Struggling to get your business off the ground? Can’t for the life of you get your marketing department to get the ball moving and get the money rolling in?
You’re not alone.
Here are the top 13 reasons your marketing isn’t working, collected from my clients’ storied experiences in building their businesses…
1. You don’t have an annual strategy.
Without an annual strategy to guide you, you’re just taking wild stabs in the dark. Didn’t write one back in November so 2016 could get off on the right foot? Write one now.
Include every major milestone—the big rocks—that anchor your business’s success. If you’re just starting out, take a look at what other successful businesses that are similar to your model have done.
This is not the time to get creative. This is the time to focus on what works.
We can tweak as we go, but trying to reinvent the wheel as you drive the bus is how you get the good eggs to crack and jump off.
2. Your targeting is a disaster.
If you’re not going after getting more of your best customers, you are wasting your money. Might as well flush it down the drain with a sticky note attached, “Advertising, bye money!”
You can read more about targeting that works here.
3. Writing copy sucks you dry.
If you’re just starting out, you’re likely trying to write your copy on your own…and it’s sucking you dry.
And I hate to say it, but you’re likely failing. Miserably.
Many business owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs can see this from the get-go, so they hire a copywriter to make their vision come alive.
But without a strategic vision and the right target market, this copy is not going to sell, no matter its prophecy or poetry.
And that is copy that just sucks your bank account dry.
4. You change your mind too much.
One of the least favorite stories I have to tell is of the CEO who could not make up his mind. He had a team of absolute rock star employees, ready and willing to help him helm this company to greatness.
The potential was massive. Multi-nine-figure massive.
Unfortunately, when you have a million great ideas, you can’t act them out all at once. Changing direction over and over not only kills results, if you do get results, you won’t know how they occurred.
Without a duplicable success model, success starts to ebb away.
And the rock stars who had your back get burned out.
5. Marketing is not top priority in your business.
Ask a successful, entrepreneurial CEO which department is the most important in her business, and she will undoubtedly tell you it’s marketing.
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Screw up marketing, and you screw up your lead gen, your brand, and your company.
Marketing is not about making pretty things. Marketing is about making money.
6. There are no blocks on your calendar for marketing.
Fail to make time for marketing, fail to make money. It’s pretty simple.
Read more about blocking time here.
7. You’re better at your business than you are at marketing.
This is not a surprise. We all have our talents…and maybe yours is in real estate, or designing shoes, or running a consulting firm, or doing interior design, or investing.
There’s a saying…”Jack of all trades, master of none.”
Now, I am a firm believer that every business owner, CEO and entrepreneur should develop a basic understanding of every aspect of the business. You never want to be in a position to have the wool pulled over your eyes.
That said, stick your fingers too far into the pie before you know the recipe or the technique, and you’ll have an angry baker and an ugly pie.
8. There’s a master procrastinator holding you hostage.
More often than not, the master procrastinator is looking you right in the mirror.
That said, sometimes it’s an employee or contractor who needs a nudge of one degree or another.
Stop letting those doubts, fears and naysayers hold you back. And if it’s you, take a hard look at why you’re paralyzed on the action front.
More often than not, it’s because you’re not sure which path to take. There are a million and one options staring you in the face, with the growing info-marketing and social media fields over the past few years.
It’s time to get an expert to get you on the right path—because there is nothing more deadly than no action—followed by, only one step back, taking too many actions.
9. You over-delegate.
Marketing is not just how you get new clients…it’s tied into how you hold onto your clients, how your brand appears to the world, and really, how you appear to the world.
When you let go of the reigns completely, you are running a major risk.
10. Measuring a campaign’s success hasn’t really happened. Ever.
What are the metrics for your last campaign? And the campaign before that?
Where did you find your best clients? How long was it from first contact to close?
If you can’t answer these basic questions, you are living in the no-man’s-land of bad marketing.
It’s impossible to create more successes when you don’t even know what worked in the first place.
11. Sales and marketing are not integrated.
When you spend all this time and money on cultivating qualified, hot leads for sales to plant and grow into full-fledged clients, you can bet your gumdrop buttons that marketing should not be handing off their baby leads without so much as a second glance.
Marketing and sales need to be fully integrated. That means no surprise marketing campaigns with promises the sales team doesn’t know about (or worse, can’t deliver on). It means sales is actively reporting back on how campaigns are working, and their close rates.
You know…good business practices.
12. You’re not differentiating yourself from the competition.
You have ten seconds to tell me why I should go with you over the competition.
Don’t have your elevator pitch down to a T? Don’t know what your unique selling propositions are?
If you can’t clearly articulate what makes you different, how could your prospects?
13. The 80/20 rule is dying inside your business.
If you are not embracing the Pareto principle wholeheartedly with your business practices, I guarantee you are flushing money-hours down the drain, and pushing away prospective wins.
The 80/20 principle states that 80% of your efforts result in 20% of your successes, and therefore, the top 20% of your efforts result in 80% of your successes.
So finding what works best and amplifying those practices in your business brings that top 20% into higher and higher levels of success—and means you are more fresh for your work, rather than being dragged down into things that are not the highest and best use of your time.
It’s time to cut out these 13 business-killing marketing missteps.