As an entrepreneur or small business, marketing can sometimes prove to be trickier than anticipated. Some entrepreneurs and small businesses create a plan they follow, while others fly by the seat of their pants. However, neither method will be effective if you make any of these mistakes along the way.
Shotgun Sales Messages
Social media is a great tool to help get your message to the public, but that doesn’t mean you only touch base with social media connections when you have something to sell. It also doesn’t mean you should bombard your social media connections with rapid fire tweets and status updates over a period of days then disappear.
If you don’t keep in regular contact with your social media connections, you will fall off their radar until you start with shotgun sales messages which may very well prove to bring your business the wrong kind of attention.
Failing To Identify Your Niche
Your business is unique in that it’s your business. It’s also just like every other business in that all businesses belong to someone (or a group of someones). Add to this the fact that no business can be all things to all potential customers, and the importance of identifying your niche rises to the surface.
Follow and be followed by those who are interested in what you do and what you have to sell. Block troublemakers and trolls who will eat up your time as you interact with your social media connections.
Find your place on social media and in the business world, and you’ll be amazed at how smoothly social media will work for your business.
Unrealistic Marketing Goals
Everyone dreams of success. It’s a fact of life. That being said, there’s a world of difference between dreaming of success and establishing goals and identifying milestones. In terms of marketing, your goals need to clearly mark what you consider to be marketing plateaus.
And what is a marketing plateau? When your first marketing goal is reached, keep up the buzz and momentum before zooming off to the next goal. Not only will this approach ward off marketing burn out, it gives you customer and potential customer base the opportunity to savor the moment with you.
Don’t expect to be an upstart enterprise this year and a mega-success next year. This doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It means that it’s not likely to happen that way for most businesses. That being said, even those who see their businesses take off like a rocket usually have a reasonable marketing plan in place in case things progress at a more recognizable pace.
It’s All About You
This matter was addressed in the April 2013 article, “What Do Customers Expect?”
Remember that those who reject or embrace your marketing approach are not rejecting or embracing you or your business. They are rejecting or embracing the “need” you are offering.
Customers and potential customers are emotional buyers. Even the most logical of customers or potential customers are emotional buyers. They want their needs taken care of to their satisfaction. So when your marketing fails to impact positively with your customer and potential customer base, it’s because what you’re offering doesn’t meet their needs, and that makes your marketing all about them. It’s nothing personal. It’s business.
Lack of Creativity
Spending hour after hour on social media does not mean you have a great marketing campaign in place. It means you’re spending hour after hour on social media. What sticks with customers and potential customers are creative messages that stay with them long after they’ve walked away from technology and call it a day.
Invest time in brainstorming ideas that will give your marketing message the most effective, positive results, whether it’s by way of original memes, short videos, giveaways, taking advantage of holidays and special dates like Valentine’s Day and Family Day.
It’s No Fun
You’ve heard the proverb: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. According to Forbes magazine earlier this year, a study done by Boston professor, Peter Gray, Ph.D., and published in Psychology Today indicates that all work and no play could make you a narcissist as well.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that the proverb should be rewritten to become all play and no work, but there’s a lot to be said about finding the balance between the two. After all, if your customer and potential customer base doesn’t get the sense from you and your marketing that you enjoy what you do and what you’re selling, they’ll stay away in droves.
Have some fun along the way, and lighten up that serious business demeanor that may be overtaking your marketing efforts. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you let mayhem rule the day, but not having a set vision and goals when it comes to marketing could very well lead to just that.
Success with marketing — whether it’s traditional or technology based social media — requires attention and fine tuning. It’s not about how much time you spend online or how many tweets or status updates you post every day. It’s about connecting with people and creating a relationship that relies on interactions, even when those interactions don’t lead to immediate sales transactions.