Starting a business isn’t easy, especially when you consider that the majority of businesses fail within the first couple of years. These businesses generally fail due to poor management and poor marketing resulting in a lack of orders and poor cash flow. If you don’t market sufficiently well to find an audience you simply can’t sell your products and services.

Here are five common marketing mistakes to avoid if you want to give your business the best possible chance of long-term survival.

Not Choosing a Target Audience

So many otherwise rational people want to sell their products and services to everyone. If you ask them who their target market is, they will answer with something like “anyone that can afford them” or “everyone.” In fact I’ve had some heated discussions on this as some people just will not accept that this isn’t good enough and doesn’t work from a marketing perspective. You must know exactly who your audience is, so much so that you can create a buyer persona of your ideal customer. Narrow down your audience so that you can target your buyer personas with your advertising campaigns.

Not Doing Proper Research

Far too many business owners create products without having their audience in mind, and then they jump right into trying to sell it without having done any type of research or testing of the product whatsoever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Again, you must know your target audience before you create any products or services, in order to be sure your audience will make purchases. Good marketers know that research and product testing is vital to creating a product or service that solves the problems and concerns of your target audience.

Not Engaging with Your Audience

Once you know who your audience is, you need to communicate with them regularly and engage with them. Don’t just ignore them until you have something to sell to them, because people aren’t stupid and hate to be sold too. So keep the conversation going all of the time via social media, email newsletters, forums, etc. The better you get to know your audience through engagement, the more they will see you as an authority figure and the better your products will become as you will know exactly what your audience wants.

Not Focusing on Benefits over Features

Once you have a product or service for your target audience you need to learn to focus on benefits instead of features. Features are things like colour or different options whereas benefits focus on the customers’ benefits and what is in it for them. Now I have sold an awful lot of websites and I rarely mention features or much about the website at all, instead I focus on the benefits the website will give my customers, the amount of money it should generate, subscription levels, etc.

Your audience don’t really care about you or anything more than how they will benefit from buying your products and services. Your marketing should speak directly to the buyer persona you created and explain to that person what your product does for them, how they benefit and what problems you solve.

Not Understanding Your Why

Finally, it’s imperative that you understand why you are doing all of this. Why are you the one to create this product or service for your audience? What more can your audience know about you in order to convince them that you’re the person to create this product? Understanding “why you” is an important step to becoming a successful business owner.

If you’re serious about trying to create a successful business, keeping these five mistakes in mind will help you become much more successful. You need to know your target audience, create solutions for your audience, and then market to your audience in a one-on-one way that makes the customer feel like you are speaking directly to them. If you can do this, you’ll be extraordinarily successful and you’ll never struggle to find customers again.

Five Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
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