Top 10 marketing dos and don’ts

11th, Aug 2017

Many professionals aren’t comfortable with marketing. Good marketing isn’t a mystery, but it does take time to figure out. A good way to get started is to consider some marketing dos and don’ts to guide your efforts so they will be more effective in attracting business.

1. Do focus on your unique value proposition. What sets you apart from your competition? How do you solve your clients’ problems? Your marketing needs to make it clear why clients should hire you over someone else.

2. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Too many professionals define their business and their skills broadly, afraid of turning away potential business. However, when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up with a generic message that gets lost among a sea of competitors. People want specialists, not generalists.

3. Do know your target audience. Take the time to identify your ideal client or referral source. Understand their demographics, interests, needs and pain points so you can craft a compelling marketing message and promote it in the places where you are likely to find them.

4. Don’t pitch to clients; educate them. Providing useful information that helps people with their problems is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and build trust and credibility with your audience. Writing and speaking helps you attract new attention and stay top of mind with the people you already know.

5. Do use a mix of marketing channels. You get the best results from engaging in several different types of marketing, such as networking, writing, speaking, email, social media, public relations, search engine optimization, etc. The more ways you get your name out, the more likely someone is to see and remember you.

6. Don’t neglect social media. At a minimum, use it for market intelligence to stay abreast of business, industry, competitor and client issues. However, it is most valuable as a tool for increasing visibility and demonstrating expertise. Every time you share information you have the ability to reach new audiences as well as stay top of mind with your network of contacts.

7. Do test marketing tactics and measure results. Marketing involves trial and error. There will always be some things that work better than others. It’s important to test your marketing tactics. However, make sure you put in a real effort to make it work and give it a reasonable amount of time to see whether it is making a difference. Then as you gauge your results, you can make adjustments as needed.

8. Don’t expect an immediate ROI. Give it time. Marketing is a long-term investment where many activities build on each other to get you results. Just like going to one networking event isn’t likely to get you a client; one speaking engagement or mention in the press won’t bring in business by itself.

9. Do have a written marketing plan and budget. Write down what you want to accomplish with your marketing. Who are you targeting and why? What are your specific goals and how will you go about achieving them? Then set aside time and money to get it done. Even if you’re doing most of the work in-house, you need to understand what resources will be needed – whether you have the bandwidth and the skills to implement your plan and what trade-offs may be needed. (Time/money spent on one thing means time/money away from something else.)

10. Don’t start with a big marketing initiative. If you haven’t done a lot of marketing in the past, then begin with a smaller scale campaign so you get a sense of what will be needed. A lot of firms have ambitious plans, but then other obligations get in the way or they realize they don’t have the resources and it all starts to fall apart. What’s worse is that everyone gets discouraged and it’s hard to get going again because it seems easier to abandon the whole thing instead of trying to scale back.

Whether you are new to marketing or have been doing it for years, apply these dos and don’ts to your marketing to improve your results.

If you need help with your marketing, contact us.

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