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Since I recently re-opened my coaching practice, I’ve been on the phone with a lot of small business owners who want to take their sales and marketing to the next level. What I’ve come to notice during these calls is that most people are making the same common marketing mistakes.

To be frank, it’s not entirely their faults. Most of these people didn’t have a marketing background and there’s a lot of conflicting information online. This has naturally led to a lot of confusion for many of my coaching prospects. The good news is at least they are trying and can learn from these common marketing mistakes.

Here are the most common marketing mistakes I see all the time and how to fix them.

Thinking about “me” instead of “they.”

One of the most common marketing mistakes I see regularly is when business owners haven’t made the shift from “me” to “they.”

Here’s what I mean by this. Many small business owners start their businesses either because they are passionate about something or because they had a specific problem and found a solution that worked for them.

Your own personal experience as a business owner is great and it will definitely help you with public relations and branding, but it’s not what actually gets you paid. Instead, you need to focus on providing products and services for your audience.

That means you need to stop thinking about what you want and what you want to promote and instead start asking your audience about what they need.

Getting crystal clear about what your audience needs will help you with everything from product development and sales to website design and marketing copy.

I’d also like to add that in order to avoid making common marketing mistakes in the future, that you should get in the habit of constantly speaking with your audience. The last thing you want to do is lose touch with your audience. In my opinion, this is where businesses start to go downhill.

Going after the wrong market.

Another one of the common marketing mistakes I see is when business owners insist on going after the wrong market.

For example, they say they want to sell packages worth of thousands of dollars but they keep going after clients that don’t have that kind of budget.

Or they’ve created something that would work with one type of market but insist on trying to sell it to another.

At some point, business owners will have to align their intentions and marketing with the correct marketing. Otherwise, they’re going to keep spinning their wheels and losing money.

Spending money on the wrong things.

Marketing takes money, therefore, it’s in your best interest to spend it on the right things. Unfortunately, one of the more common marketing mistakes is when business owners spend money on things they aren’t ready for yet. Or, they spend money without knowing how to measure the ROI.

Here’s an example of spending money unnecessarily when you’re starting a business. If you don’t understand how a sales funnel works or what it looks like but you’re willing to spend $5,000 on website design, then you don’t have your priorities straight.

Instead, spend those $5,000 on coaches and classes that can teach you how do use a website for sales and marketing. That way, when you’re ready to hire a web designer you know how to direct them. Otherwise, you’ll waste your money on website design that doesn’t convert.

Not spending any money at all.

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if there’s a way to make money without investing any money, I’d be a millionaire by now.

In full transparency, trying not to spend any money on my business was one of the biggest marketing mistakes I made as well. I’d try and hack everything together with free tools because I was being cheap. Or, I’d try to learn everything from blog posts instead of hiring a coach. I’m utterly convinced I would be much further along if I had invested money earlier in my business.

It can be scary to invest money, but as I’ve come to learn, you need to do it. There’s no way around this. I’ve also come to notice that investing money isn’t the problem. As I’ve mentioned already, the real problem is investing in the wrong things.

Not using data to drive marketing decisions.

We live in a world where you can get an insane amount of data to help you run a better business.

You can use Facebook pixels to track people who come to your site and send ads to them. You can see what people are clicking on in your marketing emails. You can see when people leave a webinar. You can even find audiences of similar Facebook pages to yours and then use that information to create better ads.

With this wealth of marketing information at our fingertips, business owners really have no excuse for not using data to drive their marketing decisions.

In fact, out of all the common marketing mistakes I see people making all the time, I’d say this is the worst simply because if you have this information then it can help improve every aspect of your business. This one task would also help you avoid all the common marketing mistakes mentioned in this article.

Only trying to promote their own things on social media.

We all have that friend who only promotes their own products on Facebook. While there’s nothing wrong with self-promotion, there’s a proper way to do it. Trying to shove your product or service down someone’s throat without first providing value is not the right way.

You can avoid this common marketing mistake in a variety of ways including sharing other people’s stuff, sharing articles that help people solve their problems and sharing different kinds of media.

Adding people to an email list when they didn’t give you permission.

This is one of those common marketing mistakes that irritates me to no end. According to the law, people need to willingly opt-in to your email list in order for you to send marketing emails to them.

This means you can’t add people without their knowledge and you can’t upload all of your LinkedIn contacts to your email marketing software without their permission.

By the way, the same goes for shamelessly adding people to Facebook groups. Ask for permission before you add.

Instead, focus on providing value through freebies, run Facebook ads or publish blogs where people can willingly opt into your list or join your Facebook group.

Final Thoughts

While these marketing mistakes are common, they can be avoided. If you’ve made any of these mistakes in your business you can correct them moving forward. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the concept of marketing, then find a coach or mentor to help you put the pieces together.





Amanda Abella is a full-time writer who specializes in online business and finance. She's also an online business coach and the Amazon best-selling author of Make Money Your Honey.

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