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 prompted 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 around half a dozen marketing sites.
I soon figured out what had happened.
Today, I want to help you avoid making the same, expensive mistake. I need 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 own business failed.
2. Guest bloggers on popular marketing blogs
The vast majority of 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. Taking advice from them lost my new client a fortune.
Check the source
No, not every employee / guest blogger who writes about marketing is clueless. Some will be knowledgeable. At least a little.
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 bloggers write extremely well and make a compelling point, when what they’re telling you is incorrect or ineffective. They may be sincere, but it’s possible to be sincerely wrong.
I estimate my new client has lost at least 5 years worth of business growth. And probably missed out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in 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.