• Jan Southern, DPA

3 Small Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Updated: Apr 18

None of us, working so hard to build our businesses, want to hear that we may have been wasting valuable time and resources. I get it. There are hundreds of articles and bits of advice out there. I know you don’t have time to read it all. So, here are my top 3 simple mistakes to avoid.

1. Focusing on marketing tactics before having a solid brand and brand strategy.

Sure. Your target audience may know who you are, and some buy from you. You may boost posts and share on social media with some success. But are you really maximizing your limited resources and your valuable time?

  • Do you know the key attributes that have you standing out from the crowd?

  • Are you attracting the right customers – those who will become loyal and tell all their friends about you?

It is so important to spend a little time (ideally a great deal of time) honing your brand. I’ll give you a hint – this is not about your logo. Your brand consists of many different elements – from the color of your logo to the way a customer feels when they leave your shop. Your brand should permeate everything you do.

  • Who are you to your customers?

  • How do they feel when they experience your brand?

Is your brand identity woven throughout the entire customer experience – from the moment they walk in the door to how employees speak to them and how you are represented online, etc.

I always tell my advertisers, don’t spend a dime on advertising until we answer these questions. Those that take this advice realize significantly greater success when they do advertise.

2. Not having a marketing plan.

Again, I always emphasize that a little planning goes a long way. At the very least, spend some time writing down your goals for this year. What do you want to achieve? Then decide how you are going to work toward those goals and how much you will spend on marketing, week after week, month after month.

3. Using your 21-year-old niece to do your social media because she is young and MUST know how to promote on social media. It is definitely a step in the right direction to assume that generations that grew up with social media may be more comfortable using Instagram and Snapchat. However, good social media strategy is a bit more scientific and requires planning and insight to really be effective. Sure, you can have an intern or assistant post to your social media but do so after you have consulted with an expert and those who respect it for the marketing value that it can truly bring to a brand. And of course, only after building social media into your marketing plan (see mistake #2).

There are many more mistakes related to marketing that can plague a small business, but don’t be discouraged. There are endless possibilities and we live in an age where we can experiment with marketing tactics without huge investments. It simply requires some expertise and some time and effort up front to avoid unnecessary expenditures along the way.

I want you to be excited! Running a small business is one of the greatest gifts, in my opinion. You get to determine your success! We get to live each day doing what we love. I hope you share my enthusiasm. I am certainly doing what I love – helping small businesses grow and thrive. I will see you along our road to success. Please wave as you go by. Want more? Subscribe for timely insights and useful tips....

J. DelSUR Marketing Group is a marketing and strategy partner helping our clients reach their goals through targeted marketing and communications strategies. We leverage our expertise in the areas that matter most in building brands and attracting your ideal customers. We also publish Pooler Magazine and Effingham Magazine - lifestyle magazine in two of the fastest growing regions in Georgia.

Jan Southern can be reached at 912.318.8645 or Jan@JDelSURMarketing.com

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