You’re an entrepreneur. It’s not just what you do for a living, it’s who you are. And that entrepreneurial mindset bleeds into everything you do: from your sales calls to your online shopping to your marketing.
The entrepreneur in you isn’t afraid of hard work or long hours, but when all your work feels like spinning your wheels, it becomes exhausting. You follow all the “best practices” you find online but you have nothing to show for it.
Then, you start to think that marketing is the problem. Marketing just doesn’t work. It’s a complete waste of money.
But the problem here isn’t marketing. It’s your marketing strategy.
Part of running a business effectively and efficiently is knowing what works and what doesn’t, and being willing to change course accordingly. What good is a marketing strategy if it doesn’t move the needle?
So before you throw in the towel and throw your marketing budget out the window, take a hard look at your strategy and see if you’re making these mistakes...
Facebook, Facebook, Facebook!
If marketing concepts and strategies were people, social media would be the youngest child: the baby everyone spoils. For most modern businesses, social media is the darling of marketing strategies. And it makes sense. Just think of all the time you spend on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn every day.
So what’s the problem with a social media-focused strategy? Companies pour money into social media, but if you aren’t producing quality content that people actually want to read, what are you accomplishing? I can answer that: nothing. Nothing but clogging up people’s feed, and eventually being muted or unfollowed.
Social media is very important if it’s utilized correctly and strategically. The goal is to provide your followers with quality content that improves their lives. Anything less than that is pointless. If you’re posting just to post, you’re wasting your time and your followers’ time. And nobody’s got time for that.
Marketing In The Middle—Sales
So if social media is the youngest child, who’s the middle child? In many companies (this is especially true of startups), it’s the sales department.
Entrepreneurs pour all their time and effort into bringing in qualified leads…but then what? They go to a handful of sales guys who do things their own way. There’s no consistency, no structure, and no game plan. And, for most businesses, that leads to no sales.
If you don’t have a fully developed and thriving sales department to convert those leads into customers, even if you have thousands of leads, they’re utterly useless. Sales and marketing aren’t separate entities. They need each other.
If your business were a movie theater, sales would be the popcorn and marketing would be the butter. Together, they make an addictive snack that leaves you wanting more. But on their own, they’re only half of what they could be.
You wouldn’t take a big bite out of a stick of butter. So why would you leave sales out of your marketing?
It’s All About The Website, Baby
When the internet was in its infancy (if you can even remember that far back), businesses had to be convinced to develop a website. They didn’t understand what it was exactly, what it could do for them, or why they needed one. It seemed like an extravagance. “Can’t I just put another add in the Yellow Pages?”
However, the more people who got online, the more value websites provided. Today, websites have turned into a necessity, and any company worth anything has one. Of course you have to have a website. You run a business, don’t you?
The problem is that so many entrepreneurs get stuck on their website. If the leads and sales begin to dip, that’s the first place they start to course correct. We need to revamp our website! That’s the problem! We need shiny graphics and videos plastered across the top!
The truth? No, you don’t. Pouring more money on repeated website redesigns is a waste of time and resources. If you have a good, solid website and a system to support it, you have all you need.
A strong website clearly outlines your company, what it offers, how to contact you, and provides value in the form of quality content, you have all you need. Instead of focusing on ways to improve your website, focus on ways to support its foundation: your content, your marketing automation, and your sales.
SEO: Something Everyone Overdoes
See what I did there?
When search engines began to develop, back into the days when the internet was young and still had hair, we had no idea how much they would shape the way we do marketing. Then billions of people started to use them every day, and marketing agencies decided to milk them for all they’re worth.
SEO, or search engine optimization, began as a way to get search engines to pay attention to your content. To wave a flag and say, “Look at me! I’m relevant! Put me on your first page of results!” Entire careers began to focus on the development of SEO skills, learning exactly how to lure Google into your lair.
Eventually, search engines got smarter, learning what people liked and didn’t like, learning what people read and didn’t read. Surprise, surprise: content geared toward SEO didn’t actually appeal to people. Now, keyword spamming and other tricks don’t help your website. In fact, they do the opposite.
Today, human interaction is what drives the engine, not arbitrary words trying to get a machine’s attention. In order to change with the times, you have to start writing and developing content to attract people—not machines.
So start looking at your website like a person would. Is it easy to navigate? Is it clear? Or are you repeating the same keyword again and again just to increase your ranking? Pay attention to these things when you’re creating website content, and leave that SEO mumbo jumbo in the 2000s where it belongs.
What’s the biggest thing you neglect in your marketing strategy? I’m going to guess that it’s you. Stay with me here. It’s not what you think.
You’re an entrepreneur. A thought leader in your field. You’re brimming with ideas—good ones. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be running a company. What’s in your brain is valuable and people want it. So why are you keeping it locked up in your head?
Remember when we talked about how harmful it can be throwing fluff content onto social media? This is what to do instead. You should be sharing your knowledge using videos, blogs, and podcasts to help people.
Not only will this bring people to your door, but it also helps you feel like you're doing something impactful with your marketing—because you are!
Go Out There And Get ‘Em, Tiger
Reading all this, you may be nodding your head, realizing where you need to go from here. Or, you might be thinking, “Great, you’ve told me all the things I shouldn’t do, but what should I do?”
If you want to dive really deeply into these concepts, I’ve written a whole book about them called The Golden Toilet. Yes, it’s as entertaining as it sounds. No, it has nothing to do with plumbing.
In my book, you’ll read about how to create a compelling marketing strategy by utilizing the four fundamental aspects of a healthy business GrowthStack: Clear messaging, Marketing Automation, Sales Automation, and Strategic Campaigns. Notice there’s no mention of SEO, social media, or website revamping.
You can reserve your copy of The Golden Toilet by clicking the link below. And if you ever need to chat about your marketing strategy, set up a strategy session. I’ll walk through it with you and help you identify opportunities for growth.