Guest blog by Joanna Booth (@JaegerBooth), a Manchester born & bred girl with a hunger for entrepreneurship and a thirst to make things change for the better!
Having a marketing expert for a mother has no doubt been an extremely helpful tool and invaluable resource to my businesses.
However, not everyone is as fortunate as myself in this regard and unfortunately for most start-ups there is no one to hand that’s free of charge with the marketing expertise needed to get the business off the ground. This is why I have outlined the five most common start-up marketing pit falls to help new entrepreneurs avoid costly mistakes and time wasting exercises.
1. “I don’t want to pester”
I think this has to be the most common thing I hear from fellow entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. It truly pains me to hear these words, not because I think every business owner should be pestering clients but because I know there is a huge opportunity being missed.
It takes on average SEVEN POINTS OF CONTACT before a purchasing decision is made. So sending an email or two really isn’t going to cut it. Each client should be approached, followed up, then helpfully nudged and reminded that your business exists; maybe a Tweet, letter in the post, courtesy call, anything! Of course don’t pester people but being shy, not following up, not reminding won’t make you sales. It takes confidence, assertiveness, and seven points of contact to seal the deal.
2. “I got a great deal on this ad”
A huge pitfall (that everyone is capable of falling for) is buying advertising because of the price tag and not because of its reach, appropriateness and demographics. A cheap deal isn’t a cheap deal unless the advertising is going to been seen by the right people – your target market! In fact, it’s far from a cheap deal; it’s a costly mistake.
All advertising needs to be aimed at the right audience and then evaluated by price. Once you know who your target market are, what they do and how to reach them, then you can look to buy advertising that will reach them. This is when you negotiate on price, get a good price and tell everyone how good a deal you got!
3. “We’re so popular; we have 100 likes on Facebook”
Another misconception is that your social media Likes, Followers, etc mean you are doing well. Unfortunately, unless these people are buying from you or advocating for your brand then it doesn’t really matter. Social media is a fantastic tool, especially for start-ups on a limited budget, but it needs to be used correctly, attract the right people and generate the business income.
4. “I don’t need a designer or marketing company, I can do it all myself”
DIY marketing is probably one of the biggest wastes of time and money a start-up can engage in. You wouldn’t pull out your own tooth or rewire your house – you’d ask an expert, so why would you do all your own marketing?
There are certainly many marketing things you can do yourself and some people have the skills to do more than others but for major promotion, press releases and designing your logo please leave it to the experts! They may cost more up front but the time, and stress you’ll save are invaluable, plus the effectiveness of their work over your own will be noticeably different.
5. “I’ve been too busy to do my marketing”
No business, large or small, should ever be too busy to do marketing. Marketing is the soul of your business and fuels the machine; why would you neglect that? Without marketing you won’t attract new (and existing) customers and therefore won’t generate more sales, so it’s imperative you make time (or hire an expert) to do your marketing.
Hopefully by addressing these pit falls and avoiding them, you will ensure your marketing hits the ground running, makes you sales and doesn’t cost you the earth!