There are expensive marketing mistakes small businesses make that are not allowing them to generate high converting leads and profitable sales. Below are 5 expensive, business-killing marketing mistakes you want to avoid like the plague. You simply can’t afford to do this. If you’re guilty of one or more of these mistakes, don’t despair. Just get to work making your marketing more effective. Fixing even one of these 5 mistakes is sure to catapult your results and help you generate more leads and sales.
1. Branding-only promotions
While branding is important, if you’re creating ads and promotions that primarily include only your name and/or business name, phone number, logo, headshot, and web address, with creating an irresistible offer, then you’re leaving money on the table. Every promotion you do should give people a good reason to want to know more and an incentive to do it. So, make them an offer they can’t refuse and provide plenty of reasons to take advantage of it right now (think deadlines, special bonuses, limited quantity, etc.) Then track results.
2. Assuming your prospects, clients or customers won’t do something
Always include a Call To Action – CTA at the end of your promotions such as Attend a seminar, read a long sales page, listen to audio, take action, buy this. Typically, people make these assumptions based on what they like, or will, or won’t do. Since everyone has a different learning style (some people learn by reading, others by listening, or watching, or doing) and living style, it’s dangerous to assume everyone in your market is the same. Instead of not using certain formats, you should use all possible formats to appeal to the most people possible. Or at the very least test one against the other until you find the best option.
3. Offering a free consultation as your primary lead generation tactic
When somebody offers you a free consultation what do you think first? If you’re like most people, you immediately think “sales pitch”. And who wants to volunteer to spend their time listening to a sales pitch–especially for something they’re not even sure they want. Instead, offer something of value. Something they’re going to want. Even if that just means renaming or reframing your original offer to make it juicy and benefits-laden.
4. Not telling people what to do next
Every piece of marketing or advertising you do should have a compelling offer combined with a clear call to action (Do A to get B). In other words, once you come up with something of value to offer them, you need to convince them of why they would want it, then tell them exactly what to do to get it.
5. Expecting people to guess or search
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to buy something, or order something, or sign up for something, but didn’t because I couldn’t figure out how or where. Everyone is so busy you can’t expect anyone to spend time figuring out how to take the next step. So, make sure your contact info is on everything you do. And more importantly, even if you have your contact info on there somewhere, make sure you include it again right there with your call to action. And make it big and bold. This holds whether it’s a brochure, ad, postcard, or whatever. On a website make sure your Buy Now button is big and obvious. And if you’re going to promote something, send people directly to that webpage and not your home page or a products or services sales page. Otherwise, you force them to search for what they were interested in, and you may lose them in the process.
Lastly, let your marketing message be interesting and friendly. Avoid being boring with your marketing. Corporate tone may finally be dying a slow death, but it may be alive and useful in some small business marketing materials. Make sure you pass the message in a language your audience can understand. Even if you sell to businesses, you’re still always selling to another person. So don’t feel like you have to stick with a dry, formal, academic tone of voice to be taken seriously. Remember, people buy from people they know, like, and trust.