5 Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Make and How to Fix Them
Mistake #1: Not Having a Marketing Plan
Download our Free Marketing Plan Template below to improve your business without wasting time.
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If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll (Click to Tweet)
How to Fix it:
I developed this easy to follow marketing plan template to help you develop your own strategy. Grab yours now and allow for time on your schedule in the next 1-2 weeks. Invest the time to develop your own marketing strategy and take your business to the next level. I even include a real life example from a company we worked with, so you can see how we did it and follow along.
Refer to your marketing strategy each month when looking at your measurements. Your plan should cover at least a year. Down the road, you may want to develop a 2-5 year plan. A marketing budget is also a key component to your marketing plan and you can download a template below.
Additional Marketing Plan Resources:
Mistake #2: Poor or No Web Presence
Without a website, the world doesn’t know you exist. Milena Regos (Click to tweet).
In today's connected environment, your sales brochure is not going to help you. There’s no excuse for not having web presence. Yet 55% of small businesses don’t have any web presence (Source: Inc.) No more complaining and procrastination. You can have a professional looking website you can afford. No, it won’t happen in minutes. But it’s doable.
55% of small businesses don't have any web presence (@Inc.) (Click to tweet).
9 benefits of having a website:
- People can actually find you
- First impressions count
- Build trust
- Capture email information from people
- Show your expertise
- Reach a larger audience
- Cut down on phone calls, printing, mailing and other marketing expenses
- Make it easy for people to buy from you
- Open 24/7
I remember back in 1996 when I first started working in online media. Some of the search engines back then don’t exist anymore. Remember AskJeeves or AltaVista? I remember telling people about this great new search engine, called Google. I had to spell the name many times! And look at where we are now.
According to this research from eConsultancy, businesses are underspending in the website category and overspending on TV, print and even SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
What best describes your planned media spend for the following channels in 2016?
How to Fix it:
Get familiar with the different platforms and tools available on the market. New platforms are coming out all the time. Some of the more popular ones are below but there are plenty more on the market and new ones coming up all the time.
Tools for website presence:
Which platform you decide to use will depend on what you need it to do. Research features, options, pricing, ease of use and customer support. How much tech skills you will need will also determine which one to go with. Then, decide on the software that is the best fit for your business. But whatever you do – get your website done. Stuck with the technical stuff? There are plenty of resources on the web available to help you do it. My website Out&About Marketing uses the WordPress platform. I use SmugMug for my photography.
Freelancers around the world compete for design and technical skills. You can find someone to help you with your design, branding, website, and email marketing.
- Look at your LinkedIn network. You may find somebody you already know.
- Fiverr - it's called Fiverr because you can get many things done for $5.
So many talented people just waiting to hear from you and get started on your project.
An effective website is the cornerstone of your business. It houses important information and your customers expect you to have one. (@GoDaddy) (Click to Tweet)
Your website is many times the first touch point with your customers. They will decide if they are going to do business with you based on your website. If they don’t like, they’ll go back to Google and look up your competitors. You can’t afford not to have a good looking and effective website. Period.
Mistake #3: No email database
Many business owners and entrepreneurs make this mistake often. They launch their business, even their website. But they don’t have any way of gathering emails. Or, they just ask for people to sign up for their email newsletters. When was the last time you signed up for a newsletter just cause? You can learn a lot from what retailers do to capture your email address like this example from GAP.
I often see businesses sending emails through their Gmail account, Yahoo or Microsoft Outlook. Email best practices requires that you use an email marketing service. Bottom line, you could be breaking the law. This Best Practices Guide from Constant Contact goes deeper into the differences between using your personal email provider and using an email marketing service.
Please, don't SPAM. You are risking getting black mailed and annoying a lot of people, including your customers. So, let's promise each other not to do this, shall we?
You MUST have an email marketing system to send mass emails to your database. And the people who receive your emails must have expressed an interest to receive them.
Using a lead magnet (something of value) or a discount off their first sale provides an incentive for visitors to sign up. You can also list the benefits your subscribers will receive as in the examples below. Chris Brogan (an influential blogger) and ProBlogger (a popular website for bloggers, marketers and social media professionals) make it compelling to sign up for their emails.
We talk about going mobile and most people access their emails on their mobile devices. Email is still the number one thing people check every single day. So, this is an important step in being successful with your business if you do it right.
How to Fix it:
Sign up for an email marketing system and come up with a plan for how to gather emails on your website. Your offer, your follow up email communication, frequency, metrics for success.
List of Email Marketing Systems:
My favorite is MailChimp for its ease of use. Other email providers are:
You need to spend some time evaluating these providers to see which one fits your business needs best.
Mistake #4: Spread too thin on social media
"We have to be everywhere" attitude is a sure way to failure. You are already busy and stretched thin so be aware when joining new social media channels. Just creating a profile won’t get you anywhere. You will need to dedicate a considerable investment in the way of time and money to make that channel work for you. My favorite marketing person in the world, Seth Godin has an award – winning marketing blog. Do you know which social media channels he is active on? None. He’d rather invest his time and energy in writing than posting updates to Facebook and Twitter. Snapchat anyone?
How to Fix It:
Identify your target audience first. Which social media channels they are active on? Start there and start small. I'd rather see you are doing a great job on Facebook only than a mediocre job on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat.
Download the free template for developing your marketing plan.
Start with 1-2 social media channels. Expand your efforts only after you feel that you have mastered your existing channels. But reserve your domain name for future use on social channels even if you are not active. It's better if you don't have social media presence than pretend to have one. For example, some companies will set up auto tweets from their Facebook page or Instagram but they never check their Twitter account.
BONUS: If you want to instantly secure you domain on over 500 popular networks, you can try a service called KnowEm. It will save you hundreds of hours.
Mistake #5: Not Measuring Efforts
Me: "What’s working for you?"
Business Owner: "I don’t know."
It happens way too often. You are not alone!
But you spend money on marketing, advertising, website, social media, etc. without having any clue what's actually working. I thought you said you didn't have time and money?
In the digital marketing world, most often than not, your goal is to drive people to your website. If this is the case for you, then make sure you at least have Google Analytics installed on your website. You can track how many people have visited your website, what pages they visit, how long they stay, what they buy etc.
How to Fix It:
Install Google Analytics on your website. It’s free.
Ready to take your business to the next level. The first step would be developing your clear and focused marketing plan.
The blog post: "5 Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Make and How to Fix Them" was first published on Out&About Marketing.