When I wrote this article, I was originally going to start it with a disclaimer explaining that none of these misconceptions have come from any one particular client.
The reality is that almost every initial conversation we have with someone in regards to marketing has at least one or more of these phrases. They all seem like sound logic until you unpack it and see what it really means for you and your business. These issues are universal, from small start up businesses to large corporations with internal marketing teams. It is common lingo and thought processes that are stunting growth.
With that being said, this article is about you. It is about all of us and some of our thought processes that keep us from moving forward and seizing opportunities when it comes to our business and marketing.
1. “YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY…”
This phrase really should be: “In order to make money, you need to invest.” The idea that you need to be “spending money” to “make money” is an attitude that we see a lot when it comes to people making poor marketing decisions. The most common cause of this is that most people generally realize they need marketing, but know little about it, especially when it comes to online marketing. So the remedy becomes throwing money at something with almost no accountability or strategy for how it is spent. Marketing should be exactly like any other investment, some are higher risk short term strategies and some are lower risk long term strategies and you should be doing some of both. At a foundational level you should know where you are investing your money with your business, what the strategy is and what is working. If a marketing strategy is done right, you can be twice as effective with half the time and money.
2. “I’M JUST WAITING FOR…”
Momentum is everything. I had a friend ask me once if it is harder to steer a boat that is sitting still in a lake, or one that is moving, even if it is in the wrong direction. It is a great point. Sometimes as business owners, we have a tendency to want to wait before making our next move. We want to get all our ducks in a row first, but this can be paralyzing and keeping you from valuable opportunities for constructive feedback and participation. I love the phrase “activity breeds activity,” and it is absolutely true. The laymen’s term for this is “hustling” or the general ability to keep finding ways of moving forward. Make a plan, get your boat moving and then adjust your direction. Strategic activity breeds results.
3. “I HAVE A NEPHEW WHO CAN…”
I’m a firm believer that everything that represents your business is important and should be connected to a larger strategy. This means your business cards, your website, your office space, your brochures, your email marketing, and your flyers should all be cohesively branded and strategically aligned. I don’t know the exact statistics, but I can say with certainty that I have never complimented someone on their website, video, graphic design, email marketing, etc, to have them turn around and say their cousin or nephew did the work. Typically, not properly investing in getting something done professionally leads to temporary solution that is a waste of both money and precious time. Invest into doing the small things (and larger things) right, because it makes a big difference in the long run.
4. I WILL GET TO IT AFTER MY PAYING CLIENTS…
Marketing is one of those things that can so easily take the back burner. Neglecting to keep your marketing efforts consistent creates a “feast or famine” situation with your business. When we are busy with clients or customers, we aren’t too concerned about maintaining our pipeline of new business. But any savvy business person will always remind you that your pipeline of potential clients is THE most important part of your business. It makes sense to feel overwhelmed with being so busy with work. Those are happy problems, but a problem none the less. They say a fish will only grow as big as its tank, the same is true for creating space and opportunity for your business to grow, while staying dedicated to keeping your marketing momentum going. Prioritize your business and your marketing to stay healthy.
5. I WILL INVEST MORE INTO MY MARKETING WHEN…
This is a classic misconception that we hear all the time. The thought process is, “I will invest a little now and as this starts to work, of course, I will invest more into my marketing.” If it sounds too good and too simple to be true, that is because it is. This is like telling a personal trainer, “I will work out with you once every two weeks and when I start seeing results, I will invest more time and money into my fitness.” You are going to be waiting for a train that will never come. Marketing is all about taking a good product or service and amplifying its presence to potential customers and clients. At it’s crux, marketing can only be as successful as the quality of what it is promoting. If you know your products and services are great (and needed), then the best investment you can make is in yourself. You are lucky to get a 6-10% return on many personal investments (like a 401K), so having your business grow 10-50% or more is the best investment you can make.