Avoid these common mistakes to save yourself headaches and money.
10 min read
The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
I recently received a call from a small business owner, wondering when the investment he has made in marketing would be reflected. His company had hired Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, was active on social media, and had hired a company to run their site and optimize their SEO.
I asked him how long he had been executing this strategy. “Six months,” he replied. I was left with my mouth open. “Is seriously?” asked. This entrepreneur has thrown more than $ 50,000 in the trash without obtaining any benefits in return.
Stories like these break my heart, because small business owners have a very short margin of error. The money they spend almost always comes directly from their pockets, and they could perfectly use it for themselves, their families, or their lives. But they decide to spend it on marketing because they don't understand how it works.
But this ends now. Here I present marketing strategies, which make you lose money, and what you can do to avoid them.
# 1: Start with logos and branding
I had a client who had just launched a 3PL shipping company. One day he came to my office very excited and said, “I was listening to Mozart, and I realized that shipments are like Mozart's music, so I decided to call my company Mozart Shipping.”
In a very polite way, I told him I appreciated his passion, but I reminded him that I was in command of a shipping company. His clients wanted to be certain that his items were safe with him, and that they were not hiring him to transport musical instruments.
Many small business owners think that creating an interesting logo and brand is paramount to their company, believing that without a logo they will have no customers. So they spend a lot of money hiring someone to help them with this. But such a strategy hardly ever works. As their business grows and changes, so does their logo and brand, so in the end they end up spending double or even triple.
The first thing an entrepreneur should do is discover what makes his company unique. Then see what the logos of other companies in the same industry look like. In other words, you want to belong but you also want to excel. In this way, consumers will know what you offer and at the same time you will awaken their curiosity.
See different logos online and choose the elements that you like the most. Once you have completed this task, share the brief with a designer, this will save you a lot of time and money.
# 2: Build a website from scratch
Everyone thinks, “If I have a website, all clients are going to come to me.” It is not true. You must think of the website as a means rather than as the ultimate end. We don't live in 2001 anymore. No one is going to come to your website by accident. You have to create a strategy that will drive traffic to your site, and then take it somewhere else to close the deal.
Your website doesn't need to be too flashy or elegant. You only need a strategically created page to help users buy your products or hire your services.
# 3: Use the same strategy for all social networks
Many small entrepreneurs spend their money hiring people to run their social networks, but they don't get the results they expected.
This is mainly for two reasons. First, the social media experts they hire don't understand what they mean. Think of social media as a huge party. You don't want someone to come to your party, pretending to be you, even though they don't think or speak like you do. This makes you look fake and awkward, causing the other party goers to ignore you.
If you hire someone to be you at the party, you need to make sure they really know you. It must sound like you, you need to train it to have your own voice.
The other reason social media strategies fail is because companies try to execute the same strategy on different platforms – Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn , etc.
If social media were a party, you wouldn't make it to a child's party dressed in a tuxedo, or shorts to a wedding. All social networks have different users and requirements. It is rare for one person to be an expert on all platforms. When you hire someone to run your social networks, you must find out which platform is the best performer. It is much better to hire an expert for each of them. Hire several part-time people if necessary.
# 4: Placing ads blindly
Many business owners are drawn to the simplicity of interfaces like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. But just because they're easy to use doesn't mean they'll bring you sales benefits. Cost-per-click ads are true science. For each ad, there are at least five critical points, including language, context, image selection, and target. I have worked with several experts on the subject, and they spend the day monitoring and modifying their ads to make sure they work properly. Don't try to make announcements by yourself if you've never done it before. Hire a professional or learn about it on YouTube or private courses.
Another mistake that is frequently made in cost-per-click ads is when companies drive traffic to a site that is not giving them any results. As I mentioned in error # 2 – if your website isn't generating customers, paying to drive traffic to it is like throwing your money away.
Worse still – I've seen people use online advertising to entice users to visit a physical store. It will not work.
Make sure what you offer is good, that customers can quickly understand it, and have a follow-up strategy.
# 5: Isolate Marketing Sales
When you are a small business, you can afford to separate marketing from sales. Suppose your marketing team captured the attention of a potential customer, but the deal is yet to be closed.
Fact 1: 80 percent of sales are made after the fifth customer contact. That's right, the fifth!
Fact 2: Only 10 percent of the sales team contacts customers 5 or more times. Which means that 10 percent of the sales team closes 80% of the deals.
Consequently, if you do not follow up properly, you will lose 80% of your sales.
The best advice I can give small business owners is super simple. If you have a call with a potential client, follow up through an email. If you start with an email, follow up by phone, and then an email. Three forms of contact per week are more than enough.
You should always warn your clients that you are going to contact them to avoid an uncomfortable situation. Let's say we met at an event, we clicked, and you showed interest in buying one of my products, we said goodbye and soon you receive an email from me, then a call. Most likely, you think I'm a stalker.
Now suppose that at the end of the event I ask you, “Do you want me to send you an email with more information to follow up tomorrow?” You say yes Then I send you an email that says “I will call you on the phone in the next few days to see if you have any questions.” I'll call you later. Am I a stalker or a professional?
# 6: not knowing when to stop
Before you start spending money on marketing, you need to do an analysis. Think about how much this effort will cost you, what you need, what companies you can hire, and how long it will take.
Then make an estimate of the profit you are going to make. If you don't know this. You shouldn't spend money on marketing.
The next step is to do calculations. If you are running a $ 10,000 ad campaign and you sell a product that costs $ 4.95 with a 10% profit, you need a lot of people to buy that product to make your investment worthwhile. Conversely, if you run a $ 2,000 ad campaign, sell a service that costs $ 300 an hour, and your average customer works with you for at least 5 hours, you're on the right track.
Take as a reference that it takes between five and seven contacts to sell. If it is impossible for you to have between five and seven contacts with your clients, you will not do it.
To avoid wasting your money on marketing, it is important to start with a good analysis from the beginning. You should always ask yourself: Am I creating a connection with the users so that they become my clients? Do I have the financial power to properly follow up and close the sale? and Will I earn enough money?
If you are not generating profits, it is best to stop. Don't waste your time working harder or trying something different.