1. Don’t target mainly your friends and family to buy from you
They love us and we love them but you can’t build a business around them. We just don’t have enough relatives to build a business on. If you think about it. Organic reach on Facebook is now at about 1-2 % of fans. You’ll need at least 5000 fans, which is a reach of about 50 fans, multiplied by your average item cost, to start turning a decent ROI. So keep at it. Build a fan base of targeted consumers. And you will get there.
2. Don’t be a copycat
You may think it’s the right thing to do checking on the competition finding out what they post so you can copy their tactics but you won’t have developed your own thorough and worked out strategy to compliments your business model, is attractive to your target customer and reflects your current market position. Sit down. Take the time to get to know your customers. Find out what it is you can do to help them. Decide what is they want from you. Tell them you’ve got it and make darn sure you provide it.
3. Don’t try to please all customers
If you keep chopping and changing things because one minute you find out that one customer wants this and then you discover another set of customers like that, you’ll end up confusing everyone and you’ll allow the customer to dictate where you business goes. Big brands don’t do this. They have a product they think you will like which helps you achieve your goals. They know your habits, your hangouts, the food you like and they use this information to attract you and show you what you like about their product. You must do the same in your business. When you identify your ideal customer and serve them you lead the market. Don’t let the market lead you. It can lead you to failure.
4. Don’t forget why you were in business
When you started business, hopefully, you had a very strong reason for it. Usually the reason would have been to fulfil a desire you had and strongly believed others had. That same reason you are in business, the reason you developed a product, the reason you’re up at dawn every morning is the very reason consumers want to buy from you. Never forget that. Let this reason shape your business model, plans, advertising and product development. Customers buy into a strong compelling reason for business.
5. Don’t think there’s no need to spend money on ads
If you can come up with any business that survived without any form of advertising, I’ll give you a quid. Even if the advertising was FREE, didn’t cost them a penny, every business has to advertise. Spend a bit of money on your online ads even if it’s a tiny budget. Facebook is a great place to start as most people with a pc, laptop and smartphone are on Facebook. As your business grows, so can you budget. But you must get your business out there in front of your customers.
6. Don’t neglect to tell your brand story
I think the whole branding thing can be confusing and difficult to understand especially if you are a small business on a budget. So let’s simplify it. Your brand story is the message that your product tells the world. It’s the connection that your product makes with peoples lives. The brand brings life to your product. Think Coca Cola, who tells the world that having fun is synonymous to drinking Coke. At it’s simplest form Coco Cola makers tell you that at every social event you need a bottle of Coke. What’s your story? Brainstorm ideas for presenting the story in quotes, videos, taglines, pictures. Start using those ideas consistently.
Here’s a couple of articles to get you started with online branding:
1. Run your Facebook Page like Cristiano Ronaldo: 3 ways to boost your Facebook branding today
7. Don’t try to play it safe
Don’t play it safe. Tred a bit on the wild side. Get it wrong. Learn from your mistakes but being cautious will keep you unmemorable. It’s a good way for finding out what works. Ditch the stuff that doesn’t work. Easy.
8.Don’t be a cheapo
Online consumers don’t necessarily shop online because it’s cheaper. They do it because it because it’s more convenient, faster and offers more choice. They want returns services, nominated deliveries. comparison apps, wish lists – you know where I’m going with this. Focus on finding out what makes your customers happy. Read their blogs, participate in their forums, follow them on twitter. What are there gripes? How does your company solve them. Show them you care and they’ll buy because of the value you bring.
9. Don’t use more than one social media channel when one is enough
It’s ok to stick to just Facebook, or just Twitter or any other of the social media channels, if that’s all you’ve got time for as a start-up business. What you must also do is, master that one social media channel. Buy books and read articles online on how to best promote your business and expand your networking over the channel that you have chosen. It’s perfectly acceptable not to use them all if you are a one man bad. However if you haven’t got time to do them all and you really want to, I would say look into getting a content management agency work for you. Check out the options we have here – Content Management for Business
10. Don’t use the wrong social media channel
Using the wrong social media channel is worse that using too many. Because then you won’t reach your ideal customer. After narrowing down your ideal customer you’ll know where they to hang out online. Don’t just use a channel because you like it. Use the one that best fits your brand. And start making some good money!
Let me know your take. Have you any other “Don’ts” you would like to add to the list?