When you’re looking to grow your business or your brand, it’s important that you recognize the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.
We’re at the Florida State Minority Development Council expo visiting with my friend Stephen A. Hart. He’s a brand alignment strategist who helps entrepreneurs grow an amazing brand that is authentic, relatable, and profitable.
Mistake #1: Overlooking messaging
Many people hear the word branding and they think of logos or designs. But pretty websites don’t sell things. Words do.
People get unnecessarily caught up on design but what they need to focus on is clear messaging. You have to clarify your message so that customers will listen.
Be deliberate about articulating what you do. In order to do that, you must understand who you’re serving.
Too many people think they are serving everyone with their product or service but that isn’t the case.
If I’m speaking to grandma and I’m speaking to my niece, we’re not having the same conversation. The language is different.
If you understand that you’re speaking to a particular group of people, there is a language that connects to that person. When you understand their pain points and their demographics, you can communicate your message about how your product or service solves a problem.
Stephen recalled a realtor who focused on selling to millennials and young couples. That’s who she was serving, but her message didn’t reach those people. She was trying to serve everyone.
Dial your message in. Understand who you’re truly serving. When you do, your message doesn’t have to be pitchy about your product or service. Your content can create a connection between you and your community.
Then your community will share it with others in the space.
Messaging isn’t a static process. It’s dynamic. You’ll constantly be optimizing your message.
We lack trust in those we connect and do business with.
Understand that your brain is trying to survive and thrive. Within that, there are three things it’s trying to accomplish.
- You want to make money or save money.
- You want to gain status.
- You want to associate with a tribe.
Your brain is also trying to conserve calories. So if your website or your collateral is too busy, your audience will tune it out.
For example, how many emails do you receive in a day? Most of them get deleted because the messaging didn’t appeal to you.
It isn’t a design or branding that gets your attention. It’s the message.
Mistake #2: Neglecting web presence
Your website is your digital home, and first impressions last. It allows you to redirect traffic to your products or services or other online avenues.
Studies show that 57 percent of people are afraid to recommend a business because of its website.
Decisions are emotional so if your website doesn’t inspire confidence, you won’t be able to convert the people who show up there.
You must take care of your website, and specifically your home page. Get a good solid web design.
Mistake #3: Lacking content
You must have a presence on social media specifically for businesses. You also have to be on LinkedIn.
Sharing content on LinkedIn generates so much more organic traffic than other platforms. It’s a business-related social channel. As result, the income and quality of the people you’re engaging with there.
There are more than 9 billion impressions on LinkedIn every week, which amounts to 468 billion impressions annually. Of those, only about 3 million users are actually sharing content, which means there’s a lot of room available. And it’s all free.
Don’t worry as much about buying ads on Facebook. Worry about who your audience is. Realize, too, that about 98 percent of your leads will come from LinkedIn.
Video and long-form content are your friends on LinkedIn. Write longer posts. The sweet spot is 1,900.
Also write how-to and list posts to bring awareness to your brand.
If no one is looking at your business, you’ll never thrive. You must create content of value and place it where the customers are. Put it in front of their eyeballs where they can’t dismiss it.
Have a solid brand presence online. Avoid the three things small businesses get wrong when marketing.
Stephen created an online course called Brand You Academy that allows him to serve people and help with branding. It’s a 6-week online course that walks people through Stephen’s 15-year experience in branding.
When people Google you in 2019, whatever appears in your result will either leave people more or less inclined to do business with you.
People who sign up for the course are getting lifetime access to the course.
You can also connect with Stephen on his website and everywhere on social at Stephen A. Hart.
The wisdom and the knowledge you gain from relationships is invaluable.
The Florida State Minority Development Council is here to help you grow your business. Your goal is to make money, so you must align yourself with other people who understand what you’re trying to do.
“Three Things Small Businesses Get Wrong When Marketing” episode resources
You can connect with Stephen at his website and everywhere on social @Stephen A Hart. You can connect with the Florida State Minority Development Council for more information about the council and its offerings.
If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.
You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.
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