Just about every business owner I meet is focused on growing their business, and that means getting new customers (in addition to increasing revenue from their existing customer base).

The steps to attracting new customers to your business aren’t such a mystery. But there are myths that you have to ignore as you go about doing this. Here are four that immediately come to mind.

Myth 1: Advertising on Google will immediately create leads.

If you’re looking to grow your business, one of the top strategies is online advertising, and Google is still the primary place to do that. Why? Because prospects always head to Google when looking for a product or service, even if they don’t wind up buying from a company they find online. At the very least, Google ad campaigns will drive more traffic to your website and build awareness.

But this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s taken me years and thousands of dollars testing different campaigns, and I’m still not where I want to be. Succeeding with Google Ads requires investing not only in advertising but in an expert to manage the process, because it’s not easy. It also requires patience. It takes a while to figure out which keywords and ads are effective. Plus, things are constantly changing, so you’ll always be adapting to trends.

Myth 2: Being active on social media is an easy way to get new customers.

new small business customers

Social media sites —LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok—are a great place to build communities, increase awareness of your brand, draw in potential customers and even sell products. These platforms all offer advertising and ecommerce options to help businesses.

But getting leads on these platforms is definitely not easy. Gaining followers, connections, likes and engagement requires time and energy. To really succeed on these platforms, you’ll need to be engaged. This task is tough to outsource, because people on social media can sniff out when someone isn’t real.

So yes, you can educate people, get involved in discussions, offer advice and participate in conversations. And then you can potentially sell products or at least get leads. But it takes a lot of time and commitment to do that on social media.

Myth 3: Attending conferences is a waste of time.

Regardless of the nature of your business, you’re part of an industry. And because you’re part of an industry, there are likely a dozen industry conferences that you could attend. It’s important to join one or two associations and attend a conference or two each year.

I know, you hate to network. You’d rather be back in the office. You don’t have the time to travel to Orlando or Vegas and hang out with a bunch of strangers. Well, you’re wrong. Industry conferences are critical for getting leads. And not just leads. Attending a conference with an open mind will allow you to meet and network with potential suppliers, vendors and partners, too. You may even find your next great employee or get to know your competitors a little better. At the very least, you’ll attend some educational sessions to make sure you’re up to speed on the latest trends impacting your business.

Myth 4: There’s too much competition.

People tend to shy away from starting businesses or launching new products because the marketplace already seems saturated. And sure, creating the next iPhone or Uber is a long shot. But you don’t need to be Elon Musk or Steve Jobs to succeed. You just need to do what the competition does… but a little bit better.

There’s really no such thing as too much competition. There’s always room for growth, and there are always customers looking for better products and services. If your business is in the right place at the right time and (most importantly) provides a reliable, quality product or service backed by great customer service, then your competition won’t matter. Getting new customers isn’t so hard if you do this. That’s because good companies start small and build on references from happy customers. Word gets around.

If you believe any of these myths, you’re not alone. I once believed them all. But after running a business for more than two decades, I’ve learned that the best way to get new customers is by overcoming those obstacles. I’m hoping you’ll do the same.

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