I'm not saying that it's impossible for everyone, because some people clearly do make it. However, it seems impossible for me. I've been at step #1 for 20 years: I have two empty hands and no audience/customer database.

All the countless guides and books and videos and advice out there assumes that you already have such an established audience/customer database to do anything. It's implied that this is such a basic necessity that it must never be mentioned at all. Yet this is the whole problem: to establish such a thing.

The only "advice" I have got on how to do this is to "do something that people love". Yeah, okay. Thanks. I'll just go ahead and do that, then, because not realizing that making something that people love is what held me back all these years... Ahem.

I've tried just about every trick in the book by now. I never grow an audience/platform/database of people. It's impossible to "get the word out there" about anything, in my experience. It's just hopelessly difficult.

Buying ads doesn't work. You just end up wasting tons of money for zero traffic.

SEO is a myth.

Making some kind of useful webpage with a form for people to sign up to your newsletter doesn't work. (Because then you need to make people visit that page which puts you back at square one again.)

Think about anything and I've tried it. I swear. There is no place to "announce to the world" that you are doing something; everyone wants to get paid a ton of money which I don't have to even look in your general direction.

There are a billion "great ideas" which I have to throw away because they are useless without the audience/customer base to start it off with. Nobody is going to visit or use any service I create, no matter how good or crappy, because they don't know about it and never get to hear about it.

"Social media" doesn't even let me register an account these days.

I'm all out of ideas by now. What am I supposed to do? Even illegal and immoral things such as spamming just doesn't work for small players like myself.

  • 1
    No one here has any clue what it is you may actually do, or wish to do, for a living.
    – Scott
    Feb 28, 2020 at 23:25
  • @Scott Why comment without having read the question? Feb 28, 2020 at 23:29
  • 1
    ermm... I did read the question. There is no mention of what you are trying to market only that you seem to be failing at marketing whatever it is. "a newsletter signup" is hardly descriptive.
    – Scott
    Feb 28, 2020 at 23:30
  • Perhaps, and this is just a guess, you are as unclear in your marketing as you are in this question. No one signs up for something when they don't understand what it is they are signing up for.
    – Scott
    Feb 28, 2020 at 23:38
  • 1
    Why can't you get a social media account? Are you banned from them? If you are, why were you banned? Maybe this is a clue as to why no one apparently likes your products? Without knowing what you are doing or wanting to do, this Question is more of a rant than an actual question. Also, it's very opinion based. Mar 4, 2020 at 17:20

2 Answers 2



First, you sound like you've been trying to grow your business for some time without the results you're looking for and this has resulted in you becoming a bit unmotivated to trying the same things with a different perspective and by using different methods.

The good old days of "build it and they will come" are far gone.

You've mentioned that you've been in business for 20 years and have no contact list. There are many forms of businesses, I personally run a business to business operation, and our main objective is to provide value through our services. Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses that are similar to ours, and we must find ways to continually differentiate ourselves.

With this being said, solutions come from problems, and adding value comes from providing solutions, regardless of what the solution is, monetary, emotional, beneficial, etc...

If you are having problems identifying these problems and creating solutions, a good starting point would be internal. I would start by realizing it was a mistake for you not to collect your previous client's information, and begin to collect it now and set up the infrastructure needed to continually market yourself.

Identify what you've done right and what you've done wrong, identify what changes or other perspectives you can try within those same segments. As you know, you can ride a bike 1 time and fall, but if you continually make adjustments, you'll eventually get the results you're looking for.

Our business makes close to 6-7 figures annually from organic traffic from Search Engine Optimization and we are in a very competitive industry.

Every company puts money into their ads, and has the same struggles, some companies simply have more money to throw into it. The majority of ads are only there to build contact lists, not to make a sale. This is called your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and from that point forward, it is your responsibility to educate the customer and work the deal.

Once you convert the customer to a paid customer, you'll find out what their Life Time Value (LTV) is, and you'll be able to determine your potential profits in the future by subtracting LTV - CAC. There is more to it than that in the long run, but ultimately, you want to keep your CAC as low as possible while your LTV is high. The closer your CAC is to your LTV, the more risk you'll have.

In our case, our LTV is around $50,000, however, our CAC can be upwards of $5,000, with an average click cost of $12.00. This means that 1000 clicks cost us around $12,000.

No one will know you exist if you're not in their face continually. Visa and Master card both succeeded because they were in your face everywhere you went. This is called Omnipresence and it creates brand recognition.

Fortunately for us, we can now use retargeting, to continually stay in the face of specific audiences. On average people do not make a sale until the 7-8th time they have encountered your brand.

Think to yourself, how can I structure a conversation to make 8 emails, with a specific strategy that includes, educating, benefits, and solutions, where your sales pitch comes at the end of your sequence, not at the start.

Amazon's brand recognition was not something that was created overnight, and it took $100,000,000's and the right strategy to get the recognition they have today. Sometimes you have to give up a pawn to get the king. In their case money was the pawn, so make the sacrifices needed, and remember, if you put cheap in, you'll get cheap out.

Do more outbound sales, plenty of huge companies still rely on cold calling. If you're not getting the result you need, change your targeted niche, change your approach, change your strategy, find what works, don't repeat what doesn't work.

If your ads are burning too much money, optimize them. Create a marketing budget and sacrifice else were to ensure that budget stays.

Execute with the right strategy, have a healthy and positive mindset, be someone that people want to be around, and give it 10 more years.

If one ad isn't performing well, stop it, and make a new one. If your SEO isn't bringing you enough traffic, create more pages, and optimize your existing pages.

Business is about research and development. You will waste money until you make money. You have to deal with it, this is why it's called an investment. Investments have no guarantee, but if you believe in them, you'll pour your heart, blood, and sweat into making sure the business succeeds. You'll treat it like your child, and you'll make sacrifices to ensure that it grows.

Don't give up, keep trying new things, understand the risks, problems, and continually make adjustments. It's a lot harder as a lean startup, but there are plenty of people who've made it with the right strategies.

If you feel like it's you, change your attitude, and try smarter, stay consistent, and move forward. We all have an equal chance to succeed,

Remember, all entrepreneurs have been there, and business is not easy, so congratulations to you for making it the last 20 years.

Good luck and prosperity


Put this way it seems there is no option for nobody.

Consider that you like something, you are interested in something, you buy something, you think something is better than something else, that you know how to do something, you have some knowledge about something and you are not the only one.

If you do anything there are a group of people that will like what you've done and find it usefull. Do what you like, write article, publish youtube videos, ebooks for something you like. Who have the same likes will find that resourse usefull. You don't need to invent a new revolution or innovation for the human race. If you can improve what already exists you have a big advantage over who has no ideas. (Facebook is better than myspace, netflix preferable over blockbuster, ...).

If you have a problem (like this one) you can solve in a way that can help others in the same situation. At that moment, 65 people have read your question for free. I have not seen an ads about that, I don't know even if you have a website, but I have seen your message.

You can start doing something you need. It's impossible you are the only one in the planet that have this need! A book you can't find? write it and sell it and publish on amazon (they will publish in front of million people in exchange of a fee). You know tricks/ideas/websites/details only few people knows? write a blog or publish a youtube video about that. You can do it for free and people interested in them will surely find them (if your title is not something 'xlskdjelwerje' or 'video1234.mpg' ;-) ).

Your "billion great ideas" worth zero if you trash them. It's impossible you have no friends, you have no internet (how you wrote your question? :D), you can't ask companies around you that can be potentially interested in your idea if they'd like to try your service for free and give suggestions to best meet their needs...

If it's something useless you can spend all the money of the planet, have an ads in every website of the web... nobody will buy "second-hand toilet paper" for example. If your service helps me double my annual income, or le me manage twice the client I have, or work half the time with the same income, I will find you and your service even if you write about that service in a signature of a semi-unknown forum in a foreign language I didn't know existed.

You didn't mention the kind of work you can provide so I wrote something general that can hopefully open some door in your mind.

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