5 Things Your Mentor Didn’t Teach You About Marketing

Marketing is part art, part science and part skill. Put all three of these pieces of the puzzle together and you get impressive results, regardless of whether you’re looking for high converting lead-generation or you’re looking for product sales. Even if you have a mentor or not, there’s a lot of trial and error involved with putting forward solid marketing campaigns. Here are five things you should know, that your mentor most likely didn’t mention.

1.    Marketing successfully requires you understand human psychology

There’s no good way of getting around this. If you haven’t taken some courses in human psychology, particularly courses dealing with what motivates people to action, you’re going to have a challenging time executing a successful marketing campaign. Chances are if your mentor touched on this topic it was from a “how do you get people to buy from YOU” perspective.

Instead, start thinking about what traits your target audience has and how you can tap into those traits to move them to action.

For example, if you’re running a marketing campaign for a chain of hotels, think about who will be staying at your hotels. Are they business people? Families? Couples? Singles getting away? What is it about your hotel and your marketing plan that will motivate these people to want to select your chain?  It’s about more than saying that you have amenities they want. Plenty of other chains do that. It’s about motivating them to pick up their laptop, tablet or phone and book a room with your chain. The triggering factor can be different for each group you’re trying to appeal to.

2.    Marketing well requires a lot of emotional energy in the beginning

When you want to market well and impress people, you’ve got to go above and beyond when starting out. It makes sense that it takes more effort to get things started when first getting the word out, but what no one tells you is that in addition to physical and mental stamina, marketing well takes a lot of emotional energy. You need to be mentioning your project or product to everyone who will listen, and that can be taxing – particularly for introverts. Make sure to take some time away from marketing each day to do things you love that will refresh you. Otherwise, you may find yourself burned out before you make your first 10 sales.

3.    Even when things are going well, and you’re flush with work or product production, you must keep your marketing fresh

There is a huge temptation, particularly for small businesses, to stop marketing once there is a full slate of projects or demand meets the current production rate. This is a huge mistake. You need to, at the very least, keep marketing efforts up. But just keeping marketing efforts where they are won’t be enough to produce the next generation of clients and customers. Instead, it’s important to continually improve and hone your marketing techniques to be sure that you continue to bring customers in at your preferred rate and to ensure that you’re bringing in the right customers and clients for your business goals. Sometimes small businesses become overwhelmed trying to keep up with marketing and customer fulfillment tasks. These are the moments when it’s time to consider outsourcing something to an expert or team of experts.

4.    It is easy to overcommit yourself when it comes to social media

It’s tempting to “do all the things” when it comes to social media, but overcommit to it early, and you’ll find yourself in over your head. Even with the best mentor, it can be easy to take on too much when it comes to your social media routines. As soon as work goes busy, you may find yourself in over your head and unable to keep pace with what you were previously committed to. Instead, start slow. You can always add more Tweets and more Facebook posts and more platforms as time goes on. However, if you start with posting 30 times a day on Twitter throughout the day, and suddenly all you can muster is 5 posts a day, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find the motivation to get even those five posts up. Start small, and if you can do extra, do so – as you build up your business.

There’s a corollary to this – make sure what you’re sharing and doing on social media is useful. Don’t just share things to share, retweet to retweet, like to like. Instead, be sure that what you’re doing on Twitter builds value for your intended audience – and for your own business.

5.    It is easy to become overwhelmed with all the available “best practices” and marketing advice out there

Let’s face it, there is a lot of content and social media marketing advice floating around out there. Some of it is good, some of it is regurgitated stuff that’s been around for a long time, and a lot of it is fluff. Not all advice is created equal. Moreover, even when it comes to great advice, you may find that some of it is contradictory, some of it won’t apply to your business field, and there is just so much of it.

Don’t try to keep up with all the sources of information about industry best practices. Instead, pick a few reliable resources that apply to the type of business you have and follow their blogs. Don’t try to implement everything all at once. Instead, keep a running list of things to try wherever you keep your notes or action items lists. This will help keep you from getting overwhelmed. Learn to scan articles for relevant information – and then move on!

What do you wish you’d learned from your mentor before you’d jumped into marketing?

So many people wind up learning what they don’t know very quickly when they start out with their marketing tasks. It’s important to learn what you don’t know and fill in the gaps, but it’s also important to learn when it’s okay to let things go. What did you need to learn on the job? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments – you never know who you might help!

Ronda Bown – Content Creator

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