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3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks

3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks

Everyone is business knows that customers are the lifeblood of any business. In my opinion it is the most important thing that determines success more than anything else. If you can’t get new customers each month then you won’t build a successful business.

Simple.

The key to getting new customers each month lies in your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a solid marketing strategy outlined that details how you are going to get new customers each month then you are not going to build a successful business. You may already be in a position where you’re marketing but are not having the success you want from your efforts. This is an incredibly frustrating feeling.

However, you can create an effective marketing strategy easily and I will show you 3 key components for a marketing strategy that doesn’t suck and actually brings in more customers to your business.

Here we go.

No Differentiation

If you don’t actively differentiate your business then you will end up becoming a commodity in your marketplace. You need to find out what it is that separates your business from every other business in your marketplace. You need to give customers a REASON to pick you and then focus all of your branding around this differentiation.

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When you do this you avoid becoming a commodity. If you don’t actively make yourself different then people will have no reason to pick you and you will end up becoming a commodity, which leads to numerous problems in itself. The easiest way to answer this question of differentiation is to ask yourself.

“Why should a customer pick me over every other business.”

Essentially, this is your USP and it’s a statement that positions you in the marketplace by answering that question. In my own field I am in a very competitive market so I focus my copywriting services on how I help businesses get more leads and sales by writing personality filled words rather than boring, dry copy.

This is an example only.

There are plenty of ways you can focus on how your business is different and then nail down on it.

You Chase Customers Rather Than Have Them Come To You

This is a big one I struggled with when I first started my own business and I’m sure it’s when many other business owners can relate to. Chasing customers almost seems like the default method for getting new customers but it’s really the worst strategy you can use. It’s very time-consuming and in many cases it doesn’t reap any rewards or very little reward from all of your efforts and time spent.

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What really changed my approach was reading a book by Dan Kennedy called NO BS Sales Success. There was one chapter in it in particular that changed everything for me. He talks about positioning your business rather than prospecting so that customers come chasing you rather than the other way round. When you think about it, prospecting is such an archaic strategy for getting clients.

So instead of chasing customers what you should do is think about how you can actively position your business so that customers see you as the best option to help them solve their problems and then contact you.

There are a few key positioning strategies you can use:

  • Direct mail
  • Public speaking
  • Classified ads
  • Writing – guest posting or for print publications, magazines, newspaper columns, etc
  • Webinars
  • PPC ads
  • Publicity

There are many ways you can do this but these are some of the most common and effective.

Rather than focus your marketing on prospecting strategies, focus them on positioning strategies to get more customers and you’ll start seeing a greater reward for your efforts. A great by-product of this is that you end up being able to charge more money for your services and in many cases, the positioning you have done will mean that there will be very little price resistance.

When someone contacts you then they demonstrate commitment and compliance. These are both powerful psychological forces that shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Not Making The Most Of Your Time For Marketing

Once you actually create the marketing strategy you need to implement it and this is another area where people go wrong. Many business owners don’t think of themselves as business owners, they just want to do what it is they are exceptional at and that’s it. Not making marketing and advertising a PRIORITY is a seriously big mistake. One that will cost you big time in the long term. Bottom line, every single day you need to make time for marketing.

A little strategy I like to do is make the first 1-2 hours of my day solely for marketing activities before I do any client work. So it could be writing a guest post for an hour. It could be creating a Facebook PPC ad campaign. It could be carrying out some research for a direct mail campaign. Spending 30 minutes calling event organizers to see if you can speak at their event.

See what I mean?

If you don’t make the most of your time each day for marketing and make this area of your business a priority then you’ll never succeed in business. Marketing is the most important thing you need to be doing each day in your business. Each day you need to be actively doing something that aims to bring more customers to your business.

Make sure you track your marketing activities as well because then you can hold yourself accountable and also see what strategies are working more effectively than others.

Conclusion

Marketing is the most important aspect of running and building your own business in my opinion.

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Your marketing strategy is what will get customers coming to you and if your marketing strategy currently sucks then you need to look at the 3 tips above and implement them in your own marketing ASAP. Without it, you’ll never get the customers you need to make your business thrive and provide yourself with the kind of lifestyle you envisaged when you started your own business.

As a quick recap these are the three things you need to look at if your current marketing strategy sucks:

1. Lack of differentiation

2. Not attracting customers

3. Not making marketing each day a priority

I hope that these three things I have mentioned will help you improve your overall marketing strategy.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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  • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
  • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
  • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
  • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

For Changing a Job

  1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
  2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
  3. Get a raise.
  4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
  5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
  6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
  7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
  8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
  9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
  10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

For Switching Career Path

  1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
  2. Find a mentor.
  3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
  4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
  5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
  6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
  7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
  8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
  9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
  10. Create a financial plan.

For Getting a Promotion

  1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
  2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
  3. Become a mentor.
  4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
  5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
  6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
  7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
  8. Become a better communicator.
  9. Find new ways to be a team player.
  10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

For Acing a Job Interview

  1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
  2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
  3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
  4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
  5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
  6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
  7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
  8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
  9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
  10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

Career Goal Setting FAQs

I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

4. Can I have several career goals?

It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

Summary

You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
  • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
  • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
  • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
  • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

More Tips About Setting Work Goals

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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