I wanted someone to wave a magic wand, or give me some magic technique, some incredible abracadabra phraseology to make my business work. In my first business, I went through a lot of feast famine cycles, so I would have a month or two of just killing it. I mean, just blowing it out the box and making 1000s upon 1000s of dollars. And it was like Oh, thank God. You know, the money train is finally rolling in the dry spell was over like this. This business is finally going to grow some legs and start walking. This is awesome. And then I would have another drought and a drought that would last for months. And so the money that I made, you know, after I paid the taxes on it, and it was mine to have free and clear it had to go with playing catch up, you know, I always felt like I was robbing Peter to pay Paul and just doing whatever I had to to survive to keep the wolves away from the door and not put myself at risk of losing my home or having the car repoed or, you know, getting so behind on bills that I destroyed my credit. I mean, it’s horrible. It was really a horrible time. And I would engage with these experts and these coaches thinking, well, they can diagnose the problem, it’s clear that there is a problem. And it’s also clear to me that I can’t quite pinpoint on my own what that problem is. And then I want them to solve it for me, I want them to tell me what to do. You know, somebody just come in here and look at this mess and tell me what the hell to do with it. It would be like hiring I guess, a maid service or a professional organizer, like, Alright, here’s this mess. Here’s this clutter, I want you to clean up in here, organize it get everything systemized and I’m just going to walk the hell away and let you do it. Like I really wanted somebody who could give me like a, a, not a done with me. But a done for me situation, you come in here, you diagnose it, you fix it, and I’m just gonna get the hell out of your way. Well, that didn’t happen. Because that’s not really the nature of a coach and a client, you know, Coach helps you they give you insight, they give you information, they give you tools and coping mechanisms and strategies, but they cannot get down in the arena and fight your battles for you. You like me, as I’m talking about this, the image that’s coming to my mind is of Oliver read in Gladiator, you know, he plays proximo and he’s like, the old gruff veteran of the arena. And he fought and won his freedom from Marcus Aurelius. Well, as he’s talking to Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus, he doesn’t get down in the arena, and fight the battles for Maximus, he gives him advice, it gives him strategy, you know, he tells him, the way that you’re fighting these battles in the provinces is fine. But when we get to Rome, and all of this shit is for real, you’re going to have to put on a performance, it’s going to have to be theatrical, you’re going to have to win over the crowd, you can’t just come in, kill the other dude, and then go Okay, buying, like, you’re gonna have to really give them a performance that the old bread and circus as they say. But proximo doesn’t get down in the arena in Rome and show him step by step, the kind of gladiatorial performance he has to give, that’s up to Maximus, to fight the fight, and to give the crowd what they want, in order to win his freedom. I think that’s a really good metaphor for coaches and clients. And in Eddie’s case, it’s also potentially a good metaphor for whatever experts, he’s hiring, you know, he’s trying to outsource these big components of his business to people and hoping that they can deliver for him with little or no oversight on his part. And again, I don’t know for sure that that’s what’s happening. I’m just, you know, kind of speaking theoretically here. If that’s what’s going on, then that can be a very strategic mistake. Because, like it or not, there are charlatans out there, there are people who are more than willing to take your money and make a lot of fluffy promises to you about what they’ll do. And then they don’t ever actually deliver on them. And this, sometimes it might not even be their fault, they may have thought they could deliver. And then they got into the thick of it and realize that they couldn’t. But I think especially when we’re talking about social media advertising, there are a plethora of options out there. And frankly, in my experience, there’s not a lot of accountability, either. There’s a lot of people who are willing to stick a hand out and say, Hey, I’ll take your money, and I’ll run your Facebook ads, or I’ll put out Instagram ads for you. I’ll put up ads for you on YouTube. And then when nothing happens, they tell you well, we need more time. Well, we need more money. Well, we don’t have enough data yet. Well, we need to do more testing. I mean, it almost becomes like a bottomless pit with very little accountability on their part. I once paid a company to do some Facebook advertising for me. It didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t have like any conversions. like nobody came in and became a paying client from it. And when I confronted the company about it, like okay, well, you know, can you give me any insight at all about where things didn’t gel or what might need to be changed? They just kind of shrugged and said, Well, you know, that’s Facebook. That’s the nature of the game, you’re taking a massive gamble and sometimes this is just how the cookie crumbles. And I thought, well, oh occur, the cookie is not going to crumble in this direction again, because I’m never gonna waste time and money like this on something with no real accountability to it and also no real predictability either. So I 100% understand why Edie is frustrated. And he feels ripped off. been there done that. And if you have been in the same situation yourself, you’re probably nodding your head in agreement as you’re listening to this episode going, yep, I too have been Eddie, I too have been Sarah, I too have put money into an advertising firm or some PR rep that claimed they were going to just know all these fanciful results, were going to blow you up on social media and then crickets and tumbleweeds. So my first piece of advice is caveat emptor. I know I preach to you guys a lot about this. But it’s true. Let the buyer beware, you need to be conducting your own research. And in the same way that I would tell you not to get happy ears on a sales call with a prospective client. You don’t want to get happy ears as you’re talking to someone that you’re thinking about hiring to do work for you in your business as well. Not everybody out there has good intentions. And not everybody out there is really legit. There are a lot of scammers, there are a lot of con artists, it’s sad, but that is the reality we live in. I mean, anybody can put up a cheap website or set themselves up on a freelancing site claim that they know how to do all of these things. And, you know, if they rip you off, you may not have a lot of recourse to deal with it. So always do your own research, do your own due diligence, and listen to your gut. If it sounds too good to be true. You know, if you’re engaging with someone that claims they can guarantee you they’re going to, quote blow you up on social media or they can predict all of these outcomes. Listen to your gut. I mean, does that really does that seem realistic to you? That some Charlie nobody you’ve ever heard of is going to take you and quote blow you up on social media and make you an influencer? Does that seem realistic? Is it possible? Of course it is. You know, if that’s something that you’re trying to manifest in your life, being a social media influencer, you know, I would still say the odds of that happening to you overnight, is pretty slim. These things tend to happen in a growth mode and not like, okay, I went from having one follower on Instagram to having 1 million followers in a five minute time span. Again, anything is possible, but I would really be leery of paying money to somebody who claims that they can get an outcome like that for you. On the other side of it, if you are a coach or you have some kind of service based business, where you’re going to be interfacing in a pretty intimate way with your clients, if you get on the phone with somebody, and you can tell that you are their Hail Mary pass, you are the last stop before bankruptcy, you’re the last stop before the business fails. They want a magic pill a magic bullet, some kind of abracadabra sales phrase that’s going to overnight, blow their business up. exercise caution. be judicious Be careful. really decide whether or not you want to stick your bare naked hand into that hornet’s nest. Maybe you do, maybe that’s the type of clientele that you specialize in. And you can get a really good outcome for somebody, even if they’re teetering on the brink of failure. That is a skill that not everyone has. And so I just want you to really think about it and be careful. Because if you try to help that person, it doesn’t work out and their business fails anyway. They’re going to be looking at you like How dare you have failed me? How dare this Hail Mary pass not have worked out. And that can lead to a lot of hurt feelings and a lot of hot water. And you sitting there thinking, oh god, I wish I would have never done this, this, this would have been a deal better left unsigned. So just be careful in all things, exercise caution, listen to your gut, do your due diligence and use your caveat emptor. If something sounds too good to be true, or you’re getting some shady vibes from somebody, listen. The second thing I will say is, it’s okay. If your business needs to have a different target market, or a different social media are different advertising strategy for other people in your space. In fact, I would say that’s a really prime place to be you if you have some niche in the market or some space that your competitors aren’t really focused on. But that you can serve as really, really well. That’s awesome. Or if your competitors are having to drop, I don’t know 10 grand a month on social media advertising. And you’re not that’s also awesome. I know people will say hey, look, if you can take $1,000 a month to Facebook and then parlay that or any other social media, I’m not trying to pick on Facebook, just any social media platform, and then parlay that into $10,000 in profits. That’s a great return. Turn on investment. Yeah, right on. If you hand somebody $1,000 and they hand you back 10 grand, that isn’t terrific return on investment. But what if they don’t? What if they just take your $1,000 a month and you get zero in return, not every business owner, especially when we’re talking about solopreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners, not everybody in that position can take that money, throw it into a hole, and hope it boomerangs back to them at some point in time with a return on investment. And especially if you’re wanting to run your business lean as I do, I’m very, I’m very much an advocate of trimming the fat and figuring out where you’re wasting time and money get everything down to brass tacks, like the Pareto principle, for example, 80% of your results are going to come from 20% of your effort. So figure out where that 80% return on investment is coming from, and then maximize the hell out of that quit wasting time on activities that don’t work and quit wasting money on platforms that aren’t giving you an ROI. And focus really clearly on the things that have a payoff. So if you have looked around and fallen into the bandwagon mentality of Okay, well, everybody else is doing this, everybody else in my space is running ads on Facebook or Instagram, or they’re doing a Google AdWords campaign. I mean, I guess I should be doing that too. I’m scared, I’ll fall behind you. It’s easy in our culture to get FOMO to look around at what everybody else is doing and feel like you’re gonna miss out on business or miss out on an experience, if you don’t duplicate what somebody else in your space is doing. Respectfully, I disagree, I think it really makes sense to determine is this worth my time, is it worth my money, and it’s okay to dip a toe in the water and figure it out. from a financial standpoint, don’t ever spend more than you can afford to lose, it’s like gambling going into a casino. Don’t ever put more into that slot machine than you can afford to lose. Because if you put $20 in there hoping you’re going to hit the jackpot, and you don’t you just lose your $20. If you could afford to lose that money, and you just wanted to sit there and push the buttons and have a good time. Cool. If that was $20 you needed in order to eat and you couldn’t afford to lose it, then you’re screwed. I would say the same thing about social media advertising, ad words, anything like that. If it’s money that you cannot afford to lose, then you want to make sure you don’t gamble it away. Because you always have to think in the back of your mind. If I put this money out there, and it doesn’t come back to me, if I’m in the wrong place, or I’m advertising in the wrong way. If it’s more than I can afford to lose, I shouldn’t be spending it. So don’t give in to peer pressure don’t give into FOMO. And don’t think well, because my competitors are all advertising there. I guess I should too, it’s really a blessing in disguise because it gives you the opportunity to find somewhere else go somewhere else and uncharted territory that’s not so freaking crowded. If all your competitors are bombarding potential clients with ads on a particular space, and you can find somewhere else to be or some more creative, more artful and hopefully less expensive way of doing it can is such a bad ass place to be in. So don’t panic about it. The third thing I will say on this, and perhaps the most important, how is the rest of your business doing this is a good opportunity to zoom out and look at the big picture. We do sometimes as business owners tend to get bogged down in minutiae. It’s like the old cliche about not being able to see the forest for the trees, it’s a good opportunity to zoom out and take a look at how everything is operating. If the business is profitable, if overall you are doing well, you just feel like you could be doing better. And the advertising is sort of an Achilles heel in you not being able to get to the next level, there may be some other way to level up that doesn’t involve you running ads on social media or on AdWords, etc. There may be some other way to help you boost your income without it coming from the advertising space. Now, on the other hand, if the business is not doing well, you’re not profitable, and you want to run ads because you think it’s your ticket to success. It’s guaranteed to work. It’s the Hail Mary pass. That’s the thing that will win the game for us and help us get that last touchdown. Well, I mean, it may not be and it may be that the universe is showing you. Nope, nope. Nope, you know, in an effort to try to help you. You I look back on some of the roadblocks that I faced in my first business and I think you I wish that I had just listened. You know, it’s like the universe was trying to show me this is not working. You’re not Happy, you’re tired, you’re working harder than you ever have before in your life, and you’re making less money to do all of this hard work, and to stay up and work all of these long hours and be super glued to your chair and the computer like hillar, this isn’t working, you need to try something different. But I just, you know, we get so hard headed and I would double down, you know, instead of just saying, alright, well, clearly this isn’t working. In my mind. I’m like, well, I’ll just hire an expert or a coach or somebody to come in and tell me why it’s not working. And then they’ll fix it for me, instead of just taking a step back and going, Okay, let’s get here. This isn’t working. Maybe I need a new business model. Maybe I need to take a different tactic. Maybe I need to figure out something else to do with my life. Besides this. I just kept going and going and like digging myself further down. There’s a cartoon meme thing that’s popping into my mind. Like the dude that’s mining for he’s got like a pickaxe and he’s mining. And he’s dug himself into a fantastic hole. But there’s diamonds, oh, he stops digging. He’s like two feet away from the diamonds when he gives up and I’m like, What a load of crap. And some of the people that I have seen who share that mean, like it’s gospel truth are some of the same people that you sort of skirt around the edges there of over promising and under delivering. That’s all I’ll say, I need I need to back myself. I need to back myself out of it before I step on some dynamite, but just suffice it to say, I want you to be really careful with any kind of coach or expert who tells you well, quitters never win. And winners never quit no matter what you do. And you can’t quit like, Yeah, you can. You can strategically quit and walk away from something that is not working, whether it’s a strategy, a tactic, a business, if you’re miserable, and you’re constantly hemorrhaging money, and it’s just not working, that is a sign that something is wrong. Now, it may not be like a Jon taffer Gordon Ramsay situation where somebody needs to blow down the front door and say shut it down. It may not be that the whole thing just needs to be steamrolled. It may just be one or two things that need to be tweaked in order to get you back on the path to success. But you know, if every day is a struggle, if you’re going into your home office, or your brick and mortar office, and you’re like, ah, God, I don’t want to be here. This is horrible. How did I ever get myself in a situation so bad? Here’s your sign. It’s not supposed to be a constant struggle. I love how Esther Hicks uses the term efforting. If you are efforting, all the time, everything feels like a struggle, nothing comes easy. There’s no state of flow. That’s not a good sign. I’m not gonna sit here and blow smoke up your skirt and tell you that it’s going to be sunshine and roses. Every day, every deal is going to be easy, every client is going to be a real peach. Maybe they won’t be. But again, most of the time, you should be feeling a state of flow. It shouldn’t be like trying to roll the boulder up the hill and only to have it roll back down over the top of you every night. If it’s a constant struggle, that is a problem. So in Eddie’s case, with the advertising, I would say, all right, Edie, look at the overall health of your business. If this is just an area where you feel stuck, but everything else is good. And you know, your business is profitable things are rocking and rolling, it may just be that you need to take a different avenue with your advertising. Or it may be that advertising is not the avenue at all something else could be done to level up your business. If your overall business health is not good, you know, if you’re feeling really bogged down and stressed out, you’re not making money or you’re like I was robbing Peter to pay Paul and it’s like you get some money in and then it’s gone almost immediately. Then I want you to really take a step back and evaluate what’s going on what’s the bigger picture because if the business itself is not in good condition, advertising for it is ultimately not going to solve your problem. In fact, it may only dig you in deeper to a pit that you really wish you could get out of. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already. Take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.

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