Perhaps the mainstream advertising isn’t for your business.
After having a less than stellar 2016, I decided in the 4th quarter to ramp up my advertising. Reaching out to a dear friend and source who rocks at all things SEO, we decided on running some Google ads to boost my biz and bring some new clients my way. I let her take the wheel (since this is her forte) and I sat back waiting for the calls to roll in.
The calls started, but I quickly realized that they weren’t my ideal client. I received some of the most entertaining comments and questions, such as:
- Can you convert an airbrush design into a logo?
- What font is used on this website and how to get it?
- Do you design wrapping paper?
- Can you draw a cat wearing a diamond necklace?
- Do you only do work about peaches?
Seriously. Phone call after phone call, resulted in empty questions and zero new clients. Something had to give and I didn’t know what.
I chatted with my SEO pal and she checked the stats on my ad. The copy looked good, the radius was perfect for my business (trying to ramp up the local peeps), the keywords were on point, and the budget was as high as I could go. So what gives?
Honestly, the holidays came and went and I pushed the Google Ads to the back of my mind until my bill arrived. Wait, what? I spent $491.19 in advertising and received zero return? Not. Good. My head hurt and I felt like I was going to puke. How on earth could this happen? With 70,658 views, 1,391 clicks and 21 verified calls (oh, the crazy calls) you would think I had landed at least ONE new client. Nope. Not even one. Oh the frustration and angst as I paid the bill.
Looking back, I learned some things that make me feel a little better about dropping the cash.
- Not all advertising avenues are for me. I have a specific client that I want to work with. My goal is to be able to work with these clients and provide them top notch customer service and design. If I spend my time, money and energy trying to appeal to the masses, then I’m missing my mark.
- My target client is NOT looking for me on Google. Ummm… I believe the random phone conversations taught me that. Yes, I was able to help some people find their favorite font but I lost valuable time that could’ve been spent creating new content for you guys OR working on a beautiful project.
- The general masses don’t really get what "graphic design" is… and that is ok! After the call where I was told my logo pricing was “highway robbery”, I knew it was time to cut the Google AdWords cord. My prices are aligned with my industry, my experience and I’m proud of them dang it.
- It’s ok to try new ways of reaching people, even if they don’t work. Not every advertising outlet works for every business. It is a learning process that we have to work through. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. Next time, I’m hoping mine is a few dollars cheaper if it isn’t going to work! Ha!
- SEO is important. Spending the time to write good blogs, share free content and be active on social media may yield better returns that paid advertising. In my case, it did (praise the Lord!)
Although, I did enjoy the laughs (no, I will not be airbrushing logos now) and lessons, I’ve ended my ad campaigns with Google AdWords and plan to focus my time and energy on producing amazing content.
If you have used Google AdWords for your business, I want to hear from you! What worked and what didn’t? I want to know how you made this avenue of advertising work for you.
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