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What are the Common Marketing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

What are the Common Marketing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

What are the Common Marketing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

Becoming successful as an entrepreneur is challenging. Making lots of marketing mistakes makes it harder. 

I was a traveling business consultant for ten years. I specialized in helping entrepreneurs turn around their troubled businesses.

What are the Common Marketing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make? 

This is the list of Twenty Five Most Common Marketing Mistakes I saw Entrepreneurs Make Repeatedly: 

  1. Spending too Much Money on Logos and Branding
  2. Letting Your “Friend” or Child Build Your Website
  3. Buying Ad Spots in Magazines
  4. Buying Yelp Ads
  5. Buying Billboard Space
  6. Buying Ads In A Church Bulletin or School Flier
  7. Building Your Website Yourself
  8. Spending All of Your Start-up Money on Building Out Your Space Instead of Advertising
  9.  Wasting Time on Social Media
  10. Wasting Time Going to Networking Events
  11. Never Making Sales Calls
  12. Never Buying Google Ads
  13. Never Buying Instagram and Facebook Ads (where appropriate)
  14. Not Optimizing Your Google Map Listing
  15. Not Making Sure Your Website is #1 on SEO (Search Engines)
  16. Spending Money on Photo Shoots With No Strategy In Place For The Images
  17. Low Marketing Output
  18. Inconsistent Marketing
  19. Marketing that Lacks Targeting
  20. Email Marketing Inconsistent or Non-Existant
  21. Not Producing Content for the Web
  22. Inconsistent About Producing Content For The Web
  23. Reading Lots of Marketing Articles From People Who Know Nothing About Being A Small Business Owner
  24. Focusing on Marketing That Is Important for Big Business, Not Small Business
  25. Never Marketing Enough To Test Anything
 I have seen entrepreneurs make these common marketing mistakes over and over. I have seen them in printing companies, website design agencies, law firms, pilates studios, and welding shops. 
Entrepreneurs need to focus their marketing on things that move the needle 100% of the time, not theories or “branding.” 

What to Do First

I intend to keep expanding this blog post over time. 

So please check back for more elaboration on each and every one of these marketing mistakes small business owner make. 

I will continue to update them and expand on them, and share experiences when I see them repeated.

But for now, lets talk about what to do, and what to prioritize. 

I’ve given you a list to avoid, now here is what you should focus on: 

#1: Google Maps Listing

Your Google Maps listing, also called Google My Business, is free. 

When people search your local area, they look at the map to see who is closest, who has the most reviews, and to read reviews. 

Get your business listed, and completely fill out your profile, and then update it regularly with posts and events. 

#2: Email Marketing

Again, MailChimp is free. Start collecting emails now. 

If you don’t have too many emails, then pull every email from your personal email account and just add everyone to the list who has ever emailed you. 

Let them opt-out if they want to.

Email is a great way to keep your customers (and friends) up to date on what’s going on. 

It is a great place to post content you’ve written on your blog. 

People prefer email communications once they know you. 

#3: Buy Pay Per Click Ads

A lot of people would argue with me about this, but Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram ads are so inexpensive.

Why would you not take advantage? 

You think those ads aren’t cheap? 

Well consider back when I was selling direct mail advertising. 

You had to buy the mailing list which usually cost around $500 – $2,500. 

Then you had to pay for the printing which was another $1,000 (and sometimes $250,000).

Then there was postage which cost a ton of money. 

Then you had to pay us to design it and do the handling of the campaign for you. 

REALLY Expensive! 

Or how about Billboards? 

They can cost you tens of thousands of dollars per month. 

Television and Radio? Crazy expensive. 

But we run Google Ads campaigns in local markets for our clients sometimes on as little as $3 per day for a budget, and rarely more than $10 per day. 

Pay Per Click Ads and cheap, and they work! 

#4: SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the gift that never stops giving.

Yes, you can do this yourself. Neil Patel has TONS of articles and content on how to do SEO for yourself. 

When people search on Google for keywords like: Business Attorney Salt Lake City – you need to be the first company that show up. 

It isn’t good enough to be on the first page. 

You need to get that #1 spot. 

People are searching all day every day on Google for things you provide or sell. 

Bad news, they are finding someone else. 

Do what you have to do to rank on top of Google in your local market. 

Either learn how to do this, or hire us to do it for you.  

People are ALREADY looking for what you sell on Google. 

Just make sure they find you first.

#5: Get A Professionally Designed Website

The longer the sign on the door screams “struggling young attorney” the longer the struggle is going to be. 

75% of people say they judge your credibility based on how your website looks. 

The truth is, the real number is 100% of people do this, but 25% of survey respondents think they don’t. 

57% of survey respondents said they won’t refer their friends or contacts to a business with a bad looking website. 

Yes you can do your own on Wix, or Weebly, or Squarespace, or Godaddy, or any other number of platforms. 

But it will absolutely look like you did it yourself. 

Small business owners tend to be cheapskates about things that really matter and spend lavishly on things that don’t. 

Website are one of the things they tend to try and go cheap on. 

But remember, your website is out there sitting right next to every one of your competitors websites. 

If yours is the least professional, people just assume YOU are the least professional. 

Looks matter – a lot. 

People love to say, “don’t judge a book buy its cover.” 

But guess what – we do. We judge books by their cover and nothing else. 

So make sure your “book cover” looks awesome. 

Summary - What are the Common Marketing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

I spent ten years of my life doing nothing but trying to help small business owners succeed at business. 

The items I have outlined in this article are the things you should avoid doing and the things you should focus on doing first. 

Someone will undoubtedly read my article and write me to tell me that “hey my cousin owned a so and so business and his billboards did great for him!” 

There are exceptions to everything. 

But chances are, you are not the exception. 

In fact, I will throw this tip in as a bonus marketing mistake small business owners make: 

They assume they are the exception at pretty much everything. 

They aren’t. 

You are the 99%, not the 1%. 

Just assume this is true, and work hard at things that move the needle for small businesses: 

#1: Google Maps Listing

#2: Email Marketing

#3: Buy Pay Per Click Ads

#4: SEO

#5: Get A Professionally Designed Website

Until you are really doing excellent in each of these areas, you are simply working too hard to get things that could come much easier. 

People are already looking for what you sell. 

Make sure they find you first using these tools, and then make sure you keep reminding them you are out there with Email Marketing. 

Bonus Tip: When you are brand new in business, no sales rep is your friend! 

And your friends who work at ad agencies or Yelp? They are not your friend either. 

That friend who sells magazine ads? They are not your friend. 

And you need to know this, because most of the common marketing mistakes entrepreneurs make can ruin your business, or stall your success for years. 

About the Author

Tim VanDerKamp is Co-Owner of Stay Wild Digital Marketing. He was a small business consultant for ten years, helping troubled small business thrive. If you need assistance with anything discussed here or just some marketing advice/consulting – email: