There are a lot of things that I've said over the years that I've been very wrong about. Standouts include—
- "Olives are disgusting."
- "I will never spend my weekend shopping for homewares."
- "Marissa from the OC definitely won't die."
- "I could never write a book."
Sometimes, the consequences of our beliefs are simply missing out on a delicious salty treat. Other times, these beliefs can stifle our success. So, today I wanted to share marketing mistruths I believed for years, just in case you've been telling yourself these stories too.
#1 “I need to be active on every channel to be successful.”
Here’s what I used to think a successful marketing strategy looked like —a daily post to instagram, facebook, twitter and LinkedIn, a weekly blog post and pinning spree on Pinterest and of course, going to in person networking events and getting involved in facebook group discussions.
I also had big plans to start a youtube channel, create webinars and a podcast, because everyone else said these skyrocketed their growth!
The only problem was, I didn’t have the time for this ambitious marketing plan. Often, I scrambled to find or create content and there was absolutely no consistency in our marketing. I was half-assing our presence on multiple channels, instead of focusing in on a few.
Don't feel pressure to be active on every possible marketing channel. Play to your strengths, be where your customers are, and show up regularly.
Now, rather than feeling pressure to be active on every possible channel, we’ve simplified our marketing to focus on just a few channels so that we can show up consistently. This has driven the best results for our business than anything we’ve done before.
If you’re just getting started, or feel stressed or burnt out by marketing your business try focusing on sharing quality content on 1-2 marketing channels and show up regularly. This might mean a weekly blog or vlog that you send to your email list, or posting daily to instagram.
Whatever your plan, be consistent with it so you have time to see it work. Start small, take note of the results, and build. You CAN see results from your marketing without spending a tonne of time or getting too fancy.
#2 "Asking for the sale is too pushy."
When someone wastes moments out of my day to sell me something I never asked for, it is not well received. Promising to get me to ‘the top of Google’, waving samples at me as I try and walk through a shopping centre or attempting to sell me 10 mobile phones for all my non-existent employees, does NOT make me want to throw cash around. It's just annoying.
Whether it’s online, over the phone or in a store, most of us have experienced the anger inducing feelings of being cornered into buying something.
So, when we started our business I was determined to never be like those pushy salespeople. This meant I never asked people to buy from us. I was hoping that if they liked our website and our content, they would just contact us. But, this passive strategy was not exactly effective.
If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. So, you have to ask people for the sale. It's likely that many will say no, but if you think what you’re offering is valuable (and it should be) then you owe it to your customers to help them solve their problem or fulfil their desire.
If you don't ask, you won't receive. Your customers won't take action unless you prompt them to do so.
If someone has visited your website, read your articles, clicked on your ad or given you their email, it's likely that they're interested in your brand or curious about your offering. That's why I’m not shy about asking people to ‘start a project’ in our website copy or offering people to book our services in our email marketing. There's a difference between cold calling people with an offer and asking those who have already expressed interest whether they'd like to buy. Sometimes all people need is to be invited.
I wish having a pretty website and beautiful instagram feed were all you needed to make a sale, but sometimes you have to get a little bit uncomfortable and ASK, ASK ASK. You're not being pushy, you're being proactive and confident. And, you’d be surprised at what happens when you just ask.
#3 "I don’t have any time or money to spend on marketing."
Maybe I’m a tight-ass, but it took me a little while to wrap my head around spending money on marketing our business. Given our tiny budget, I didn’t want to part with any cash unless I was guaranteed a reward.
I’m all for bootstrapping and saving where you can, but if you spend money anywhere in your business, marketing is one of the few places where you can actually earn it back in sales. Many people think they can’t afford to invest time or money into their marketing, and yet they are spending up big in other areas of their business.
I'm not pretending to know your financial situation, and I’m definitely not saying go out and spend thousands on marketing if you don’t have the cash. But, if a small spend on facebook ads, or a new website can help you to make more sales, your small investment can pay for itself many times over.
To me, marketing is the equivalent of someone asking 'can I give you $5 for $1'? It's a no brainer. Whether you DIY or hire help, you need to invest in marketing your business.
If you’re just starting out in business and have a tight budget, you’ll likely have more time than money to spare. In that case, you may be better off investing your time in learning some marketing fundamentals— buy a course, listen to podcasts and learn from the infinite wisdom of the internet.
If you’re time poor, but have a little bit of cash available, you may be better off getting the support from a professional to help drive your sales so you can focus on what you’re best at. In either case, you can likely afford to spend time or money on marketing if you get creative, and often the reward is much greater than the investment.
So, now I'd love to know, how many of these stories have you been you telling yourself about marketing your business? Let me know in the comments. And, if you enjoyed this article, I'd love it if you shared it on social or with a friend.