Are you making this simple marketing mistake in your small business?
We’re quite partial to the small business owner. In fact, we love you! Not only are you ambitious and dedicated to your line of work, but you’re pushing to make a difference in people’s lives. Your enthusiasm is mesmerising, as is your willingness to shrug off the status quo to live a life less ordinary.
But, there’s one marketing mistake I see small business owners make all the time, and it breaks my little digital marketing heart. Instead of trying to build relationships with your potential buyer, you’re going in for the sale far too soon.
Asking for a sale on social media will not get you customers.
Asking for a sale in the newspaper will not get you customers.
Asking for a sale over the radio will not get you customers.
The reason this doesn’t work is because you haven’t built trust with the people you’re trying to reach yet. While constant ads might work for the bohemeth department store that people have been shopping at for 20 years, the relationship and brand awareness you have with your potential market may not be developed to that point, yet.
You haven’t built trust with the people you’re trying to reach yet.
It’s important to step back and think about how consumers view your business. Do they know you well enough to take you up on an offer? When an initial marketing attempt doesn’t work, business owners tend to think there is something wrong with their pricing and start discounting. Often this isn’t the problem, mainly it’s about trust.
When running a promotion, it’s likely nothing will happen unless it’s part of a wider plan.
Try this instead
Recently I read the book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s an interesting man that certainly polarises many, but he knows social media. (In fact, he’s invested in both Instagram and Snapchat). His analogy of “jab jab jab right hook” is a great one to keep in mind as you build your business.
It’s all about the need to show up consistently on your platform of choice. We’ll look at it on the basis of social media, but the same applies if you’re producing regular blog content, a podcast or videos for your audience.
It’s all about the need to show up consistently on your platform of choice.
A jab is a post where you provide value, giving more than you’re expecting to receive and gaining trust in your followers at the same time. It’s only when this level of trust has been developed that you can you drop that right hook. In this context, you guessed it, the right hook is asking for the sale.
Business owners often put up a promotional post, and are then baffled when nothing happens. “Social media doesn’t work” they think to themselves, and get on with their day.
Social media and content marketing definitely work if done right, and small business owners have the opportunity to make it their own! It’s about using it in the right way, and continuously showing up. Post at least 4 jabs to every right hook, and make sure those jabs are spot on when it comes to addressing problems your customers have in their own life.
Don’t get distressed when a post doesn’t work. Don’t stop posting because you feel like you’re ‘annoying’ your followers. If your reach is quite low (often the case on Facebook), just concentrate on being consistent to start off with. The more consistent you are, the more likely you will start to see things happen. By being consistent, you are also going to start noticing what works well and what doesn’t. But please don’t expect to see results overnight.
Don’t get distressed when a post doesn’t work. Don’t stop posting because you feel like you’re ‘annoying’ your followers.
The Jab Jab Jab Right Hook methodology is focused around social media, but it’s relevant to any marketing channel. If you’re sending a newsletter, make sure it’s packed with value, not promos! Customer trust is infinitely more effective than telling people to buy.
It’s not about the technology so much as how you use it
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the tools that are available to us. Many of these are free, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Focus on getting consistent before you expect results. Make it a long term commitment, not a one minute wonder.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. As in life, business, and marketing alike.