There’s a lot of free marketing advice available online. Some is good, but sadly a great deal of it is ineffective and often toxic. Today, I want to help you identify the best advice and show you how to avoid the worst.
A new client with a familiar problem
I was inspired to write this, after my initial session with a new client this morning. I went through some questions with her, as I do with all my new clients. I quickly noticed that she was making a number of serious marketing mistakes. During our session, I asked her where she got those marketing ideas from and she named half a dozen marketing blogs.
I soon figured out what had happened. She had been taking advice from sources of ineffective and sometimes toxic marketing information.
Today, I want to help you avoid making the same, costly mistake. I want to start by drawing your attention to 2 types of marketing blogger.
1. The small business marketing blogger, who doesn’t have a business
Many marketing blogs are written by people who are employees. Some are regular employees with holiday pay and a boss, who write a blog that’s not directly connected to their employer. Other’s are junior employees, paid to produce lots of “content”.
Think about that for a moment: On sites like that, small business owners could be taking marketing advice from someone, who has either never had a small business or whose business failed, so they needed to get a job.
2. Guest bloggers on popular marketing blogs
Many of the top marketing blogs rely heavily on unpaid, guest bloggers. Guest bloggers write for free, in return for access to the popular blog’s large readership. With just 1 exception, every guest blogger I checked on the sites my client mentioned, had a low authority blog, with very little engagement or traffic.
Think about that for a moment: Their readers could be taking marketing advice from people, who feel forced to work for free, because they still haven’t figured out how to build a valuable enough readership, community or tribe of their own.
Check the source
No, not every employee who writes about marketing is clueless. Some, like Scott Monty, are highly respected and highly knowledgeable. No, not every guest blogger lacks a valuable community or tribe of their own, either.
What I’m saying is simply this: When it’s a name you’ve never heard of, it’s always best to check before you act on what they tell you.
This is especially the case if that stranger has never achieved what you need to achieve.
Well written and sincere
Lots of people write extremely well and make a compelling point… when what they’re telling you is incorrect. They may be sincere, but being sincere mustn’t be confused with being right. It’s possible to be sincerely wrong.
I estimate my new client has lost at least 5 years worth of business growth, and who knows how many thousands of dollars, thanks to following the same bad marketing advice as thousands of other small business owners.
Don’t let it happen to you. Check the source. Always, always check the source.