The Three Biggest Mistakes Small Business Make When Marketing Their Business…And How To Avoid Them All
It has been a while since I wrote anything significant. There is a good reason. I have spent the last six months implementing a elearning systems to help any small business get unlimited leads, at no cost for marketing. This article will explain how to do that. I’m going to reveal to you the three biggest mistakes small business make… and show you how you can overcome them all.
Here are the three mistakes. Mistake #1… they fail to get professional help. Mistake #2… they don’t know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many new clients as their business can handle. And mistake #3… they have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow. Let’s explore these three in depth, and show you how you can easily and systematically overcome them all.
Mistake #1… small business fail to get professional help. Can you name me just one professional athlete who does NOT have a coach? There aren’t any. Tiger Woods has 9 coaches guiding him in everything from his golf game to his financial investments. But do small business owners really need professional help? Remember the TV ads we previously discussed? Those ads are created by “professionals.” Unfortunately, those professionals have no clue what they’re doing. Everything they’re doing in marketing and advertising today is wrong! But let me prove that to you right now.
If you currently use any form of marketing such as a print ad, brochure, postcard, flyer… or for that matter… your company website, take it out and look at it carefully. And if you don’t have any form of marketing right now, stop this presentation for a few minutes and take out a sheet of paper and sketch out what you think would make for an effective ad for your new business. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or fancy… just create a basic outline of the ad and where you would locate the various elements on the page.
Now that you have your ad… or a mock up of your ad sitting in front of you, let me provide you with the little known secrets that produce more leads than your business can handle. 99% of all marketing professionals DON’T know the lead generation secrets I’m about to reveal to you. This information is so powerful and compelling, it will position you in the top 1% of all lead generation professionals today. This example will show you why every small business start-up should acquire our step-by-step roadmap as they start to generate leads for their new business.
Here’s what a true marketing professional will know… and help you implement into your marketing. It’s known as the “marketing equation.” Our marketing equation will make sure you NEVER have to compete on price. Instead, you will start selling your product or service for what it’s really worth the moment you open your doors for business. You’ll drive in more leads than your more established competition… and increase your initial advertising response by 10 to more than 100 times. You will convert a higher percentage of those leads and dramatically increase your number of sales. You will get a bigger bang for your marketing buck. The bottom line is this… you will literally create a profit faucet that you will have TOTAL control over.
But first, you MUST understand what marketing is supposed to do. Its purpose is actually three fold. Its first job is to capture the attention of your target market. Second, it must give them the hope that reading or listening to your marketing will give them enough information to help them make the best decision possible when buying whatever you sell. In other words, train and teach them how to recognize the true value of your product or service… and conclude that you… and you alone… offer the best value versus your competition. Marketing’s third job is to lower the risk of taking the next step in the buying process… and if necessary… continue to educate the prospect regarding the value you offer.
Marketing that accomplishes these three objectives will result in your prospects and customers coming to one single conclusion… that they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but you, regardless of price. It’s estimated that as many as 96% of all small business start-ups fail within their first 5 years. The main reason for this tremendously high failure rate has to do with the lack of expertise when it comes to generating leads and making your phone ring.
Most small business start-ups don’t know anything about those three things we just discussed that marketing is supposed to do. But there’s also an additional problem to consider. Most start-ups use a tactical marketing approach instead of a strategic approach. Let me explain.
Running an ad in the local newspaper… sending out an email or direct mail letter… airing a radio or TV ad on a local media station are all examples of tactical marketing. Now don’t get me wrong… the newspaper, radio or direct mail can be successful marketing channels… IF you’re marketing message is powerful and compelling. But that’s the problem… the message is the strategic side of marketing… and yet, it’s the most neglected.
This distinction between strategic and tactical marketing is huge and one you need to be acutely aware of anytime you start talking about generating more leads. Many start-up businesses mistakenly assume that when you talk about lead generation, you’re automatically talking about tactical lead generation… placing ads, sending out mailers, joining a networking group, attending tradeshows, implementing a prospect follow up system and so on.
They fail to realize that the strategic side of the coin, what you say in your marketing and how you say it is almost always more important than the marketing medium where you say it. If you fail to make this distinction, then you risk becoming jaded towards certain forms of marketing and advertising that should be a part of your tactical plan, but you eliminate them from consideration because they haven’t worked for you in the past.
When lead generation results are less than optimal, small business start-ups tend to almost always blame the marketing medium… like the newspaper the ad ran in or the postcards they sent out. They blame the tactical part of the plan… without any regard for how good or how bad the strategic messaging in that marketing piece was. New business owners often say things like, “we tried radio and it doesn’t work for our kind of business,” or “we sent out 50,000 pieces of direct mail and only generated 3 orders. It just doesn’t work.”
Just because it didn’t work, don’t assume that it won’t work. Most new business owners don’t have the evaluation skills or the know-how to judge whether poor marketing results from poor strategy or poor tactical execution. This is where our step-by-step roadmap can generate more leads than your new business can handle.
For example, most start-up businesses rely heavily on platitudes in their marketing. They say things like… we have the lowest prices… the best service… we’re family owned and operated… we offer convenient hours… and the best value. Look at your own marketing that I asked you about earlier. How many platitudes did you use in your own marketing?
By the way, this is NOT your fault. Most, if not all small business owners have been conditioned to think this is the proper way to market their businesses… since most advertising follows this same pathetic marketing formula… including the Fortune 500 types.
As human beings, we’re all after just one thing when we buy something… the best deal! Unfortunately, when you use platitudes in your marketing, there’s absolutely no way to tell who is actually offering the best deal. Everyone says they have the lowest prices, the highest quality and the best rates. So who do you believe? There’s only one way to know… and that’s to research every single business that offers what you want to buy. How many of us have the time or patience to do that?
So most of us just automatically assume that everyone is pretty much the same, and therefore we default to calling on the business that offers us the lowest price. When you can’t communicate the true value your business offers, you’re doomed to forever compete on price. Our marketing equation will change all of that for you forever. It’s going to be the backbone of your strategic marketing plan right out of the gate. It’s the foundation on which everything else we build for you is based. Let me give you a quick overview and then spend some time going through it with you in detail.
Our marketing equation has four main components. First, we must interrupt your prospect. We must get your qualified prospect to pay attention to your lead generation marketing. Simple enough to say, but a lot more difficult to pull off in real life unless you understand what you’re about to learn here. The interrupt is done through your headline if your marketing is in print… or it’s the first thing you say if you’re marketing through radio or TV. The second component is engage. Once your prospect is interrupted, it’s critical we give your reader the promise that information is forthcoming that will help the prospect make the best buying decision possible. In other words, it must help facilitate their decision to pick you over anyone else. This is the job of our subheadline.
The interrupt is our headline that highlights a specific problem that your prospects are looking for a solution to… and the engage is our subheadline that promises them that you offer a solution to the problem we mentioned in our headline.
The third component we need to include is educate. Once we’ve interrupted and engaged your prospect, we have to give information that allows them to logically understand how and why you solve the problem they’re facing. This is accomplished by giving detailed, quantifiable, specific and revealing information. This is typically done in the body copy of your ad. When we educate, we need to reveal to your prospects the important and relevant information they need to know when making a good decision, and that your business… and yours alone… provides it to them. The interrupt and engage hit the prospects emotional hot buttons. Educate is the logic they need to justify picking up the phone and calling you.
The fourth and final component of our marketing equation is your offer. Now that we’ve interrupted your prospect based on problems that are important to them… engaged by a promise of the solution… and they’ve examined the educational information that makes your solution real and believable… the last step we need to take is to give them a low risk way to take the next step in your sales process. We do this by offering a free marketing tool, such as a report, brochure, seminar, audio, video or something that will continue to educate them. Your offer will allow your prospect to feel in control of their final decision to call and buy from you.
So our marketing equation is interrupt, engage, educate and offer and together they equal market domination. Now here’s the problem. Most marketing today only contains two of these components. They interrupt by throwing something at you that’s either familiar like Tiger Woods… or unusual like a monkey or talking pets. Sometimes they like to use both, as in the case of the E*Trade baby. Then once they grab your attention, they make you some type of offer such as “call now for whatever.” They have left out the engage and the educate, and marketing seldom succeeds when that happens.
In fact, the only time this type of marketing does succeed is when you can afford to run the ad over and over nonstop for an extended period of time. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz… melts in your mouth, not in your hand… and things go better with Coke have literally been rammed down our throats by Fortune 500 types. After hearing these slogans thousands of times, of course we’re going to remember them. But how can a small business start-up like you… that doesn’t have a billion dollar marketing budget… successfully market your business. The answer… you can’t… UNLESS you follow our entire marketing equation. Here’s a simple example to prove this to you.
Years ago there was a moving company that was on the verge of bankruptcy. They were paying $3,000 per month for a full page ad in their Yellow Pages directory. They were averaging just 70 calls per month, and their conversion ratio was only 16%. So out of 70 calls every month, they were only getting 11 moving jobs. No wonder they were starving.
The reason their ad wasn’t working was their failure to follow our marketing equation. In fact, the only marketing equation component they had in their ad was an offer, and that offer was “call us”… and then they listed their phone number. They had no interrupt at the top of their ad whatsoever, just the name of their company. Then they listed all the generic and “me too” services that every one of their competitors also listed in their ads. Things like local and long distance, residential and commercial, reliable and careful, fully licensed and insured, free estimates, quality service at reasonable rates, complete packing services, local, regional, national and so on. Then at the bottom of the ad was their phone number.
Again, look at your own marketing that I asked you about earlier. Does your marketing format look exactly the same as the one this moving company was using? Did you place the name of your business at the top… list your products or services in the middle along with a layer of worthless and meaningless platitudes such as lowest prices, highest quality and best rates? 99% of all small businesses follow this EXACT format, and then they wonder why they aren’t generating any quality leads.
If you want your phone to start ringing… then you MUST follow our marketing equation of interrupt, engage, educate and offer. So using our equation this moving company redesigned this lead generation ad, and here’s what happened. First, they identified the biggest problem their customers had when moving. Without hesitation, it was DAMAGE! 72% of all moves result in something being damaged. That’s the area they need to focus on then, and create what we call a market-dominating position around that hot button issue. But why is damage such an important issue… since all moving companies listed in the Yellow Pages say they’re “fully insured.”
It turns out that all movers MUST be fully insured… but that the general public has NO idea what “fully insured” really means. When you hear someone say they’re fully insured, don’t you automatically assume that means that if they break your $5,000 HDTV, they will reimburse you $5,000? I certainly would.
Well, it turns out that in the moving business, that isn’t what fully insured means at all. Legally, a moving company can claim they fully insure their customers belongings based on “per pound of damage.” The national average is 40 cents per pound. So in other words, if a mover destroys your $5,000 100 pound HDTV… they’re only legally obligated to pay you $40. Unfortunately, the poor unsuspecting customer doesn’t find that out until AFTER the damage has taken place… and they receive their miniscule reimbursement. But for this specific moving company this policy was never an issue because they didn’t believe in this deceptive industry practice.
They actually provide their customers with what’s known as “full replacement value” insurance. If they break your $5,000 HDTV, you’re reimbursed $5,000… no questions asked. But how could they afford this much more expensive insurance? It was due to their extraordinary 3 step packing process that ONLY their company offered, and thanks to this process… their actual breakage and damage totals were below 3%.
And what little damage did occur typically involved a broken dish or plate… relatively minor items that had little to no replacement costs… and certainly no sentimental value that would create an emotional situation with their customers. Their unique packing process allowed them to carry a $5,000 insurance deductible, and their premiums for this superior insurance were actually lower than their competitors paid for the inferior and deceptive insurance.
Their 3 step packing process… coupled with their superior full replacement value insurance coverage… became their market-dominating position. All that’s left is to position that information in their ad and follow our marketing equation.
Let’s first create a headline for the top of their Yellow Page ad that interrupts. This must address the main hot button issue or problem that their prospects are looking to solve… in this case… damage! So the headline should say something like this… “Last Year, More Than 4,000 Damage And Negligent Lawsuits Were Filed Against Moving Companies By Outraged Homeowners!” Think that headline will grab the attention of prospective movers? You bet.
But let’s not stop there. Next, let’s engage the prospect by promising them a solution to the problem we referenced in the headline… in this case, damage prevention. What do you think of this subheadline? “Ask Any Mover These 2 Questions To Insure You Won’t Be Victimized Or “Ripped Off” By Deceptive Industry Practices.” Now, when a prospect reads this subheadline… do you think they will want to immediately find out what those two questions are? Of course they will.
Now let’s educate them by providing them with two questions that the prospect can ask any mover they choose to contact. What about these two questions… do you follow a minimum 3 step packing process for every item you place in your truck… and second, do you carry full replacement value insurance? We already know that their competitions answer to both of these questions is no, since this mover had previously surveyed all of them. This ad educates prospects on the realities of what actually takes place in the moving industry, and highlights this moving company’s market-dominating position that makes them the obvious choice to do business with.
Their offer was a free moving company comparison checklist that highlights the survey they did… showing the prospect that they were the ONLY moving company in town that offered all of these desired benefits. This will make them the no-brainer choice in the moving industry, and the results they generated from this new Yellow Page ad sealed the deal.
Instead of averaging just 70 calls per month… their new ad averaged 955 calls per month. Instead of a 16% conversion rate, their rate jumped to 68%. Their new ad generated so many new clients asking for their services, they had to partner with 4 of their competitors to handle the increased volume. And listen to this. Those 4 competitors bought this company out 9 months later for $2.3 million dollars. All of this from simply changing the strategic message in their Yellow Page ad… and without spending an extra cent.
This is why every small business start-up needs to seek out our professional help. But finding professional help is often frustrating… and at times, a crapshoot at best. That’s why I wanted to teach you our marketing equation of interrupt, engage, educate and offer.
The moving company trained their prospects on the relevant and important issues they needed to know when moving so those prospects knew what to ask for when they sought out the services of a mover. Now you know our marketing equation… and you can use it when seeking out the professional help you need for your new business. A true marketing professional will know this equation, and if they don’t… run away as fast as you can!
And by the way, did you notice that in the information we just discussed we also covertly covered mistakes #2 and #3. Earlier I said that the second biggest mistake small business start-ups make involved the fact that they don’t know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many new clients as their business can handle. Well, now YOU do know the fundamentals… and you can use them to out-market and outsell your competition right from the start. First, create a market-dominating position for your business… and then insert that position into your marketing by following our marketing equation to the letter.
And the third biggest mistake small business start-ups make focused on the fact that they have no idea how to generate immediate cash flow. When you follow our marketing equation in every form of marketing you do… from your business cards to your company website, the financial results are instantaneous and immediate. Consider the following example.
Consider a recent situation involving Dr. John Smith… a child psychologist who specialized in helping parents with out-of-control kids. You know the kids I’m talking about don’t you? The ones at the store that are yelling, screaming, throwing a tantrum and completely out of control. These kids range in age from 6 years old up to teenagers. Dr. Smith’s original website had all of the classic mistakes that are typical in small business today. He had the name of his practice at the top of his site.
The only thing even resembling what you might call a headline said “Parenting Advice & Resources From Dr. John Smith.” Does that headline really appeal to a parent who is dealing with a screaming, out of control kid? Would that headline hit their emotional hot button? Do they really care anything at all right now about “advice and resources?” Or… are his prospects looking for a solution to their problem?
Remember, you must always start your marketing with an Interrupting headline that’s focused on the problem your prospects are experiencing. Then you must have a subheadline that engages the prospect by promising them that there’s a solution to that problem. Remember our first two Marketing Equation components… Interrupt and Engage. That’s the job of the headline and subheadline. And this applies to every form of marketing, including websites.
Dr. Smith’s website headline… “Parenting Advice & Resources From Dr. John Smith” does NOT address the problem his frustrated parents are experiencing with their child. And to make matters worse, his website has no subheadline whatsoever, so there is no way for him to engage his prospects to keep them interested.
In fact, it’s doubtful that any prospect visiting his site will stay here more than a few seconds. The latest research shows that the typical prospect visiting a website remains on the site for just three to five seconds. If during that brief period of time they don’t find something that looks like it will provide them with a solution to their problem, they’re gone for good.
The third component of our Marketing Equation says to Educate the prospect. This simply means that you must educate them with what it is that makes your product or service so much better than your competition. On a website, this is done with either body copy… or in Dr. Smith’s case, by video. Just make it short and sweet when it’s the point of first contact. You can then offer much more information once you have them compelled to want to know more about what you do.
And the final component of our Marketing Equation is your Offer. A low risk… or better yet NO RISK offer gets them to take a specific action such as request more information, take a test drive, and register for a free thirty day trial, an educational presentation or similar offer. The key here is to make the offer so compelling that it’s literally irresistible to the prospect. In fact, you want them to be thinking to themselves that they would have to be an absolute fool to NOT take your offer.
Dr. Smith’s offer was a white paper titled… The Secret for Parents: a special report on how you can learn the secrets of nurturing well behaved children. Here’s the problem… his prospects don’t have well behaved children. They have one that’s screaming, yelling, cursing, belligerent, back-talking and completely out of control. Nurturing a well behaved child is NOT the solution they’re looking for. Getting their kid under control RIGHT NOW is what they’re looking for.
Can you see why Dr. Smith’s website failed him in every area? This site wasn’t building his business. It wasn’t helping him generate leads, attract new clients… or generate additional revenue for his practice. It simply doesn’t follow our Marketing Equation. So Dr. Smith changed his website so it did follow our proven step-by-step roadmap.
He placed a headline at the top of his site that said… “Are You Sick and Tired Of The Yelling, Screaming And Belligerent Attitude Of Your Child?” Would you say that headline hits the major hot button for virtually every prospective parent that comes to this site? Do you think that these prospects… the moment they read that headline… will immediately think to themselves that they have just come to the right place where they can find a solution to their problem?
In other words, did this headline just Interrupt Dr. Smith’s prospects? Of course it did. Now let’s Engage those prospects by promising them a solution in the subheadline. It says… “now you can discover the secrets to controlling your child and instantly restore peace and quiet in your home.” Isn’t that what his prospects want… and will do almost anything to get? Absolutely. See how the headline and subheadline work closely together to Interrupt and Engage every single prospect who comes to this site?
Now that they’re Engaged, the video can spend one to three minutes reinforcing the fact that our good doctor has the solution they so desperately seek, and his offer has been changed so it’s not only more relevant to the prospects situation, but so compelling it’s virtually irresistible. The offer says… “Learn the Secrets To Gaining and Maintaining Complete Control Of Your Child In Less Than 60 Seconds.”
Show me just one prospective parent visiting this site that WON’T download that report. They all will. And when they do, Dr. Smith captures their contact information so he can continue to keep his prospects informed until they’re ready to buy his services. This revised site exploded Dr. Smith’s business to unprecedented levels. And best of all, our marketing equation can work for your business as well… producing immediate results. So to quickly recap.
The three biggest lead generation mistakes people make when looking to get started in business are #1… They fail to get professional help. #2… They don’t know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many new clients as their business can handle. And #3… They have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow.
Our marketing equation contains the fundamental components you need to insure your new business is successful from the very start. The marketing equation will make your phone ring and position your new business as the dominant force in your market. It provides the marketing foundation that will enable you to generate immediate cash flow. And as you get started, you can use this information as a minimum standard when seeking out professional help for your business.
When you can overcome these three biggest lead generation mistakes, you will generate all the leads your business can handle… and turn your dreams of owning your business into reality. Want proof?
Suppose we could provide you with professional help… teach you some basic fundamentals that will allow you to market your business successfully and help you to attract as many new clients to your business as you want… while simultaneously helping you to develop compelling marketing that will generate immediate cash flow for your business?
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