Five marketing mistakes small-business owners make

Owning a business is a lot like a relationship. It takes purpose, commitment, loyalty, give and take, communication. It’s also not perfect. We all make mistakes in our entrepreneurial journey, especially in marketing.

The good news? These mistakes are where the growth happens. So, let’s take a look at five marketing mistakes that can easily become learning opportunities for your small business.

Mistake #1 – Losing your “why

Why did you start your business? When you get comfortable with a partner, it can be easy to fall into the same routine and become stagnant. You get wrapped up in the ‘day to day’ and lose sight of your bigger purpose. It’s the same with owning a business. This can lead to resentment, stress and unhappiness – characteristics which impact on business performance, customer satisfaction and your wellbeing. But the solution is clear, it comes back to love. Ask yourself “why am I doing this and what do I love about it?”. Re-centre here.

Mistake #2 – Lack of loyalty

It takes five times more energy to attract new customers than it does to nurture existing ones. So many business owners focus their energy on bringing in new customers they forget the power of loyalty among existing ones. Just like love at first sight, your customers’ first impressions can be easily forgotten if not nurtured consistently and authentically. When you can deliver unmatched service, show up time and time again, go over and above, this instils a desire in your audience to keep coming back. What are you doing to attract (and keep) your people?

Mistake #3 – Overtargetting

Are you “cheating” on your target audience by marketing outside your niche? While it’s fine to gauge interest among new customers, over-targeting is one of the biggest marketing mistakes a small-business owner can make. This is because when you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. Your business should have one core audience and understand them intimately. This allows you to be across their evolving needs, pain-points and desires. Once you know this, you can solve their problems with your offering and connect on a deeper level. Explore your social media insights or survey your email database to gain a clearer understanding into your core audience.

Mistake #4 – Not providing value

Are you all sell, no tell? How can you give to your audience in return for their loyalty? If you know your niche well, chances are there’s a plethora of questions and problems you can address through free content like eBooks, emails and webinars. In a healthy relationship, it’s all about fair exchange, so your relationship with your customers should be the same.  Plus, when you appeal to your audience’s needs by providing free value, you’re building trust and demonstrating you care about more than just your bottom line.

Mistake #5 – Keeping track

What’s your best performing channel? What percentage of sales are via mobile? How do customers navigate your site? If you can’t answer these questions, how can you ever know what’s working (and what isn’t)? As you would a partner, regularly check in with your business’s performance. Tracking with Google analytics, regularly visiting your social media insights, familiarising yourself with your average email click-through rate. This is key to not only understanding the results of your marketing efforts but learning (and improving) from your mistakes, too.

From reigniting your why, fostering loyalty and finding your niche to providing value and tracking your performance, do you need to address any of these marketing “do-nots”? Invest in your business like you would your partner and watch it bloom in love and success.

Louanne Ward, Relationship Strategist, Writer and Motivational Speaker

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