Slow and Steady Still Wins When Marketing for Seller Financed Notes
In marketing for performing first position individually held Seller Financed Notes, falling back on my many years of experience and testing, slow and steady is as relevant today as it has ever been. Let’s assume you want to object by saying that we live in an age of real-time marketing, where seconds can make or break a brand, and speed-to-market is critical. You want more leads, more shares, more brand recognition and a fuller pipeline. And you want it yesterday. Yes, the early bird still catches the worm, but the bird has to show up every single morning and keep at it, consistently.
When marketing for performing Seller Financed Notes a person rarely goes from zero to hero overnight. I bet you get dozens of emails that promise to take you from zero to hundreds of leads virtually overnight. What a tempting proposition because who doesn’t want to wake up successful tomorrow? The very nature of the digital realm, especially social media, feeds the instant gratification monkey in us when we see things turn viral overnight and generate success for others. It creates a myth that you can achieve success overnight and hides all the energy and hard work that went into that success.
No wonder people fall victim to the allure of fads and gimmicks that churn out thousands of unusable hits and views within short periods because business owners are the first to demand immediate results. In reality, however, gimmicks and short bursts of activity online and on social media may produce a desired outcome now, but they won’t get you anywhere in the long run.
Good things in the Note Business take time. I see too many people jump in and fall out before their marketing plan even has time to work its magic. The Beatles had performed over 1,200 live shows before becoming an “overnight success”. James Dyson prototyped 5,126 vacuum cleaners before creating the one that made him famous. I can go on. Let’s face it – the real marketing for Seller Financed Notes is hard work. Good, old-fashioned, consistent hard work, which requires you to invest that elbow grease. Otherwise, you’re chasing mavericks – and sometimes even riding them – but end up frustrated.
The common misconception many first-time note professionals share is that if they have a good service, investors, and some talent, all they need from marketing is to get some “stuff” out there quickly. But in marketing for performing Seller Financed Notes, just like in any other business, quality takes time and effort. Quality is neither fast nor cheap, at least not simultaneously fast and cheap. If you want something that’s good and cheap, it’s going to take time. If you want something that’s fast and cheap, you’re compromising on quality. If you want something that’s fast and good, you have to invest heavily. Marketing isn’t about churning out lots of “stuff” quickly. It’s about brainpower, creativity, ongoing education, innovation, follow up and consistency.
How do you brainstorm for your marketing plan? Do you have to sit in silence for hours on end and think? Do you have to spend a day reading, sleep on it, and then start jotting things down? Do you talk out loud to yourself, or scribble nonsense on your whiteboard until you’re getting something out of it? Do you ever feel exhausted once finished? And that is only a tiny part of marketing for performing Seller Financed Notes.
Then you build a strategy comprised of bite-sized tactics, goals, and milestones. Then you make sure you’re on brand, meeting your objectives, driving action, all the while brainstorming and testing over and over again because new trends, ideas, and avenues pop up every day. It’s more like being the hare that has the endurance and consistency of a tortoise or being the tortoise on steroids. Either way, slow and steady wins the race as long as you’re agile and adaptive.
When new possible marketing strategies do pop up the idea is to be fast to adapt but also consistent. With so many channels and interactions, change is your new constant. If you want to send the right message at the right time to the right note holder, you have to be fast to adapt. Otherwise, you run the risk of building your strategy on outdated information.
You have to be fast all the time, long-term, consistently. Not the sprint-style fast, but marathon-style fast. Being fast in marketing for Seller Financed Notes is not about churning out gimmicks – it’s about agility and never taking no for an answer. It’s about learning from your mistakes and adapting. I always talk about making a marketing plan in the beginning of your business but how many of you go back to it every year and update and change it? Revisit your plan as often as it takes to identify if it doesn’t work as soon as possible. If so, adapt. You can’t afford wasting time and resources following ineffective strategies in our small niche business.
View your marketing for notes as a process that produces fresh insights with each cycle, and that cycle can be short and long-term. Regularly review and reflect to adjust your tactics and strategy, identify blind spots, assess progress and shift tactics if needed. Check your strategies for integrity – Slow down, tame your impatience, and identify what key moments are missing from your strategies. And do better, with more integrity. Try to think in real time, and work to not only respond to change but anticipate it.
Divide your big initiative into small parts and short project cycles, where the most important things happen first. Communicate constantly – with your note holders, your investors, your associates and vendors. Communication is key to timely adjustments. Accept the simple truth that you can’t get absolutely everything right the first time. Try out things, check out your competition, learn and do better.
Analyze without assuming your analytics have no blind spots. While analyzing, it’s OK to be slow because that’s how you identify what’s really resonating with your audience, and shift focus on doing more of what’s working, and less of what’s not.
Test Systematically – Don’t just rely on your opinion, but back it with big data-based analytics, and deploy as many A/B tests as you must to test all strategies, components, channels, pricing, targeting models, campaign types. Don’t forget about the power of face-to-face networking for referrals in this business and going the extra mile to get to know your note holders personally. Don’t rush to change content, a letter, text or ad just because you’re tired of it. If it converts, keep at it, keep testing it to refine and make it more efficient.
For your marketing efforts to succeed in the performing individually held Seller Financed Note Business, you need to understand that you’re in this for a long haul. You have to be the proverbial tortoise and work hard and steady using traditional methods that create awareness, generate leads, win market share, and drive growth. But here’s the trick, you need to be an agile tortoise. A tortoise on steroids, because the marketing landscape, strategies, and tactics are fluid. Therefore, be quick to adapt, be objectively analytical, learn from your mistakes, and never take no for an answer. Hope this helps! Remember success demands action, keep on marketing, it’s going to work! TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!)
Jeff Armstrong of Armstrong Capital has been a note investor and broker specializing in the performing seller financed note industry since 1991. For more updated and current information on how he can help you with your note business, your note investments or to request a quote on a note you currently have visit www.armstrongcapital.com to email him and subscribe to his weekly Note-Able Newsletter.