Do You Know Why Local Business Owners Fail?

You need to understand the six phases of the social amplification engine, which are;

  • Plumbing
  • Goal
  • Content
  • Targeting
  • Amplification
  • Optimization

You should be able to talk about this forward and backward to explain to businesses why they have to start with digital plumbing. Because otherwise, they’re blind, and anything they do will be no good unless they have plumbing in place first.

Their goals, content and targeting are the individual building blocks of their strategy. What is a strategy? A strategy is the specific components of goals, content, and targeting. Like DNA and Lego blocks, we need these particular components. They come from the local business owner.

Some business owners fail because they think they need to focus on technology. But content is what you need.

No matter how good you are at optimizing or how many tools you use, without content, especially lightweight videos, it will not work.

Clients have misconceptions about amplification. For example, they will say they need Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, emails, and Google PPC.

I say amplifications are advertising because if you have something good, like happy customers, you want more.

We want to amplify against a good number, against an existing business, and goals, content, and targeting already proven. So if people come in and want you to run ads, you can, but you say yes, I’d like to run ads for you and to do that, we need our plumbing in place, and then we need to collect the goals, content and targeting.

We need the measurement (digital plumbing) and the ingredient (goals, content and targeting) to put into the machine (amplification) and then to be able to tune it, which is optimization.

Probably the worst clients you could get are when another agency burned them. Then, they will come to you and say the same thing they said about their previous three agencies and business.

I’ve been doing this for 23 years. It’s like Groundhog Day for me every day. I want to see you win with your business.

So they want you to optimize.

You could sell a Power Hour for $500 to $1,000, but that’s one-time money. It’s not repeatable. It’s dependent upon your expertise. So it’s not scalable very quickly and is subject to random factors. Later, they could be unhappy, or there could be things outside your control that don’t deliver the sales.

It’s risky.

You can do optimization. I recommend you run through the first five phases of the social amplification engine because I’ve done hundreds of audits, if not thousands. I do a couple every day.

The things you need to do for a successful business are as follows:

1. Understand where the problem lies

You want to know where the problems are. It’s always somewhere in the social amplification engine’s plumbing, goals, content, and targeting.


It is not in the ads or even on the landing pages.

Sometimes the clients don’t appreciate your actions. It’s like someone saying, hey, can you come and clean my house for $200?

I may not be able to build your house for $200, but maybe if I run a maid service, I’ll clean your house for $200. So there’s a difference between building the thing, tuning it, and maintaining it. So when you put this out here, this is how you can frame your business.

2. Have a clear structure

You are an agency or business owner, so you need a clear structure. You say this is what we do and how we do it. 

For example, we’re like Chick-fil-A, we make chicken sandwiches, and there are no hamburgers. You don’t get pizza at Chick-fil-A. They have a clear menu and focus on one thing they do.

It would help if you had a straightforward menu, which is how you use reverse psychology to close the deal. You say a process governs everything we do, and If it’s not our thing, we’re not going to say yes. We can refer you to other people.

And when you say that, the reverse psychology kicks in, and the clients think that means the things they say yes to, they can do it.

What you typically see happen with business owners and digital marketing agencies is the client says, Can you do video? Yes. Can you do SEO? Yes, I can do that. Can you also clean my car? Yes, I can. 

They say yes to everything. So now you don’t trust anything agencies have to say because they say they can do everything. 

You will feel a conflicting interest because they’re trying too hard.

For example, you go to the doctor for brain surgery.

And the doctor says, yes, I can do that. I need you to buy the surgery. Like right now.

Would you feel comfortable? No, You will feel like there’s a conflict of interest because he’s trying too hard.

So you never have to seem like you’re trying too hard even if you are on edge and things aren’t going well. I’m not saying fake it, but have a clear process that puts authority behind you.

3. Double your Prices

You have to demonstrate that there’s a way they could do it themselves. That way, you should probably double your prices no matter what you charge or demand. That’s the most common advice that I give.

Digital marketing consultants ordinarily fear it and think they will lose all these clients. You’ll lose a few clients but will make much more money.

You’ll double your revenue and lose 20%, maybe 30% of your clients.

I did this with Jeff Hunter two years ago. He had several hundred clients and was super cheap because he had VAs in the Philippines, and I said you need to double your prices because you’ve represented yourself, hiring a bunch of people for 3, 4, 5 bucks an hour.

So double your prices. You’re charging based on results, not based on the fact that you’re cheaper.

You don’t want to represent your work as done by the hour. Instead, you want to define it as being done by a result, which is a package. 

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.