The year is almost over, and as a business owner or entrepreneur you’ll probably inundate your brain with new ideas on how to do things better, sell better, market better, be a better team leader. If you’re anything like many of us mere mortals, rest assured you’ll make mistakes.
Nothing wrong with that, so don’t stress. We’re all in this together.
Whether you’re new to business and marketing, or you’ve already been through the trenches, it would probably be easier to steer away from mistakes rather than trying to add new items to your to-do list to become better.
Business owners listen up, you owe it to yourselves to be the second mouse that gets the cheese in 2021, learn from those who’ve been there before you by avoiding the following marketing sins:
With the magnitude of marketing channels available to us these days, we could easily get overwhelmed and/or lose focus.
Our marketing messages could easily become inconsistent. Thus it’s really important to make sure your marketing messages are always on vision delivering the benefit you’ve promised.
This means using the same tone of voice, the same brand images, and the same color schemes across every channel, whether that includes direct mail, social media, or print advertising.
2- Using push marketing to sell
The days of push marketing are truly behind us. Whoever shouts the loudest, doesn’t get heard or sells better than the next bloke.
Think not about how you can push the potential customer into making a purchase, but instead about how you can help them fulfill their needs in order that you are top of their mind when they come to buy.
Always think of ways to be of benefit to your clients. Be helpful, answer questions about your industry that would give them insights. This way you become a resource as well ensuring they come back for more.
3- Ignoring local search
Local search has become an increasingly vital aspect of online marketing, and yet it is still frequently overlooked.
Google’s Places service can provide you with far more visibility in search results. This point you should probably outsource if you don’t have an in house marketer.
Ask your web developer how to sort out your Google listing, because if you’re clients can’t Google you, then you don’t exist. Ask us for some tips and tricks to get you started.
4- Publicly arguing with your customers
Yes I know you’re invested in your business, you’ve worked yourself to the ground, you’re being protective, and we get it.
Please do yourself a favor and really practice patience and self-control. Love them or hate them– online review sites are here to stay.
From eBay user ratings to Yelp reviews, what your customers say about you has a powerful impact. You can’t hide, so respond to reviews (but use caution!)
Negative reviews are annoying, but angry rebuttals are unprofessional and always do more harm than good. Choose your words carefully.
Make sure you don’t sound passive-aggressive. It’s also helpful to have someone else check your answer before you post it, if you can. The best way to deal with negative reviews, accurate or not, is to dilute them with good reviews. So be the better person.
5- Mistaking features for benefits
Your USP is one of your most important assets. This defines what you have to offer that your competitors don’t.
Why should potential customers choose you? You’re the fastest, tallest, most attractive, or just awesome?
ALL these are features, NOT benefits.
You being in the industry for a decade, whilst amazing, doesn’t really help me solve my problem here.
So instead, I really would like to know how your decade of experience (feature) would help me solve my problem by offering me a benefit.
By answering this question you can help to position your small business in your marketplace, and build marketing efforts that really mark you out.
7- Launching & Fogetting
Social media is the shoes we all need, but they don’t always fit.
Facebook page, Twitter, Line, Instagram… “We need them all” is the battle cry from the digital department.
NO YOU DON’T.
It’s understandable that marketers want to cover all the bases and make sure all consumer touchpoints are available. And it’s also understandable that agencies are all too often keen to play along with this money-making, scattergun approach.
But the end game will be lots of unkempt, deserted online shop windows for brands. Only fools rush in, this is not one size fits all kind of situation.
It’s a delicate equation and balance you need to achieve here. Chat with us for some pointers on how to strike it right.
6- Ignoring the customer
Congratulations, you’ve taken the plunge and started your own small business. Please don’t forget that It can be tempting to get carried away with your own vision of what your business should be, forgetting that the real focus must be on the customer.
Every aspect of your marketing should be customer-focused. What does your customer want, where do they live, and why should they deal with you rather than your competitors?
I hate to break it to you, but unfortunately, this is not about you. If you’ve started your small business for any reason other than helping your clients, then I urge you to reconsider. You didn’t do it because you hated your old boss.
You saw a gap in the market where you could offer your skill to help us, your customers. Stay focused on that.
By keeping the customer constantly at the forefront of your mind you can help to ensure that your marketing efforts are properly directed.