Signed out AMA (Against Marketing Advice)

Karen Reyburn - Have you ever gone Marketing AMA? Discover how choosing unconventional marketing strategies can impact your accounting firm.


I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy recently (with the lofty and noble goal of finally finishing all seasons, only to discover it’s nowhere near done and a new season starts this week).

And at times on the show, a doctor notices an issue or suggests a course of treatment and the person says no, I don’t want it. The person is allowed to leave the hospital if they wish, but because the doctor believes so strongly this is not a wise course of action, the person needs to sign a consent form indicating they are leaving AMA: Against Medical Advice. That way, if something terrible happens, the doctors can be sure they did everything they could.

I notice these doctors don’t simply swan around handing out AMA forms. They really don’t want that: they’re desperate for the person to have less pain or more mobility or to actually live their life.

Many times people sign the form out of fear. They’re saying “I know you said it’s only a 4.5% chance of failure but what if I’m in the 4.5?”

Sometimes it’s a refusal to look at the facts, and relying on their own feelings about it, or insisting they know their own body. “I don’t care if you say my aneurysm could rupture, I feel fine! I’m sure it’s fine.”

Sometimes it’s a difference of belief. From a belief that abortion is wrong in any circumstance no matter what; to believing covid isn’t real and was a conspiracy by the government. Whatever the belief is, it’s so strong they’re not going to be moved.

I feel a little like the doctors when I give my strong marketing opinion and someone says no thanks, I’m not going to do that, I’m going to do it myself…with no help.

No support. No strategy, no foundational sessions or review or audits.

For example they might decide to:

  • Use a WordPress template to fill in a few words and pictures and call it a good website
  • Get a mate to do the website design on mates rates or as an exchange of services
  • Randomly post on social media as much as possible
  • Change nothing about their brand or logo, because it’s too expensive to consider any kind of change

After we talk, and I share perspective and data and stories and examples, sometimes the person is still saying “No, I’m good thanks, I don’t need any help.”

And I almost wish I had an AMA for someone choosing to go Against Marketing Advice. “I the undersigned recognise and accept it is entirely possible in my efforts to save money on my website I’ll end up spending twice as much over a three year period plus some bonus frustration and not getting the right kind of leads”.

The point is, going Marketing AMA isn’t about doing something on a DIY level instead of paying for marketing services: it’s about doing something fully DIY, with no help. Not listening to someone who’s been there or refusing to get even the smallest direction.

For example, I know accountants who talk with us and say listen, I love everything you do, but we don’t have the £30k to do All The Things, so we’ll do none of it. It’s all too much so we’ll just do everything ourselves. (Spoiler alert: this usually means finding someone else who is cheaper, or just not doing it at all.)

I know other accountants who say listen, we literally do not have the cash in the bank for this. But I’m going to read your book, or sign up for the Accelerator coaching group, or sign up for a few strategy sessions. I’m going to get a small amount of direction so my DIY’ing it is supported by good marketing advice.

They’re attending sessions, they’re submitting their homework and content for review, they’re asking for a momentum call. This person isn’t not going Marketing AMA: instead we’ve agreed they’re going to take this medication and change their diet, because expensive surgery isn’t needed or possible right now.

Now I realise in marketing we don’t deal in life and death decisions.

Medical AMA is nowhere near Marketing AMA, and honestly I’m so grateful for this. My sister is a nurse and we regularly recognise the massive difference between her job and mine. If someone signs out AMA in a hospital, they could die. There’s no redo, no next time. If someone signs out AMA for marketing, they’ll spend a lot more money and time and will have some stress along the way, but they can fix it and learn and next time they’ll know.

But it still makes me a little sad sometimes watching someone walk out Marketing AMA…because I’ve seen it so many times. I see the cost and time and effort and frustration and disappointment …maybe even getting disillusioned on marketing altogether and tempted not to spend anything because it didn’t work. Sometimes they’re fearful; sometimes they don’t believe the facts I’ve shared apply to them; sometimes their philosophy and belief about business or marketing is different than mine. A little like a parent wanting to spare their child trouble, I wish I could help them see it without having to go the hard way, the expensive way, the exhausting way.

But that’s not how life works. Because to be fair sometimes people would sign out AMA and go on to get great results or figure it out themselves or find someone they’re better placed to work with than me. That’s okay. Unlike medicine, marketing can often be done at a DIY level to a good standard. And other times they struggle and spend all the monies and get frustrated and come back. And it all works out in the end.

So if there’s anything you’re thinking about marketing-wise, and you’ve asked my (or someone else’s) opinion and disagree, that’s okay. If you need to go AMA Marketing you do that.

Just make sure to report back on how it went. If it’s good I’ll celebrate with you and maybe it will help me advise others better! And if it’s bad, I’ll sympathise and say hey you learned things and let’s try again. Because with marketing, we can do that.

Here’s what I’d love to hear from you this week:
Have you ever gone Marketing AMA?

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After all….life is for livin’. And that’s not only at the weekends. 

Happy Monday! 

Day 51/100 Video Challenge 

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #Life #living #wisewords #happymonday #yougotthis #motivation #mondaymotivation
Take a little trip with me into Edinburgh! 

Onto the tram….wander the cobbled streets…into Scran for brunch…down Victoria street and into the shops…past the castle…pop into the Johnnie Walker experience to see the room we’ll be using for our June event…nip up to the rooftop bar of course (rude not to)…and back on the tram and home! 

Such a lovely city to wander and explore. 

Have you been? 

Day 50/100 Video Challenge 

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #edinburgh #city #cobbledstreets #scotland #edinburghcastle #travelscotland #scran #victoriastreet #harrypotter #butterbeer #johnniewalker #jwprincesstreet #happysunday #wandering #visitscotland #edinburghtrams
Recover. Rest. Reflect.

That’s what I’m doing this weekend - in that order! 

Been a really full week and I’m grateful for so much of it…and now I’m grateful for some headspace. 

Day 49/100 Video Challenge 

#100dayvideochallenge #100days #Rest #reflection #recovery #conference #happysaturday