A lot of business of owners “hate” marketing, but if you want customers / clients who are not your mom – it's pretty much required. While marketing isn't exactly rocket science, it's more than just pretty pictures and strategically placed fonts – it's how you communicate your value and build relationships with potential buyers. There's not a single “right” way to go about your marketing, but there are a few things you should definitely avoid!
5 REASONS YOUR MARKETING ISN'T WORKING
1) You don't have a target audience
Marketing to “anyone with money” is not a thing. I've shared my thoughts on defining your target audience before, but I promise you – having a target audience will help you tremendously when it comes to your branding, your marketing strategy, your copy, and the products / services you offer. If you're trying to appeal to everyone, you're probably appealing to no one – so the more specific you can be in terms of who your product/service is for, the better!
Marketing without a target audience is really just putting stuff out into the world and hoping someone will buy it. I'm pretty sure that NO ONE would agree that's the best marketing strategy – or is that even a strategy at all???
FIX THIS: Define your target audience. Figure out what makes them tick. Figure out where they hang out online – What social media platforms are they active on? What communities do they belong to? What blogs do they read? What problems do they have? If you're just getting started, there's a handy worksheet to help you define your target audience linked in this post!
2) You don't have a strategic plan
You can spend hours and hours on “marketing” but if you don't have a strategic plan, you could be wasting a ton of precious time! You can't just post whatever you feel like on social media or spend hours taking pretty flatlays or writing blog posts or creating free downloads without a goal in mind. Your marketing actions should always have a purpose, and you should be leading your customers down an intentional path.
FIX THIS: Think about your client / customer journey – for example, most of my clients find me on social media. Either they come across my Instagram and click through to an opt-in form or they come across a pin that leads to one of my blog posts. From there, most people read a blog post or two and then may opt-in to my email list via a content upgrade or some other free offer. Once people are on my email list, they get a series of emails (depending on how they opted in) and eventually get pitched my paid products / services.
I find it easier to work backwards from your end goal (whatever you are selling) and reverse engineer your content paths. Mapping out a strategic plan will not only help you figure out what content you need to create and share, but it will also keep you on track to actually accomplish your goals.
3) You plan but don't take action
What's worse than not having a strategic plan? Actually taking time to make a plan and then not taking action. You can research and strategize and plan for months, but if you don't take action – you fail before you even get started. It's easy to get caught up in doing everything “just right” – trust me, as a recovering perfectionist (and former financial planner), I've spent wayyyyy too much time on “perfecting” plans – but in reality there's no such thing as a perfect plan.
FACT: Some things will not go as planned. FACT: You need to learn to adapt. FACT: It will all be ok.
FIX THIS: Set aside time each week specifically for marketing activities. Put it on your calendar. Find an accountability buddy. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you're dedicating time to taking ACTION rather than just making to-do lists. If taking action is holding you back, I recommend setting specific goals to help move the needle forward – for example, instead of putting “do guest blog posts” on your to-do list, set a goal to pitch 5 different websites with specific guest blog post ideas. Instead of scrolling through Instagram and liking pretty photos, set a goal to connect with 10 potential clients and actively engage with their content leaving meaningful (not spammy!) comments.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Marketing isn't something you can do for a hot minute until you get busy + forget about it…” quote=”Marketing isn't something you can do for a hot minute until you get busy + forget about it…”]
4) You aren't consistent
For 99.9999% of people, success doesn't happen overnight. If you're not showing up consistently to connect with your audience, to build brand awareness, and to promote your products / services – then you're doing yourself and your business a disservice. Consistency breeds credibility. Marketing isn't something that you can do for a hot minute until you get busy and forget about it. Only a fraction of your audience is seeing your social media posts or reading your blog posts or opening your emails – so if you're not being consistent, you're not maximizing your reach.
FIX THIS: Scheduling + automation are your BFFs. When it comes to social media marketing, I definitely recommend scheduling your posts in advance. Create an editorial calendar for your blog/vlog/etc. and post as frequently as you can be consistent – quality above quantity, always. Here's a helpful post to help you plan out your blog content! You should also have a regular schedule for email marketing and if possible, using automation can help save a ton of time and ensure that you're communicating consistently (here are a few ways I use email automation)!
5) You aren't paying attention to your analytics
If you “know” me at all, you should have seen this one coming (I'm an analytics NERD) – the only way to really know if you marketing is “working” is to track your results.
FIX THIS: Use the available tools to track your marketing activities – each social media platform or scheduler has it's own analytics, you should set up google analytics for your website / blog, and your email marketing service probably has it's own built in analytics as well. And for your analytics to be relevant, you need to establish specific goals – so for example, if one of your goals is to use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your website, then you should be tracking your referral traffic from Pinterest and identifying which pins / boards / etc. are driving the most traffic to your website so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn't.
As always a very helpful & practical blog. Thanks Elle x
Love your blog theme!! These tips are awesome and I’m going to pin them now :D Thanks!
Great advice! Personally, consistency has been a struggle, but it’s something I’m getting *consistently* better at. Changes to my personal schedule have played a big part in that, but I’m trying to form habits now that I can carry with me down the line.
I’m slowly going through each step, but it takes time :) – I stopped reading posts after posts because I wasn’t ‘doing’ – I wasn’t taking action. Thanks for the road map.
Awesome advice, Elle! I really need to start paying more attention to my analytics…I do a bit now, but I don’t go in depth. Thanks for sharing!
Beauty With Lily
Great post as always Elle, thank you!
Love this! As a professional marketer, this is what I do every.dang.day of my life. So much of marketing is about consistency! Great tips.
oh my gosh YES! This was such a good post I’ve signed up to get those printables and I’m going stop working on the laptop later and take some time to actually plan what I’m doing with my social media.
I have a Pinterest strategy but not for other social media channels, so I need to fix that.
Thank you for the worksheets!