Every day on The Girls Mean Business Facebook page I see the same mistakes coming up time and time again.
The thing is, with everything else we need to do to keep our business running, marketing is often a last minute, hurried affair in the same way that when we’re busy we grab any old food to keep us going, regardless of how unhealthy it is.
Last minute marketing isn’t necessarily all bad but as a long term marketing strategy, it’s not ideal!
In the spirit of helping you to make every minute you can spend on marketing count, here are some of the top mistakes I see women business owners making every day.
The great news is that they are all easily and quickly solved – you just need to put on your big girl knickers and make the changes.
Trying to market to everyone
This is the number one mistake I see business owners making every single day and yet, if you get this right, the rest of your marketing becomes easier, quicker and more effective.
What am I talking about? Trying to attract anyone and everyone – because any customer is better than no customers, right? Well not really. The thing is, you can’t marketing to everyone.
You are a busy business owner and you have limited time, money and energy to spend on marketing so you may as well market to the people you’d really like to attract – your ideal customers. What makes them ideal for you? You tell me! What sort of customers are a perfect fit for you? Here are some thoughts to get you started:
- They love you and love your products/services
- They pay promptly and never quibble about price
- They are easy to find and easy to market to
- They keep coming back and tell all their friends
Once you know who they are, where they hang out and how you can help them, ONLY market to them.
You’ll still attract other people and you don’t have to say ‘no’ to anyone – this isn’t about turning away business, this is about clever marketing and using your scarce resources to attract people who you love to work with and who are most likely to buy.
Doing too much, badly
Another mistake I see women business owners making all the time is trying to do too much. Whether it’s trying to be on EVERY social media platform, attend every networking event in your area, running 5 businesses because you’re hoping one will strike it lucky – these are all symptoms of trying to do too much.
The trouble is that the more you try to focus on, the more you have to spread your energy and your attention.
The more you spread your energy and attention, the less time you have to do anything, the more mistakes you make and the less you end up achieving. Resist the temptation to do everything – pick one or two things, whether it’s one or two social media platforms, one or two networking events, one or two business ventures and DO THEM WELL.
Stop hedging your bets, success comes to those with the sharpest focus.
Focusing on the competition
Hands up if you’ve ever spent an hour or two in abject misery and worry, heart racing, feeling indignant and frustrated because you’ve been checking out the competition? And let’s be honest, it’s probably more than an hour or two, isn’t it?
It’s oh so tempting to keep looking at what everyone else is doing – are they copying you? Are they introducing new products or services? How is their marketing looking? Are they doing better than you? Who’s liking and commenting on their Facebook page.
Now let’s think about something. When you’re sitting there focusing on their business, who’s taking care of YOUR business? Nobody. Instead of putting all that energy and time into watching what someone else is doing, focus instead on YOUR business and making it even better.
Never mind what they are up to – think about how you can improve your marketing, build relationships with your customers, build your database, sell more stuff. What your competitors are doing is, frankly, nothing to do with you.
Put your precious energy into identifying and marketing to your ideal customers and they will come, and they will tell their friends.
It might take a month or two but it will work, I promise, if you keep your focus and keep your faith.
Expecting Immediate Results
I’m an eternal optimist and of course I know that some people can launch a product or service into the market and it will become an immediate hit. In reality though, this is a fairly rare occurrence. For the rest of us, consistent, persistent marketing is the only way to get results. What do I mean?
Well, you have to remember that the world hasn’t heard of you yet. Your friends and family might know that you’ve been in business for ages, they know exactly what you do but how about your ideal customers out there in the market? It takes time to get known.
Even when you know your ideal customer and market to attract your ideal customer, yes even then – it’s not an instant fix. People are busy, there’s a lot of ‘noise’ out there and you have to shout to be heard. Marketing to your ideal customer means that you stand a better chance than most of attracting fantastic people but you still need to drip feed your marketing, consistently, a few times a week, putting your marketing messages where your ideal customers will see them.
You also have to expect that it will take 3-6 months for your marketing to properly gain traction, EVEN when you’re marketing to your ideal customer and marketing consistently and persistently. Even then.
The great news is that most people give up way before then. But you won’t will you?
You’ll stick at it and in a few months you’ll really start to feel the benefit and all that hard work will have been worth it. If you stick at it.
Listening to Mind Monkeys
Do you have little voices in your head that put you off trying new things or tell you off when you’ve made a mistake? Don’t worry, it’s just your mind monkeys. We all have them and the great news is that they are wrong.
The biggest mistake most women business owners make with mind monkeys is to listen to them. Mind monkeys appear when you’re about to step out of your comfort zone. They will tell you that you’re going to make a fool of yourself, that no-one will listen to you, that no-one will pay those prices, that you’re not a proper business woman or my particular favourite, along side all of the above, you’re a bad mum. I get them too, particularly the bad mother ones. Luckily I know how to deal with them.
In all of these examples I’m delighted to tell you that your mind monkeys are talking absolute rubbish, in fact they are total liars. You see, they are basing their opinions on the past. On things that might have happened to you at school. On things your parents might have inadvertently said to you as you were growing up. On things you’ve read, watched or listened to. And all of these things have formed into ‘beliefs’ in your mind. And the mind monkeys will choose their moment and chuck these beliefs at you, ready to stop you making mistakes or humiliating yourself.
The thing is that you can listen to them. Of course you can. And those old beliefs that don’t really serve you will just continue to rule your life.
Or you can decide to say ‘buzz off mind monkeys’. You can decide to ignore them and do that scary thing, step out of your comfort zone, take that leap of faith. Because without doing that you’ll never grow as a person and your business won’t reach its potential.
And just you see what happens (it’s never as scary as you imagined and when you’ve done it you’ll feel SO good!)
So, gorgeous girl, I want to leave you with this thought. You’re already awesome because you run a business and most people aren’t brave enough to do that. If you now choose to avoid these 5 big mistakes, you will be armed with knowledge that most other business owners don’t have.
What are YOU going to choose? I’d love you to leave a comment below if this resonated with you 🙂
Love, Claire x
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.