We all know that sales keep you in business, but marketing is what keeps you in sales in the first place.
Rarely do I hear an entrepreneur tell me, “Oh, I love working on my marketing stuff!”, yet having good marketing can be the difference between getting a client or not, losing a client to a competitor or keeping your client, standing out in the marketplace or blending within your competitors.
As a Business Strategist, part of my role is to work with entrepreneurs on their marketing strategies. So this month, I wanted to share with you some of the most common mistakes I notice when working with entrepreneurs at all levels.
In this article, I will focus on marketing collateral such as your website, your brochure, your newsletter, the letters you send out, basically everything that you put out there to be seen by clients, potential clients, and centers of influence.
No 1: Prolixity – too long and wordy
There’s no need to share everything you’ve learned – in the words you’ve learned them – in your marketing.
Your expertise is your passion, not your clients’ – they have their own lives, their own passions, and their own professions.
Your text should be short and simple to understand. Use short paragraphs (2-3 sentences), use words you would use when talking to real people. If you want people to understand you, use words they can understand.
The key here is to write as you would talk to a real client. When you write, imagine a specific client in front of you and write the same way you would explain the topic to them.
No 2: You, you, you
We have… we offer… my 30 years of experience… Most marketing is focused on the entrepreneur, not the client. Yes, they want to know about you, but that’s secondary. The first thing they want to know is: What’s in it for them? Why should they care? Why should they read this (whatever “this” is)?
The key here is to write in a way that is compelling and connects with your readers. Use the words “you”, “together”, and when possible, use their own name (in your newsletter, for example). Your marketing should talk “to” them not “at” them.
No 3: Benefits, not features
This is probably the most common mistake I see. Let me get to the point here: people buy benefits, not features.
When you plan a trip, do you want to see pictures of the plane you’ll be on? Probably not. You want to see pictures of the beach, the hotel, the architecture.
Your marketing needs to focus on the destination, the outcome you offer, not the “how.”
This doesn’t mean that the “how” shouldn’t be in your marketing at all – what I’m saying is that it shouldn’t be the first element.
The key point is to paint a clear picture as to what is the ultimate benefit of working with you. How will you improve their life? Help your readers make a vivid picture in their head and make them feel that doing business with you will positively impact their lives.
Another key point, people always buy on emotions (how you/your services make them feel) and then reinforce and conclude their decision rationally. You want to start your marketing by making them feel something and back it up with rational facts – not the reverse.
Marketing is not a “nice-to-have” tool in your business – on the contrary, in this competitive marketplace it’s a “must have.” People have the luxury of browsing the internet to learn more about you and your services (as well as your competitors). Make sure you give them a compelling picture of why they should choose you over the competition.
Here’s my suggestion: over the next couple of days, read all your marketing collateral (website, brochure, newsletter, etc.), see if you are making any of these 3 mistakes and fix them right away. If you want to stay in business for the long run, make sure you get your marketing right.
Need help with aligning your marketing strategy with your business vision? Let me help you! Click here to schedule a discovery call with me and see how I can help you reach your goals faster!
Now I’d love to hear from you, let me know: Which of these marketing mistakes do you make and how will you change it to make your marketing an efficient business strategy?
Share your comments with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your success!
PS:. I’d really appreciate your feedback, did you find this useful? Is there a specific topic you’d like me to address? Send me an e-mail to let me know!