Over the past decade in business, I’ve fallen in love with marketing. I’ve experimented with organic and paid campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I’ve launched products, hosted online summits, scaled communities and built several different brands.
All of this experience resulted in a lot of learnings… or in other words—big scary marketing mistakes. (cue the music: dun, dun dun!) The truth is that I know what works because I’ve discovered what doesn’t. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and I don’t want you to make them too.
So today, I’m sharing 3 Marketing Mistakes that I truly believe creative entrepreneurs and small business owners cannot afford to make.
MISTAKE ONE: PUTTING ALL OF YOUR ENERGY INTO SOCIAL
Social media is sexy. I get it. The likes, followers, and instant feedback on your content makes it a powerful marketing engine.
However, when you invest all of your time building a presence on someone else’s platform—you run the risk of losing everything in an instant. All it takes is one algorithm change and your traffic can drop in half; one shift in platform popularity and you’re left talking to an empty room.
I love social media, but I spent too many years focussing all of my energy on social when I should have been diversifying my marketing channels, growing my email list, building out key partnerships, and so much more.
Lean into social, but understand that it is one of MANY different marketing channels that you have at your disposal… and it has its limitations.
Oh, and when you leverage social—remember to direct your audience to a platform that you own and control. Which brings me to my second mistake…
MISTAKE TWO: IGNORING EMAIL MARKETING
While social media may be the handshake, email marketing is where business gets done and where revenue is generated.
It’s a key ingredient in the small business success equation—especially for entrepreneurs that are looking to scale, hit higher conversion rates, and nurture a loyal audience. (PS: When I talk about using your social media platforms to direct people to something that you own: I’m talking about your email list!)
I started my email list about four years ago from nothing and have slowly grown it to over 15,000 creatives strong (and growing by the day). One of my biggest mistakes was not investing more time and energy into nurturing my list over those years.
I had a ‘set it and forget it’ mindset to my email marketing strategy. My website was littered with successful lead captures, but I wasn’t doing anything with those subscribers.
I think this is something that a lot of entrepreneurs can relate to. We think: build it and they will come—but what do you do when they get there?
The truth is… you need to invest in a fantastic email marketing platform that makes sending email as easy as posting a photo to Instagram. Design, write, send.
Problem: You don’t have a big marketing firm or team of designers down the hall that can build out your email campaigns and your audience is expecting your brand to look flawless.
Solution: Flodesk. I switched my business over a few weeks ago and I’ve been blown away by their private beta. (Be sure to use my Flodesk referral links in this post so that you can get 50% off if you choose to subscribe!)
The best part about Flodesk is that it was created by two of my dearest friends that understand the importance of giving creatives access to high-quality design without needing them to know a line of code. They built a way to create gorgeous, intuitive emails in minutes.
You may not have a team of designers down the hall—but your subscribers won’t know that. Your emails truly can look that good.
Oh! And the CoFounders of Flodesk are two powerhouse women that I’m truly proud to support. #womenempoweringwomen — They have created a solid platform that inspired me to bring back my own weekly newsletter this year.
MISTAKE THREE: NOT INVESTING IN VIDEO
According to Hubspot, a third of all the time people spend online is dedicated to watching videos and 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. If that wasn’t enough to convince you—Cisco predicts that by 2020, over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.
My Verdict: Video is quickly becoming the king of content marketing.
Strategic entrepreneurs and small business owners are leveraging video content to level-up their marketing efforts and stay ahead of the curve. Social platforms are favoring native video content and opening the floodgates for content creators to expand their reach.
This doesn’t mean that you need to commit to opening a YouTube channel with daily video content or go out and purchase camera equipment, but it does mean integrating video into your current strategy in manageable ways.
This might mean hopping on Instagram Stories, posting videos natively on Twitter, or streaming live on Facebook or Instagram—take baby steps towards incorporating it into your overall communications.
It’s important to remember that each social media platform is approaching this content in its own unique way, however regardless of platform: it is clear that entrepreneurs leveraging video are seeing results.
For example, adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300% and embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion by up to 80%. The data truly speaks for itself.
You can’t afford to ignore the rise of video. Find simple ways to integrate it into your current marketing efforts and test what works best for your brand. There are some incredible tips on video marketing in the recent Rising Tide + HoneyBook guide.
You may be surprised by the return on your investment!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links and I would love if you decided to use them. Affiliate links + referrals programs help educators like me to fund the free content that we provide on our blogs.