There’s a lot of free marketing advice available online. Some is good. Sadly, most is ineffective. Today, I want to help you identify the best marketing 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. 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 several marketing sites.
I soon figured out what had happened. 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 marketing blogger, who doesn’t have a business
Many marketing blogs are written by people who are career employees, paid to produce lots of content. Others are employees, who were previously entrepreneurs, but they failed to build their own business and are now paid to produce “content” for their employers.
Think about that for a moment: On sites like these, you’re taking marketing advice from someone, who has either never marketed their own business or whose business failed, so they needed to get a job. I know of at least a dozen relatively well known marketing bloggers, who fit into that latter category.
2. Guest bloggers on popular marketing blogs
Many of the top marketing blogs rely very heavily on unpaid guest bloggers. Guest bloggers are people who write for free, in return for access to a popular blog’s readership.
None of the guest bloggers I checked on the sites my client mentioned, had the assets you’d expect from a competent marketer. In other words, they were unable to market their own brand.
Think about that for a moment: Their readers are taking marketing advice from bloggers, who feel forced to work for free. Bloggers who still haven’t figured out how to grow their own valuable readership, community or tribe. Bloggers who still have no idea how to market their own brand, other than by guest blogging.
Check the source
No, not every employee who writes about marketing is clueless. Some will be knowledgeable. No, not every guest blogger lacks a valuable blog or tribe of their own.
My point is simply this: Always check the credentials of those offering free marketing advice, before you act on what they tell you.
They should have an about page on their site, (like this one). See if they’ve achieved what you need to achieve. See if they have a proven track record at the highest level. If not, then find a better source.
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 that doesn’t mean what they’re telling you is right. It’s possible to be sincerely wrong.
I estimate my new client has lost at least 5 years worth of business growth. And probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues. All because she followed the same ineffective marketing advice as thousands of other small business owners.
Don’t let it happen to you. Before you invest your time or money on marketing, check the source. Always, always check the source.