THE BLOG

Marketing Problems? Identify the Grey Areas for Solutions

02/13/2015 03:35 pm ET | Updated Apr 14, 2015

Some of the most challenging marketing problems bring us the most innovative marketing solutions when it comes to doing business online. Those solutions often are found in what I call the grey areas between strategies and tactics. I have been building my online presence for several years now, and it's been a tumultuous journey. But, with each pit stop along the way I have learned some valuable lessons, especially when it came to marketing.

I once confused marketing with selling, and because of my confusion, I hated the thought of marketing. I struggled with the distinction, and there is a big one, because I was throwing myself into tactics that were blindly leading me down a path of destructing selling. I could never figure out why it was so darn hard to build my list until I discovered that "grey area" in what I was doing wrong. Here is a clue: instead of selling a product, influence a person. One of these takes into account the other person...it's an easy guess.

The power of influence is the greatest marketing strategy ever! Why? Because, it just requires you to be authentic. Selling is fake and it wreaks of desperation. Being influential means you don't sweat the sales stuff. Once I learned how to really relax into this marketing strategy, it became easier as I continued to develop my message, products, and services.

There were still a couple of areas that needed refinement and posed challenges and once I discovered resources that could help, these, too, became a non-issue.

Problem #1
The primary reason for marketing problems is inconsistency. Not understanding what branding was in the beginning and how to implement a strong strategy for building my presence, I, like many of you, went out full guns a-blazin' doing everything (all wrong) and trying to be everything to everybody. Selling the flavor of the month and not being consistent with my marketing message.

Solution: Create a campaign with a set duration and media outlet. Maybe you want to use press releases, blogging, and popular social media to deliver your message. No matter what platform you choose, make it consistent.

Problem #2
Site design is one of the most important aspects of your marketing message. Does your site represent you message well or, does it contribute to your marketing problems. Your product is one thing, but the message your site delivers to the visitors is very important. Most newbie's in the online world don't consider that when that put 50 different products out there with 50 different marketing messages, it confuses their audience and, thus, turns them off.

Solution: Hire a web designer that can help you design a website that is reflective of your marketing message and keep your visitors coming back. Outsourcing through resources like Guru.com or freelancer.com has become more popular in recent years. These are reputable sources for talented web designers and blog template designer; invest in one if you don't know what you're doing - it's worth it!

Use Your Marketing Problems for Opportunities
There are opportunities found in every mishap, especially when it cost you big bucks. Get creative by trying to solve your problem without expending a lot of cash. In the beginning, I spent thousands, upon thousands of dollars doing it the wrong way. It costs me in two ways, time and money...both of which I didn't have a lot of at the time. But, now when I am face with marketing problems, I work smarter and for less money. I take the time to research the problem, because believe it or not, you are never the only one going through it, and someone, somewhere has figured it out. Find them and leverage their knowledge.

********

Kim Harris, Creator/Visionary - Stiletto Business Strategies for Women Business Owners™ and the StilettoMovement2014. An entrepreneur and co-founder of a nonprofit organization, Kim helps women entrepreneurs connect and share value in online trainings and live events. She is the recipient of the Small Business Administration's Women in Business Champion of the Year Award and 2013 Small Business Influencer Nominee. Kim is a published author of several books and has helped women entrepreneurs procure hundreds of thousands in grants and sponsorships to further their purpose and mission.