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How to Help Your Startup Avoid 3 Common Marketing Mistakes

Nov 11, 2019
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Successful marketing doesn't happen by accident. Whether you are a tech startup or a small business getting ready to launch, marketing yourself well is the difference between success and failure. In this video, I'll teach you how you can help your startup avoid 3 of the most common marketing mistakes.

Video Transcript:

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As I said in the opening, we're going to be talking about three reasons that startups typically don't see the type of results they're looking for in their marketing campaigns. And these are the things that we see all the time. These are things that we've struggled through as we grew and marketed our business, and a couple of the ways I'm going to show you how we overcame those and what you can also do to make sure that you do get the results that you're looking for.

Now, the number one reason that typically you don't see the results you want if you're a startup or you're a small business getting started with marketing, is that you quit too soon. A lot of businesses, I hear it all the time, "Well, I did blogging for a month. It didn't work." "I did SEO for three months. It didn't work." "I did social media for a weekend and it didn't work." The reason it didn't work is because you weren't consistent and you weren't persistent. You didn't make small adjustments along the way. You just quit altogether.

And when they do that, you stop any of the momentum you have. And depending on your industry, some of those industries are very saturated. There's been businesses that have been marketing those for years. And if you want to build momentum, you have to keep at it and keep doing it even when it feels like you're not reaching those goals. This is where you have to take your long range goal and break it down into short wins so that you can give yourself some reasons for success.

For instance, when I decided to relaunch my agency and go full in on it, I started to blog three times a week. I did that every single week for a year. Now if you looked at my organic traffic for that first year, you would see it slowly and steadily growing, but it was not that hockey stick curve that I was looking for, but I didn't quit. I knew that I had to keep building that foundation. I had to keep figuring out the right types of content and I made small adjustments and small tweaks along the way to get better results.

As I continue to build and build on that, it's like when you're doing investments. When you make 1% back, you get compounding interest over time. It's not like 1% every month and at the end of the year, you have 12 more percentage points. That's not how it work. It compounds. So, in the same way your content or your social strategies, those will compound in results as you begin to invest more time and energy into them and that you're consistent with them. Consistency also helps. It helps build that predictability with your audience. Maybe you have people coming back who want to read your content or engage with you on social. And when you have that consistency, they know that you're going to be there.

The second thing that we see all the time is that companies are too spread out. They try to conquer every single area of the market without mastering any of them. Again, they end up quitting because they're not seeing the results that they want to see. We've got so many different channels: email, SEO, SCM, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube. There's something new happening all the time and it's easy to start grabbing at the new shiny things and say, "We need to do this, we need to do this, we need to do this." And there's hundreds of gurus out there that tell you how to do this, this, this, this and this. The reality is you might be pressed for time, you might be pressed for energy, you might be pressed for staff members, and you really can't achieve all of these things by yourself.

Instead of going all in on everything or halfway in on everything or part of the way in on everything, go all in on one channel and do a great job at one channel. Master that one channel. For me, it's always been search. Search was the first thing I wanted to master because I have a background in SEO, I know that for what we do, the organic listings, organic search results play a big role. So, I went all in there. As we grew that, we started to add other pieces, email marketing, we started to add some PPC, we started to add YouTube and things like that, use other social channels. But we added them once we conquered the one that we were working on. We added them and stacked with them. And as we did that, we were able to grow smart and we also didn't lose the channel behind us because we were focusing on something else.

Those are two of the big things that we run into. And the last one is a lot of times, it's our priorities aren't aligned. We say we want to grow our marketing, but we don't put any time or energy into it or we only put a fraction of time or energy into it and we focus more of our time on our product or answering emails. Or for startups, a lot of time is spent on funding. And you've got to get in front of people and investors and get people excited about your idea. But if we don't align our priorities, we're not going to do the things we have to do. Our marketing initiatives become shoulds or maybes or someday.

If you want to get or grow in the future, you've got to build the foundation now. It just doesn't start building itself on its own. There are some markets where you can get a lot of nice referred traffic. Maybe it's something new and exciting and it lends itself to some free publicity. But the reality is if you don't align your priorities and you don't align where your time and your energy goes, you're not going to get results by magic. You have to put in the effort and you have to block and chunk out time.

This is something that Tim Ferris teaches. I really love it. And it's another thing that Tony Robbins teaches called, Rapid Planning Method, where you understand what it is you want and you get clear on that. And then you start to attach a reason why, why do you need to achieve that goal? And then you build out your massive action plan and you put those massive actions together and you get to work and do that. For me, I wanted to grow my agency, wanted to grow the visibility and I wanted to be able to drive leads organically through my website.

I needed to do that. I made it a must in my life because if I didn't, I wasn't going to make it. I was going to go under and I was going to have to work for somebody else and do something I didn't want to do. And then I started putting the plan together, whether that be the blogging, the optimization, the technical SEO, the other things that I needed to learn in order to get me where I wanted to be.

It's not magical formula. It's a very scientific formula. And when you put those things in place and you do the work and you stay consistent and you focus on one channel and you conquer that, it allows you to do the things that you really want to do. It allows you to get the visibility you want and the results you want. If you've got any more questions about how I did this and some of the other strategies, please comment below.

I'd love to hear those questions. I'm also putting together a course on this to help business owners, to help startups to prioritize what matters most and how to achieve those goals in the best way possible. Thanks again for checking out this video. Again, please comment. We'd love to continue the conversation with you. Until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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