There are five critical mistakes I see businesses make all the time when they market themselves. So if you're not getting the level of results that you want from your marketing efforts, chances are pretty good that one of these five things is the reason why. 

I've been working with companies on their marketing for over 20 years, I've worked with everyone from individual coaches up to multinational corporations. And I've seen every single one of them make some version of the mistakes that I'm about to talk about. 

What are these five mistakes are and what you can do instead?

You need a niche

The first mistake that I see all the time is that the audience that these companies are trying to serve is too broad. Essentially, they're trying to sell to everybody. And that never works. 

What you need to do instead is focus on a very specific niche. You want to do that because effective marketing is all about making a connection and getting to a message that resonates with your ideal customer.

If you're talking to one person, it's very easy for you to adapt your message.  You can speak directly to that one person and say the exact things that are going to resonate with them. 

When you're talking to 100 people, you can't do that. What you have to do instead is find a lowest common denominator to talk to all of them. And that's exactly what happens in a lot of marketing. 

When you're talking to a very specific target audience, you can speak directly to them, and you can make a connection. When you're trying to speak to everybody, you have to water it down so much that what you're saying is meaningless. 

Think about who it is you're serving and go after that one specific, narrow niche and talk directly to them. 

The thing that a lot of people say when I tell them this “if I'm only going after this one narrow niche, then I'm losing all these potential sales.” No, you're not. Because what you're doing is marketing to that one specific, narrow niche. 

Think of it like playing a game of darts. The board is the market and your dart is your message. You're throwing darts at the dartboard trying to hit the bullseye, which is that ideal niche audience. 

But what happens when you do that?

Your dart lands all around the bullseye. So you'll still reach these other customers. You’re only proactively going after this one very specific niche. 

So that's the first mistake, you're going to broad. Niche down. 

Solve a compelling problem

The second problem that I see is that you're not solving a problem for your customers. 

People spend money on one thing and one thing only -- to get their problem solved.

If you aren't solving a compelling problem for your market, they have no reason to buy from you. So think about what problem you're solving for them. Is that problem compelling enough that your market wants to spend money to get it fixed? 

What's in it for me?

The third problem I see all the time is that you're not talking about benefits in your marketing. Instead, you're talking about features. To your market, all of your marketing sounds like: 

“Me, me, me, me, me. This is what I'm going to do. Buy my stuff.”

Nobody cares. 

What they care about is what you're going to do for them. And that's all about benefits. 

So, whenever you're talking about your product or service, don't tell them the specific stuff you're going to do. Tell them what's in it for them. Tell them what benefit are they going to get by getting your service or your product. 

That's what people care about. And that's what you need to talk about. 

Only after you've communicated these benefits, and people have decided they're interested, can you talk about the actual stuff or the features. 

Stop trying to sell cold audiences

The fourth thing that I see people do all the time is that they're not warming their audience up.

They're trying to sell cold. 

Their very first contact with a complete stranger is “Hey, you want to buy my stuff?”

No, they don't. 

You need to warm your audience up. Selling to cold traffic almost never works. So that's why funnels exist and that's why marketers use them -- especially when you're talking about a high ticket or a complicated product or service. 

You've got to warm them up. 

There’s research that shows that you need between 10 and 15 different touches before someone's ready to buy. And that's if you're selling face to face. If you're selling online, you need many more touches than that before someone is comfortable with you and is ready to buy. 

Stop trying to go in for the kill with one shot because it's not going to work. Instead, build a funnel that warms your prospects up and moves them into the purchase. 

Don't copy everyone else

The fifth mistake that I see a lot in marketing is that companies get lost in the crowd. What I mean by that is, in the modern world, everybody has competition. 

You and all of your competitors are trying to go after the same prospects. And you're largely saying the same things in the same way in the same places. So it becomes this big, giant sea of sameness. 

What you want to do instead is find ways to reach your audience that are different than what everybody else is doing. 

If you're trying to get into a big concert venue and there's a huge crowd, Will you try to push through the front doors with everyone else, or will you go around to the side door on the alley?

That's what you want to do with your audience. Find ways to reach your audience that your competition isn’t using. 

An example of that with Facebook ads would be avoiding the obvious targeting that everyone else in your industry is using. Instead, find things that your target market is also interested in and use that as your targeting. 

Don’t advertise in the same places in the same way as everybody else. Find a different context where you get the audience to yourself. 

There you have it. Those are the five mistakes that I see marketers make over and over and over again. If you want help finding and fixing any mistakes you’re making in your marketing, click below to schedule a strategy session with us.

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