Ok, show of hands.
Who else has an awesome product or service that is not getting the attention it deserves?
You’ve been busting your hump for months only to see sales plateau since you launched, or even worse, flat line.
The past month was spent tweaking your product, changing your messaging, trying to promote on Facebook, and purchasing pay per click ads. But nothing worked.
Many entrepreneurs lose faith and give up.
Others, like you, continuously search for answers.
But what should you do first? Where should you start?
A Two Step Marketing Formula
Marketing your business can appear to be overwhelming, and I want to make sure you are in the right frame of mind.
So I want you to do me a favor and take a deep breath.
It’s all going to be OK.
When you are trying to market your business online, there are only two things that you need to worry about.
The first thing is driving traffic.
The second thing is converting that traffic into sales.
Everything else is BS.
I know what you are thinking. “If it were this easy, why can’t I figure it out?” Well, it’s a simple formula, but it’s not an easy one to execute.
If it were, there would be a heck of a lot more successful startups.
Below, I’ve compiled five common mistakes that businesses make when trying to market their business online.
You Don’t Stand Out
There are two types of businesses online: those that stand out in their niche, and everyone else.
The companies that stand out in their niche are the ones with the most popular blogs, most popular social media following, and the most customers.
These companies have a way of being written about by every business book, blog, and magazine published.
And then there’s everyone else.
The rest of the companies struggle to find a horde of customer consistently, have blogs that are largely unread, and are ignored by the press.
But the good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. You can zig when others zag.
For instance, email marketing and list managing services have long been dominated by the likes of Mailchimp, Aweber, and Constant Contact. Those are just three of the dozens of services to choose from when beginning an email marketing strategy.
However, that didn’t deter the folks at Campaign Monitor from building their own email marketing solution. However, instead of competing with the dominant companies, they decided to build their product exclusively for designers.
If they had marketed their platform to small businesses like Constant Contact, Aweber and Mailchimp, they would have suffered the fate of being “Everyone else.”
You are Unknown
So, you have a great product, built a beautiful landing page, and are even getting a little traffic to your landing page, either by social media, paid advertisements, and SEO.
Now, you are just waiting for people to sign up for your 30 day free trial. But to your dismay, nothing happens.
The truth is this: people are more likely to buy from businesses they know.
And when you are starting out, you are largely unknown.
How do you get people to know you?
Most businesses do this by building an email list and dripping content to their prospects little by little.
I’m sure you’ve signed up for newsletters, downloaded ebooks, and attended webinars.
And every so often you get tips on how to improve your business, and case studies about how other companies are using a product.
Yes, creating ebooks, case studies and webinars take time and energy.
There are very few short cuts to building long lasting relationships, but it is the most profitable way to build your business.
Once you’ve become a known commodity and resource to your email list, it will be far easier to convert them into customers. As long as you don’t abuse this power, you will never worry about finding customers again.
Do you know what your customers really want?
What keeps them up at night? What do they dream about deep in the recesses of their brain?
Your customers don’t want your product; they want what your product does for them. They want you to make their dreams come true.
There’s an old cliché in marketing: “People don’t buy drills, they buy holes.”
For instance, you didn’t buy accounting software, you bought a way to easily manage your money.
But most entrepreneurs spend too much time selling the tool they built, and not the solution to a problem.
On the web, people have the attention span of a fruit fly.
We are updating Facebook, blogging, reading blogs, doing research, and a hundred other things.
In order to get their attention, you need to stop your potential customer dead in their tracks so that the only thing they think about is the problem they have and how you are going to solve it.
Too Much Clutter on the Home Page
One Saturday, Sheena Iyengar, a researcher at Columbia University set up a free tasting booth to allow customers to try jam. He had 24 flavors available for tasting.
The next Saturday, he set up six flavors available for tasting.
According to his book The Art of Choosing, when he had 24 flavors, 60% of the customers stopped by to taste, but only 3% bought something.
When he had six flavors, 40% of the customers stopped by, but 30% bought something. This turned out to be an increase in sales of 600%.
Unfortunately, most websites offer too many choices for their readers.
On the same page, a website will often want you to try their product free for thirty days, sign up for their news letter, follow them on Twitter, friend them on Facebook and read their latest blog post.
And in their paralyses, the prospect will simply leave.
If your goal is to get visitors to sign up for a free trial, then every case study, every testimonial, every word has to be dedicated to achieving that goal.
You spend far too much time, energy and money to get highly qualified traffic to your website. Don’t waste it by sending people to Facebook or Twitter.
No Traffic System
Here’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
You could have the perfect product with the perfect home page with the perfect messaging. But if you aren’t driving a consistent flow of traffic to your site, then none of that matters.
I’ve worked with numerous software companies and in so many cases, a lack of traffic almost kills the company.
Here’s what happens.
You get done building your product and launch it.
You start a blog, write really great content, and promote it on social media. But your social media traffic is anything but exciting.
Here’s the reason:
You can spend hours crafting the perfect headline, the perfect tweet, and the most beautiful graphic, but unless you have a large social media following, you probably won’t get the traffic you are looking for.
Of course there are ways to buy followers and fans, but that can be really expensive, and there is an excellent chance that you’ll waste money on a large collection of untargeted bots.
Then you might try SEO.
But again, nothing happens.
You can find the perfect keywords, place them in the right spots, and still see no results.
Because unless you have a number of high quality links from trusted sources, no amount of on-site SEO is going to dramatically improve your websites ranking.
Getting traffic to a website is hard and time consuming.
Before you waste any time blogging or on social media, make sure that you have a proven marketing plan that will generate the traffic you need to sustain your business.
You are Not Alone
Every entrepreneur who has ever started an online business has made each of these five mistakes at least once.
The ones that are successful and make it are the ones who have gone to the school of hard knocks and learned these lessons the hard way. They’ve spent years and a small fortune trying to figure it out. I should know because I’ve been there.
And honestly, it sucks.
I’ve also seen a lot of good startups founded by smart entrepreneurs wind up in the dead pool because they were never able to overcome these mistakes.
And I don’t want that to happen to you.
So on Tuesday, I’m going to host a free webinar that shows you how to drive traffic to your site and generate 100 sales leads in the next 30 days, even if you have a brand new startup.
Simply show up with a pen and paper ready to take notes.
How’s that sound?
Here’s what to do next
Before you leave this post, I want you to do me a favor and share it with your friends.
Lots of startups are making these exact same mistakes, and so we need to make sure that they are able to attend this webinar as well.
So, do me a favor and Tweet it, share it on Facebook, email your co-founder and your friends.
After that register for the webinar because space is limited and I suspect it will fill up quickly.
Finally, if you have any questions at all that you want to ask, do so in the comments section and I will be sure to answer them in the webinar for you.
Great! I’m looking forward to speaking with you soon.