The #1 Marketing Mistake

Often when I’m coaching business owners about marketing issues, an interesting question comes up.

“Should I…? …You fill in the blank. “Should I…write a blog, send a postcard campaign, join the Chamber, sponsor an event, attend this networking meeting…” etc. etc.

My answer is predictable. “That depends…”

Because it really doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what your client or customer thinks.

So back to basics. Even if you’ve been in business for awhile, it’s important to regularly ask yourself these questions.

The important questions always are:

1. Who is my target market? Who is my ideal client?

2. What do they need and want that I can provide better than anyone else?

3. Where are they likely to hang out?

In my view, the #1 Marketing Mistake is to plow ahead with marketing tactics – when we aren’t clear about marketing basics. It takes strong roots to grow healthy fruits.

Here’s another series of questions that will help you get crystal clear on your marketing basics.

1. Who do you already enjoy working with so much, that you would practically work for free? (Of course they DO need to be able to actually pay you). But in any case these are your ideal clients.

2. Now, to figure out what they need that you can provide… put yourself inside the head of your ideal client and complete the following sentences from their point of view, with your products and services in mind:

What keeps me up at night is…
If I only knew more about…
The problem I keep having over and over with x that I wish someone would fix is…
I really need…

3. To figure out where to find them, (and thus where you should target your marketing efforts)… complete these sentences as if you were them…

I love hanging out at…
My favourite activities include…
My internet communities include…
The business networking functions I am likely to attend are…
My faith community is…
The charities and non-profits I care about are…
The professional associations I am involved with are…

…and so on.

If you complete the above exercises, you will be farther ahead than most of your competition.

Because the vast majority of business owners still make the #1 Marketing Mistake and charge ahead with the usual marketing tactics, without really considering the most pressing needs and concerns of the people they’re serving.

You can be different.

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