Marketing is a touchy field and there is a balance that must be met. Marketing mistakes are easy to make, but there are a few that you want to avoid at all costs. These marketing mistakes are usually bigger mistakes that are done completely out of ignorance. In a lot of cases, small business owners are trying to do their own marketing and don’t know any better. However, avoiding these three marketing mistakes can help your business thrive.
Marketing Mistake #1: Thinking You Don’t Need a Blog
Blogging is a lot of work. It requires that you plan content, write posts and then, find people to read your posts. It sounds like it’s a lot more work than it’s worth. But, that’s where small business owners are wrong.
Blogging is an integral part of gaining customer trust. Having a blog on topics relevant to your field, makes you look like an expert, which you probably already are. When you’re an expert in your field, people will instantly trust you. It’s easy to take the advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about. With so many frauds on the internet, people want to know that they are being taken care of.
An active blog can also help your website rank higher in search engines. Search engines, especially Google, are looking to make sure websites are active and frequently updated. You don’t usually need to make tweaks to your main content every week, so it can be difficult to show that your business and website are active. This is where a blog is helpful. Posting once a week is a quick and easy way to show search engines that your site is relevant.
If you don’t think a blog would work for your business, try to think outside of the box. What is your target customer searching for in Google? For example, not all of our posts are about accounting. However, we know that our clients are small business owners so we blog about topics relevant to small business owners. You might just have to look a little past your business’ main focus to find topics to blog about.
Marketing Mistake #2: Not Using Happy Customers
Marketing professionals will tell you that the best, most reliable, marketing doesn’t come from you. It comes from your customers. A recommendation from a happy customer almost guarantees that you’ll make another sale.
The real question is, how can you use happy customers as part of your marketing? The most common way small businesses use happy customers is through positive reviews. Potential customers use sites like Google+, Yelp and Facebook to decide if they want to use your services. If they see you have good reviews, they’re more likely to give you a try. So, you should always encourage your customers, especially your happy ones, to leave a review for you on a review site. Tell your customers that they can be a part of your success, just by telling other people about their experience.
Another way to use happy customers is to include them in other marketing projects. If you’re making a video, ask customers to be extras, or even be interviewed. Put a shout out on Facebook or Instagram asking for models for your next photo shoot. Anytime you can use smiling faces or positive statements about your business call on your loyal tribe. They’ll be even more excited to help you get the word out about your business if they feel like a part of it.
Marketing Mistake #3: No Unique Selling Proposition
Beginner marketers have a lot more trouble with this, but it can plague any business. A unique selling proposition (USP) is what sets you apart from the crowd. Without a USP, you can’t tell your potential clients why they should choose you instead of a competitor.
Your USP should be the purpose behind your business. At Mazuma, we knew we wanted to provide accounting, bookkeeping and tax services for small business owners who couldn’t afford corporate level pricing. It disrupted the accounting field and made us unique. Now we use that to set ourselves apart from other accountants.
If you’re having a hard time pinning down your USP consider these areas of your business to focus on:
- Price point
- Characteristics of your product
- Your target market
- Your personal or company values
Once you find out why you’re running your business you can nail down your USP and then incorporate that into how you market your business.
Avoiding these marketing mistakes will help you move forward and reach more people. Which, after all, is the whole point of marketing.
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.