Marketing: “The activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” – The American Marketing Association (AMA)
Marketing, when done properly, will get you more business than you can handle – and that’s a great problem to have. If done improperly though, you could become frustrated, exhausted, or even run out of money. I’d like to share three common marketing mistakes I see that are losing you clients and share with you what you can do to avoid making them.
Mistake #1 – Not having a goal in mind
- Not having a goal is like driving on a highway with no destination in mind. When I think of this common mistake, I’m reminded of the Scripture in Proverbs 29:18 which says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” I would like to modify it a bit to, “Where there is no vision, my business perishes.” Whenever you add a marketing strategy to your business, you should always ask yourself, “What will this be used to market?”.
- You can’t create a strong marketing message when you don’t know why you’re marketing. For example, let’s suppose you are in the gift basket business and you have business cards as part of your marketing strategy. (Most entrepreneurs don’t consider business cards as a marketing tool, but they are.) If you don’t know what the goal of distributing your card is, your card will be thrown in the pile of so many other cards.
- Solution: Begin with the end in mind. What if you created your business cards with the goal of getting someone to visit you on your website and opt in to your newsletter. The message on your business card would look much different than the typical card that only has a logo, name, email address, phone number and website address.
Mistake #2 – Not being customer centric.
- It’s very easy to talk about what we can do. The harsh reality is that most people don’t care what we can do. They only care about how you or I can help them. I know it’s tough to think this happens because God teaches us to be selfless. However, we live in a selfish world. We have to resist the temptation to boast about our services in our marketing tools.
- Talk about benefits and results in your marketing. If you want more sales in your business, you need to make your message attractive. Your marketing has to stand out by letting your prospects and clients know what your offering will do for them. Examples could be “save time”, “look younger”, “lose weight”, etc. The idea is that you have to help them understand how buying from you will help them benefit. They won’t care as much about how you do it, as much as they care about how they benefit.
- Solution: Marketing as defined by the AMA is about the activity for communicating offerings that have value. A question I always ask myself, and I recommend you do the same, is this: “As a result of my service, my prospect will be better off because (fill in the blank) .
Mistake #3 – No call to action
- Your marketing strategy should always have a call to action. A call to action is a request for your customer/ prospect to do something. A call to action is a great way to increase leads, which ultimately will increase sales for you. A call to action in your marketing tool answers the question, “That sounds exciting, now what should I do?” When I used to be in technical sales and I would have a presentation or meeting, I would always make sure there was some call to action. It helped keep the opportunity alive and also helped strengthen the relationship with the prospect or client.
- Not every call to action needs to be about selling. The best and most successful businesses are those who have a reputation for giving VALUE. A non-sales call to action may look like you inviting people to sign up for a free sample of your product. It helps you build the relationship with the prospect. You now have an opportunity to build a rapport. Be careful not to have every call to action be about selling. Otherwise, you’ll risk scaring your prospects away for good.
- Solution: For every marketing tool you use in your business, look to make sure you have some action for your prospect/customer to take. If you can’t find it, create one.
So there you have it. Make sure you market with a purpose, focus on your client’s needs, and always encourage them to take a next step with you. Do this consistently, and you’ll never find yourself frustrated because you can’t grow your business.
Sonya Ramsey is passionate about helping brilliant Christian women prosper on all levels and to make a difference in the world through business. Her primary focus is working with coaches, consultants, speakers, authors and small business owners who struggle or are stuck in their business. She accomplishes this by teaching them how to align their Christian values and to become desirable and unique, so that they can find not just any client but ideal, high-paying clients.