I don’t want to pick on the little guy. As a matter of fact, I’m writing about the most common marketing mistakes small and medium-sized business make because I want to increase their ability to compete with big marketing voices. Here are the top six marketing stumbles that can have a significant negative impact on a solopreneur’s business.
1. Weak headlines.
Your ideal prospects are inundated with over 4,000 marketing messages daily. From radio spots, to Internet ads, TV commercials, text messages, billboards, and more. There are so many that go by without notice, and of those that do get a quick view, a very small percentage really grab a prospects attention. To be able to create a powerful headline, you need to know what impacts your idea prospects. What is their biggest pain or problem? How do you solve it? Market to that.
2. Marketing monologue instead of dialogue.
Gone are the days when ad men would create a marketing monologue with billboards and magazine spots, pitching a brand’s value proposition. Today, with Web 2.0 and social media, prospects and customers expect a conversation where they can voice their wants and needs to a business and have the ability to engage in open dialogue. As a solopreneur, this gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience, requesting feedback that can help influence your future products and services. You can accomplish this through customer surveys, questions on blog posts and in social networking sites, like Facebook and LinkedIn. And when prospects engage your business with conversation, make sure you respond. Engaging in social media doesn’t work if you don’t respond to customer questions or comments, especially on social networking sites.
3. No irresistible offer.
If you’ve ever uttered the phrase “it sells itself” about your products or services, you’re getting lazy. Don’t expect you can simply introduce your offerings to your target market and they all get in line. Even if you have the best solution to your market’s problem, remember the bombardment of the thousands of other offers they’re receiving daily. Consumers are much more hesitant to hand over their cash and businesses’ budgets have tightened … except for those offers that they believe they cannot live without. Think about what you have to offer that you can bundle together for the benefit of your market while maintaining profitability. You may bundle some of your other services and products or those from another business that compliment your offering.
4. Weak or missing call-to-action.
This may sound silly, but many solopreneurs market and forget to simply ask for the business. Others will ask, but they forget to direct their customers where they can go capitalize on the benefits of the call-to-action (CTA). First you need to create the enticing offer, wrapped up in a concise call-to-action that leads the interested prospect into a purchase. You need to make your CTA easy to understand and accomplish. Do you want people to opt-in as part of a list building campaign? If so, what URL do they need to go to, and what should they expect when they get there? Do you want customers to call a toll-free number? What benefits will they enjoy if they do so?
5. Just one message.
Markets change. New competitors and products enter the market competing for your customers’ business. Customer demands change. Additionally, on average you will need to “touch” customers anywhere from seven to 20 times before they make a purchasing decision. If you want to create top-of-mind awareness, you need to engage your market with communications that vary on a theme. You will discuss the same value your business offers, but from different vantage points.
6. Lacking tracking.
If you lack tracking, you will market blindly, leaving your success up to luck. Remember, business is a gamble. You don’t want to rely on luck; you want to be able to work the odds to your benefit. You will increase the odds in your favor by being able to track what marketing strategies, tactics, and messages connect with your ideal prospects and customers, and those that don’t. Successful businesses are able to adapt to market changes quicker than the competition. This is difficult to do if you aren’t tracking your marketing activity.
Marketing is a living, growing process of research, testing, implementation, review, and modifications. If you’re reading this post thinking these six deadly mistakes are common sense, go back and review your marketing. Many businesses make one or more of these mistakes because they create their marketing from their vantage point instead of from the perceptions, beliefs and knowledge of their ideal customer base.
If you feel frustrated by creating marketing messages that connect with your market, my SmallBizMedia.tv partner and I are here to help. Click on Contact Us and send us a quick message using the form on the page. We’re here to grow your visibility, credibility and profitability online.
All the Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide