As a Marketing Strategist, it makes me chuckle when people exhibit signs of real marketing shame. Here are some ways I see small business owners cringing:
This is when you have some change that’s happened to your business but your business-card hasn’t kept up with that info. There’s nothing worse than having a card with the wrong or irrelevant information on it. Well, there’s one thing worse, when you cross out the old info and hand-write the new info and ask people to read your hieroglyphics. Really, don’t bother. Just say you ran out of them and take the other person’s card with a promise to follow up right away. Then do that.
If I had a dollar for every business owner (big and small) who told me that their website was outdated, not representative of their new direction or just plain not working for them, I could retire to Jamaica today. For the love of God, stop spending your brains out on websites that don’t work. Accept the fact that websites are living, breathing things that evolve every year (if not more frequently) with new free offers, new downloads, updated case studies and weekly blogs. Budget for it and learn how to manage it. Also please remember, thin is in, not just in fashion. Stop writing soliloquies and veritable novels on your website. People want interactive, quick, bites of useful info. You don’t have time to create reams of writing, your audience doesn’t have the time to read it. So stop it.
Elevator Pitch Pity
I’m surprised that one of the most shameful and stressful things for business owners is that they are panicked about what to use as their elevator pitch. I think it comes from the fact that they haven’t done the due diligence to figure out (or don’t know how to figure out) who they target and what specific pain point they are an expert in. In fact, if people are confused by your elevator pitch, all sorts of alarm bells should be going on for you. Once we identify these things for a client, we use the ‘do you know when (client pain) happens? Well, we do (solution) to make sure they become (result)’ format as an elevator pitch. It works like a charm every time.
Anything cropped from a family shot, or 10 lbs and 10 years ago is a case of headshot hell and cause for marketing shame. There are very inexpensive places like Walmart and Costco who offer professional headshot sittings that will look 100X better than having a bad or unprofessional picture of you in your online presence.
Social Media Misfortune
In almost every Executive Roundtable I facilitate, the message that I keep hearing is that for B2B service based businesses, social media doesn’t convert. However, whenever I talk to CEOs they still don’t feel like they’re doing a good enough job marketing in this space. I’d like offer this advice to anyone who has social media shame because they think they’re not doing it right: your social media activities are not attracting your target because most B2B execs don’t even have time to go to the bathroom. So, my strategy around social media is a two-pronged approach. The first approach is using LinkedIn as a thought-leadership platform for those who are ‘watchers’. The second and most important approach is to use LinkedIn to gather info to target prospects for my outbound marketing efforts that help me meet them in person, such as interview marketing, roundtables and power breakfasts.
So shed your marketing shame for good and hold your head up high in front of your peers and prospects. Remember, in business (as in life) perception is everything!
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