12 marketing mistakes12 Marketing Mistakes Creative Entrepreneurs Make – Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my series on twelve marketing mistakes I see creative entrepreneurs make. If you missed part one, you can read it here. In my introduction yesterday I mentioned that you can’t grow your business if you don’t see yourself as a marketer.

I would add to that statement that you must get out of your house and go meet people! You have talents, gifts and the ability to help others. The only thing stopping you is YOU!

Here are today’s 3 mistakes. Be sure to come back tomorrow for part 3 of this series.

Mistake #4 – Not understanding what makes you unique.

You should know what makes you different, what makes your business special, and you should tell everybody. Most small companies cannot afford large branding campaigns. Don’t try to be Coca-Cola! People make the mistake of thinking: “If I just get my name out there enough, all of a sudden people will buy my service or product.”

It is a mistake to think that because you get your name out there to hundreds or even thousands of people they will buy your service or product. Getting your name out there is important, but you have to do it in a way that is attractive, educational, and puts you in front of the right people, not all people.

There is also a tendency to try to make our marketing look like what we think “Marketing” should be. Perhaps you are comparing yourself to other experts in your industry, or perhaps you believe that marketing is advertising. Advertising is a tactic and can be used effectively, but it has to be done right. Stop trying to look, talk, and act like anyone else. Attraction-based marketing requires you to be original and unique. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars creating a brand to do this. Your unique brand will evolve over time.

I would encourage you stop worrying about what others in your industry are doing and start focusing on two things: What makes you unique? What makes you most attractive to your perfect clients?
Remember, marketing is about being attractive, not pushing your message out into the world. It’s about speaking directly to the people who already want what you have to offer so that they can self-select.

Marketing Mistake #5 – Fear of choosing a particular niche or specific audience to target in your marketing.

If you learn one thing from this series, it’s that I want you to understand that you must narrow the focus of your business to one particular type of person. Your goal as a business owner is to market to one person instead of to everyone. When you try to market to everyone, you tend to reach no one. It makes it impossible for people to self-select because they don’t recognize themselves or their problems in your marketing. It also makes it very difficult for others to send you referrals because your marketing is so vague they don’t know who to send your way.

Creative entrepreneurs often fear that if they narrow their marketing to target one type of person, they will miss out on business or not attract enough business. Strangely, the reverse is true. The more you focus on solving problems for a particular niche, the more you become an effective and valuable commodity to that niche. They see you as an expert because they know you understand their problem, pain, and predicament. It’s important that you understand why you must find a target audience or a group of people you understand. It doesn’t mean you have to have their same problems; it just means you understand their Three Ps. Secondly, it does not mean you should have only one niche. It means that when you market to people, you market to one niche at a time with a focused, targeted approach instead of trying to be everything to everybody.

Secret tip: Have you noticed that throughout my website I focus on creative entrepreneurs? I could have focused on women entrepreneurs, small business owners, graphic designers, etc. I’m very clear about who my specific audience is and what problems are at the top of your mind. What I am teaching in this series would work for any business owner, but I don’t want to work with all business owners. I want to work with smart, creative women entrepreneurs who struggle with marketing.

Marketing Mistake #6 – Failure to create and implement a marketing plan.

I see this happen over and over again with creative entrepreneurs. When creative entrepreneurs fail to have a marketing plan, marketing happens haphazardly at best. Why do creative entrepreneurs fail to create and implement a plan? Because they are afraid of marketing and sales, they think marketing is overwhelming, they don’t want to be perceived as pushy, and they want people to like them!

A marketing plan doesn’t have to be a sixteen-page document. It can be a one-page plan that includes: this is what I am going to do; this is how I am going to do it; this is the time frame in which I am going to do it; and this is the investment I need to make to make that a reality.

Having a marketing plan in place will increase your confidence in yourself as a business owner. One of my favorite mantras is that you have to treat your business like a business, not like a hobby. Plans help you move forward as opposed to sitting there, staring at your computer screen, and asking, “I wonder what I should do now?”

That question can keep you feeling stuck, scared, and lost. When you sit and wonder what you should do now, you make ineffective marketing decisions, or you choose not to do any marketing at all. You must have a simple business plan to know where you want to go in your business, but it’s even more crucial to have a marketing plan so that you know how to attract the clients to get all the business you want.

If you are struggling to create a marketing plan or know what to put on it, I encourage you to join me in Burbank, CA for a 3-day live workshop. One of the things we will be working on is creating your Color Wheel Marketing Plan™.  It looks something like this:

Color Wheel Marketing PlanThis marketing plan is fun, colorful and effective. From this visual image, you can begin to create a daily calendar of action items. The secret to marketing success is consistency and persistence!

Want to learn how to create one? Join me at The Path to Profit: Design Your Roadmap to Success.

12 marketing mistakes