Don’t Be A Hammer

Synergy, symbiosis, interconnectedness, ecosystem… are all terms I promise NOT to use to describe the idea.

The Idea is that doing just one thing well doesn’t work. Focusing all of your effort and attention on just one part of your business doesn’t make the rest perform.

Being great at email marketing, or social media or web design or SEO is terrific, but won’t carry your business to success alone.

To a Hammer, Everything Looks like a Nail

Ever hear that expression?

A hammer is a perfect tool for manually driving a nail into a piece of wood. That’s pretty much all it does. So when you put ANYTHING in front of it there are only 2 choices.

  1. Hammer it
  2. Do Nothing


Perfect if you’re building a house and need to nail 2 pieces of wood together. Not so much if it’s the only tool you have and you need to sand a piece of wood, or fix a hole in the drywall or install a sink.

But if all you have is a hammer you’re probably going to give that a shot anyway.

At the very best, using a hammer for the wrong application will do nothing. At the worst, you get more to do in the end to fill the hole or fix the leak you made.


(okay, I’ve done some remodeling!)

When YOU are the Hammer

Most small businesses are started by people with a particular skill or passion that worked for someone else and then branched out on their own.

Like a furniture maker starting her own studio.

Or a plumber starting their own plumbing business.

These people are “propreneurs”, as described in The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.  Professionals that do a great job and want to start making money from what they do instead of letting the “boss” get all the reward.

You’re probably at least a little like this.

Essentially a Hammer.

And the solution to every business problem, every barrier to growth is to do more of what you do best.

Not enough money coming in – do more of what you do – hammer.

Employee problem – do it yourself – hammer.

Tax or legal issues – it doesn’t make sense but – hammer.

You can’t afford to be the Hammer –  you need to be the toolbox.

Because everyone that tries to sell you a solution to your problems is just Hammers too. 

When THEY are the Hammer

Guaranteed that if you have a business with a Facebook Page or a Twitter account you will be approached by a Social Media Marketing Agency.

They scour the internet looking for a nail they can hit. You get the call because it’s your turn to see if a hammer works.

The only solution they see for your business growth is social media – probably by managing your content and posting schedule.

At some point, you’re going to get a phone call, or an email with a variety of misspelled words, that pitches the abundance that ensues when you are #1 on Google.

An SEO company usually focuses on articles and backlinks only. Because that’s all they do.  Hammer!

Web Developer – Hammer.

Ad Agency – Hammer.

Social Media Firm – Hammer.

PR Company – Hammer.

Just like you being good at your J.O.B. and using that activity as the solution to any problem, each kind of company that approaches you about Marketing is going to have or be their own hammer.

They’re looking for opportunities to hit a nail.

[Some agencies DO have more tools than just a hammer. But YOU have to investigate first. They sometimes just use different hammers to hit the same nail]

The Problem – if Hammers are your Only Tool

In marketing – everything is dependent on everything else. (don’t…. say………..synergy….gasp)

The best Google Ad on the internet will not make you money if the page they land on when they click doesn’t turn them into leads.

You can get a MILLION likes on your Facebook Page and still lose money on what you sell – because the product isn’t profitable.

Generate all the phone calls you want with great SEO and if you answer the phone like you’re being interrupted doing something important – you wasted your money.

And even the most beautiful e-commerce website will fail you if no one ever sees it. Or the check out process sucks. Or it doesn’t look good on mobile.

That $299/month professional email software will NOT help you get more customers if the rest of your marketing confuses your prospects.

The Solution - How NOT to Be the Hammer

See your business through the eyes of your customer as opposed to looking from the inside out. 

Most business owners tend to “hammerify” their business/marketing problems (okay, that may have been taking the hammer thing too far) because they’re reaching for the quickest solution to what they see is the problem at hand. Completely understandable.

But a better approach might be to stand outside your business, pretend you’re a potential customer, and walk through the whole process:

1 – How did you find the business? List the ways people might find you -what’s missing? What’s great? What could be better?

2 – Can you learn everything you need to make a decision about buying from you BEFORE you talk to someone on the inside? Or, is the information provided compelling enough to make you want to learn more?

3 – Is it easy for people to buy from you?

…. you get the idea. 

Once you’ve take this bigger, clean look at your business, THEN it’s time to pick the right tool. It might be a hammer, but it’s much more like that you’ll need several things from the marketing toolbox. 

If you want help selecting the right tools – just reach out to me at

The Social Media Hammer

You are probably not qualified to pick the most potentially successful marketing method for your business. Not particularly politic, I know. But you’ll see why

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