ClumsyGrace Podcast: Episode 2

ClumsyGrace Podcast

Decrease Your Ad Budget (And Reach More People)

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Read my show notes/transcription if you don’t have time to listen to the 30 minute episode (but you should totes listen)

ClumsyGrace Podcast Episode 2

Okay so I get the concept of saturating the market

you plaster your sweet mug all over town, making sure to hit up the usual suspects of newspaper, park bench, bus stop, etc. You pump out radio ads, making sure to be as…memorable as possible…

I get the strategy. Maybe it works? (unless of course you’re already operating in a market that’s BEEN saturated. If there is anyone else in your area who’s doing what you’re doing then you’re already struggling to stand out)

Except…how do you even know that the right people are seeing your sign? Or that they’re getting to know you better as a result of that radio spot? 

what if *gasp* your hard-earned ad dollars are contributing to the white noise of advertising that most of us kinda ignore? 

Riddle me this: what’s the last purchasing decision you made because of a billboard? A bench? A bus stop?

So, let’s say You sell auto insurance:  

you spend $500 to put your best headshot on a bus stop.

If you’re LUCKY, someone draws a dick on your photo. More likely than not, the hundreds or thousands of people who drive/walk by COMPLETELY ignore it (the dick is a gift, frankly…) 

Maybe you’re getting into their subconscious. Maybe. You’re CERTAINLY not a part of any larger conversation unless the question on deck is “circumsized or no?”

Now, consider this. 

You post the same photo on Instagram (sans phallus)

 You use all thirty of your available, targeted hashtags. 

You write a thoughtful (or goofy or thought-provoking) caption. At the end of the caption, you say, “what do you think?”

A new driver sees the photo.  She comments, “I think young drivers should qualify for a driving discount unless they have a discount, after which time I think the discount should be taken away”

You have a couple of back and forths with her about why insurance companies probably won’t ever do that. You tell her to drive safely out there.

You’ve just engaged with a potential client in a way that your bus stop will NEVER allow you to do. 

Further to THAT, EVERYONE else who follows your IG or checks out your hashtags can read that exchange and they see that: A: you give a shit and B: you know your shit. 

Keep in mind that this has cost you NOTHING (maybe 5-10 minutes to get the post together and another 10-30 minutes of responding to comments if you’re doing it well and people are commenting)

I get it. You’re loyal and you like to shop locally (so do I, by the way). 

You’re not ready to let go of traditional marketing. 

if you’re still dumping a ton of money into traditional marketing, you’re likely doing it because it’s just the way things are done, because you don’t think social marketing is for people in your industry, or (the infinitely most admirable of the three) you’re supporting OTHER local businesses like radio and print with your ad dollars. Maybe you’re doing social but you’re half-assing it, or re-posting other people’s content, or trying to keep up the wall of professionalism so your potential clients never get a whiff that you’re a human 

EVEN if you’re devoted to continuing with your offline advertising (which is cool), chances are, you could be making it more content-driven (as opposed to sales, same, same, boring)

your social posting (and, in fact, none of your traditional marketing either) DOESN’T have to be just about “business”. In fact, it shouldn’t necessarily be just about business. It should be about your taste in 90’s techno or your favourite food truck too.

I was chatting with a friend of mine recently who owns a small business (we were talking about the very topic of this episode) and she said, “If only there was a secret formula for what makes a radio ad good”

I replied, “the secret formula is storytelling”. 

Social storytelling is free. and Social Advertising is DIRT cheap (for now). 

If you tell a great story — maybe you record a hilarious video of your receptionist pranking the sales manager and 200 people watch the video within an hour of posting

So you decide to BOOST that post which means that for a ridiculously nominal cost, you can hit SO MANY targeted eyeballs.

 Even better, you can see what’s working, what creates engagement, tweak the ad copy if engagement is starting to falter, and turn it off when you can see that the ad has run its course. You can split test different images or a video with a static image to see what performs best.

Still Not convinced?

Let’s say you spend $300 on some 15 second radio ads. (which is NOT a bad thing at ALL — if you’re local, it’s totally worth exploring. But I BEG of you — do NOT spend those ad dollars shouting your address over and over at your listeners. Even if it’s your thing. Most people don’t care WHERE you are until long after you’ve helped them to care WHO you are and if you’ve annoyed people into changing the dial, you are PISSING away your ad money)

FB AD. same budget = 4500 targeted people per day of advertising. When I say targeted, I mean — age, gender, geographic locale, interests.

If you’re a realtor who serves an area where there’s a transient summer population and a lot of out-of-towners come to purchase beach houses, you could target THEIR home location in the months leading up to heightened times of purchase. Even if it  was just a photo of two adorondak chairs on the end of a wharf that said, “wish you were here”. 

Look. I’m not trying to tell you NOT to spend your ad dollars locally. I’m a BIG fan of supporting local. But integrating socials into your strategy gives you an opportunity to connect and converse with potential clients so that by the time their renewal date is looming, they need to re-up their mortgage, or their college-age daughter is ready to buy her first apartment, YOU are the ONLY logical choice because you’ve made them laugh with a bunch of hilarious friday-afternoon dub smashes on, become a staple of their monday mornings with your tongue-in-cheek motivations on IG, or they’ve pinned literally every one of your living room boards on pinterest. 

This is an opportunity to simply be yourSELF online. To be in their eyes, ears, hearts, and funny bones long before they require your services. To help them change their lives before you ask for a dollar. 


I’m currently doing some volunteer work as the digital promotions chair for a provincial non-profit organization. 

Last week, there was an event — a ceremony. I suggested we livestream the thing (inspired by my brother in law’s boxing club, who used pay-per-view to livestream their national fights and raise some money for the club). 

It was free (except for about an hour of my time on a sunny Sunday to hold my phone and film it in a super amateur manner with shaky arms). 

To date (three days later), I know that:

  • the pre-show video has 165 views and has been watched for a total of 82 minutes
  • the ceremony video has 300 views and is most popular with women 65+ and that, for $27, I could reach up to 13,000 more people in British Columbia
  • This is a Facebook page with LESS THAN A THOUSAND audience members. You DO NOT NEED a million fans in order to create influence in your niche. 

Find me a bus stop that can give you that kind of metrics

*drops mic

If you run an online business, you’re probably sick to shit of all of this stuff because EVERYONE in your industry is live-streaming every fucking thing. But if you’re in a market where you’re NOT seeing live-streams of people in YOUR industry on Facebook, if none of your local competitors are podcasting, pinning, or hashtagging, 

To connect with local, would-be clients in a caring, high-value way, without breaking the bank. 

Can you tell I’m obsessed with this? I’m gonna keep talking about it as long as you keep finding value in it. 

Erin McDonald
Business Success Coach for Women Entrepreneurs at ClumsyGrace
Erin is an International Transformational Coach, obsessed with facilitating change in the lives of incredible, hilarious women. She's a Mama, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and cousin; a seeker (and occasional finder) of an authentic life in all its disastrous glory. She has a brave heart, believes in magic, loves tacos, and always wins at Whack-a-Mole
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About the author : Erin McDonald

Erin McDonald
Erin is an International Transformational Coach, obsessed with facilitating change in the lives of incredible, hilarious women. She's a Mama, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and cousin; a seeker (and occasional finder) of an authentic life in all its disastrous glory. She has a brave heart, believes in magic, loves tacos, and always wins at Whack-a-Mole