Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Let’s cut the bull *ish: running a business is hard! You cannot be “good” at running a business. You may be good at leading a team or good at landing new clients but those are just single aspects of your business. There is so much more to your business than just the things you can excel at. Sometimes being successful at business means knowing what you don’t know and finding experts to help you fill in the gaps. If you are not a marketer (and sometimes even if you are) there are many things you do not know about growing awareness and drumming up demand for your business. That’s okay. That’s why we’re here. We are marketers and here are the 5 Small Business Marketing Myths We’re Fed Up With!
Marketing Myth #1: Small Businesses Don’t Need Marketing
Let us be perfectly clear. Crystal. Freaking. Clear. This myth is the single most dangerous small business mindset to fall victim to. Why on earth would a small, by definition, company not need marketing? That’s exactly who needs marketing the most!
Listen. We get it marketing is not free and it honestly feels like a gamble. You’re spending money on a largely abstract service and the results of that service are not guaranteed and really hard to measure. It seems like that money is better spent elsewhere. But here’s the thing. Without marketing you will always be stuck in that exact wanting situation.
If you find a marketing expert to help you with your goals that is honest, trustworthy, great at what they do and also writes really good blogs like this one, your money will be well spent. Marketing increases awareness of your brand. That awareness drives people to think of you when they are in need of what your brand provides. Your small business is now being considered. That’s more potential to grow.
Those things will not happen organically. You will not just be so good at what you do that people will learn about you organically. That’s insane. It’s statistically impossible. You need to be showing up for people in a meaningful way before they need you in order to be the ones they think of when they need you. Only marketing does that.
Marketing Myth #2: Good Marketing Costs Good Money!
Can you spend an arm and a leg on marketing? Absolutely! There are companies out there that will happily charge you $5,000, $10,000 or even $20,000 a month. If that sounds like too much, it’s because it is. Are those companies overcharging? Possibly, but it is also possible that the level of marketing they are offering or the package services they bundle are just not what you need. Think of it like a good deal on a brand new Lexus when you are only in the market for a used Camry. The Lexus isn’t necessarily overpriced but it isn’t going to serve your needs.
Marketing is not a “you get what you pay for” situation. You do not need to be paying an arm and a leg to get quality marketing. It is more of a “pay for what you need” situation. They are countless companies that will charge you reasonable prices for a level of marketing that your business will benefit from. We are one such business. However; we are far from the only. Start the conversation. Marketers aren’t lawyers or doctors. You don’t pay just to hear our voices.
Marketing Myth #3: One Size Fits All
Speaking of levels of marketing, do not fall for the one size fits all approach. One size does not fit all. You do not need to be on every single social media platform to be visible. You do not need to be running paid ads. You don’t even NEED to use hashtags. Marketing is a solution to a problem. It should not create more problems.
Your plan should not exist with your marketing team before you meet your marketing team. In an ideal world you would sit down in a comfy chair, have a collaborative conversation and mutually decide on a plan of action. What works for another business probably won’t work for your business. Unless of course your business is completely ripping off another, in which case you have bigger fish to fry.
Marketing Myth #4: Marketing Means Giving Up Control
Look, I get it. I run a small marketing business and I have a hard time giving up control of certain aspects to my own team and they are amazing! So many times I speak with small business owners and they are worried that they will become disconnected from the brand they’ve worked so hard to build. I hear things like: “It’d probably be easier if I wrote the captions, so it sounds like me.” or “My customers are used to hearing from me. I don’t want to turn them off.”
Understandable concerns, but largely unnecessary. First of all, marketers (the good ones at least) are good at what they do. They work very hard to learn about your business and all the messaging guidelines. Honestly, you’d be surprised how easy it can be to nail your voice, your imagery, your brand personality. It’s our job. We’re basically Margot Robbie, but with photoshop and Google Docs.
For example; when working with The Clever Catalyst all of our clients choose the level of activity they want on social media, blogs, business listing, etc. They review (or have waived the option to review) all content copy and graphics before posting. They regularly adjust their content calendars and areas of conversation based on the needs of their business. AND not a single one of them is locked in recurring monthly contracts or upfront fees. We are not bragging. This is just how we do business and again, we are far from the only ones.
Marketing Myth #5: Marketing Has to Be Boring
What we’re saying isn’t new. Many of us already know how beneficial marketing can be. Which is why so many businesses have marketing strategies now. This is great, except like a Jason Statham movie, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.
Marketing is so much more than plain jane newsletters and boring ass Instagram quotes. Your marketing can be literally anything you want it to be, and you certainly shouldn’t want it to be boring. Small businesses are amazing, unique and should be showcased for everything that they are. Your marketing should be fun, it should represent your business and it should excite you. If the idea of marketing bores you to tears, it's time to find someone to light that spark.
Will This Be on the Test?
Okay let’s recap! Now you know you need marketing to grow. You know it doesn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive. You know you can and SHOULD customize your approach. You know that you do not have to give up control of your image and you know it doesn’t have to be boring.
Now the only question that remains is what are you going to do with all this newfound knowledge? Because if you’re still settling for the business you are instead of the business that you could be, you’re rapidly running out of excuses.
Sorry we had to do that to you.