Are you making these marketing mistakes
I spend a lot of time observing businesses and I’m so curious about the moves small business owners make when it comes to their marketing initiatives. If you’re struggling to reach your ideal client or you’re not even sure where to begin when it comes to marketing, this episode is for you. Today I’m sharing 5 common mistakes that I see business owners making and what you can do instead to really connect with your audience and drive your business forward.
When it comes to marketing, you simply cannot separate it from your business strategy because this is what sets the foundation for how you run your business overall. I share why your marketing needs to align with your business strategy and your business goals and the issues you might come up against if you focus on a standalone marketing strategy.
Manic marketing is another mistake I see quite often. This is when a business is on-again, off-again with their marketing efforts but the trouble here is that the inconsistency can actually throw off your audience. I share why it’s important to establish a steady, sustainable marketing rhythm that aligns with you and your business.
Every business is unique, which is why when business owners copy other people's marketing tactics, they don’t come across as genuine, authentic or unique. This certainly won’t attract your ideal client. You need to deliver your message in a way that makes your voice penetrate all the noise instead of sounding like everybody else in your industry.
Even if your messaging is authentic and aligned with your business strategy and goals, you’re going to struggle to attract your ideal clients if you’re not meeting them where they are at. This is relevant in terms of marketing methods and platforms, but also communicating to your audience in a way that really speaks to the struggles they are facing and in a language they will understand.
I hope this conversation is helpful to you and I really encourage you to take a close look at where your business is at before taking action. Throughout this episode, I share some reflection points for you to consider so that you can really hone in on how your business is tracking and where your marketing might need to be tweaked.
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[00:00:00] Kristy: Can I share something with you? I am a little obsessed with your business, and to be honest, I wouldn't do this podcast if I wasn't. I'm always observing and thinking about other people's businesses in addition to my clients and of course my own. And I'm more than a little curious about the moves small business owners make with their marketing initiatives.
[00:00:27] And as an observer, I wanted to share with you some of the things I often see play out that could be very well harming your business. Now I love hearing other people's perspective, and so I share this with you with the intention to provide a different viewpoint for which to reflect on your own marketing and lead gen activities.
[00:00:50] In this conversation, I'm sharing some common mistakes. I see small business owners make all of course shared with love and utter respect. Are you ready? Let's go. Hello, boss, and welcome back to the podcast. Marketing is one component of running your business and for your marketing to work, it really needs to be part of the whole picture, not separate than.
[00:01:50] So think of it as like a puzzle. Your business is the full picture. It's the end product. But in order for your business to come together to form that full picture, every single piece needs to click together. We're often sold the solutions to marketing as the tips, tricks, and tactics, almost in essence as a standalone strategy, but that can be kind of dangerous.
[00:02:18] As generic marketing concepts may not actually click with the other pieces that exist in your business, which is why it's important to not just follow the marketing trends, but to actually consider what your marketing looks like for your unique business. Which brings me to the nature of today's conversation.
[00:02:40] I'm here to share with you a different perspective, and this conversation serves as an opportunity to listen, to pause, reflect, and to assess. Once you become aware of a sticking point, it's from there that you can begin to figure out what that next move is, and I think it's important for all of us to remember that.
[00:03:00] Being unaware is essentially like having a big blind spot in your business, and blind spots could be undermining your work and pulling you further away from your goals, intentions, and ultimately your business performance growth. So my message upfront for this conversation is to receive it with an open mind and an open heart and see where it takes you.
[00:03:24] So with all that said, let's dive into some of the common mistakes that I see small businesses make with their marketing mistake. Number one, there's a marketing strategy, but not a business strategy. There's so much conversation out there about marketing, and
[00:03:43] I think it's really dangerous to have a strategy for your marketing and not a strategy for your business. Your business strategy is really the foundational piece for how you are running your business. Everything fits into your business strategy. And I guess if we go back to that analogy that I shared a moment ago about the puzzle, your business strategy is largely the picture on the box.
[00:04:07] So this is what you want your business to look like by the end of it, and then all the puzzle pieces is what's gonna bring it together and then form that puzzle at the end of it.
[00:04:17] Here's the thing. If your marketing strategy is standalone to your business strategy, it'll always feel surface level. It will always come across as surface level. It would never really reach in and grab your ideal client and hook them into what it is that you are talking about, what it is that you are sharing with them, how you are able to support them.
[00:04:41] So I wanna encourage you to let go of all the trends as I shared just a moment ago, and really think about your unique business and your unique business strategy and align your marketing strategy to the goals and the strategy for your business. You can have the best marketing strategy in the world, but.
[00:05:01] If you open up the door to your business and the messages don't align to what you're saying in your marketing, you're gonna have a real problem. And here's what I mean by this. Let's say that your marketing is really wonderful. It looks beautiful, it's saying all the right things, and then you get a bunch of inquiries only for those inquiries to be not your ideal client.
[00:05:22] They're people that you wouldn't really wanna work with. Well, those inquiries. Are not necessarily going to help contribute to the growth of your business, or maybe it's that you get a bunch of inquiries with a volume of clients that you simply can't serve. I think that we're often sold this message of growing large audiences. This is what you do to you know, increase uh, the number of people that you're in front of. And whilst a growth strategy for your platforms might be part of your marketing strategy, keep in mind, is that really where you wanna focus all your attention if you can only serve one to two clients per month?
[00:05:56] Or what if you get all these inquiries coming in from your marketing initiatives, looking for something in your business, looking for a service in your business that you actually don't offer, or it's not something that you are willing to help your clients with. So it's really important that you get your business strategy buttoned up before you go out and create your marketing strategy, because really that's the foundational piece that's where you're gonna get your business in order to be able to serve those clients that are coming in.
[00:06:26] So your reflection point here is to get curious. Do you have a business strategy? Is your business in order and does it fully align to your marketing initiatives? There's no point in pulling together a marketing strategy that's full of tactics and full of all the tips and tricks that they share on the internet, but they don't actually align with the goals and what your business stands for.
[00:06:49] Okay, so mistake number two that I see is manic marketing. You're gonna know what I'm talking about here, and if this is not you, you will have seen it online. I'm sure it's where you disappear for long periods of time. Now, I'm not talking about taking an intentional break because I also think that's very healthy, especially if you're a small business owner with either just yourself or a small team. What I'm talking about here is a cycle. So you disappear and then you reappear and you go hard. So we haven't heard from you for months, and then all of a sudden you're posting every single day. You've got the little tiny dots on stories. You are doing all the things.
[00:07:27] You are everywhere. Only to find yourself. Run outta steam. Burnout and then disappear again. It's a cycle. It's something that you are unable to maintain any level of consistency. Now, when I talk about consistency here, I'm not saying that you have to be doing. X number of marketing initiatives a week or that you need to be in X, Y, Z places because I believe that that is all unique to you and your business.
[00:07:54] So you get to choose the cadence and the pace of which you are marketing your business. But there absolutely should be work in the marketing space every single week, all the time, unless you're taking an intentional break. The volume of that totally up to you.
[00:08:09] The other thing I wanna mention when it comes to manic marketing is that all of a sudden you realize that your pipeline is dried up or that you don't have any new clients and you start to get stressed, and then you start to push out content, be it blogs, be it video content, whatever that looks like for you and your business.
[00:08:29] But there's this. Underlying frantic energy that's attached to what you are putting out into the universe. And you may not realize it, but your audience, your prospective clients, the people in your ecosystem, they notice that energy and the prevention for that is exactly what I said a moment ago of setting.
[00:08:51] A pace or a cadence in your business for marketing that is achievable and sustainable for you, rather than feeling like you are going hard, you're releasing, and then all of a sudden you feel like you need to work really hard and double down on marketing initiatives to bring in new clients. It should be just an engine that is working all the time.
[00:09:11] Here's a little analogy. Imagine it's like a bank account, right? So regular deposits that you put in every single week, or every single fortnight, or every single month, it doesn't need to be a huge amount of investment. It could be a hundred dollars, a thousand dollars or whatever feels achievable for you, but something that you don't necessarily miss in terms of money.
[00:09:33] Build that up over time and you are gonna have a really healthy bank account. And it's a little bit like that with marketing. If you are consistent with your marketing, if you're showing up all the time, if you are doing the work, if you are executing your plan, if it all fits together and it works, that is when you're going to see the.
[00:09:50] Lasting results from your marketing initiatives because you will have built equity into your brand, and it wouldn't have felt challenging. It wouldn't have felt hard, it wouldn't have felt sticky. It would've felt authentic to you. So here's your reflection point for manic marketing. Are you consistent with your marketing initiatives? Do you know what you need to do to attract new leads into your business? Is this something that you're doing on a daily or weekly basis? Or is this something that you dip in and dip out of as your business requires?
[00:10:22] So it's that I need something and therefore I'm gonna go away and I'm gonna market it. Or is it something that you're just showing up for? You're putting yourself out there, you're putting your offers on the table, you're presenting yourself, you're being of service to your audience. Okay. So we're gonna move into mistake number three. You look and sound like everyone else I've mentioned on the podcast before, the importance of being authentically you, not looking at others in your industry and being distracted by what they're saying and what they're doing.
[00:10:56] Or even looking at other people's marketing initiatives and trying to reverse engineer that as a strategy for your business as per point. Number one, you need to start with your business strategy. When you have your business strategy really clear what it is you stand for, what are the offers that you have?
[00:11:16] What's the transformation that you, create for your client? What's your business vision, mission and values? What are all the things that make you uniquely qualified to do the things that you do for your clients?
[00:11:28] When you are really clear on what that is, it's hard to sound like anybody else because you are in your lane doing business your way, When you are unclear of that, you're going to ultimately end up sounding like everyone else. When I first started out four years ago and I was talking about burnout and sustainability, it was not a trending topic back then.
[00:11:51] If I'm honest, we were in the Girl Boss and Hustle era, and here I was over here talking about building a sustainable business, building a business your way. Here's what you do to avoid burnout, but here's the thing, it was more than okay, because I knew who my people were. I knew who I was out to help and serve, and I knew what the purpose of my business is. And it was to help busy business owners who were feeling overwhelmed by their business and really needed to figure out how to make their business work for them so that they could have a successful business as well as a business that suited their lifestyle, right?
[00:12:32] So, My mission and my message has not changed even through all of Covid or the economic downturn or, all the things that we've experienced over the past four years. What may have adapted or or shifted is making sure that I was topical and relevant and all those things, but my core message has not changed.
[00:12:53] That remains exactly the same from when I started my business, because that is the purpose of why I'm here. But where I see people get off track is they're not sure on the things that I just mentioned, they're not sure of what they stand for. They don't back themselves enough, and therefore they're looking around in their industry and trying to emulate what they think is, you know, the right next move for their business.
[00:13:19] They're doing what that person over there is doing, or what that successful person over here is doing, and it doesn't come across as genuine. It doesn't come across as authentic, and it doesn't come across as unique.
[00:13:31] Now, you don't have to have the most unique idea. I'm not saying that, but you need to deliver it in your way. You need to deliver it in a way that makes you stand out, that makes your voice the one that penetrates all the noise that that person knows you are for them, because you're not just sounding like everybody else in the same industry.
[00:13:51] The other thing I wanna say is that when you are, , you know, really tapping into your unique voice and your unique message you become repeatable. So if you are constantly saying the same thing, come back to what I said a moment ago about my business and what I stood for that message, that core message hasn't changed.
[00:14:09] And when you stay consistent with your message, If you put the repetition in, what ends up happening is that your message is repeated in places that you don't even know at networking meetings, Hey, I see that you are looking for this. I follow this person online and they do this thing, and I think that it would be really great for you.
[00:14:27] You become very referable. You become very repeatable. So staying really consistent with what you stand for and what your business stands for delivered in a way that only you can, that's what's going to make you stand out, not the messages that are repeated or echoed online that you know are maybe just that little bit more surface level.
[00:14:49] So your reflection here is to think, is this my core message or am I just following the momentum of my industry? Do I like the way that someone else sounds? And I've started to adapt my messaging to just maybe be a little bit more hinged towards that person or. Am I rooted in my own purpose? Am I rooted in my own business strategy?
[00:15:11] Is this authentically me and can I convey this message for my prospects, my audience, the people who I wanna work for in a more meaningful way that really reflects the experience they're gonna get when they work with my brand?
[00:15:24] Okay. This is shaping up to be a cracking episode. I hope that you are paying attention. We are gonna move into the final two. Now, mistake number four that I see when it comes to mistakes made with marketing is that your marketing. Isn't aligned to your business goals.
[00:15:43] And then you're gonna say, okay, Kristy. It's a bit like point number one yes, in a way, of course. But I wanna go a little bit deeper here and more specific. Let's say you are wanting to work with professionals let's say, an advisory role, for instance, and you are. Following the advice that you know, social media marketing more specifically, you'll see in reels that create these fancy, uh, reels that have all these different transitions and they're really tricky.
[00:16:14] That may grow your Instagram account. To 10 K, 50 K, a hundred K, but A, it's filled with the wrong people. And B, even if all those people were aligned, you couldn't necessarily even serve that many people. So you gotta be really clear about what your goals are for your business, and then ensure that your marketing strategy is linked in with that goal.
[00:16:46] It's really important because it's so noisy out there, and there are a lot of people who will tell you, this is what you've gotta do to grow your business. You've gotta have all these fancy reels, or you've gotta do this LinkedIn strategy, or you've gotta do this thing over here. But the reality is, is they are all tactics and the things that they're putting down may not even apply to what you are looking to achieve inside your business.
[00:17:13] So if you are looking for epic growth, then you obviously want epic growth with your ideal client, and you wanna be where your ideal client is. And I'm gonna talk about that in a moment a little bit further. But you've gotta make sure that what you are doing in your business fits your marketing strategy.
[00:17:30] Another thing here is that let's say you have shifted gears and you are offering something different for a new niche, and that you are still marketing your business in the way that you always have. You are gonna fill up all those inquiries with. The wrong clients, and that's just a waste of your time and it's also a waste of their time as well.
[00:17:52] So you've gotta be really clear about your business goals, what you are looking to achieve with your marketing, and make sure that they are fully aligned.
[00:18:02] so your reflection point here is get curious. Go and have a look at what you've been doing in the marketing space, and ask yourself, does this marketing align with what I'm looking to achieve in my business? Do I have a runway into new launches? Am I talking about my offers? Am I talking about the transformation that I made, or is my content simply inspiring or making people feel good?
[00:18:34] And there is absolutely a place for that, don't get me wrong, but get really clear. If I was to jump into your marketing ecosystem and I didn't know anything about your business or about you, and I was your ideal client and I was reading what you were putting out there, would it relate?
[00:18:51] Would I understand what you're trying to achieve? Would it connect to what you are trying to achieve with your business? So get really curious around the marketing that you've done and just double check. Does it align with the goals that you have for your business? Okay, we are nearly there. Mistake number five is that you are not meeting your ideal client where they're at.
[00:19:17] Now again, you're probably gonna think it's a bit like the one before, but it's actually slightly different and a little bit more nuanced. So this can definitely be in the literal sense around. The platforms in which you are marketing your business. So let's say that you have always marketed your business on Instagram, but you have a very professional service and whilst you have a following, you're not necessarily getting a lot of leads from Instagram.
[00:19:42] That's a pretty big indicator that you are not in the right space. Let's say your marketing message and everything else is on point. That's a pretty big indicator that you are in the wrong place, that your ideal client is not going to that platform to have their problem solved or look for a solution to the challenge that they're currently experiencing.
[00:20:05] So it's really important that you are thinking about, you know, we're talking about top of funnel here. So when they're becoming aware of their problem and looking for solutions, you are in the place where they're looking to have their solution solved, where they're looking for answers. If you're just in the place that feels good and comfortable for you, but it's not yielding any results, then that's quite problematic when it comes to your marketing.
[00:20:30] So that's the first point when it comes to addressing or meeting your ideal client where they're at. The second thing I wanted to cover is that you're using a lot of. Internal language, you have this expectation that they have a baseline of knowledge. You need to understand without a doubt, where they're at, what they're thinking, what they're feeling, and what are they experiencing.
[00:20:50] And you need to have your marketing content come in at that level. Not trying to speak in, , technical terms or things that are very related to your industry, because chances are your client is not in your industry. Chances are your client, especially if you're a professional service or even if you're in a lifestyle brand, maybe they don't have that strong understanding of what it is that you have and therefore you are using examples or words or analogies or.
[00:21:20] Concepts that are, you know, a few steps ahead of them that they're not connecting with. So you really need to meet your ideal client with where they're at. And then tying in the few things that I've mentioned and peppered throughout this episode is that, it needs to be directed at this ideal client.
[00:21:38] I've mentioned on the podcast a while ago, I can't remember when, but when I was first getting into really speaking to my ideal client, I would think of one person. She was actually a friend who was in business and was experiencing the problems that I knew my ideal client had and that I specifically wanted to, uh, solve.
[00:21:57] And so I would always think about her and I would speak to her only, and what became really clear to me was how magnetic that was to all of my ideal clients. So if you are trying to be too generic and too surface level, I want you to really get into the head of who your ideal client is and speak directly to them.
[00:22:19] And don't get diluted by all of the fancy things out there. Again, all the stuff that I've been sharing today is that repetition, the repeat, the knowing your purpose, knowing who you serve, know who that ideal client is, speak to that person. Going deep and not broad with your marketing is what it's all about here.
[00:22:38] and once again, knowing that business strategy, having a very clear standing for what your business stands for, what you are looking to achieve, what you offer, what you help people with, all of the things.
[00:22:54] Boss, we have covered so much in today's conversation, and I've really enjoyed diving into this. I wanna just say one last thing when it comes to marketing, so many people think, I'm not a marketer. I'm not a marketer. If you are in business and you're marketing, you're a marketer. It's that simple. And if we hold ourselves back by saying, I'm not good at this.
[00:23:14] I'm not good at creating content, or I don't know what to put out there. Then you need to get good at it, right? Because this is the lifeblood of your business. This is how it's going to connect what you do, who you serve the transformations you can create with that person that you get to create that impact for.
[00:23:32] So you are a marketer. Let go of that narrative that you are not, and really use this conversation to go deep, to reflect, to think about your business are. In the right spaces. Are you doing the right initiatives? Are you clear on you know, what your goals are? And then attaching that to your marketing initiatives and all the incredible things that I shared with you in this conversation.
[00:23:54] Here's a recap of the common marketing mistakes that I see business owners make. Mistake number one is there's a marketing strategy but not a business strategy. Number two is manic marketing disappearing for long periods of time and then going hard and then disappearing and then going hard.
[00:24:15] Consistency is absolutely king. Mistake number three is, You look and sound like everybody else in your industry. You've gotta do the work. You've gotta figure out what it is that you stand for, and that circles back to your business strategy. Mistake number four is that your marketing initiatives are not in alignment with your business goals.
[00:24:36] Number five is that you are not meeting your ideal client where they're at, either the way that you are marketing to them or what you are saying. You gotta make sure that you are right there, partnering with them. in the right rooms, saying the right things. My hope for you with this conversation is that something piqued your interest, something stood out, and that you have maybe even covered a blind spot for you to address and investigate further.
[00:25:06] Please don't jump into fixing mode. That's, that's really not what this is about. I don't want you to hear this content and then all of a sudden go taking action. I want you to think, I want you to reflect and I want you to really look at this closely. Make sure that all those pieces of the puzzle are the right pieces to the puzzle, because even if you get a few ones wrong, it's really not gonna make that picture on the box.
[00:25:27] So spend time thinking and get your checks and balances in place before you take action. I hope this conversation's been helpful for you, and if it was, I wanna invite you to send this to a friend, send this to one business owner who you think could benefit from hearing this conversation. I want to help and impact as many business owners as I can, and the best way to do that is through this content.
[00:25:56] So I would love your support in this space. I'd love you to send this to one person who you think could benefit from this episode. Boss as always, thank you so much for joining me today, and I look forward to chatting with you next week. This episode was recorded on the land of Kilen Darbin. I pay tribute and respect to the turbo people who are the traditional owners and caretakers are the land in which this podcast is created.
Links and Resources
About your host, Kristy
Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.
I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum.
As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.
Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!