- Measurables - One of the biggest mistakes people make when marketing their businesses is neglecting measurables. Marketing is one of those things that takes time and should be monitored. One of the other important things to pay attention to is consistency (See #5), but how will you know what to keep doing and what to reevaluate if you don’t have some way of measuring your marketing success. That’s one of the best things about analytics and using your website data. You can see the sources of your traffic and even see what platforms, times, and other vital information about your audience.
- Research - Starting your business without any kind of research is a rookie mistake, and can be even worse in the marketing phase. Before you do anything you need to research the market and industry you’re in. This includes researching your target market and your competitors. Use SWOT to help you identify external and internal factors that will benefit or challenge you.
- Outsource - If you’re having trouble keeping up with your business and marketing efforts it might be time to outsource. If you’re just getting started then hiring a consultant in the beginning can save you a lot of time, energy, money, and effort. If you’ve been going at it alone for a while and business is picking up, you may not have be able to invest enough time into your market as you were in the beginning which might be another sign that it’s time to outsource your marketing. Let someone else handle it while you focus on the rest of your business.
- Platform - One of the main issues I see with people that do their own marketing is failing to use the right marketing platforms. Don’t go with the newest trend or social media platform, give it some thought before you invest time and energy into marketing in different ways. As always, bring it back to your core audience and do some research. Where does your target audience hang out on the web? Find that out and communicate with them there. If your target audience isn’t on the internet, then use older marketing methods to reach them instead.
- Consistency - The one thing about marketing that drives everyone crazy (especially impatient people) is how long it produce sales and results. In marketing sometimes the sales funnel takes lots of steps depending on what you’re selling. Not everyone your marketing reaches will be interested and even fewer people will purchase, but that doesn’t mean you just stop putting yourself out there. Be consistent and stay with it because that constant contact and brand visibility will pay off if you’re marketing yourself well. It just takes a little time and patience.
- Authenticity - Trying to copy someone else's marketing tactics is the surest way to fail. Keeping up trends and being inspired by other companies marketing tactics is one thing, but copying them all together? No bueno! You need to find the sweet spot in your brand and business. The sweet spot is where authenticity and appeal meet. You want to be unique while also being attractive and relatable. Once you find the sweet spot you’ll be able to differentiate yourself and make your mark.
- Plan - And last but not least...PLAN! I meet marketers all the time that are content writers, web developers, bloggers, and social media managers; all with great services! But, the planning phase always seems to be either lacking or nonexistent. You gotta plan people! All of the points above are part of building a plan. Don’t hop in without knowing the lay of the land, and once you know it you need to plan for it. A plan will guide you and keep you on track, and the best thing about marketing plans is that as you learn more you can always change them. But first you have to take the time to make one. Whether you outsource this or do it yourself, please please please HAVE A PLAN. Marketing is not easy and can be more difficult than it needs to be without having a blueprint for success.
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