right_wrongLet me start by saying I believe marketing is simply communicating your marketing messages to the market place. You’ll either be writing or speaking. So it’s totally within your control to get your marketing messages right and avoid common marketing mistakes.

Simple right? Then why is it that so many business owners struggle with their marketing?

It comes down to understanding the process of communication. And problems arise because many business owners make these 3 fundamental marketing mistakes.

Mistake #1 – Not market ready

Confusion reigns over the difference between selling and marketing. The reason is all too often business owners do not have their marketing basics in place so that they can communicate effectively.

So they get into selling mode far too soon and try to sell to unqualified leads or worse, they try to sell to everyone. This means they focus on the medium such as social media, print, radio and the like and not on the message. So they head off in all different directions and say all the wrong things to mostly the wrong people.

Far better to work on the fundamentals to create a strategic marketing plan from solid foundations. That way the message stays on topic and on target which means you will make many more sales.

Mistake # 2 – “Me too” Branding

Branding is about positioning yourself in the market place with a brand that sets you apart from all the rest. If you have a bland brand not only will you not stand out but you could even drive your ideal clients away because they can’t differentiate you from other potential service providers.

Your brand should answer the question “why would someone do business with you over anybody else”. Your brand should portray who you are and what you are a stand for as well as the experience clients can expect when they work with you. Your brand should also appeal to your ideal client and speak to their specific problem. It’s the combination of all these things that will connect you with the clients most willing to sign up for your services and pay you well for the results you deliver.

This segues nicely into…

Mistake #3 – No marketable packages

Many service providers keep their services broad and generic in an attempt to serve everybody which means they remain a generalist. It also means prospective clients can’t clearly see exactly how you can help them. Understand, prospects are looking for certainty and a confused mind never buys.

The answer is to start with the specific problem you solve for a specific group of people and get known as the go-to-expert at that. And remember, if your prospective clients don’t have a problem then they don’t need you or your services.

Next you streamline all your services into programs and packages at different price points around delivering your solution. Give clients options and you’ll get more yes’s.

Avoid these 3 common marketing mistakes and your marketing communications will be more effective and you will start cutting through the noise out there.

You are probably familiar with the saying “When the going gets tough…the tough get going” but have you applied that to the challenges in your business?

Are you prepared to do what it takes to be successful in your own business?

When it’s your turn to get up to bat (and let’s face it, that’s everyday if you’re running a business) are you prepared to play full out?

I think I was born with a ‘never give up attitude’ and I’ve had plenty of experiences to test my metal. So call me weird but I actually enjoy the chance to create breakthroughs and do what it takes.

If you are going to start and stay in business you’ll need to learn while you earn and stay in the game.

When I discovered that my unique brilliance is to energise powerful outcomes I felt totally elated and on path. I simply can’t sit on the bench. I am up and shouting encouragement and coaching to help those who are playing one of the hardest games of all – business ownership!

My top three business success tips are

1. Start with the end in mind

If you don’t know where you are going, how can you even begin your journey? Actually, the answer is you can begin but you may not end up where you want to be. This is one of the biggest mistakes business owners make when they head off with high hopes and a huge drive to succeed but no crystal clear destination in mind. To use a sporting analogy they often get injured and retire hurt (sometimes very hurt) or waste huge amounts of time and money going down the wrong path and often can’t find their way back.

Plus without a destination in mind how will you recognise the milestones along the way as well as know when you have arrived!

2. Create your plan to get you there

Now that you know where you are going and what constitutes success in your business you will need to create a plan to get you there.

A solid plan will keep you on course and moving towards your goal as well as alert you when you fall short of your desired outcomes.

I recommend a short and succinctly written plan that you can keep in view and not buried in your filing cabinet. A couple of pages that you can glance at weekly to keep you focused is ideal.

Your business plan will incorporate your detailed marketing plan, along with implementation actions and a scheduled timetable. This will keep you from making it up as you go along so you avoid ad-hoc activities. Especially the ever present tempting distraction of bright shiny objects.

3. Assess, adjust and stay in the game

Once you are in action and implementing, your role as the business owner is to keep reviewing results to determine what’s working and what’s not. The old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ is worth remembering so you can detect and act on early warning signs.

This is simple when you have a plan and you test, track and measure your results. Once you have hard data you can decide whether to adjust, or ditch and replace any aspect of your plan to keep improving your results and move your business forward.

The only way to fail is to give up – so my advice is to stay in the game and do what it takes to be successful in your business. One breakthrough after another.