There's No Such Thing As Magic Bacon

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I love bacon. It’s incredible. I use it as a topping, a container, a wrapper, a filling, and a sauce. Bacon makes the world go ‘round. We literally use the term, “bringing home the bacon” to mean, “earning fat stacks of cash.” Bacon…is…money.

There are shirts with bacon strips on them. You can buy an alarm clock that makes the smell of bacon when it’s time to wake up. Vegans make bacon out of anything they can get their hands on because even vegans miss bacon.

Walk into any fast food joint there is and you’ll see a big sign for bacon. Heck, Wendy’s has a burger called “The Baconator” and it sells.

Bacon is everywhere.

I love bacon. I think bacon takes something good and turns it into something great. But here’s the rub. Bacon…isn’t…magic. Bacon can take something from good to great. But it can’t take something from bad to good. Nothing that simple (even if it’s that delicious) can take something from bad to good. And we’re not just talking bacon.

Tricks Are For Kids, Even Bacon Tricks

I subscribe to several newsletters, follow a few blogs, and watch a lot of TED and 99u talks and through all of that personal education, I’ve come to realize that there is no shortcut. I see posts that say things like, “You Can Make $478/minute While Playing Video Games With This One Tip” or “This Trick Will Triple Your Income in 30 Days While You Sit Around Watching Game of Thrones” and the problem with those statements is that they just aren’t true. There’s no magic, money-making trick and if there was, no one is going to waste their time telling you about it?

But what about these guides that tell you how to grow your Instagram following or increase your Twitter engagement or improve your conversion rate? Those are fine. Note the words that they use. Grow. Increase. Improve. Do any of those words sound like magic to you? No.

Those are ideas designed to take something that you’re doing that’s good and turn it into something great. But you can’t grow an Instagram account that doesn’t have good content. You can increase engagement on Twitter if you don’t give people something to talk about. You can’t improve your conversion rate if your product sucks. And you can’t just put bacon on everything.

grossImagine your least favorite food. For me, it’s sauerkraut. I hate sauerkraut. I hate it more than I hate anything I’ve ever tasted and that includes one time when I was in Grade 3 and my “friends” put some pretty disgusting things in my water bottle as a joke. I would drink that every day if it meant I didn’t have to eat sauerkraut ever again. So you could offer me bacon-infused sauerkraut topped with bacon jam, wrapped in bacon strips and baked on a bacon bun and do you think I’m going to try it?

YES. OBVIOUSLY I’m going to try it. Read that over again. Who wouldn’t try that? But that’s an even bigger problem.

You see, I’ll try that weird bacon sandwich I just described…once. I’ll hate it, I’ll tell everyone that I know how much I hate it and I’ll never trust the person who sold me that disgusting abomination again. And that’s exactly how people feel when you trick them into thinking you’ve got something good for them. You see, you MIGHT be able to use those tricks to make people look at ONE piece of your content, ONE time but those people are simply not going to come back. You MIGHT be able to convince people to buy ONE of your products, ONE time, but you’re not going to get repeat customers that way. You tricked them. You sold them a sauerkraut sandwich and told them it was all about the bacon.

Focus On The Burger, Not The Bacon

So how do we fix this problem? For starters, long before you think distribution, you need to think product. Don’t worry about identifying the forty-three social networks you want to market your new thing on. Worry about making sure that your new thing is worth selling on one single platform. Don’t worry about selling your thing to one person. Worry about selling your thing to that one person more than once. Worry about people coming back.

workIt’s absolutely important that you pay attention to the ways that people are generating traffic and sales. There are sound, proven ways that you can grow, improve, and increase your business. But none of them are solutions for bad ideas. They assume that you’re starting with the right ingredients. Have you ever baked bacon? It’s incredible. It’s the only way I cook bacon now. But it works not because baking things is inherently good. It works because it’s bacon.

I recently participated in a webinar focused on social media marketing and how to create successful sales and marketing funnels. It was really informative and even the stuff I already felt very comfortable with was really good to review. But there was one thing in particular that stood out to me. The idea was that when you’re checking to see why a particular offer didn’t work, instead of starting with trying to figure out if your target market was right or if your headline was good or if you used the right platform for that particular offer at that point in the funnel, start with whether or not what you’re offering is any good. Were you trying to sell them sauerkraut with some sort of impressive bacon offer?

But Obviously ADD Bacon

add baconYou can’t just have the bacon. Whatever you’re putting bacon ON has to be good in the first place. It’s the same thing with you and your products. You have to have the right ingredients and the perfect toppings if you want to crush it. Think about the site you’re reading this very post on. It’s Hustle & Grind, not Hustle OR Grind. You can’t choose solid content OR good distribution. You can’t choose a good product OR great marketing. You need both. You need a delicious burger & bacon. You need a useful ebook & a performing call-to-action. Obviously you should add bacon but you need to have the right product to add bacon to.

What do YOU think? Can bacon fix anything? Is there such thing as magic bacon? Tweet us and tell us what you think.

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