Expanding your knowledge and seeking out advice is simply in your nature. As an entrepreneur, starting a business may have been the first step in your journey to success but allowing yourself to consistently learn is just part of the package.
Because of the Internet, there is an endless amount of knowledge and advice offered by many people who share the same dreams, have been successful or just want to help those who are just starting out. Some of this knowledge is useful and some of it can be taken with a grain of salt.
Unfortunately, there is a large portion of advice that should be completely ignored; five particular pieces of advice.
1. If you want more publicity on Twitter, use more hashtags.
Hashtags should be used lightly. They are definitely a great way to start trends or nab the attention of someone who is searching for a post like yours, but they shouldn’t be taken advantage of. Too many hashtags can make you look annoying, desperate and even unprofessional. If you’re on your personal account, by all means – hashtag away! If you’re on your business account, ease up on the hashtags and only emphasize the words you know are #relevant.
2. Social media is an option, not a necessity.
Obviously this piece of advice is absurd, but many small business owners may not necessarily believe their company needs a social media account. Because most of their customers are in a small town area and know each other, it’s easy to believe that a social media account isn’t a requirement – but it is. You want people to have easy access to your business even if they live down the road. A social media page will allow your customers to share information about your company, find out anything they need to know and even praise your company as they do in person. Building a reputation on social media can provide you with the opportunity to expand, if you choose to. Plus, it’s 2014 – many people don’t think a business is even legitimate if it doesn’t have a Facebook account or Twitter handle.
3. With sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, paying for marketing is a waste.
Someone actually said this and felt they were giving sound advice – that’s the scary part. Yes; social media has offered many business owners another free medium to share information, new products and for content marketing, but this certainly does not imply you should stop paying for advertising or other websites to market through. You can also pay for advertising on social media, but it shouldn’t be your only marketing vice.
4. If you’re unhappy with your logo, change it however you want.
Small businesses have a difficult enough time competing with huge corporations and getting their names and brands remembered – why would you change your logo for any reason at all? When people see your brand name or logo, they have something to associate with it. They have a story, a positive experience or even simply know what it is they like to buy from you. Take advice from Tropicana – the PepsiCo company changed the front of the orange juice container and to their surprise, had an uproar from the community. Changing a logo is like dying your hair neon orange: you may have a few fans who appreciate the fresh look, but for the most part, everyone wants to see the old you back in action.
5. Nobody uses email anymore.
Everyone has an email account. Everyone may not regularly use their accounts, but they all have one. Email marketing is extremely cost-effective and is a critical form of marketing to small businesses. The people who do register for your website or newsletter actually want to hear from you! Email marketing allows you to send out personalized messages to your audience or utilize marketing techniques that you wouldn’t be able to on Facebook or a blog. In away, email is dead as far as ‘cold-calling’ goes, because if an individual did not sign up for your site, they probably won’t read your email, but it is certainly alive and well for everyone on your mailing list.