As an entrepreneur running a small or medium-sized business, chances are that you’re focusing on all the wrong things when it comes to marketing. And it could be causing you to waste a lot of time and money. How can you tell if this applies to you or not?
Check your current bank statement. The numbers never lie. If there’s more money going out than coming in, then you’re still struggling to drive profit despite all your marketing efforts, and you definitely want to read through until the end of this article. I’m about to reveal a very simple solution that will take you out of the red and into the black.
Shall we begin?
There’s a growing frustration being experienced by many creative entrepreneurs (especially those just starting out) when it comes to effectively marketing their business. With the increase of social media platforms, advertising tactics, media buys, and the ever-growing number of cool tools and software, how do you know with channel will give you the biggest Return on Investment (ROI)?
The digital revolution is impacting your business regardless of your industry:
You can’t ignore this fact.
So it’s time to stop blindly attacking the marketing beast. Besides, data is showing how incredibly profitable digital marketing can become for many companies. Social media alone is being used by over three billion people. That’s a lot of influence. And according to Hootsuite, the benefits that your business would have are endless if you can only learn to leverage it the right way. It is arguably one of the most inexpensive ways for you to grow a brand and business that influences the entire world.
But it doesn’t end there. There’s also content marketing, SEO, paid ads, email marketing, media buys, teleseminars, webinars, and more recently influencer marketing that’s also said to be super lucrative. If you talk to an Facebook guru, they say that the biggest ROI is in doing Facebook ads. And they’re not wrong. Given the fact that Adweek reported a $9.16 billion revenue in 2017, it is true. A lot of people are investing in Facebook ads, which means a lot of businesses must be experiencing great results, otherwise they wouldn’t be investing there.
But the same goes for a YouTube guru or AdWords specialist. With Google reporting this year that they grew year-over-year at 26% to $31.16 billion in the first quarter, they aren’t exactly lying when they say you should be leveraging AdWords and YouTube.
The fact of the matter is there’s a lot of money being invested in a lot of marketing channels. There are also a lot of marketing strategies that supposedly rake in lots of revenue for startups.
So where should you be focusing your energy?
For creative entrepreneurs, marketing is becoming an overwhelming, daunting task that never ends. You might be getting to a point where you automatically cringe whenever this topic pops up, because let’s face it – we are a creative bunch. We want to be on the leading edge, coming up with brilliant ideas that actually produce profit and positive impact in our communities.
Gruesome planning, tactics, funnel creations, sales skills, tracking metrics, creating highly targeted advertising – these are rather “boring” for most creative entrepreneurs. The hard truth is that unless you find a way to get a grip of yourself and implement effective marketing strategies, that dream of impacting the world with your creativity and earning a good income out of it will be more like smoke in the air.
How can you do this without driving yourself insane?
It’s simple really.
Stop making this mistake and you’ll already be on the path of successfully marketing your business:
STOP focusing on the shiny golden carrot or worrying about being everywhere online and START focusing on value and long-term return on investment. Spreading yourself too thin trying to copy formulas that your marketing gurus are podcasting and Youtubing about will only get you stuck.
Neil Patel recently published a post where he said, you are doing marketing wrong and I have the data to prove it. One of the best reads I’ve seen from a true marketer quite frankly. Mostly because, although he shares how million dollar businesses are scaling and growing their revenues, he also openly advises those who are just starting out not to copy his big formulas.
You see, most of us will read all these cool formulas and tactics that marketers love flaunting online and we immediately get sucked into that rabbit hole. We take our tiny budgets and limited resources in the hopes that we’ll get the same ROI they’re talking about. Sadly, our outcome is nothing close to what was promised.
Then we think that they don’t know what they’re talking about! The truth is, the big problem lies with us. We are allowing ourselves to be tossed around blindly by the winds of marketing instead of staying focused on a customized plan that meets our unique business objectives.
Falling for the false belief that there’s a magic bullet in marketing that will solve all your problems, and copying formulas that just don’t align with your mission or the clients you serve are the main reasons you keep falling flat with your numbers. One week you listen to a marketing podcast selling you on the latest and hippest solution and you automatically jump in.
Two weeks later, you come across a YouTube video and get sold on that. Everything else gets put on hold as you now start pursuing this new tactic or platform.
When you hear names like Tai Lopez and Grant Cardone – these guys do a great job convincing entrepreneurs that making the loudest noise in all the marketing channels is the best way to exponentially grow. And to their credit, they are all over the place. So it does work for some.
But unless you have enough money to fuel that same notion, your few hundred bucks a month, spread across all channels, won’t get you any traction.
What am I saying?
Rather than increasing your frustration and getting tossed around by the marketing rollercoaster, focus on this instead:
Start small in a big way.
Meaning…Double down on creating value. Work on the fundamentals first and get a solid foundation established online before you stress about increasing your marketing channels and budgets, etc.
Again, even Neil Patel says that despite interviewing 208 multimillion dollar companies, he still believes the best way to market your business without losing money is to focus a little less on paid ads which give you instant gratification online, and focus more on the stuff that produces long-term gain. He recommends investing way more on SEO because unless you do, you’ll continue struggling to keep your business profitable.
Why? Because the cost of acquiring a customer will continue to rise. Paid ads will keep working, and you should definitely leverage them, but they’ll also keep getting more expensive year after year. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), however, is special because, although it might cost you upfront, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial cost.
Which leads me to my last action point for you.
What you must do to stop making marketing mistakes that cost you money is
•First. Start focusing on creating value for your audience.
•Second. Start asking the right questions when it comes to marketing.
For example: What marketing channels should I use?
This is a poor quality question that will only lead to results that don’t directly grow your business or customer base.
Instead you want to begin asking questions such as: Who are my customers? Where do they hang out? What marketing channel is most likely to reach them so I can capture their interest?
•Third. Invest the bigger portion of your marketing budget on SEO. And with SEO incorporate content marketing, link building, and social media.
The irony of trying to be and do what marketing gurus are doing is that you end up with poorly executed marketing that hardly reaches your ideal clients.
You end up costing yourself way more money, energy, time, and resources when you blindly follow strategies and formulas that don’t necessarily align with your audience and brand.
Effective marketing isn’t just about how or where you spend your money and make the most noise, it’s about the quality, value, and creativity you bring to the right audience.
Facebook watch, LinkedIn sponsored ads, YouTube advertising, and Google AdWords are all great. They all work, but they may not necessarily be the right marketing move for you now. Leveraging paid ads and other marketing channels is certainly going to be part of your business growth and it will yield a great harvest, if you do it at the right time.
Strategies such as paid webinar funnels, teleseminar campaigns, podcasting, or membership sites have all proven to make a lot of money. But don’t just blindly invest in these things because you see it working for those who started years ago. You are a unique individual with unique personalities, and your products or services are meant to serve a specific group of people. Your business, much like a baby, is going through various phases of development. Don’t skip over or try to force things to happen that don’t promote the healthy development of your business.
Before investing a ton of time, energy, and resources into any marketing channel or strategy, you best be clear on the specific group of people you want to reach. Then focus on producing high value content and leveraging SEO and the channel that best aligns with your current game plan.