You want to do the right thing, so you invest in marketing your small business. The problem is, you’re a contractor, hair stylist, coach, consultant, accountant or attorney, you’re not a marketer. So, you do what everyone else is doing falling into the “if they’re doing it, it must work” trap. Or worse- you’re completely shooting in the breeze: guessing.
Here are the five most common Marketing money-traps small business owners and entrepreneurs fall into that you should avoid at all costs!
- Most print advertising. Unless you have a marketing, plan based on research and data AND a multi-thousand-dollar budget, this is a huge waste of time. Even if you do get lucky and get the ad in front of the right prospects, with the right message at the right time, study after study has proven, we don’t register an advertisement until the 7th time we see it. And that’s just seeing it – it takes even longer to act on it. So, if you can’t afford to run an add consistently for at least 7+ times you’re wasting your money. And never ever just run an ad once. No matter what, you’d be better off investing those funds in lottery tickets, your chances of a return on the investment will be higher.
- SEM/SEO. This is so tempting… you know everyone is online, so why not invest $1000+ a month on SEM? For one, like advertising it takes time. You must run an SEM campaign for at least 6-8 months to get result. In addition, you will need to know how your target market searches for information and this takes research -0 not guessing and not generic keyword tools. But cold hard research and analysis. If you don’t invest in that, you’re throwing your money away.
- Sponsorships. Most sponsorship are a form of passive advertising. You slap your business name and logo on something and hope people will see it and pull out their phones and call you. That NEVER happens. Top of mind advertising – pasting your logo everywhere – is a long-term marketing strategy for multi-billion dollar corporations with billion dollar marketing budgets. It’s not for small businesses.
- Yellow Pages. No one uses the yellow pages anymore – even the online ones. Google any business- do you see YP.com come up in the search on the first or second page? Probably not. Google is the new Yellow Pages. Invest your time and money in a good website and blogging if you want to get found on the web.
- Cheap websites. Buying a cheap, 2nd rate website is the absolute worst thing you can do for your small business. Do you want to tell your prospective clients right off the bat that you’re cheap and you are ok with putting out low quality work? That’s exactly what a cheap, poorly build website does. Not to mention it won’t’ have the back-end SEO that you need to get found online. Please don’t’ skimp on the website- yo9u’ll just be throwing more money down the drain!
So, what is a small business owner with limited marketing budget to do when you know you need a marketing and advertising if you’re going to get customers to know you exist? You need to begin with a marketing plan and a strategic foundation – honestly there is no getting around it. I know – that’s not fun, or sexy and it’s a considerable investment of time and money. But, the fact is, it works. Contact us if you’re ready to do marketing right.