“Time for a bit of honesty….YOU… yes You Mr./Mrs. Business Owner are your own worst enemy when it comes to marketing.”

The majority of owners I’ve encountered are like wrecking balls with a conscious, making poor, misguided decisions and assumptions about what their customers want, like, need, or even how they want to be marketed to. In reality they destroy or ruin opportunities to put their company in front of the right audience. And even those who understand who their audience is, most fail to appeal to the prospect in such a way that will generate a sale.

Most business owners are micro-managers who have control issues or the inability to delegate tasks to other team members which they feel are most important. And, in their defense, perhaps it’s a lack of quality help which makes them feel as though nothing ever gets done right unless they do it themselves.

For any business owner who thinks to themselves, “you want it done right you got to do it yourself…” perhaps it’s time to consider looking for more dependable employees. No business owner can be all things at all times to all people and effectively grow their business. You must delegate. You must let go. And you must trust that your team will perform the duties they were assigned to the best of their ability. If not, don’t be afraid to cut them loose and try again.

This controlling, “superman” mindset seems most evident when it comes to marketing. Business owners believe they know their business better than anyone, therefore no one else can market their business as well as they can.

However, they are dead wrong.

Business owners know how to run their business not market their business.

They have acquired the technical skills, educational background, or understanding through years of experience to be considered experts in their field. But few know how to tell a story, or how to see their product or service through the eyes of the customer.

Here are 4 key reasons business owners should consider hiring a professional marketer to generate better leads for their company.

#1 Develop an Unbiased Marketing Approach

You take great pride in your business and you should. It’s hard to not be defensive if someone tells you they don’t like something or that your service or product is inferior when you disagree. It’s hard to not think your product is the best or that you put more heart and soul into it than anyone else.

You may also feel like your habits, behaviors, likes, and dislikes are the same as your customer but that is often very far from the truth. How many times have you heard someone say, “My customers don’t search online,” or “My customers don’t read blog articles.”

Your favorite color and how you navigate a website or how you like to shop, dress, eat, etc does not matter. I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings (not really). Your customer, your end-user is most important and should be the basis for all marketing decisions.

Professional marketers leave emotion out of the equation. While your hard work, blood, sweat, and tears will go into how a marketer might “position” your company, they will use it as one component in developing a stronger marketing plan that appeals to your target buyer. One that perhaps even personalizes your business a bit more by using your work ethic, values, or unique identifying factors to help differentiate your business within a particular industry. And your personal opinions will not influence their suggestions for what they know will work.

Professional marketers can prove without a shadow of a doubt exactly what your target audience is in fact doing, looking for, buying, etc. Myths and assumptions about what you think you know about your customer base can be one of the most damaging metrics of marketing success.

#2 You shouldn’t have the time to do your own marketing

If you have time to spend on marketing, your business could be suffering elsewhere.

  • Are there courses or groups you could join which could help with operation of the business?
  • Could you be spending time on product or service development?
  • Has your industry implemented new technology or techniques you have yet to master or implement due to time constraints?
  • What other areas of your business need help that would value greatly from your time, expert insight, or contributions?

Don’t waste your valuable time on marketing when someone else could be doing it for you.

Most business owners would agree, their time is worth far more to their business than what you would pay a professional marketer. By freeing yourself from the burden of marketing in-house you also free up your time to spend focusing more on making sure your current clients are happy.

A Better Business Side Note

Building better existing client relationships nearly always results in increased revenue or new sales. How many customers do you have that haven’t heard from your company in weeks, months, or years? And I don’t mean shooting over an invoice. I mean actually having a conversation to see how they are doing.

  • Have their needs changed?
  • Do you have new solutions since they bought from you that might be a better fit?
  • Are they utilizing your product correctly or to the best of its ability?

If you don’t make time to speak to them you’ll never know. If there is one thing I’ve learned in business ownership…

Never consider silence a good thing.

Wait… but we hear all the time, “No news is good news.” Is that so?

I don’t think I care to buy into that. And recently I learned just how false that was as I touched based with a customer who I knew was probably looking for marketing help since it was years since we last spoke about some possible service options for him. He was very frustrated with his current services and not the service necessarily but simply how marketing had changed to make it somewhat obsolete, and in such a short amount of time. One simple email and subsequent phone call turned into quite a bit of added revenue for our agency and a much happier customer.

In the past I’ve encountered similar situations from other colleagues who are also business owners and actually used their complacency as an excuse. One such business owner said something like, “I had no idea they were so happy, they should have said something…” If you take pride in your approach and how you service your customers, the onus is on you to develop a system for following up with customers, after the sale. You should love your product or service to the point you want everyone else to love it as much as you do. And, in my opinion, if you don’t care to know or don’t take the time to see how you could make improvements based on real world feedback from paying customers, you shouldn’t own a business and don’t deserve the customers you have.

My point here, there is plenty you could be doing outside of marketing that would be of much higher value to your company.

#3 You are not a marketing expert

It’s not hard to become a knowledgeable expert in marketing if you are dedicated to continuing education. And, the majority of tools we use are readily available to the general public at a pretty reasonable cost.

However, marketing and running a business at the same time can seem like two full-time jobs. If you’ve tried or are currently attempting this feat, than you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Most business owners simply cannot maintain the level of effort needed to see success with marketing. And, in reality how could you?

Your business needs you, your customers need you, and your employees need you.

Marketing, will always be an afterthought and therefore will always suffer.

In addition, marketing is literally a moving target. Take SEO for example, if you studied up on SEO even a year or maybe 2 years ago, what you know and what is currently in practice are very different. With most companies investing 70% or more of their marketing budgets online, it takes a great deal of up-to-date expertise to stay relevant with your audience. Plus marketing today involves content marketing, inbound marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing at minimum as well as good working knowledge of web design and web development.

Are you prepared or capable of handling those with any degree of expertise regularly?

#4 Yes, you NEED marketing, stop fooling yourself

This is a short one… but I have to end with this point.

I have heard so many times, the argument that “My business does not need marketing.”

  • Are you in business to make money?
  • Are you in business to help others solve a problem?
  • Are you in business to make a difference?
  • Do you want to make more money?
  • Do you want to help more people solve more problems?
  • Do you want to make a bigger, better difference?

Just about every business owner would say yes to all of these. So really the only question is…

How do you plan to do this if no one really knows you exist?

Your pool of potential customers will continue to get smaller and smaller as your competitors become greater in number and are all marketing their services while you are not. The majority of businesses now can appeal to a much larger customer base as well since proximity is no longer as big of an issue. For example by offering inbound marketing and web design my agency can work with anyone, anywhere, and since we’ve embraced this concept, we now have customers in just about every state as well as other countries.

Compare this to a local business with no marketing awareness who rely on customers in their local area to find them. Even if there is a large local base of prospects if you are not marketing to them and getting in front of those customers where they are looking for vendors most, you will fail.. if not today… soon.

The bigger issue to consider as well, most businesses look to grow and build upon the base they’ve established. Without marketing and positioning your business as a relevant, viable, option within any market place, your potential customers will always find another option they feel is better suited and more relevant to their needs.

Final Thoughts

“I’ve always said, I’d rather be great at one thing than mediocre at many.”

As business owners we already have enough to worry about. Perhaps it’s time to start letting go and letting others succeed where we may have failed or be failing. Life is full of failure. Running a business is a culmination of failures leading towards a better refined end product or service and ultimately success if you stay focused and are willing to adapt to overcome all odds. We have all made mistakes and had our fair share of challenges.

Failure is subjective and your personal outlook on life can play a large role in how you adapt to challenges you face with your business.

Failure is life’s way of teaching you something so you must listen.

Set your business up for success.

Build a quality team you can trust whether it be internal or if you are considering hiring a marketing professional. And, just like you, give your team a chance to fail, more than once. If you never let them fail, you’ll never know how they adapt or what new ideas or solutions may come from that dark moment in time.

With your guidance, communication, inside knowledge and expertise, a hiring a professional marketer can eventually help alleviate a massive burden from your shoulders and develop a much stronger authentic connection with your target audience than ever before. It doesn’t happen overnight. Marketing is a process and your chosen professional must take the time to get to know you, your business, and your customers intimately. Give a professional the room to do what they do best.

So, I think I’ve made a strong point why even great business owners suck at marketing. And, if you’ve read this far, than maybe I struck a chord. Or maybe you were just waiting for the sales pitch since, lo and behold, I’m a professional marketer. But I have been where you are. And being a business owner I suck at marketing too. I cannot possibly give my business the time and attention it requires when I’m so focused on my customers.

I’m just a fallible as the rest of you, and I had “superman syndrome” for a long time, refusing to give up control. Piece by piece I’ve let things go and it has opened so many new opportunities for growth that the only regret I now have, is not doing it sooner.

Sometimes it’s just nice to know you are on the same page as someone else. I’ve been right where you are and as a business owner I will always struggle with when to take control and when to step back and let others step in and lead. I admit one of my greatest joys is seeing my team take the lead and do well. It is empowering to them to know I have confidence in their ability and it is extremely fulfilling to see the expertise, guidance, and mentoring you provide your team does not go to waste or unappreciated.

I would love to discuss marketing with you. Even business strategy, no strings attached. You can schedule a free marketing consultation with me at any time. Helping business owners find ways to become more profitable and grow their business is why I established Vinci Digital over a decade ago to begin with. Thanks for reading and thinking about how you can be a better business owner.

 

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Gerald D. Vinci

Author Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is a branding and marketing consultant in Monterey, CA. He is passionate about helping small business owners create new opportunities for success and growth.

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