1. Failing to target a specific audience. If you try to cater to everyone your marketing and message won’t speak to anyone. An audience of new moms will have way different perspectives, needs, and problems than an audience of male athletes or college females. Pick a specific audience you want to market to and research that audience until you can read their minds and know what they are Googling. Ok, not really, but kinda! You want to understand your target audience’s wants and needs so you can speak to them and help them understand that your product or service is right for them. People don’t spend money on things they have to ask themselves, “Is this for me?” they buy things they KNOW is for them.
2. Over-promoting. How frustrated do you feel when you’re watching your favorite show and it feels like every ten minutes you’re seeing 5 minutes of commercials? I know I do! Think of the media platform you’re using (instagram, facebook, etc.) as the show that your audience wants to watch, but they’re going to get annoyed and change the channel if all they’re seeing is ‘commercials’ aka sales posts. No one wants to be sold to 24/7. Your audience is following you because they want to get to know more about you and your brand, but if all they see is you selling, they’re not going to get to know you, and your like-ability will decrease.
3. Marketing services that don’t align with your goals. For example, if you’re a realtor and your goal is to only sell luxury homes you need to attract and market to the type of clientele that wants that lifestyle and stop marketing affordable homes to first-time buyers. Now I’m not saying you can’t still sell more affordable homes if the opportunity comes along, but what I’m saying is to only promote and market what you want your audience to connect with. Another example is when I first started my photography business. I would take any job to bring in income and be able to support my business. I shot weddings, families, senior photos, events, and even dog portraits. But I didn’t market and show all those things on my website and social media.. I only showed weddings and engagements because that was the work I wanted to attract, and my goal at the time was to be a wedding photographer. Then, when I decided my goal was to pivot to branding photography, I slowly started to show less weddings and couples, and started showing branding clients, which eventually started attracting more branding clients and less brides.
4. Being inconsistent. There is reason you can travel to any Starbucks in the world and get the same tasting Oatmilk Honey Latte in Aruba that you would in Seattle, Washington. It’s because Starbucks is extremely consistent! In their marketing, in their drink recipes, in everything they do. You know exactly what to expect when you walk into a Starbucks and if you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t want to take the chance on going there. Brand consistency is the pattern of expression that affects what people think about you and your business. The more consistent your messaging is, the more consistent and recognizable your branding is. Your words, design, offerings, and images should all be consistent so your brand can build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with your customers.
5. Avoiding your ‘competition’. The best way to stand out is to learn from your own peers. Network and connect with others in your profession with authentic intention and not in a manipulative manner. By doing this you will learn that everyone has their own skills and techniques. I have recommended photographers to my clients because they were looking for something I was not an expert in because I cared more about them having a great experience instead of just taking their money and giving them photos that might have been good, but not great. I also recommend other photographers to people who are looking for a different editing style than mine, because not only do I want them to LOVE their photos, but if I was constantly changing my editing style for every client, no one would know what to expect when they hire me. Does that sound like something you want to invest in? Not knowing what you’re going to get?