None of us want to struggle with marketing, and yet it continues to create problems for many solo professionals. Here’s seven pieces of solo and small business marketing advice that reveal common marketing mistakes.
1. Lack of a marketing mindset
We don’t see ourselves as in the marketing game. The truth is, if you are out there running a business, thinking like a marketer has to become your priority. It’s no use having a great service if nobody knows about it, or you. You need to be not just comfortable talking about what you do and offer, you need to get other people excited about it, too.
2. Lack of investment
For many solopreneurs, the focus on cost control prohibits you from ever investing enough money into marketing and promotion. These activities are seen as costs rather than as an investment. I encourage you to reframe your attitude towards marketing. Once you know what marketing activity to do, and have confidence that it will bring results, spend the money enthusiastically.
3. Lack of focus
Perhaps you do spend time and money on marketing, but you aren’t happy with the results. Or your efforts are ad-hoc rather than carefully planned. Whatever it is, it’s time to take charge. If what you are doing isn’t working – stop doing it! Ask a professional for help, not your friends or associates. If an ad-hoc approach is the problem, take the time to complete an actual marketing plan and become ruthlessly systematic.
4. Lack of over-riding marketing strategy
Marketing activity and tactics are all well and good but it is like driving a rudderless ship if there is no grander plan. Your goal may be to have sales of $150,000 or $50 million. Or you may want to revolutionise your industry. Or you may want your company to be acquired within five years. Part of creating a marketing strategy is to clearly understand exactly where you are right now, and where you want to be.
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5. Not surrounding ourselves with the right people
All of the great books on success advocate spending time with people who are already successful at what you want to do. Why? So you can absorb the attitudes and values that made them successful, as well as picking up new strategies and ideas. So if you are hanging out with people who also lack a marketing mindset then it’s time to think about expanding your professional network to include those who are already down the track to success.
Marketing is more of an art than a science. Often times you learn by systematically trying different activities and approaches. The experts don’t always have all the answers and this is exactly why you need to give plenty of personal attention to make sure your marketing is working as hard as it possibly can.
If you want to get serious about success in business, then understanding small business marketing is an ongoing priority.