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Marketing & Tech
What are the most common marketing mistakes entrepreneurs make?
Aug 13, 2012 | Todd Bates lock

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re most probably pulling double-duty in order to tackle multiple job functions at the same time, including sales, marketing, business planning, finances, all of which may not be within your realm of expertise. One of the fastest ways to develop your skills in a particularly challenging area is to learn from your mistakes or those of others.

Below, Todd Bates, seasoned entrepreneur and consultant, shares what he has found to be the 4 biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when marketing their business:

1. Trying to Brand
Bottom line: Branding works when a business has the budget to make it work. This isn’t to say that your company shouldn’t have a brand, identity, or logo. The mistake that too many entrepreneurs make when approaching branding is spending their precious resources on trying to get their customers to identify with them. Attracting new customers is more about having a strong marketing message that explains why prospective clients should choose your business, and less about creating the perfect logo.

2. Being Unwilling to Take a Risk
As Todd says, “No one buys vanilla,” meaning that sometimes it is necessary to take a leap of faith and stand behind your product or service.  The more you play it safe by looking, sounding, and acting like every other business, the more risky it is to your business since customers will be unable to determine the difference between you and your competition.

3. Spending Too Much on Marketing
The fact is that most entrepreneurs are spending too much on marketing when they are taking out ads, using Internet advertising, or doing any grassroots marketing approach. The golden rule of marketing that Todd suggests is to not spend more than 7% of what a client is worth to you. For example, if you are an insurance agent who makes $500 on an average policy you sell, your rule would be to spend $35. Be militant in your marketing spending!

4. Relying on Your Personality
It’s important to not rely solely on your personality and figure that you will market yourself. Ask yourself, “Have you ever started something and not finished it?” Relying on your personality will only lead to poor results.


Todd Bates is a leading business consultant, speaker, author, and President and Owner of Todd Bates Systems. Using his talent for business marketing and with years of success behind him, Bates dedicates his career to teaching other businesses and entrepreneurs how to thrive.

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