Don’t make these marketing mistakes
9th, Mar 2021
Finding the best way to market your business involves hard work and trial and error. While there is no easy path to effective marketing, avoiding some common mistakes can put you on the right track to marketing success.
Mistake # 1: Having a generic marketing message. We all have competitors. Why should someone hire you or refer you over a competitor? Are you highlighting what makes you different and how you add value to clients in your marketing? If you can’t explain these things very clearly and concisely, you will struggle to get good clients. It can be hard to figure out your differentiators. Too often firms rely on generic and vague assertions like they care about their clients, they provide exceptional client service or they deliver results. While that’s wonderful, doesn’t every firm say that? Your differentiators must be more specific and measurable with examples of how you go beyond your competitors.
Mistake # 2: Too much selling and not enough helping. You are probably sharing lots of information with the world whether on your website, social media, networking, or through third parties. Is that information mostly a sales pitch – or in other words, is it all about you? Professional service firms need to educate, not pitch – at least most of the time. Ideally, follow the 80-20 rule in providing information: 20% self-promotional; 80% useful content that helps people with their problems. This will demonstrate your expertise and build trust and credibility with your audience. It will also help you to stay top of mind with existing contacts as well as attract new prospects.
Mistake # 3: Neglecting your total online presence. If you have a small business, it’s about the total package – you personally and your business – and both need visibility and credibility. The first step is to google yourself and your business. What information shows up about you and your firm? How do you compare to your competitors? Whether you get business through referrals or otherwise, those prospects will research you and they need to see lots of positive things about you. So how can you strengthen your online presence? I recommend getting more online reviews and recommendations, writing articles, doing educational presentations to relevant groups, becoming active in industry/professional organizations, and volunteering with charitable organizations. Also, consider hiring a company to help with your SEO particularly if you have a consumer-oriented business and get a significant amount of web business.
Mistake # 4: Limiting your social media marketing to posting. Yes, it is important to post at least a few times a week. Consistency is key. However, social media can also be used to help build and strengthen relationships. Like networking, you have to interact with others on social media, so remember to monitor and respond to comments on your posts. Also go online a few times a week to like, share or comment on posts by your contacts. They will be appreciative and will probably reciprocate in the future. You should pay attention to notifications about your contacts as well – birthday, anniversary, job changes– and use this as an excuse to reach out and reconnect on a personal level. Offer to make recommendations or introductions for your contacts. Social media sites make this easy to do. Finally, you can also use social media for market intelligence. Look at what your competitors, clients, and industry are doing and saying. This can help you better target your message and where you promote it.
Mistake # 5: Overlooking your follow-up process. The best marketing in the world means nothing if you don’t follow up properly. Consider a CRM system (ex. Salesforce) to help you manage your contacts with prospects and referral sources. Marketing automation tools can also help handle some follow up for you. For example, Constant Contact allows you to set up a series of emails that are automatically sent out to prospects to help nurture your leads. You or your staff may also benefit from customer service and sales training. You have to pay attention to everyone a client may come into contact with. Poor interactions can easily lose you the business, while good ones can help seal the deal.
Mistake # 6: No marketing plan. This is your roadmap for achieving your goals. It should be in writing to keep you focused and accountable over the long-term. Your plan should detail your marketing message, target audience, priorities and goals, and what steps you will take to achieve them.
It’s a competitive world and you must market to stay visible and memorable all the time. While no two firms are exactly alike in what works best for marketing, avoiding these 6 big mistakes can help every business.
If you need assistance with your marketing, contact us for a consultation.
Tagged: social media, unique value proposition