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3 Marketing Myths That Overwhelm Small Businesses

One of the most common statements I hear from my clients and other small business owners is a variation on the following: “I know my business really well, but marketing is beyond me.” This sentiment often times comes from a place of fear and ignorance which can lead to marketing procrastination or total avoidance. Undervaluing marketing because it seems overwhelming can actually be the kiss of death for a small business or start-up. Let’s dive into three of the most common marketing myths that overwhelm small businesses and get in the way of their success and explore new ways of thinking about marketing that can empower you as an entrepreneur

Marketing is window dressing and it isn’t important

It’s easy to downplay or ignore an area you don’t know a lot about. It’s much more comfortable to enjoy the expertise you have in your business and pour all of your efforts into that. Whatever your industry or field -- from boutique owner to solo practitioner -- focusing on doing what you’re good at can feel a lot more productive than sitting down and trying to build a marketing plan. But it’s important to remember that just because it isn’t easy for you, doesn’t mean it lacks value. Marketing is a lot more than pretty pictures and flashy commercials. Just like any field, marketing has its fair share of mediocre professionals. However, the best marketing shouldn’t even draw attention to itself. It should feel like a necessary conversation with your customer, understanding their challenges and meeting their needs. With a strong marketing plans you could be making the difference between your business’s success or failure. TAKEAWAY: Don’t knock what you don’t know because it just might be the thing that saves you.

Marketing is complicated and I don’t have the expertise

This marketing myth combines truth with fiction, so it’s a little harder to address. While marketing can be complicated, especially depending on the industry or the audience, marketing basics are just that -- BASIC. There are underlying principles that apply in every industry to every audience. And here’s the best part, you are a consumer, which means you have marketing insight. You know what draws your eye and makes you look twice. You know what convinces you. You know how you shop and make decisions. You know what frustrates you and makes you leave as a customer. This kind of intel is invaluable and needs to be applied in your own business context. While you may not know all the marketing jargon and things like social media and writing email blasts scare you, you are an expert at what you do and you are a consumer in your everyday life. These are two huge advantages that give you an automatic leg up in tackling marketing for your new business. TAKEAWAY: Give yourself some credit and embrace the fact that you know a lot more about marketing your business than you might think.

My product or service is great enough to build my customer base

This is just flat out wrong. Every entrepreneur believes that their product or service is the best thing since sliced bread, just like every new parent thinks their newborn is beautiful. And even if your product or service is truly the best out there, if no one knows about it, it doesn’t matter how great it is. You have to connect to the audience that needs whatever you’re offering in order to build your brand. Without the customers, you don’t have a business. And if they can’t find you online or if the content you’re putting out there doesn’t set you up as a trusted expert, they will pass you by and go with one of your competitors. This is where it becomes necessary to eat a little humble pie, educate yourself on how to reach and connect with your target market, and find marketing resources that can help you do what you don’t have time to do. TAKEAWAY: If no one knows about what I’m selling, it doesn’t matter how awesome it is.

Do any of these myths resonate with your experience? What are the obstacles that keep you from creating a robust marketing plan for your growing business? Click here to request a free marketing consultation and find out how you can make your business soar.

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