Make Your Pancakes From Scratch: A lesson in life and marketing
It was a Sunday morning and the previous day I had just bought fresh blueberries and bananas. I thought, “What a perfect morning to make pancakes.”
Now, I’m not necessarily a horn tooter, but I make some damn good pancakes. That’s all thanks to my grandmother’s brother. He has the best recipe, which I now have too.
I think it’s become incredibly normalized to go to the store and buy some Bisquick. Just add water! (I think? To be honest, I forget.) It is easy, and they’re not terrible. In fact, I’m sure it’s all a lot of people have ever had. But have you ever had made-from-scratch pancakes?
If you do it right, you’ll never have a pancake with a better density to fluffy ratio. Man, I love them. Add some blueberries and bananas you can even say you’re eating (partially) healthy! I usually make banana chocolate chip because of my sweet tooth, but eh well, that’s what working out is for.
My daughter helped me put the ingredients together. And by help I mean she spilled some flour, salt, and baking powder on the floor… but that’s what toddlers are for. They’re amazing and disastrous all at the same time which is why we love them.
I know what you’re thinking, “But Steve, what the hell does this have to do with marketing?”
I’ve found the principles to be the same. In today’s world there are so many “fast ways” or “3-step checklists” to accomplish all your hopes, dreams, and add $100k/mo to your business in the next 30-days. It’s magical.
Until it’s not.
I’m not going to say there’s no place for those things, because there is. They’re great to reference and spark ideas. But.. they’re not complete solutions. Checklists and eBooks usually solve a tiny piece of the problem. Sometimes if you implement those strategies it can cause larger problems.
I know a lot of small business owners don’t know this term, but another application of this is called “funnel hacking.” It’s taking someone’s sales funnel, or marketing campaign, and copying it in your business.
Sure, it’s fast, and it might produce some results. But that company isn’t your company. Their values are different, their mission is different, and their STORY is different.
Don’t mistake me for telling you to ignore competitive research, because I’m not. But paying for someone’s funnel (which is a thing) and just changing a couple of pieces of content is the equivalent of buying Bisquick opposed to making your own marketing campaigns.
There are significant benefits to starting from scratch:
- You’re accountable. There’s no other funnel or company to blame but yourself if it doesn’t work. It means you take the initial research steps seriously, and you’re more invested in getting that strategy to work.
- Less tech error potential. When one copies other funnels and pages, it’s not uncommon to miss a link and not test end-to-end. If you create your pages not only will they be more efficient and load faster (SEO anyone?), but they will have a higher chance of being error-free.
- You own it. Don’t mistake this for “you’re accountable” and I also don’t mean in terms of legally or physically owning it. This is a piece of your brand and it’s something to be proud of. Your morale will be higher, and you will be laser-focused creating due to that.
In a world where everything is trying to be automated, be different. Automation is amazing and I help my clients automate their business and marketing processes every day. That doesn’t mean its place is everywhere though. Don’t over-automate.
Developing marketing campaigns and customer service are two large business operations that are best left to ourselves and not a robot. The one thing almost all of us hate is when we call customer service for our phone or tv provider and have to hit 17 buttons just to wait for an operator, then we feel like it’s an eternity of waiting. Very few companies do this well and the ones that do have the most LOYAL customer base which also drives them top-notch referrals.
So next time you’re hungry for pancakes and you’re at the grocery store, buy the ingredients and not the Bisquick. In business, it could be the difference between $1,000 and $10,000. At home, it’s the difference in family fun, shenanigans, and happier tastebuds.