Since 2009 I’ve written a lot about content marketing, and how it can grow your business. The brilliant thing about content is that it works for you 24/7, never takes a sickie, a duvet day or a holiday. It works non-stop for you, giving you plenty of time for family, doing the things you love and all the things you dream about. However, there are a few things you need to know before you pin all your hopes and dreams on your next content marketing campaign… Because there are a few we all do that sabotage the best of our marketing efforts.
10 Things That You Do That Sabotage Your Business Growth
Despite knowing that done is better than perfect, we cling onto the idea of the perfect blog post, the perfect Pinterest Pin, the perfect headline… Need I go on? We need to let go of perfectionism, embrace our imperfect selves and get our content out. How can it work for us if perfection is keeping it on our hard drives gathering digital dust?
You love pink. You insist on pink in your branding. Pink is a power colour. You have everything content in pink. Despite the fact your pink website has a high bounce rate (the colour repels your audience), you continue to use it. You invest in more software, more coaches and all of them tell you that you can be you… But not one of them tells us that our stubbornness is killing our business growth. Clinging to the pink is the perfect metaphor for all the things that are holding us back. Acknowledge and change is often easier said than done, but we can make a start by asking ourselves are we being stubborn? Maybe journal it out? Find a coach that is open and honest, even when we feel it’s personal?
It’s not the colour pink that’s the problem. It’s what pink represents. It’s what we’re clinging too and refusing to let go of that’s the problem. Fail, fail fast and move on. We will learn more from failing than by sabotaging ourselves and staying stubborn.
8. Staying in learn mode
I love knowledge. I adore learning. I learn at a rapid pace. But what I do better than anyone else is I deploy my learning. As fast as I learn something, I’m doing it. This isn’t the way most people are wired. In fact, some people would say I’m the only person that’s wired this way. But learning and doing are skills. And if you can learn to learn, you can learn to implement and take action. So it’s a step out of your comfort zone, but they’re called comfort zones for a reason. If you stay in learning mode your marketing will never deliver on its promise. Knowledge isn’t power. The application of knowledge is.
If you don’t know how to kick yourself out of the learning rut, talk to someone. Get an accountability partner. Let’s stare at the gods of new programs and courses and say “Not Today!”.
7. Being Cheap
Bootstrapping is fine, and I’m all for it, but cheap for the sake of being cheap will kill your content marketing. It starts with images, as you see them as expensive instead of a digital asset that markets your business endlessly. We’ll spend hours looking for the perfect free image. When we could have the perfect image for a dollar in a couple of clicks.
Being cheap keeps you poor. One of the biggest complaints people had with my blogging challenge wasn’t that blogging is hard (because I make it easy) it was that they had more website traffic and had to get better hosting.
I use Thrive Leads for my website optin. I love all the things it can do, like category optins, tag optins and smart exit (it only shows when the reader is about to leave). The tool is very low cost for the value it brings. It’s $67 a year. The amount of moaning I hear from people in communities that a tool is paid for, and they don’t have the money for the features that they want is incredible.
If you want your content to give a great experience you cannot be cheap. That doesn’t mean buying everything, it means making informed decisions and understanding them. Why would I hold back by business growth by waiting for the perfect? I wouldn’t. But you might. I know I have done in the past.
6. Look! It shines…
Closely related to being cheap is buying every darn shiny thing on the planet. I still have moments of this but they’re less and less these days. If you’re constantly searching for the magic pill that’s all you’ll do. Not all that glitters is gold. It’s called shiny for a reason. If you have too much shiny you forget about what your goals are. We start to fixate on the shiny like Gollum fixates on the ring:
We swears to serve the master of the precious. We will swear on the…on the precious.
It’s been said that everything you want is on the other side of fear. They’re right. When I let go of perfectionism, I let go of the ego in my work. When you stop being stubborn and start being open to what your audience wants… When you take action… When you stop being cheap and you’re no longer in the thrall of shiny you’ll find that you fear fewer things and start achieving what you want in your business.
4. Your Money Mindset
Closely related to being cheap, your money mindset will come and bite you on the backside if you don’t take care of it. If no one is investing in your high-level programs it’s not the fault of your content. It’s you. Fix it. Accepting responsibility for my own money mindset was brutal. I got help from the lovely Sarupa Shah, and she helped me to re-write my money story. This meant digging deep, overcoming fears and eradicating the last remnants of stubbornness. It was worth it. If you decide to do this work, I’m sure you’ll find it worthwhile too.
3. Cutting Corners
I debated putting sharing this here as I feel it crosses with shiny object syndrome. Cutting corners is where you deploy before you’re ready or you’re trying to fix a screw-up. You cut corners on an image. You borrow it from someone else’s website. You think you’re cutting a corner, but you’re actually stealing. Yup, you’re actually committing theft. Karma has a bigger bite for this than your money mindset does.
Take Jay Shetty as an example. He “borrowed” other people’s content and didn’t credit them (although I understand this is now being done retrospectively), and the fall out was huge. He cut corners. His content team cut corners. He damaged his reputation because he didn’t do things the right way.
If you are compromising your morals, your values or yourself, deep down you know it’s a corner not worth cutting.
2. Not knowing the difference between busy and productive
I’m told that blogging is busy work. That content is busy work. This is said by the people want to sell you something. Usually content or blogging products. Writing is therapeutic. It heals you. It processes your thoughts properly, it helps your memory. That’s not busy-work that’s something that helps you grow as a human being.
Knowing what content to create makes you productive. Understanding the motivation behind your content helps you be more productive.
Day-dreaming about your post going viral? That’s just busy work in disguise.
1. Not Valuing People.
If you don’t value your readers, then your marketing fails. If my content is light and doesn’t give value I’m not valuing my audience. I’m not valuing you. If you don’t invite your readers to take the next step with you, then you’re not valuing them. If you bait and switch with your headlines you’re not respecting your audience.
Is this post pressing your buttons? Share it on social media and debate why you’re right and I’m wrong. Leave a comment. Let’s get the conversation going and learn from each other. Because that’s what happens when we grow in our businesses.