I am constantly amazed at how many coaches, consultants and “gurus” throw out cookie cutter marketing advice without taking the time to understand the target audience, unique selling proposition, budget and goals of the business owner they are “advising.”
Often times this advice comes in the form of mythical do’s and don’ts that may or may not be true for your unique business.
As a business owner, it is incredibly important for you to understand why you are different and better than the competition, as well as how to convey this message to your chosen audience.
In order to help you leverage your time and maximize your results, I am going to debunk some common marketing myths that may be sabotaging your success.
Myth #1: There’s a one size fits all, perfect platform.
Just because the dispensary next door or the lawyer across town is having success with one certain strategy or channel doesn’t mean that this one “magic marketing pill” will work for your business.
While it’s tempting to copy the tactics of the successful businesses around, you are ignoring the greater strategy, values and strengths that are unique to you when this happens.
Additionally, you don’t want to rely on one specific way to market your business. Any combination of channels and outreach can work if you understand the right strategies that go into them. The way you create value, the way you connect with your audience, the way you communicate your unique selling proposition, etc; these are all important considerations that are unique to your business and should not be overlooked when you are strategizing.
Myth #2: It worked for them so it will work for me.
There is a big difference between inspiration and laziness. Inspiration should help you decide how to reach your audience and inspire you to try different channels.
Unfortunately, laziness will only lead you to blindly copy what your competition is doing without considering WHY they are doing what they are doing and WHY they have chosen a particular channel or strategy.
Yes, you should consider a channel, such as Leafly, for your advertising efforts if you know that your competition is crushing it with their platform. But you shouldn’t throw all of your advertising dollars into that basket until you’ve taken the time to understand WHY it is a good option.
Don’t just assume that if a particular channel or strategy worked for other businesses it will work for you.
Myth # 3: You can do it all and should be everywhere.
There is a common misconception that business owners need to have their advertising messages everywhere and in front of every possible customer to maximize their reach.
Not only will this cause you to lose your mind and burnout quickly, but it will also prevent you from scaling your business.
Think about it…
…If you are spending all of your time trying to get content written for industry publications, your blog and your myriad of social networks, you will never be able to scale the business. Likewise, if you are spending all of your money to be in every publication, have a billboard in every part of town or participate at every event you will blow the budget.
Choose your channel and outreach wisely, and start small. Begin with your blog, email list and one crucial ad or event per year, as these are probably the most important and least expensive options. Then, add a podcast and/or a billboard. Then, add a video or another social platform. Get really good at each channel before you move on.
Remember, your content and outreach will suffer if you’re stretching yourself to the point of failure. You always need to allow time to track your ROI and lead/customer generation from each channel and strategy before you move on.
Where are you seeing the results? How can you know where the results are coming from if you’re spending all of your time stressing to get the next thing out the door? What if one channel is bringing 90% of your customers and you don’t even know it?
Be strategic, be deliberate, know why you are and why you are not doing specific things.
Avoiding shiny object syndrome is key.
Myth #4: The ship sailed on XYZ marketing strategy or channel.
The fear of being lost in the marketing crowd can and will prevent you from bringing your unique product or service to the market.
Truth bomb: If you know where your audience hangs out, how to speak to them, your strengths and WHY you do what you do, then you won’t get lost in the crowd.
Just because a certain channel or strategy didn’t work for your competitor, homeboy, adviser or family member, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.
Do some homework and figure out how you can stand apart from the competition.
And as always, tell the naysayers to beat it.
Once you get really good at one channel, you can move on to building a massively integrated strategy. Baby steps are great!
There is a place for you in the market IF you take the time to strategize.
Myth #5: You’ve got to get everything figured out before you get started.
Ahh the age-old struggle of analysis paralysis. We’ve all been there!
Trust me you’ll probably never say to yourself, “Man I wish I just waited a little longer to get my product/service into the market.”
As my mentor Seth Godin likes to say, “Your idea is worthless without shipping.”
What he means is this:
There is no such thing as perfection. Get your product, service or idea out the door via your chosen channel(s) before someone else comes along and does it for you.
It’s ok for your first blog post, article, podcast episode, video tutorial etc. to be subpar.
All of the greatest business people in the world started somewhere. Start now! There is no magical shortcut. This ain’t Candyland.
Allow yourself to explore and enjoy the journey and enjoy the mastery of your work.
Fearlessness = success.
You’ve got this.