5 Ways You Are Killing Your Business
#1 - Continue treating your business as the hero
Ever been to a party where the person you are seated beside always talks about themselves? Lots of company advertising is that way. The prominent logo and company name, the laundry list of services, the claims of being the leading provider of that product or service. All of these things shout, “LOOK AT ME!”
This is one of the ways many small businesses accidentally disengage their customers. This one is an easy one to understand once you hear it, but many small businesses never implement it into their business because they never realized they were doing it.
Most businesses treat themselves as the hero in the customers story, when they should be treating their customer as the hero as their business as the guide. You are Yoda and the customer is Luke Skywalker - guide them through the process of getting them where they want to be.
For example, let’s say you own a lawn care company. Your website and marketing materials may say something like, “The best lawn care company in the Charleston.” While that’s…nice, modern customers know how to read through generic statements like this. You need to reach the customers deeper needs if you want to attract their business.
Many businesses are selling solutions to external problems when customers are actually buying solutions to internal problems. Re-read that because it's a concept very few businesses truly understand. Let me explain.
The lawn care company we mentioned may think that their customer wants a green and well manicured yard, but that’s not why they are buying your services. That's why you think they are buying, but they are not. Their internal issue is that their neighbors yard looks better than theirs or because they often have friends over and they want them to see their great looking yard. That is their internal problem and that is what they really care about. So on your website and marketing materials, start selling solutions to internal problems instead of the external problems.
#2 - Market Like a Fortune 500 Company
Marketing for every company is not the same - even two companies who sell the exact same product often need to market in ways and reach different customers. You think a customer who is buying a $50 watch and one who is looking for a $50,000 watch needs to be marketed to the same way? Absolutely not.
Large company marketing - This is known as mass marketing or branding. The general idea is to run ads to remind customers that you exist and what you offer so that your company is at the top of their mind when they need what you offer. This type of marketing is extremely effective. Here’s the problem - it’s extremely expensive. It requires you to saturate various types of media with your brand.
You’ve seen it before right? Huge billboards, commercials on TV and ads on social media. This company has ads everywhere! We all want to be in the forefront of our customers minds so many small business owners do the exact same thing the large companies do, but when small businesses try to mimic this strategy, it’s like a drop in the ocean - it’s no where near enough to reach the consciousness of their target market. There are much more cost effective ways of doing this without spending massive amounts of money.
#3- Have an Inefficient Website
Your website is a huge part of your business, but if you don't have an effective website, you may be losing sales.
Does your business have a great product or service but you aren't drawing in as many clients as you think you should be? It could be because your website isn’t turning browsers into buyers.
We believe that your website should be able to pass the ”grunt” test and if it can’t, you most certainly are losing sales. Let us explain.
Imagine sitting down with a stranger and showing them your website. You open your computer and let them view your site for 5 seconds, after 5 seconds you close the laptop and then ask them three questions:
- What type of business/services do I provide?
- Why should you buy from me?
- How do you buy?
They need to be able to answer all of those questions within 5 seconds, if they can’t, you are most certainly losing sales. We believe that in business, if you confuse, you lose. We want your website to be clear of barriers so prospects have an easy time buying from you.
#4 - Spending Too Much Effort on Social Media
Now I know this one may be controversial because people love using social media right now, but hear us out.
Everyone has been to a gathering where someone bitten by the MLM bug is trying to sell you pills or potions that they’ve gotten involved with. It makes you uncomfortable because it feels pushy and is an inappropriate time to be making or receiving a sales pitch. Social media is exactly the same. Overt selling or constant pitching of offers are generally considered poor behavior on social networks and can result in repelling people from your business.
Social media is a great place to create and extend relationships that can later turn into something commercial. One of the most valuable things I see in social media is being able to gauge customers emotions toward your business and engage with customers.
Here are two potential traps with social media:
- It can be a time suck - Feeling like you have to respond to every inane comment can be draining and can suck time away from marketing tasks that can give you far better return on time and money invested. Some people have the perception that social media marketing is “free.” It’s only truly free if your time is worth nothing
- The question of ownership -Your social media page and profile is actually the property of the social network - so spending huge amounts of time and money building up a profile and audience on these networks ends up being their assets rather than your own.
Facebook used to let you send out messages to all the people who liked your page, so companies began putting lots of time and money into getting more likes so they could reach more people, but then FB pulled the rug out from them and stopped allowing mass messages to all their followers. This was devastating to those who spent so much time and effort into reaching people on Facebook. If those companies had simply put their time and effort into our #5 tip, they would have been fine after the change.
#5- You Aren't Collecting E-mails (or using them)
Building a database of e-mail subscribers plays a central role in your online marketing strategy. A prominent part of your website should be an e-mail opt-in form.
An e-mail also enables you to maintain a close relationship with your customer base and makes it easy to test and launch new products and services. Over time, as you build a relationship with your email subscribers, your database becomes an increasingly valuable marketing asset.
Creating a highly responsive list of e-mail subscribers practically enables you to produce cash on demand. You create an offer with a response mechanism and send an email broadcast to your list. You get instant feedback on whether that offer is a hit or miss. While many focus their time on getting more followers on Facebook or Instagram, we would rather have 100 e-mail addresses than 10,000 followers on social media. If that particular social network begins to lose popularity, you still have your e-mail list.
Specializing in visual storytelling, Brave Panda Creative is perfect for brands who love pursuing and achieving amazing results. From commercials to corporate videos, we can do what you need to get in front of your potential clients. Anyone can press record, but we aspire to connect you to your audience like never before.
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