MISTAKE #1 - BEING FEARFUL
This is something that holds many of us back. You probably got into business because you have a passion for what you do. You want to make a better life for yourself or your family right?
Let’s say you create handmade jewellery. You spend lots of time researching your market, finding the best beads, gemstones, products and packaging. You stress over colour combinations and patterns. You patiently and lovingly thread every individual bead using only the very best quality products you can find.
And then you have to sell your jewellery – EEK!
This is the hard bit, the bit of your new business that scares you.
What if people don’t like your work?
What if there is someone else doing the same thing?
How are you going to talk to people about your work and put yourself out there in a community full of other business owners?
They have probably all been in business longer than you, probably all know exactly what they are doing and are all super confident and professional, right?
90% of small business owners started the same way as you and had the same thoughts of rejection and fear as you do.
The worst thing that can happen is that someone says “No” to you.
But that is one person, or ten people – there are millions more people in the world, thousands of other potential buyers and customers. Other businesses who would love to partner with you or promote you. One “No” is not the end of the world, it’s just one person's opinion.
Don’t let fear stop you from becoming successful. The life you want is on the other side of fear.
MISTAKE #2 - NOT PUTTING YOUR BUSINESS IN YOUR CUSTOMERS HANDS
I mean this literally!
What is the one thing you never leave your home without? Your mobile phone, right? It goes everywhere with you. To the school pick up, the shops, parties, networking events, client meetings and even the loo!
Having an app on your phone that you can show potential or existing customers is vital to allow you to be in the forefront of people's minds.
People forget things. They forget to call or email you. They forget what products you offer. They forget your company’s name. (Boo!)
But having a simple customised app on your smartphone or tablet that you can get out and show them immediately is a fantastic way of showcasing your product or service.
And the clincher here? You can send them a link via email or text so they can download it to their own phones home screen in seconds. GOLD.
love the sound of having your business right there, in your customers hands - forever?
View a sample app I created for the beautiful wedding venue Haughton Hall, in Shifnal, Shropshire! With this amazing app Haughton Hall can give a link to their prospective Brides (via email or text) and the Bride to Be receives valuable tips and helps her to choose her perfect wedding venue!
(TIP - open the app on your smartphone or tablet to see easy how it is for your clients to keep it on their mobile or tablet!)
Tried the app & love it? Get in touch to discuss your own app!
MISTAKE #3 - NOT LIVING YOUR BRAND
Let’s take our jewellery maker for example. She should be wearing at least one item of her jewellery every single day. In videos, live streaming, at networking events and just going out to the shops. You never know who you might meet and who might comment on it.
So what about if you can’t wear your brand?
Let’s take a Life Coach. You don’t have something you can wear every day, but you are still the face of your brand. Everywhere your brand is, you are. And you should have professional photographs to represent this. This leads me on to mistake number 4…
MISTAKE #4 - NOT BEING PROFESSIONAL
Being professional is hugely important. So what EXACTLY does being professional mean?
Are you a professional only if you have a degree or 20 years experience? No! Being professional in business is about customer experience and quality of goods & services.
Here are some things to go and check right now that you can easily fix:
Go to your Facebook Page, website, email & all your social media forums
- Do you have a professional photograph on all of them?
- Are there any typos in the content?
- Is the formatting correct and easily readable?
- Are there any missing links or link errors that need fixing?
- What does your voicemail say?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
Approximately 87% of UK consumers have purchased products or service online in the last 12 months. That’s a lot of customers to be missing out on or making a bad impression with!
MISTAKE #5 - NOT SAYING THINGS TWICE
I used to do this all the time and it’s something I made a huge effort to change in my business. I would think about what blog post to write, have a great idea and then remember that I’d already written it - so couldn't do it again.
But you can.
People forget things!
An email that you sent or a blog post your wrote a year or two ago is not going to be in the forefront of people's minds. Life goes on, the online world changes daily - and as much as we’d like to think our potential customers remember everything we said last year, they don’t (and they may not have even read it the first time around!)
Now you obviously don’t want to write the exact same blog post again, but re-read your first one and see what you can add to it.
Now that some time has passed you may have a new opinion on things. The world and your customer base is constantly changing. You’ll even have new customers that never even received your original article or email.
We know that Google loves new, consistent and original content, so writing a brand new article on a past topic is absolutely fine.
You can also add new text and images to an existing blog post and it will rank again on Google.
Have you ever searched for something and seen a blog post come up in the results and it has 'UPDATED FOR 2018' etc in the title? That's exactly what has been done!
Another great way to say the same thing again is to repurpose your old content. If you have a blog post that did well (check your Google Analytics to find this out) repurpose that content by making a video about it, do a Facebook Live and link to the post in the comments.
You could create simple slideshows with apps like Canva or Get Stencil which is online based. Create a slideshow in Animoto or Slideshare and post it! Don’t forget to share your brand new content on all your social media platforms too!
MISTAKE #6 - NOT BEING SOCIAL
You’re on social media and so are your customers. Hootsuite reports that there are 3.028 billion active users on social media around the world. It increased by 121 million people from April to August 2017. Wow.
That goes to show you just how important your social media feeds are and how many people you can reach. So what do you post?
There are so many ideas of what to post on social media but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Introduce yourself. Have you actually posted a gorgeous photo of yourself and told people who you are and what you do?
- Behind the Scenes. Take photos of your products being made, your workspace, or office
- Inspiration. What inspires you to create or serve your customers?
- Motivation. Post quotes and stories you love
- Products & Services. Beautiful, we lit photographs of what you sell – people won't buy it if they can't see it.
MISTAKE #7 - NOT HAVING REGULAR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN
Take a look at all the big companies out there. Look at ones in your niche as well as huge brands like Apple and Virgin. Every image you see in their business is a professional photograph. Whether that’s behind the scenes, images on their websites, social media updates, product photos, profile photos....
As a professional photographer also, it actually hurts me to see the damage that a bad headshot can do to a business! If this is you, you're literally turning away money!
Every small business owner should have professional photographs taken of themselves at least once a year. It shows you are current, professional, in business and you care about your brand. Your headshots and personal branding photographs tell the world who you are and what your company is about.
People buy from people they know, like & trust.
And they don't know, like or trust you if they can’t see you! Be completely honest, would you trust a company that has a selfie as a headshot? Would your spend money with someone who’s business photographs are grainy, underexposed or cropped from a snapshot?
Here's an example of a great company headshot:
It's both friendly and fits her corporate brand. The business owner looks happy and approachable and the bright red dress oozes authority as well as being super eye catching!
Technically, it's lit well, the pose is flattering and she looks happy and relaxed as well as being professional. The image is sharp, in focus, high quality and the resolution is perfect for online use.
In case you were wondering, yep, it's takes by yours truly! If you want to find out more about Personal Branding Photo Sessions, just head here!
Are you making any of these 7 mistakes in your business? Is anything stopping you now from fixing them? Let me know in the comments!