SFR 190: Don’t Hire A Marketer – Stephen Larsen

SFR 190: Don’t Hire A Marketer

Nov 9th, 2018 anchorwave

There’s no such thing as a poor marketer. If you’re broke, you’re either new or not a marketer…

If you understand WHAT marketing is… you’ll also understand why you should NEVER hire a marketer for your business. And YES, this post comes with the infamous Larsen Rant Warning – so if you’re easily offended you might want to stop reading now ?


Let me tell you a story…

A little while ago, this guy reached out to me, and said, “Hey Steve, I appreciate what you’re doing. I watch the show, and I was just wondering if could I give you 20 – 30% of my business to be the marketer for it?”

…When I see that question, I cringe for many reasons:

  1. That’s NOT an attractive opportunity for me at all – because it means I’m gonna be the guy making it rain, but only getting paid only 20% for what I bring in – so that’s No Deal… Why would I be attracted to that?
  2. When someone asks, “Stephen, can I give you 50% of my company to build my funnel?” I know that there’s a fundamental misunderstanding about what causes cash to come into a business.

So to the individual who reached out and asked me that question:

  • First of all, “Thank you very much, I’m honored, but the answer’s, No.”
  • Secondly, I want to show you why you shouldn’t ask that question EVER – especially for the marketing role in your company.
  • Thirdly, I want to show you why you should NEVER HIRE A MARKETER – and who you should hire instead.

Don't Hire Me


When people say things like, “Hey, Stephen, look, I’ve got this great idea! Will you build the funnel, I’ll give you 50% of it.” That is not an attractive offer.

An idea itself is not an asset. Ideas are not value.

It is not about the product idea. The product is NOT what will bring in cash.

As entrepreneurs, we get so focused on our incredible product that we forget that the product is NOT the reason why somebody will go make a purchase.

Few people ever go buy something just because it’s brand new and never been done before. Sure, that’s important, and that’s sexy… But the reason people buy has everything to do with the actual sales message, and the ability to tell stories.

When somebody comes to me and says, “Stephen, will you take a percentage of my company to be the marketer?”


…That’s telling me that they have no idea about what stories are selling their product.

They have no idea why they’re actually bringing cash in. That’s scary. It’s a freaky place to be – and I don’t wanna go there.

So when somebody says, “Hey Steve, would you come and be the marketer for my product?” …and offers me a cut, I know:

  1. They have no idea why their product is selling – they have no clue why they’re actually successful… or not.
  2. They have no idea what levers to need to turn to bring in MORE money.
  3. I’d be better off on working alone, “You know what? Why don’t I just do the whole idea on my own and keep 100%?”

So if you have an idea, and you try to entice a marketer in that way – it’s just not attractive.


One of my early mentors explained marketing like this:

If you think about your business as a car…

  • Finance – is the guy sitting in the passenger seat planning how far you can get with the gas you’ve got.
  • Supply Chain – are the ones hanging out the windows checking to see how much gas is left in the actual tank and looking for the next gas station.
  • The marketer – is the one in the driver’s seat. They’re the ones goin’, “Let’s go that way.” Marketers are the ones that drive the entire company.

I know I’m gonna get a lot of pushback when I say that, but it’s true.

Think about it this way…

If there’s no cash, your business is dead. What brings in cash? Marketing!

Money is the byproduct of marketing.

The product is what’s exchanged to pull the money in, but it’s not what makes the sales.


If you’re in the scenario where you’re like, “Man, I’ve just realized that I have no idea why my stuff sells.”

The first thing you need to start doing is to go back to your existing customer base (reach out to 50 of your customers), and start asking them questions:

  1. At what point did you realize that this product was a good decision for you?
  2. If they point to a feature, you keep digging until they point to a story – that’s key.

You ask them:

  • “What made you purchase?”
  • “Why was that feature important to you?”
  • “What was going on in your life at the time?”
  • “What was it that I said that made you realize, ‘Oh, my gosh, this guy’s not a scammer?’”

You just keep digging until you start to a pattern around a particular story that you told.

If you DON’T have a product yet, don’t worry – you might have somewhat of a bit of an advantage in this scenario – because you’re gonna be able to go in and just start telling stories to see which ones cause a reaction.

I'm all ears tell me more

That’s what selling is – telling stories.

Every commercial, every ad, every infomercial, infographic. Anything that persuades you to purchase is story-based.

So I want you to go out and start telling stories to people. When you see which stories cause the biggest “Whoa!” Those are the stories you should be using to sell your product. And that’s exactly how it works.

Whenever you start telling a story to somebody, and they’re like:

  • “Wait! What website was that?”
  • “Where did you get that?”
  • “What tool was that?”
  • “What product was that?”

Then you know they’re on heat, and that’s a person who wants their wallet to be lighter.

I need that product

They’re walking around asking, “How do I buy this thing? I really, really need it.”

When you start to see stories having that kind of an effect on people, you make a note. Earmark that story.


One of my favorite strategies, when I’m launching a product, is to start telling stories on my podcast or other people’s podcasts. I tell stories om my YouTube Channel or anywhere I have the right audience. I’m testing stories.

I’m trying to see like, “Okay, which of these stories is causing a positive buying reaction?” I don’t care if it’s one of my stories or not, I’m just trying to see if the story sells.

I don’t even have to have a product ready, if the stories right – I can get people to start purchasing.

Let me tell you a story

Obviously, there’s an ethical and moral bridge that you don’t want to cross there. Stay ethical, stay moral with this stuff … you’ve gotta be upfront and prepared to deliver.

Story is truly what’s causing the purchase to happen.


We always joke that outsourcing your marketing is like outsourcing your sex life… You’re not gonna do that, right?

Selling is the sex of business. The relationship is the fulfillment afterward.

One of my goals of Sales Funnel Radio is to turn you into a marketer:

  • Marketers make cash.
  • Money is the byproduct of marketing.
  • Marketing is the thing that gets raving fans who continue to buy after they make that first purchase.

I want to turn you into a marketer.

WHAT is marketing?

Marketing is the act of changing beliefs with the intent of making a purchase happen.

That’s all marketing is.

That’s my own definition, but as I’ve just gone further in this game, I’ve discovered that that’s what marketing is.

For a long time, I asked myself the question, “What is marketing itself?” What is the essence of marketing? My answer was, “Belief.”

Marketing is the act of changing somebody’s beliefs. It’s the act of changing the way somebody sees the world.

Marketing is the act of changing somebody's beliefs

Marketing is NOT Facebook ads, and it’s NOT logos or branding.

There are many ways to pull that off… but all you’re doing at the core of marketing is shifting someone’s paradigm. That’s it!

You’re changing the way they see the world – and that’s such an important job that I believe it should be the responsibility of the business owner/ CEO/ entrepreneur – the person who is the chief decision maker.

I don’t know why you would ever hire out your marketing.


(A little side note here…)

Definitions changed my life. Definitions help you know which areas you need to focus on and which you can outsource:

  • When I learned the difference between a product and an offer – my life changed.
  • When learned the difference between selling and marketing – my life changed.
  • When I learned the difference between selling and closing – my life changed.
  • When I learned the difference between advertising and marketing – my life changed.

They are all very different. Do NOT think they’re the same. They’re completely different.

Steve's definitions

In a few weeks, I think I’ll just go over definitions so you can get really clear on how I see each of these.

I live in a world called Direct Response Marketing – which is very different to advertising.

The marketing I create is intended for the person that I hope buys. It goes direct to the consumer. This means that my dollars are measurable.

I know that 99% of the time when I spend a certain amount of money, I get a customer.


As the main marketer, you figure out who you do need to hire? That might mean a Facebook ads person, a creative individual, and people like that.

A lot of the people that I hire for my content creation team aren’t marketers, but they’re part of my marketing engine. They’re part of my engine that changes people’s beliefs.

Content creation team

Facebook ads – are NOT marketing – but they’re a piece of it.

Creating logos, slogans, and business cards are not marketing, but it can be a piece of it – especially if you toss in a little story.

If you’re the attractive character in your business, you better freakin’ be the marketer too – because the marketing stories that you’re gonna be telling will most likely be about the attractive character.

When somebody reaches out to me, and says, something like, “Steve, will you come out and be the marketer?” I’m like, “Yeah, but I’ll probably bring a whole team with me – and I’m just gonna be the storyteller.”

Telling stories is what it really means to be a marketer.


I’ve been asked multiple times, “Do you know any good marketers that I can hire?” I was talking with Trey Lewellen, and he and I were laughing about this very concept.

He said “I always laugh when someone asks me that. You can’t hire good marketers because they’ve figured out how to make money so easily that they’re working for themselves.”

No longer lost

There’s no such thing as hiring a good marketer – which means you need to become one yourself!

I could find a good copywriter. I could find a great ads person. BUT it’s dang near impossible to find a good marketer because they’re not hireable.

Good marketers are not on the market.

You can tell when somebody is a good marketer because they’re turning so focused on what they’re doing that they’re turning every opportunity.

They don’t care how good your opportunity is, they’re already knee-deep in their own.

Don’t think you’re being attractive by offering to give away percentages of your company to good marketers. They’re not motivated by that.

There’s no such thing as a poor marketer.

Which is why it’s hard to hire ’em!

If somebody is poor, they’re either new, or they’re not a marketer.

If you try and hire a marketer, it’s not gonna work. You need to be the marketer, then hire out specific roles in your campaigns. Don’t try to hire a good marketer. It doesn’t work that way.

You could probably train up someone up, but in reality, they’re not gonna be as obsessed about your product as you are – so just learn how to be a marketer.

Even if you do find a good marketer:

  • The chances of you keeping them are slim.
  • They will be extremely expensive.

Marketing is the one thing that you don’t outsource.

Money is the lifeblood of your business. Cashflow is the lifeblood of your business. What’s tied to those directly? Marketing! Which is why you don’t outsource your marketing to anyone.

Until Next Time – Keep Crushing It!

Hey, want me to speak at your next event or Mastermind? Let me know what I can share that would be most valuable by going to and book my time now.

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