Marketing is so important to a growing business isn’t it?
But that doesn’t mean that it’s quick or easy, and it definitely doesn’t mean that every type of marketing you do will always generate results. If only it were so simple!
If only you knew exactly which type of marketing was the right one for your business instead of having to waste time and money working out all the things that don’t work first!
Just in case you’re in the same confused boat as bazillions of other people I speak to about this, I thought I’d share some advice about the most common (and easy to make) mistakes that consistently happen. And more importantly offer some simple tips about how to avoid these typical pitfalls in your own business.
Trying to be all things to all people
I think this has to be the easiest and most common mistake to make. But it’s probably also the one that is the most likely to make your marketing ineffective and therefore expensive.
It’s so easy to believe that the point of marketing your business is to appeal to as many people as possible so that you can generate as many enquiries as possible about your products or service. But the challenge is that trying to appeal to the masses will make your message vague and un-targeted. 10 good quality leads will always beat 100 rubbish leads!
The real purpose of your marketing is to help your ideal customer to find you, get to know you and realise that you’re the right supplier for them. But unless your marketing message is tailored specifically towards that type of person or their type of business it’s unlikely to resonate, even if they do get to see it or read it, so you’ll miss out on your best potential opportunities.
The answer is to get very clear about who it is that you specifically want to appeal to and be brave about honing in on their exact problems, issues or needs that you can help with. Talk directly to those people and by ditching the attempt at mass appeal you’ll actually increase the results of your marketing.
Covering all bases – badly!
The choices about how and where to market yourselves these days are vast. If you just consider ‘social media’ that alone offers several different marketing routes and each one needs an individual strategy and different content if you’re going to generate results.
The temptation is often to try too many things at once and to subsequently not do any of them very consistently or very well. Social media is probably the biggest culprit here. After all you have Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, pinterest, snapchat and soooo many more!
And everyone you speak to is likely to give you some different advice about which platform is absolutely, definitely the right one for you so it can be confusing and overwhelming.
The answer is to keep things simple and focus on consistency rather than trying to be everywhere all the time. Consistency conveys reliability and credibility and those are very powerful influencers for your potential customers. When it come to marketing, doing ‘less’ but doing it well really can generate ‘more’ results. It’s all about focus.
And that focus should be on your ideal client. So rather than trying to market yourself absolutely everywhere, stop and ask yourself where that perfect client is most likely to be, and then focus your efforts there.
It’s much better to have 2 or 3 marketing strategies that you do consistently well, than 8 strategies you do badly. If you don’t have the time, creativity or commitment to share quality content on 5 social media platforms every day then make a choice. Choose the best 1 or 2 places for you and be fantastic at those, rather than being hit and miss everywhere else!
Focusing on the process not the results
How many times have you asked somebody what they do and been bombarded with a long-winded, detailed explanation of all the nooks and crannies of their service? Its incredibly common isn’t it?
It’s easy to be so passionate about what you do that you want the customer to understand everything. So you give them lots of detail. After all, it’s probably the finer details of what you do that makes you you isn’t it?
But, generally speaking, detail is rather boring! And rather than getting customers excited it actually switches them off. You see, the thing that customers truly care about is ‘what’s in it for me?’ What they really want to know is what the result, the outcome, the end-game of working with you will be for them. They frequently don’t care how that result is achieved, they just want to feel confident that it’ll happen.
The result is what actually gets the customer excited, not the process!
In his book The Jelly Effect, Andy Bounds describes this brilliantly with his AFTERS acronym. What customers really want to understand is what it is they’re left with AFTER they do business with you. That’s the thing they buy.
So take a look at your own marketing whether that’s your networking pitch, your flyers or your website and see how much of it relates to your working process and how much of it clearly demonstrates the type of results that you generate for your customers. Stories resonate hugely with people so client stories, case studies and testimonials are fantastic marketing tools.
Strip back the content of your marketing to focus much more on results than on the process or the detail and you’re likely to see much better results.
Being too professional
Unless you’ve being hiding under a gigantic rock for the last couple of years you’ll have seen the increasing focus on ‘authenticity’ in business recently. We want to know exactly who we’re doing business with, rather than giving our money to faceless, corporate entities these days.
But being authentic can actually be a lot harder than it sounds. We’re generally brought up to be slightly reserved, to not ‘show off’ and to fit in with the majority of others. So when it comes to our marketing the easiest thing to do is to be slightly sensible, to try to fit in, to focus on being professional and credible.
The old adage though that ‘people buy from people’ is absolutely true and I’m sure it always will be. If you’re deliberately trying to be a bit more corporate than you really are, or to make your business look bigger than it is, people just won’t connect with you.
So don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Be natural and genuine in your marketing and that’s what your ideal customer will really warm to. The doubts and insecurities that you feel are probably exactly the same ones your customer feels too!
You’re not telling anybody what to do next
Any marketing that you do should include a ‘call to action’. In other words, it should tell your potential customer exactly what you want them to do next. Do you want them to call you to book a free consultation? Or message you to express an interest; connect with you on LinkedIN; sign up to your mailing list; or simply buy right now?
So often this part is overlooked because it’s ‘salesy’. People think that just by spreading their message their customers will make the effort to get in touch. But do you know what? Customers are lazy! They want you to help them by making it as simple as possible for them to take the next step. By clearly showing them that next step you’re actually helping them, not selling at them.
Please make their lives easier for them!
There is one small note of caution here though. Statistics show that the more choices you give people the less action they’ll take. So as soon as you say ‘either call me or send me a message’ because they’ve not got to make a choice, less of them will actually respond! So keep it super simple and tell them exactly what to do.
One choice, laid out as simply and clearly as possible.
So, there you have it, my 5 simplest tips to improve yourmarketing. I hope that soemthing in here has resonated with you and can help you hone your own marketing skills.
Obviously it would be remiss of me now not to tell you that if you liked what you’ve read but you need more help then you can click on the ‘contact’ button above & send me a message.