12 Marketing Myths & Traps to Avoid for 2020

As a new business owner getting trapped in fads is super simple. Everyone on social media has “the new way” to reach people and they are selling that information to you for a premium. The truth is, marketing concepts aren’t the same as they have always been. Connection with people versus disruption is now at the center of marketing, and the delivery methods have become personal. In other words, the new ways of marketing allow you to directly reach people creating the human to human contact that brings you face to face with the decision makers.

How you think about marketing can drastically affect your business as a growing entrepreneur.

However you decide to connect with your audience, every industry, including marketing has its fair share of gimmicks that will have you more distracted than effective. Here are 12 things to avoid as you are making your marketing plan for the new year.

#1. “I don’t have to market, I’ll get by with word of mouth”

Man, o man, is this a myth. Countless entrepreneurs start businesses on the strength of word of mouth referrals. Those are great to get you started, but what about after everyone you know has purchased something from you once. What then? Marketing is relevant to everyone starting a business regardless of how many people you think are going to buy from you.

#2. If you buy this ONE program, all your problems will be solved

There are a lot of programs, gurus, and talented voices out there in the world selling marketing approaches and strategies to entrepreneurs. No one is better than the other, and the one thing they all have in common is that none of them are the single solution to your marketing expansion.

#3. One-size fits all

One-size fits all only works with pajamas. There is no one way to go about marketing. Remember you are marketing to people, people are different, and the way you communicate may not work for the next business the same way their communication style may not work for you.

#4. There is only one way to do business

There is no one way to do marketing. There are best practices to follow such as consistency, targeting your market, and authenticity, but marketing is a sculpture. It is a piece of art made in the image of the message you want to share with your end user. If you are selling to a business (business to business), remember to sell to the person making the decision. What matters to them? What are their needs? If you are selling directly to the consumer (business to consumer), think about that person. That person is your ideal client. More than anything you need to understand what your ideal client needs, and talk to them where they are in language they identify with and understand.

#5. You have a lot to do before you get started

Nothing should be standing in the way of you getting started. It will take a process of trial and error for you to get the mix that works for you, your natural communication style, and your audience, so you may as well get started. That said, you still need some sort of plan, but don’t over think this. Marketing is communication with your end user. Keep having conversations with them, and the conversions will come.

#6. Marketing is so complicated you can’t do it on your own

Of all the myths in all the world this takes the cake. The only way marketing professionals can make money is by convincing you that you cannot do marketing on your own. At some point, you may become able to hire a marketing company or employee to do all your work for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start now. The trick is to find a formula that works for you to authentically, consistently, and creatively communicate with your end user. That is marketing. In the age of social media, you can do a lot of that for little to no cost. Nothing should be standing in your way of getting started.

The trick is to find a formula that works for you to authentically, consistently, and creatively communicate with your ideal client.

That is marketing. In the age of social media, you can do a lot of that for little to no cost. Nothing should be standing in your way of getting started.

#7. A wing and a prayer is all you need

There is another extreme to marketing that says as long as you believe in your idea enough everything will come together. Not true. Belief is essential to bringing anything to fruition, but you must also take action to have the kind of results you want.

#8. “It’s their fault if they don’t understand my idea”

As an entrepreneur, you have to be protective of your idea. You are defending it against anyone who has ever told you what isn’t possible, every bit of self doubt that creeps in, and every time something you have tried failed. It is easy then to feel like you have to defend it from customers also. If it feels like no one understands what you are trying to share with them, you may want to consider stating your intention in a different way. Your audience understands certain words more than others, get to know them and give them what they want.

#9. Audience & ideal clients are a crap shoot

Identifying your audience is absolutely a science. Start with who you think your audience is, throw out some content for that group, then adjust based on the majority of the audience who actually responds to your product/service or content.

#10. “Everyone” is a demographic

Keep in mind, you cannot serve everyone. If as you go to identify your ideal client, you feel the best answer to who is your audience is “everyone,” you have some work to do to narrow that down. Your job is to create content and products for the group of people you started your business to serve. Marketing to them means you don’t have time to market to everyone. Take that pressure off!

#11. The sole purpose of marketing is to build a massive audience

Marketing has dual purpose - to build your audience and to present your product/service to that audience. You don’t need everyone, you need more of the people you built your business to serve. Keep that person at the forefront of your mind, and do everything you can to continuously get in front of them. Give them as many opportunities as possible to connect with what you have made for them. If that isn’t working, go back number 8 and make sure you are saying things in a way they can understand.

#12. This should work after one try

Trying something once does not mean that whatever you tried does not work. It means that it didn’t work that way at that time. Of all the myths & traps, this one is the most slippery. This is the place where a lot of entrepreneurs quit. Marketing is a process of trying and tweaking. One attempt is not enough to know whether or not your idea is a good one. When you find your big idea, from the very beginning, commit to trying as many times as needed to get your business in front of the right audience.

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