It can feel negative to focus on mistakes. I’m not here to point out all the things that people get wrong, but if you’re at the beginning of your journey into business, and that also means your journey into marketing your business, I thought it would help to talk about some mistakes to avoid. Even better, to show you what works well instead of doing these things.
Mistake 1: Using marketing to sell – all of the time
Because that’s what marketing’s for, right?
Actually no. That might be your end goal, but marketing is about so much more than that. It’s about building awareness for your brand, developing relationships with potential customers … and f you try to sell all of the time, it’s the quickest way to push them away.
Think of how you react if someone tries to sell you something as soon as you meet them. What does that make you do? In the same way, think about the accounts that you like to follow on social media. Do you follow them for the sales posts or for the value that they give you?
Mistake 2: Being on too many platforms
It can be tempting to try to be in all of the places, especially if you see that other people are having good results with a particular platform. But in reality, it’s better to show up consistently on a smaller number of channels than to try and post too many types of different content in too many places.
- Which channels do your ideal audience use?
- Which type of content do you like to make, and where would be the best place for that?
- Where do you like to spend time and interact?
Mistake 3: Having no clear message
It gets boring if you talk about exactly the same thing all of the time. People will tune out. It’s good to switch around the type of posts that you create so that you keep things interesting. It’s good to be spontaneous when you feel inspired to share.
But ultimately, the posts on your page need to make sense in terms of the message you want to communicate.
- What do you want to be known for?
- What do you want people to associate with your brand?
- If a new person comes onto your page, do they know what you do and what you stand for?
If your page or feed is busy with too many messages, it can become confusing and it dilutes your message. Following on from that, it will be harder for you to convince people to take the next steps in terms of interacting with you – because they don’t really know what you do or how you can help them.
Mistake 4: Trying to market to everyone
If you think of how you react to adverts, it’s not all the same. Some messages make sense to you. Some have no impact on you. Others probably annoy you. In the case of the last group – either they’re really bad attempts at marketing, or you’re just not the right audience for them.
If you don’t have a clear idea of whom you want to serve, it’s going to be really difficult for you to get into the details of how you can help/solve their problem/give them exactly what they’re looking for.
General messages don’t meet specific needs, and in a busy market with lots of people trying to sell similar products and services, there needs to be a clear reason for people to choose yours so that you will stand out in a good and memorable way.
Mistake 5: Listening to all the voices
If you’ve identified that you have a knowledge gap in terms of marketing, and many people do because they’ve come from other fields, you start looking for information.
There is no shortage of advice, videos, books, articles, groups, people offering to fix all your marketing problems and meet all of your needs.
It’s good to be open and to get inspiration from different places, but if you try to implement every piece of advice that you see online, all at the same time, it will end in chaos.
Some of it will be bad advice. But even if you narrow it down to the good advice, trying to implement too many strategies at the same time, whilst not having a clear plan, won’t bring you good results. Also, some strategies might be good, but for other types of businesses, other markets, other content creators.
You need to think about your own very specific needs, what you want to achieve, and the people whom you want to reach.
Mistake 6: Not being consistent
Someone posts 7 posts on one day and then nothing for the next 3 weeks. Anyone who was busy that day won’t see any of it!
Someone else posts content about everything vaguely related to their topic, but with no clear message and no continuity. Who was that person again?
It doesn’t mean that you have to post at exactly the same time on exactly the same day each week. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a holiday, or that you can’t post something a bit random just because you thought it was too good not to share.
But it is important for your audience to know who you are, what they can expect from you, and where to find you if they need what you have to offer.
Mistake 7: Waiting till you have time
That’s one of the things with marketing. It doesn’t have a deadline in the same way as an order for a client does. It’s easy to say “I’ll do it later”, but sometimes the right time never comes and the marketing tasks slide further and further down the to-do-list.
But marketing, content creation, developing relationships with your audience – all of these things are vital if you want your business to grow. So it’s in your interest to block time out for them.
Mistake 8: Not having a plan
This is possibly the biggest mistake. Because if you don’t have a plan, and an idea how you want to implement it, you can’t know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
- What do you want to achieve with your marketing in the next year?
- What are your priorities and the key messages that you want people to know about your company?
- What is your ideal customer like? What are their wants or challenges, and how can you help?
- What are the steps that you need to take to get from where you are to where you want to be?
If this all seems a bit daunting and you want someone to guide and support you through the process, let’s arrange a call to discover whether marketing coaching is right for you!