Is DIY Marketing Costing You Business?
If you’re a local business, definitely & if you’re an online business, probably. There are reasons for this that allow me to say this with certainty. They are:
Lack Of A Marketing Plan
Most small business owners fail to create a marketing plan at the same time they create a business plan. Without this plan, you have no clear starting point or sense of direction for marketing.
You may not even have clearly identified short term, midterm and long-term marketing goals.
How can you get from where you are to where you want to be without a written marketing plan that will help guide you along the path to your success?
A Poor Website
Your website is the digital storefront for your business and it is often your first and sometimes only chance to make a good first impression with prospective customers.
If your site looks like:
- it was designed by an amateur
- was designed 5, 10 or even 15 years ago
- it hasn’t been updated with fresh content recently
- you don’t know that images and video tell the story better than words
- you have no current social proof
- there is no way to connect with you on social media sites from your website
- it predates mobile devices or doesn’t adapt to them
- it doesn’t offer a solution to their problem
your visitor may see your business as one that couldn’t possibly understand their problem or have the solution that they need.
Many of these visitors will seek out a competitor that has a fresher look with a website that looks good on their smart phone.
No Clear Reputation Or Brand
In today’s world, especially online, your brand and your online reputation are so closely tied together that it’s almost impossible to think of one without thinking of the other.
If you build a brand on your website but don’t carry that brand across all of your social sites, off-line marketing and online marketing, you aren’t creating a clear identity that can be used to build your business.
You must put some kind of a system in place that you can use to build a 5 star reputation that can be used in your marketing across all mediums.
Third party reviews about your business from satisfied customers are the new word-of-mouth advertising.
Many people use their smart phones, tablets and computers to look up reviews about a business before they make a buying decision.
About three quarters of the people that responded to two different surveys in the last four years stated that they trust third-party reviews that they read online as much as recommendations from friends, family and coworkers.
You Fail To Test And Track Your Advertising
If you aren’t constantly testing, tracking and tweaking your advertising, how do you know what advertising is working and what isn’t?
Even if you are using free marketing methods, you or one of your employees is having to invest time which has a measurable cost.
You Don’t Know Your Numbers
How many leads do you have to get before you make a sale?
If you cannot answer that question with a precise number, you have no effective way to scale up your business.
If you knew that it took 10 people entering your sales funnel to make one sale, then you would know exactly how many additional people you would have to get into your sales funnel to take your business to the next level.
You Don’t Have A Marketing Budget
Admittedly, most small business owners spend most of their startup capital getting their doors open and marketing is the last thing that’s on their mind.
I know it takes a lot of money for you to start a business off-line just to get to the point that you can open for business but once you’re open for business you have to market if you want to survive and thrive. Word-of-mouth advertising is great but it takes a long time to get established.
The failure rate among off-line and online small businesses is extremely high because most are underfunded and the time wasn’t taken to develop the plans and strategies that are needed to survive.
You can start out online with a lot less money but you have to have the discipline to put the majority of all monies received from your business back into the business for at least the first year so that you can build up a respectable marketing budget that can be used to help you grow even faster.
Marketing your business online today isn’t nearly as easy as it was 5 to 10 years ago.
The Internet has matured as a marketplace and the little guy has to look as professional as the big brands if you want to compete in that niche.
You can compete with the big boys and in some cases you can even beat them because they cannot change the direction of their marketing as quickly as you can.
Many of the big brands rely on their name to gain market share rather than using best practices for marketing online.
There is a lot of misinformation that is being offered up for free or at a very low price that the DIYer thinks is gold because they don’t know any better.
Unfortunately, some of this information can do you more harm than good and some of it was good last year or several years ago but not today.
Consultants are not cheap but it’s their job to keep up-to-date with online technology and marketing best practices to help you grow your business safely and for the long term.
A good consultant will enter into business with you with the mindset that helping you grow your business will help them grow their business.
They know and understand that you will only stick with a consulting firm if they are helping you make more money than you are giving them. The good consulting firms believe that that’s the way that it should be.
Share this with your friends and colleagues then leave your comments below.
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