The 5 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Usually I write about all the things you can do to improve you small business marketing, but today I want to approach it from a different angle.
I’ve been doing this marketing gig for longer than I’d care to admit, which gives me great insight into what some small businesses are doing wrong when it comes to marketing.
So here it is, the top 5 biggest mistakes small businesses make when it comes to marketing and how to avoid them.
1. Unclear about what makes you unique
One of the very first things that must be done but is often overlooked is defining your unique selling point. What makes you so different that someone would choose you over the competition.
You need to do this right. Get yourself a positioning or brand story and make sure it is reflected throughout all of your branding, taglines and communication.
2. Marketing to everyone
All too often I’ve asked a client “who’s your target market?” and they’ve replied earnestly “everyone really”. 
You physically and financially can not market to everyone and more importantly you shouldn’t even try. 
The facts are your products and services are not going to appeal to everyone, and even if you do attract a wide market, ask yourself if they represent the type of customers you want.
Are they the right kind of customers? Read this post to figure out how to better identify your target market – which trust me makes the actually marketing process a heck of a lot easier.
3. Getting online and social media wrong
This covers off on quite a few items but the most common mistakes in this category are:
  • Not having a website because you don’t sell online – the facts are people will look for you online, so you need to be found. This can be kept simple though. Read these small business website tips. Your website also needs to be responsive so it can be used easily on tablets and mobiles.
  • Not doing social media – the biggest complaints I get are I don’t know how to do social media or “it’s a waste of time, as I haven’t got any sales out of it”. Don’t let social media overwhelm you – it’s possible to do it yourself quite easily. However have realistic expectations. Social media is about connecting with people. Taking this view is like when meeting someone at a party and when they ask “what do you do?”, you say “I’m only going to tell you if you want to buy from me”. Worse still, you may have spent 30 minutes boring them about your business without asking the other person a single question. Social media is the biggest cocktail party, your business will ever attend.
  • Trying to do too much – you should only be active on the social media platforms relevant to your target audience and the ones you can maintain a presence on regularly. It needs to be sustainable, so don’t try to be on every platform.
4. Ignoring your customers
Unfortunately many business owners think they know what’s best for their customers.
If you respond to them respectfully and in a timely manner, they’ll forgive you when you do get things wrong.
Finally, go that extra mile for them, and it will likely result in more sales.
The cheapest marketing you can do is to nurture your existing customers, as this is more likely to result in repeat business and referrals.
5. Not marketing
Many businesses make the mistake of not marketing at all.
They say things like, “but it doesn’t work”. My answer to this is “well you musn’t be doing it right”.
Start with a good strategy and stick to it. Remember to monitor and evaluate your activities. Continue doing what works, but stop doing things that don’t work.
The biggest reason though many small businesses aren’t marketing though is because they say they can’t afford it.
There are plenty of low cost and effective ways you can market your business and it’s possible to do much of it yourself.
Kylie Fennell
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