I meet with a lot of small business owners who are juggling every facet of their business. They are their own sales team, marketing team, implementation team, project manager, and billing department. I understand why – in the beginning, you have a tight schedule and even tighter budget – but when it all rests on you, things are bound to fall through the cracks.

During those initial startup years, it’s essential to avoid common marketing mistakes. Of course, there are many – but these are my top 5!

Being Email Gun-Shy

Have you ever received an email and didn’t recognize the sender’s name or business? They were probably email gun-shy, and afraid of bombarding you with too many emails — so they waited too long to send you something. Thinking that you are “bothering” your email list when you send emails regularly is not good for your brand.

You need to show your audience who you are, what your brand is about, and what value you offer. If someone opted into your email list, they want to hear from you. As you nurture your list, these people will know, like, and trust you – and want to buy.

Not getting a CRM

The purpose of a CRM (customer relationship management) system is to manage all your business’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.

Don’t make the mistake of missing out on customer information! You need to collect info from everyone. Even if they don’t buy from you today, they might buy something tomorrow, next week, or next year. They might become a referral source and send more clients to you!

Knowing where your potential customers came from, how they’ve interacted with your website, emails, and products can help you target your marketing better. Then, having all of these details organized in a CRM will move your business relationships forward and help you grow.

Treating your website as an online business card

Your website shouldn’t just be something you hand out in hopes that people will see your email address and reach out. Almost no one sees your information and picks up the phone these days, especially for service-based businesses. Potential clients want to get to know you before they even give you their email address!

Your website should be an experience for each visitor. You want to take them on a journey, qualify them with your website content, and then collect their information with an intake form application (linked to your CRM, of course) or a free lead magnet in exchange for their email address.

When visitors land on your site and you give them a compelling reason to connect with you and your brand, that’s when they will give you their email. A simple contact page doesn’t cut it anymore, so don’t make the mistake of not standing out!

Letting your marketing go

If you have ever experienced the “feast or famine” cycle of business, then you know that marketing with consistency is essential to the growth of a business. 

As business owners, we are drawn to the latest and greatest offers because we always want to innovate. But this can be a mistake if it causes you to get overwhelmed and stop marketing altogether.

So instead, keep things simple. Pick a plan and stick to it. Don’t overwhelm yourself to the point where you let it all go. Your potential clients are out there, and they need you to show up consistently!

Hiring a marketing team before you have made your first sale

A wise investment into your business is to find what works for you and how to sell your offer before you bring that to a team to grow. Relying on a marketing team to make your first sale for you is going to bankrupt you and leave you confused.

It might seem like a lot of work at first, but selling your first set of clients on your own will help you get to know their problems, how to communicate with them, and even offer what they actually want (it’s often NOT the thing we want to sell at first).

Once you know your audience like you know yourself, you’ll have a proven offer that not only sells but gets the best result for your clients. After your offer has been proven time and time again, that’s when you can look at hiring a sales and marketing team.

Scaling too fast in the wrong way is a mistake that can set you back, but if you take the time to set up a framework when you start your business and manage it sustainably, you’ll be on your way to success!