Marketing is critical for business growth and sustainability, regardless of industry, size, or length of time in operation.
Businesses worldwide spend countless hours - and countless dollars - trying to craft the perfect marketing strategy, with the hope of attracting new customers.
One of the foundational goals of marketing is to increase awareness for your company and your brand. Marketing is a strategy that has both short-term and long-term components, pieces of which are designed to create immediate response and pieces of which are designed to build a brand over time.
If properly executed, a robust marketing strategy will prove to have a greater impact on your business’ bottom line than anything else.
While crafting the perfect marketing strategy is not easy, making mistakes is. Here are the top five marketing mistakes to avoid so you attract high paying clients instead of keeping them away.
#1 You Look Like an Amateur
You may have the best company or offer the best product or service in your industry, but if you don’t look good online, then high-paying customers won’t think you’re professional. It’s so easy to create a website and social media channels today that simply having them isn’t enough. You need to stand out from your competition and, most importantly, look legitimate.
Your website is the information portal for your company, and your social media channels are its face, its personality. All the various online entities that your company has must be well-designed, optimized for both desktop and mobile devices, and tailored to the audience that you’re trying to target on each.
Online legitimacy is determined not just by your website or your Facebook page as separate entities, for example, but how well your entire online profile ties together and works in unison. So, an active presence on the relevant social media channels to your business as well as a high-impact website will do wonders for attracting those high-paying clients.
While it may cost you some money, hiring a professional to design your website, and maybe even your social media channels, is one of the best investments you can make. High-paying customers can tell the difference between a professionally-designed website and social media channels and ones that are not.
#2 You Don’t Think Content is King
That phrase, “content is king,” is making the rounds these days in marketing circles, and the advent of social media has made this much clearer.
“Content” can mean photos and short messages on social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, but it also should mean a robust and regularly-updated blog on your website. Today’s businesses build trust among customers by positioning themselves as experts or thought leaders in their industry, and the best way to do so is through blogging.
Here are some fascinating statistics that point to this fact:
- Companies that write blogs get 67 percent more leads than those that don’t.
- Companies that blog are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI.Companies that blog receive 97 percent more links to their business website.
High-paying customers especially want to feel like they can trust the companies they are doing business with, and positioning yourself as an expert in your field by writing consistent, informative blog posts will help your company build that trust for those high-paying customers.
#3 You Don’t Cull and Manage Your Reviews
One of the top sources consumers use to make a determination on a product or service is the feedback of other consumers like them. Just consider about what you do when you’re thinking about trying a new restaurant, booking a hotel or hiring a plumber, for example. You most likely typed that restaurant, hotel or plumber into a search engine and read the reviews other users posted.
Maybe you read these reviews on independent review websites. Maybe you saw them posted on social media. Maybe you even saw them on the business’ website.
Whatever the source was, chances are you based your decision at least partially on what others said about their experience with that company. That’s why reviews and testimonials are so important: They help build consumer confidence by sharing the positive stories others have had with you.
To make this part of your marketing strategy, you should ask customers to leave positive feedback about your business on social media as well as those independent review sites. You might also ask your best customers to provide you a quote on why they enjoy your business and how they benefitted from your services. You could then post those testimonials on your website, and maybe even create an advertisement based around that testimonial.
Customers that are going to spend a lot of money with you are going to check as many references as they can to make sure they are spending their money with the right company.
#4 You Don’t Market Consistently
Marketing is an ongoing aspect of your business, just like customer service. It’s not a plan you put into place that stops; it’s something that you are constantly working on and tweaking over time.
You may design an annual marketing plan that sets a specific goal for the upcoming year, integrating different areas of focus for different times of the year to take advantage of certain holidays, for example. But marketing in a general sense is something that should never stop.
This goes back to the legitimacy factor. The companies that are considered legitimate are those that are always talking about what they do, always championing the benefits of their products and/or services and always reaching out to potential customers in new and exciting ways.
Online legitimacy is established through activity. A lack of blog or social media posts, for example, or a big gap of time between posts will make it seem like you’re not active anymore.
This lack of online activity is a big turn-off for high-paying clients. The ease of updating your blog and social media channels is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great because it’s simple to do, but it necessitates that you do it often.
High-paying customers want to know that the companies they work with are on top of their game, and are fresh and up to date.
#5 Your Marketing Lacks Focus
Customers spend lots of money with companies that can understand their pain points and solve them directly and to the point. These high-paying customers don’t want to do business with companies that don’t seem to understand exactly what they’re doing themselves.
One of the top mistakes companies make in their marketing efforts is they don’t come up with their unique selling proposition – what makes them stand out from the competition. Think of this USP as your mission statement. It should be the foundation of what you do every day, and it should be the focal point of every marketing message you create.
With this USP in hand, you will be better prepared to properly focus and position your company to every potential customer on each medium. While you may tailor the style and format your messaging for your blog a little differently than you may for social media, for example, the one common theme throughout all your messaging will be your USP.
High-paying customers will be looking for that consistency not just across different mediums, but also throughout your messaging. Creating that USP up front and then honing into it so all your marketing messages hone in on it will be essential for attracting these type of customers.
Marketing is a simple term to understand, but it’s not an easy strategy to conquer. By avoiding these top five mistakes that many companies make, though, you’ll be well on your way to attracting those high paying customers that fuel your business’ success for years to come.
About the Author
Tabitha Jean Naylor is the founder of Women Entrepreneurs Can - a digital magazine designed specifically for women entrepreneurs, startup founders and small business owners - and the proud owner of TabithaNaylor.com, a marketing firm that delivers ‘big agency’ quality at rates that are affordable for startups and small businesses. Her intimate knowledge of how sales and marketing go hand-in-hand has resulted in a variety of successful campaigns for start-ups through NASDAQ traded companies.