“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
That is an amazing quote, especially when it comes to operating your business. So much goes into running a successful business that it is no wonder that many business owners make many mistakes on their path to success.
This can be especially true when it comes to marketing where there are very few hard set rules and success can be both fleeting and hard to define.
We are here to share some mistakes that we have seen others make as well as share some of our own mistakes. Our hope is that you can learn from these common mistakes to become a more effective and efficient marketer.
Let’s review some common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Not Having A Plan
If you are familiar with Beacon Marketing, then you know how much we value having a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy prevents you from wasting time, money, and effort because you have done the work of setting goals, defining your UVP, defining your target audience, and developing a marketing content plan.
Your strategy serves as a roadmap that you can use to guide your marketing efforts so you can take your business to the next level. The best way to avoid aimless marketing is to set aside some time to set goals for your marketing efforts. After you understand what you would like to accomplish with your marketing, you can then begin to formulate a plan that will help you achieve those goals.
Trying To Do Too Much, Too Soon
This mistake is exactly what it sounds like, and it is one that we are very familiar with. When Beacon Marketing first started, we attempted to post blogs every week, publish a new video weekly, send two monthly emails, and post nearly daily to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
That is a LOT of work. And while we certainly believe in a multi-channel approach when it comes to marketing, it can be very easy to burn yourself out if you do not allow yourself time to grow and develop a process (more on this later). Consider trying to train for a marathon by running 13.5 miles the first day. You are more likely to injure yourself and get discouraged.
Rather than trying to tackle marketing supremacy in one month, focus on one channel or type of content at a time. It can be a weekly blog or video or monthly newsletter, it does not matter. Get really good at that one thing and begin branching out to other forms of content and marketing channels.
Not Focusing On Your Target Audience
This is one that we have seen many of our clients make. As you develop your marketing plan and begin to implement it, it can be really easy to forget who you are doing all this work for — your current and future clients.
Your target audience are the ones whose attention you need to get and who you need to convince to take action. Too often we see clients focus on the content they wish to see or they promote the content on the channels they use to get information. You should not need any convincing that your business is great.
Avoid this mistake by making sure you are familiar with who your audience is and what their pain points are. Conduct surveys on a regular basis and speak to your front line employees. This will help you keep your marketing efforts focused on your target audience.
No Process To Create and Publish Content
We touched on this one above. One of the reasons that trying to do too much too soon often fails, is that you don’t create a sustainable process. Sure, you might be able to keep things going for a month or so, but soon other areas of your business will eventually suffer if you focus too much of your time on marketing.
Even if you are not trying to do too much too soon, not having a process in place can hurt because you will most likely either forget to do something vital to your marketing efforts or the overall quality will suffer.
Prevent this from happening by developing a process for whatever you do to promote your business. An added benefit of this approach is that you can eventually teach someone else to do it so that you can focus on other parts of growing your business.
Forgetting About Current Customers
So much attention is paid to earning new customers, that we often forget about a segment of the population that can be very profitable. That segment is your current or past customers. These are people who have already purchased a product or service from you.
Theoretically, if you did a good job, your previous or current customers should be interested in the same product/service or other potential offerings. You should set up a system where you collect your customers contact information (email or cell phone number) so that you can reach out to them (with their permission) with future offerings.
Chances are that you have made one or more of the above mistakes. That is ok, so long as you learn from these mistakes and do the work to ensure those mistakes do not become a pattern that hurts your business.