If you’ve owned a business for longer than five minutes, you’ll know by now that everybody has a fool proof marketing tip for you that can’t possibly fail. More often than not, these are people who have no idea what they’re talking about, and you should definitely file that advice under “nope”. Of course, if your Auntie Barbara or Jim from next door are proper marketers with proper experience then you should by all means take their advice, but we’re willing to bet they’re not. Read on to find out which tips you shouldn’t take to heart, and why they’re likely to make things more difficult for you in the long run.
1. Spell something wrong.
Apparently if you do this, you’ll get more people through your doors or in your inbox, because they’ll want to tell you about your spelling mistake. This was all well and good ten years ago, but in a world of spellcheck and autocorrect, you run the risk of looking spectacularly unprofessional. It’ll also lead to you having to hide or find clever responses to multiple smart alec comments on social media, and on some occasions you might be all out berated for it.
Worth it? Nope.
Solution: proof read everything. If you’re not sure have someone else proof read it for you. One extra person through your doors (to tell you how wrong you are) isn’t worth looking unprofessional.
2. Connect all of your social media accounts and you’ll only have to worry about posting to one!
This is horrible advice from lazy people to lazy people. Cross-posting is ugly, and your audience is much less likely to engage with it. Spamming Facebook with Insta hashtags? Not nice. Posting Insta to Twitter and not seeing the picture? That’s even worse. Formatting is everything when it comes to social media, and if you can only handle one platform then that’s what you should stick to. Cross-posts are messy, they make you look lazy, and you’ll still have to engage on every network, so you might as well tailor your posts too.
Solution: decide which networks you’re comfortable to post to natively on a regular basis. Ditch the rest until you’re ready to commit.
3. Boosting posts is just a waste of money.
Sure, if you just throw £10 at a post on Facebook and click “Boost”, you might as well be flushing that £10 down the toilet, but boosting posts is a worthwhile investment if you do it properly. Think about your ideal customer and create your audience in adverts manager before trying to boost anything. You can then use this audience (which should be well tailored and detailed – Facebook’s audience options are incredible. Use them!) to boost the relevant, high quality content on your page and receive more qualified engagement.
Solution: spend some time tailoring an audience: get stuck in. If you’re struggling, ask for help!
4. You don’t need to pay someone to build your website. You can create your own using Wix or Weebly.
There’s nothing worse than spotting the words “Powered by Weebly” on a website. Google doesn’t like it and neither will your website visitors because when it comes down to it (and excuse the bluntness here) you look cheap and unprofessional. For most businesses nowadays, your website is your shop front, so you’re going to need to invest in an expert to make it stand out. Nowadays, “I can’t afford a website” isn’t a valid excuse, no matter how small your business is. At WestCoastCo. our websites start from just £225, and we offer interest free payment plans because nobody should ever have to resort to building their own website on Wix.
Solution: always let an expert handle it. It’s not always as expensive as it seems.
5. The most important use of your time is attending networking meetings.
First off, the only people preaching this are people who want you to pay to join their networking group. If someone is waxing lyrical about their group, always be a bit sceptical. Secondly, the most important use of your time is doing your job and taking care of your clients… obviously. We’ve been to pretty much every networking group there is, and we’ve given them all up in favour of maintaining strong relationships through a consistent online presence. It’s cheaper, there’s less pressure, you can talk to (and sell to) pretty much anybody in the world, and most importantly you don’t have to pretend to be happy in a room full of strangers at 6.30am (because nobody is happy at that time in the morning). We’ve tripled our workload since we stopped attending networking groups, and it’s because we’re focusing on what’s really important – and the referrals and word of mouth haven’t stopped either. They’ve increased, too! Don’t force something into your day if your time will be better spent on working with your clients.
Solution: if you like networking, and if you’ve got time for networking, keep going. If you don’t enjoy it, can’t afford it, or if it’s cutting into your time with your clients, don’t force it. Maintain a strong online presence, and you’ll find it’ll work just as well.
Got any more bad advice to share? We’d love to hear it!
Of course, if you’re looking for good advice from proper, qualified experts, you can book your free consultation with WestCoastCo. Today. Whether you’re looking for a new website, social media management or just a good natter, you know where to find us.