3 Marketing Mistakes EVERY Business Owner Should Avoid

small business marketing mistakes

marketing plan templateSmall business marketing pitfalls… and how to sidestep them for better business results

Want to know what the big secret is to a successful business? You’re probably not going to like it… Marketing—and LOTS of it. But marketing by itself isn’t enough. You have to market well…

For over 15 years, my business has worked with 66,706 (and counting!) small businesses, and, along the way, we’ve tracked the results of our clients, the good and the bad. What we learned from ongoing analysis of all of this data reveals that there are 3 things you DEFINITELY do not want to do, especially if you want to be successful:

1.) DO NOT Use the Same Message Over and Over and Over Again

Okay, so you probably have your tired and true marketing message already crafted, and it gets the job done throughout the year at creating new leads and new business for you. But like most businesses, you probably have a busy season, right? You know what I’m talking about—it’s that time of year that you both dread and live for because you know you’ll be so darn busy that you’ll be exhausted from raking in all that money.

Now think about that moment… does your marketing message apply to that target audience? That’s a rhetorical question because no, it doesn’t. Take this for example, accountants are needed ALL year, but… their big boom is during tax season. When accountants market their services during rest of the year that isn’t tax season, they aren’t saying, “We’ll help you get your taxes done before April 15th!” because it’s NOT relevant.

That means your business needs to identify what motivates your prospects and customers to come your way during your busy season. Then, you take that knowledge and craft yourself a handy-dandy marketing message that resonates!

2.) DO NOT Make It All about You

Sure, people like to see the real person behind the business. But that doesn’t mean that’s all they care about.

Your advertisement, whether it’s on a postcard or in an email, should focus on how you’re going to improve the life of your prospect. A lot of marketers make the mistake of coming up with the perfect message (as discussed above), and then end up overloading it with a bunch of certifications, memberships and affiliations that, to be honest, DON’T matter that much to someone who has never heard of you.

Save that stuff for your website and About Us page, where prospects will be going to learn more about you and your business ONCE they’re interested in how you can help make their lives better.

3.) DO NOT Think You’re Too Good for an Offer

I know, I know, a lot of business owners cringe at the idea of “cheapening” your products and services. I get it. I really do. But the fact is people LOVE a good deal. They almost expect it. That’s why Black Friday has slowly become Grey Thursday. And after having worked on thousands of marketing campaigns, we’ve come up with some offers than have proven themselves winners time and time again. USE THEM!

Here are a few offers I’ve seen work:

  • BOGO
  • Scratch off discounts (50% off, 25% off, $15 off, $10 off)
  • Referral Programs – $20 for 1st referral, $40 for 2nd referral
  • 20% off
  • Free quote, free consultation

But know this! Running a special does not make your services LESS valuable than your competitor’s. It just means you’re going to edge them out when someone is shopping for what you (and your competitors) offer. Then after you’ve won their business, make sure you have the customer service and quality in place to become their go-to business for your industry. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, huh?

I’ll say it again just so you know these suggestions are not just random thoughts I pulled from my head. I have seen far too many business owners make these 3 mistakes and I don’t want you to end up like they did—in the hole. If you take these steps and avoid these mistakes you’ll be on your way to a busy and profitable year!

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Joy Gendusa

Founder and CEO at PostcardMania
Joy Gendusa is the Founder and CEO of PostcardMania, a fully-integrated marketing firm specializing in direct mail. She used postcards to grow PostcardMania from just a phone and computer to a $22million enterprise in less than a decade.