Testing your marketing channels

How to know what a successful test looks like

Read time: 5 min, 34 secs

Hey there - it's Brian 👋

It’s scary to try a new marketing channel without knowing it’ll work.

Will you get customers? Or will you waste 6 months?

Outreach, ads, SEO, socials etc.

So we test.

But most people mess up the test.

It’s not as simple as saying that if you get X number of customers then the test was a success.

Some channels you don’t see any results for months (hey there social media).

So today I’ll help you decide what a successful test looks like.

This is for you if you’re hesitant to try a channel, and want to test it out first.

You’ll figure out if it’s working with a small amount of time and money before you invest more.

Let’s make your business an outlier: 👇

What are you testing?

Your test needs to answer a specific question.

Most tests don’t.

And this means you get hazy results.

Then you blame the whole channel when “Google ads doesn’t work.”

So what do you test?

Your testing goes through 3 stages:

Stage 1: Can we find the customer?

Stage 2: Can we get their attention?

Stage 3: Can we get them to buy?

I’ll explain each stage.

Stage 1: Can we find the customer?

You can’t sell to people that you can’t find.

This is the internet equivalent of people walking by your store.

So can you find your customer online?

It depends on which platform you choose… LinkedIn vs Twitter. Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.

Note: Everyone uses Google so no need to test if we can find customers on SEO. The test for Google is whether we can convert the funnel (later stage).

If you’re not sure you can find them on a platform… then test!

Here’s a quick example:
Say you run a tech consulting business. Your target buyer is the head of information for banks over $100M in revenue.

Well where can we find your customer?

LinkedIn? Of course!

Twitter? Maybe.

Instagram? Probably not.


If you want to use LinkedIn: we’re confident your customer is there. No need to test.

Want to use a different platform (Twitter, Instagram etc)?

We’re not sure you can find them.

So you’ll need to test.

Here’s what that test would look like.

The biggest challenge we have to overcome is that social platforms have no traction, (until they have a lot of traction).

So we can’t test that “it works” by looking for traction on our posts.

We need a manual test to see if our target customer is on the platform.

Manual test:
• Look for groups. Are they actively posting? Are there lots of people in the group (e.g., LinkedIn has a group)
• Look for creators who are niched down. Are they getting a lot of engagement with posts on the topic you’d create?
• Manually search for your target customer and make a list. Are they easy to find? Or is it a hard list to make?

At this stage we’re not posting yet. We want to know that our posts will reach the RIGHT people.

Because once we know the customer is there, the rest is relatively in our control.

Meaning it’s based on our skill to (stage 2) win at attention and (stage 3) build an attractive funnel.

So choose the channels you can easily find your customer on.


Now for the next part. Customers can walk by your store all day… but we need them to stop and walk inside.

Let’s see if you can actually get their attention.

🧔🏻‍♂️ Brian’s nerdy side rant:

Here’s a visual to help you wrap your head around which platforms you can reach your customer on.

Stage 2: Can we get their attention?

So if you choose a platform where you can easily find your customer…

Odds are your competition did too.

So the channel may be crowded.

No worries. I got you covered.

If you know your customer is here, but you can’t get their attention, you have one of 3 problems:

1) Positioning problem
2) Content problem
3) Distribution problem

Let’s dive into each of the 3 problems:

Problem 1 | Positioning:

Customers don’t quickly understand what makes you valuable.

Positioning is just persuading a specific customer, that you can solve their specific pain, better than anyone.

If you’re struggling to get attention, get more specific on any of these 3 levers in your content:
1) Customer
2) Pain
3) Solution

You can tell you have a positioning problem if…

You can’t simply explain why you’re the best solution to solve a specific problem (for a specific person)


You’re not getting the traction you expect.

Note: If you think you have a positioning problem, here’s a guide to help you troubleshoot.

Now on to the next problem. Maybe your positioning is fine… but your message just isn’t interesting enough to get attention.

Let’s fix it.

Problem 2 | Content:

Your content isn’t interesting enough to get (& keep) attention online.

And it makes sense that it’s not!

In this community we’re building businesses. We’re not professional copywriters and storytellers.

You may have a content problem if you’re getting impressions, but no engagement.

But here’s a harsh truth:
Copywriting and storytelling is mandatory to get any attention online.

Ads, socials, landing pages, emails etc.

Anything you write on the internet needs to be:
• Make it easy for them to read
• Use basic copywriting principles
• Tell stories that they resonate with
• Speak to emotions that they’d understand

Writing for the internet is COMPLETELY different than writing for work.

It’s more about psychology and mass persuasion.

Now this last problem surprises people the most.

Most people think they can just post and be done. But no one tells you there’s a whole distribution process!

Problem 3 | Distribution:

Your content isn’t being shown to enough people.

Everyone talks about the content creation side. Few talk about the distribution side.

If it’s a distribution problem…
• Social Media: Not enough peers sharing your content
• SEO: Not enough blogs sharing your blog
• Ads: Haven’t spent enough money

You can tell you have a distribution problem if you’re not getting a lot of impressions.

To fix distribution problems:
Social Media:
Make a list of peers in your industry. Network with them. Offer to share their ideas online and ask if they can share yours

Make a list of other blogs that can link to your blog. Network. Ask if they’ll link to your work

Spend more (if it’s in your budget)

Once it’s at a point where you’re getting enough customer’s paying attention, we move on to the sales portion.

Here’s the final stage of the testing process.

Can you actually get the sale?

Stage 3: Can we get the funnel to work?

Now for the final stage of testing.

Can you actually convert the engagement to cash?

If you’re not getting people to buy… here’s a few things that could be wrong:
• You’re not building enough trust in the process
• You don’t have the right people in your funnel
• Your landing page isn’t persuasive

I’ve linked to guides to help you troubleshoot each step.

All you’re testing for is checking which step of the process is leaking customers.

Iterate on that step of the process until you’ve patched the leak.

Are you getting the customers you expect?

If you have questions about the troubleshooting process, shoot me an email.

If you’ve picked a channel where it’s easy to find customers, the rest is in your hands.

Get this right and you won’t have a problem finding customers.

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See you next Thursday 👋

P.S. Run a consulting business?

Want me to guide you through building authority & getting customers online?

I’m an ex-Deloitte consultant turned Digital CMO.

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