Running your own business is brilliant. As the boss; you get to make all the important decisions – you choose your own working hours, which clients you work with, and how you work with them. Hoorah! The flipside, of course, is that you’ll actually need to make ALL of the decisions, not just the big exciting ones that you enjoy. If you’ve got a team on board, then fab, they’ll be able to help with some of the more mundane decisions (which brand of sticky notes and office pens shall we go with?) – but the big decisions, like how to market your services, and what to do if your marketing isn’t working, are still left to you, as the ultimate decision-maker. And if you don’t have a team yet, well, you get the picture, boss.
So many marketing decisions
Without necessarily realising it, you’ve already made a LOT of choices about how you market your business – you’ve chosen some marketing activities rather than others. You might be using Instagram rather than Twitter, or you might use email marketing but haven’t considered using PR, maybe you have a podcast, or maybe you don’t. Sometimes decisions happen by default – if a marketing activity seems too expensive, or too complicated, or you just don’t have time to do it, it’s easy to dismiss it in favour of something cheaper, easier or quicker. Often it seems like a good idea to try a particular marketing tactic because your business bestie or nearest competitor is using it successfully.
But even though you’re doing all of this marketing, you’re not getting the results you want – it feels like your marketing isn’t working. Where are the hordes of potential clients beating a path to your door? Why isn’t your business getting noticed more, making more sales, hitting those famous 6-figure revenues everyone keeps going on (and on) about?
There’s a very simple answer. But, it might sound a bit brutal, so steel yourself.
You’re doing it wrong.
I’m sorry to have to tell you that. I know it hurts.
But, before you get upset, hear me out.
You’re probably doing some things absolutely right; you may have put together the most beautifully constructed email newsletter in the world, ever. It’s spot on. But if you aren’t sending it on a regular schedule, and doing some effective list building activities to constantly feed and grow your email list to send it to, as well as regularly cleansing that list to get rid of the deadwood (more info about why you need to do that), your beautiful email newsletter just isn’t going to deliver a return for you.
Ditto your website. Maybe your home page is the absolute bee’s knees, but if your services page is letting the side down, or your contact page is a shocker, you could be driving away potential clients without even realising it.
So what should you do if your marketing isn’t working?
Here’s the thing – you won’t know what you’re doing right, and what’s not working so well for you unless you review it (actually, we also HIGHLY recommend tracking all of your marketing systems, but that’s a whole other blog – you can read it here). You need to take a detailed look at each of your marketing activities to work out which ones are pulling their weight and which ones are, frankly, shirking their duties. Maybe some of them should actually be dropped altogether if they’re not the right ones to attract your target audience and promote the benefits of your unique business. Maybe some just need a little tweak and polish to turn them from underperformers to superstars, or maybe they need a major overhaul to get them up to scratch.
You can’t fix it if you don’t know where the problem lies, so you need to get this review, or audit, or whatever you prefer to call it – done. It takes a bit of time to do it well, as you need to identify each part of your marketing system, and then assess it for:
- Functionality – does it do what it’s supposed to do – are all of the bits working?
- Message – is the message in your marketing written with clarity and easy to understand? Is it the right message for your audience?
- ‘Fit’ – is it the most appropriate marketing tactic for your business and your audience?
- Frequency – are enough people seeing your stuff?
- Integration – does it fit with the other marketing activities your business has in place?
- Presentation – is it ‘on brand’, does it fit with your business’s values, how does it look?
- Customer journey stage – which stage of the customer journey does it fit into – and do you have activities to cover each stage of the customer journey?
Once you’ve completed this, you should have a clear idea of which marketing activities you need to fix up, which ones to leave as they are, and even any activities you need to drop altogether.
If this all sounds like a great idea in theory, but you’re thinking ‘blimey, who has the time?’ then don’t worry – we can do it for you with our Marketing Audit service.
We’ll review your marketing and pinpoint exactly where you need to make changes to get your target audience responding the way you want them to.
No more wasting time and money on marketing that isn’t working for your business. Result.