We all know marketing is a critical component of growing and sustaining a business, but getting it right can be challenging.
So, logically, if marketing isn’t in our wheelhouse, we outsource marketing teams or purchase a guru marketing program that tells us how it should be done.
While we assemble newfound knowledge, in a desperate rush to get leads, we sometimes overlook a few other essential things that could be the missing link.
I have witnessed first-hand both sides of the table: a) being a client and b) working as a digital marketer and online business mentor.
Here’s a look at 5 common mistakes many of us don’t realize we make:
Mistake #1: Adding email addresses to your list without permission
I remember attending a networking event and introducing myself to one of the speakers. She sounded really interested in my work and expressed interest in following up, so naturally I gave her my contact information.
My intention was to solely build my network of female entrepreneurs.
One morning I opened up my inbox and to my surprise I had been added to her email newsletter list. (I opened the email, that I didn’t request to scroll through a list of services that didn’t even interest me.)
Needless to say, that relationship fizzled fast.
Mistake #2: Spray and pray
If you literally spam everything and anything praying desperately for an outcome then you are “spraying and praying”. This can come in many different forms, online and offline. I’ll give you a couple of examples.
First, that person who tags you in every single promotional post (along with their Facebook friends) using a thousand hashtags praying by a miracle it will somehow go viral.
Another example is networking events. We have all encountered that person who tries to target every single person in a race to see how many business cards they can handout by the end of the night.
Mistake #3: Dump and run
This marketing tactic is so 80’s. As an example, this business owner will grab every opportunity to “dump” their promotional material and then bolt. They don’t care whose personal space they invade.
Today this happens a lot when it comes to email marketing, Facebook Groups and social media, in general. This doesn’t work.
When we focus solely on selling and promoting, we miss out on vital steps along the customer journey.
Mistake #4: Not listening
So often we are quick to reply, but we fail to really listen. Have you heard the saying, “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand”?
We’re told to build marketing and sales funnels and practice scripted telephone chats. While that is great for marketing automation and increasing lead volume, sometimes these kind of systems can become diluted and make potential clients feel like a number.
While we are busy building a shiny brand, we forget the way we make people feel is also part of our brand. People crave—now more than ever—a connection and to be heard. This is what will keep them coming back.
Mistake #5: You only ever ask for stuff
Now I am not just talking about customers or clients here. For example, only asking for the sale. I am also talking about your network, community and peers.
Do you only ever ask others for favors without offering any value?
I remember when I first started out in business. I didn’t know much about boundaries. I was so eager to help someone I admired, so anytime they asked me to promote them I would. After sometime, I asked if they could share just one thing of mine. And they didn’t.
As you can imagine, this person went from being someone I highly admired to someone I viewed as annoying.
I’ve had people shamelessly ask me to promote their work, but I started to wonder if they had any intention of doing the same in return.
You have to be aware of the way you handle your business within your community and industry. Word travels fast and your reputation is not solely based on how customers perceive you; what your peers observe is essential too.
We must look at marketing holistically and how it impacts our brand. It doesn’t matter how shiny or sparkly we look, we need to be aware of the way we communicate and offer value to everyone around us.
Its how we make others around us feel.
This is what people will remember us by and (if positive) they will talk about us to others … and isn’t that is the best form of marketing after all?
You are marketing yourself everyday through every single communication channel and touch point. And when done right we connect, build trust, communicate credibility and forge valuable relationships which leads to effortless sales without feeling pushy or looking desperate.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Tess Philip is an online business mentor, freelance writer and founder of The Untamed Life, a community for big hearted rebels living free and courageously one bold step at a time. With a passion for communications and connecting strategies, she helps her clients execute a plan for success and produce quality, authentic content that really captures their unique soul essence and resonates with their audience. Connect with @the_untamedlife on Twitter and Instagram.
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