No matter how long you have been in business or how successful your training or coaching business is, if you stop marketing, you will very quickly see the effects of lost profits and sales. You will lose ground to your competition. In the competitive market today, you simply cannot afford to not market.
In virtually every area of business, there will be pitfalls along the way. Marketing is no exception. By knowing how to market and how to avoid these marketing mistakes, you will save energy, disappointment – and money.
Mistake #1: Eliminating marketing efforts when times get tight.
When cash flow slows, advertising, direct mail and other forms of marketing are the easiest expenses to reduce, right? But cut these, and you eliminate the very activities that will bring in new clients to turn your business around. This is the time when you may be spending more time analyzing the results of your marketing efforts. But by stopping marketing efforts, you will be setting yourself up for the additional loss of business.
Mistake #2: Not measuring results.
Don’t wait until times get tight to start measuring the results of your marketing efforts. By constantly analyzing these, you will be able to reinvest in what is working and drop those that aren’t. Ask clients how they found your business, and then track the results. Use in-store or online coupons, or host a focus group of a variety of clients to discover what attracts them to your services.
Mistake #3: Putting all your marketing dollars in one area.
If your entire marketing budget is used on just one method of promoting your training business, you won’t realize the highest return on your investment. Diversifying your efforts will increase the frequency and reach of your messages and stretch your marketing dollars.
Businesses can get hooked into one large advertising program with a local newspaper, magazine or radio station, and put the majority of their marketing dollars there. They feel as if they have to advertise with the same media source, just because they always have or fear they will lose ground since their competitors are advertising there as well. I have actually known some business owners that stay with a company for fear of upsetting their sales associate. Remember, it’s your money and your investment. Don’t ever let anyone talk you into an advertising program that is not producing the best results for your business.
Many training or coaching business owners tell me they only do a few direct-mail programs a year, targeted to their existing client base. Your client base and mailing list is gold, make sure you have budgeted a large part of your marketing dollars to advertise to your existing clients. They already love you, so keep them coming in by sending promotional (promotional – not just sale) postcards to them at least six times a year.
Mistake #4: Allowing your ego to get in the way of common sense.
Ego can tempt a very bright person to do dumb things. Your marketing decisions should be based on factors that will positively impact some area of your business – usually the bottom line. Buying full-page ads or covers featuring yourself and not focusing on your unique offerings may result in money out the window.
Mistake #5: Not getting help when you need it.
If you find you’re too busy to handle your marketing efforts or that your materials aren’t looking as professional as they should, it’s time to call in the reinforcements. Hire a full-or part-time employee to allow you more free time to work on the “business end” or hire an independent business consultant to bring in new concepts and fresh ideas.
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