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Guest Column: Marketing Pitfalls

Guest Column: Marketing Pitfalls

Consultants:  Don’t Let These Marketing Pitfalls Derail You

by Linda Popky

As a marketing expert who consults with a wide range of organizations, I am often asked about the most common mistakes consultants and small business owners make when it comes to marketing.

I typically see four types of issues:

  • Unfocused audience.  No product or service, no matter how exciting, is applicable to everyone all the time. Yet many consultants don’t clearly identify their audience. If you can focus on who really will benefit from your services, it will be easier to create effective marketing gravity that will drive clients to you.
  • Unclear value proposition.  Many consultants aren’t able to clearly articulate what differentiates them from other alternatives available to their clients. The key word here is “value,” which is in the mind of the client. Ask yourself how the client will be better after having spent time with you.
  • It’s all about me.  Your outstanding credentials, honors, degrees, expertise, and experience are only interesting to clients and prospects if you can frame these in a way that shows this is part of how you help them. The truth is clients don’t really care about you; they care about how you can help them.
  • No priorities. Like a kid in a candy store who wants to try every sweet treat in front of him, many consultants attempt to implement every marketing tactic they see. While any one or two of these may be effective, trying to master every single tactic that’s worked for others is just not doable. You’re more likely to wind up feeling sick—not to mention overwhelmed.

The way to avoid these pitfalls is simple: Identify your core area of focus. Be as clear as you can as to who you are targeting and how you will provide value. Focus your marketing on the results they will achieve, the business improvements they’re likely to see, and the ways they’ll be better off after working with you. Then choose one or two marketing tactics to implement to start. Check in to see how things are going: that’s when you can either make changes or add new tactics to the mix.

Focus. Clarity. Value. Priority. Keeping these in mind will help you stay on the path to marketing success.


Linda Popky is a Silicon Valley-based marketing expert who is a Master Mentor and a member of the Million Dollar Consulting® Hall of Fame. Called the Marketing Maestro, she helps transform organizations by taking their marketing performance to the next level.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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