8 Experts Share Their Past Marketing Mistakes With the World

05/23/2016 09:09 am ET Updated May 24, 2017

And you wouldn't be here if you didn't want to avoid those mistakes.

I mean, what else would bring you here?

It's a good thing. Honestly, I'm happy you want to learn from the experts.

Okay, I'll leave you to it now and see you in the end...

David Meerman Scott


(@dmscott) WebInkNow.com

My blog is the most important part of my marketing efforts since it is real estate I own. Unlike my social feeds like Twitter, I control my blog. However, I chose a crappy name and URL for the blog. "Web Ink Now" sounded clever at the time but is meaningless. I wish I had chosen something more descriptive of what I write about -- Marketing and Sales Strategies.

Tom Morkes


(@tmorkes) InsurgentPublishing.com

Wasting time with freeloaders.

Every audience has them. That's okay. As a business owner, you want to make sure you set up a system so that there is no chance they can waste your time, money, or energy. Get that straight, and everything else becomes easier because you'll be able to focus on the people who want change and are willing to invest in themselves to make it happen.

Justin Baeder


(@eduleadership) eduleadership.org

I think the biggest mistake entrepreneurs tend to make--early on, especially--is failing to build a profitable funnel, and instead relying on non-repeatable one-off circumstances to generate revenue.

We get some early success with our first product, and think "great, now I just have to keep growing those numbers every month and this thing will take off!" What entrepreneurs often don't realize is that they've burned through their buyers, and don't have a way to get more business from them, nor do they have a way to get more customers quickly enough.

This is especially true for bloggers who build a mailing list by offering great content, then launch a product, only to find that when they try to do it again the next month, they've already sold their one product to everyone who's going to buy--in an audience that took years to build. Instead of cranking away to put out another product to sell to that same list, they should be building a profitable funnel that turns new leads into customers.

Instead, what I wish I'd known from the start was the importance of building funnels--starting with an offer in mind, and building out assets to take people up the pathway from new lead to customer to repeat customer (ultimately with a subscription or organizational purchase).

Dave Chesson


(@DaveChesson) Kindlepreneur.com

Trying to be everywhere will get you no where

My biggest mistake was trying to be everywhere when I was first starting off. I'd read an article about some strategy to get traffic or some way to make money, and I'd do that, or I'd hear from a friend about their success on one platform and I'd immediately setup an account.

However, trying to be everywhere meant I was getting no where. Every time I'd pivot to something else, I'd lose momentum and ultimately waste my time. I'd even get frustrated because everyone else was successful.

However, it was at that point I learned something extremely valuable: choose your one thing and master it. The people you read about, the ones getting over 600K unique visitors or making big bucks, they mastered a technique when they first started off. They didn't get there by just trying everything and putting a little effort into a bunch of things. Instead they chose one thing and they nailed it. Choose your one thing and master that. The rest will just fall into place.

Jordan Harbinger


(@theartofcharm) TheArtOfCharm.com

Focusing on mainstream media. Offline media doesn't convert that well to online. I know tons of people that have built these big careers doing traditional media and they try to get their audience back to the web/email/etc and they fail big time. It's not just flipping a switch and your fan base migrates. People fail to understand that.

John McIntyre


(@JohnMcIntyre_) reengager.com

Biggest marketing mistake ever was positioning myself as "The Autoresponder Guy." Meaning my focus was positioning myself based on what I did instead of positioning myself on who I helped. If I could do it all over again, instead of becoming The Autoresponder Guy I would have become The Email Marketing for Ecommerce Guy, which is what I'm doing now. So when you're thinking of positioning, its incredibly important, but don't do it based on what you do, base it on who you help because that's the important part.

Taylor Pearson


(@TaylorPearsonMe) TaylorPearson.me & TheEndOfJobsBook.com

The biggest marketing mistake I made was NOT doing it. When I was writing my book while working as a marketing consultant I had a mental divide in my head where I was applying my marketing skills to my clients' projects, but not my own because mine were "special" or "not like that." I think this is particularly dangerous for artist/artisan types who feel their work is above marketing. The result of that thinking is simply not being able to impact others with your work and not being able to pay yourself.

Nathan Chan


(@NathanHChan) FoundrMag.com

Biggest marketing mistake I have ever made was featuring someone that had bad press. Luckily the feature didn't gain too much attention, however it definitely went down as a strong learning lesson. If someone has bad press around them, best to stay away from being associated with them!

Conclusion


Remember that, "
Experience
is simply the
name we give our mistakes
." -
Oscar Wilde

So don't be ashamed of your mistakes.

We all make them.

Whether you're learning from your own mistakes or another person's mistakes...

You're still learning.

In fact, you're better than what you were yesterday just by learning this.

You've gotten this far already.

Don't give up yet.

It's time to finish what you started!

 

About the Author - Zak Mustapha is a marketer and the founder of Foolishness File on a lifelong mission to help entrepreneurs learn from other entrepreneur's mistakes so they can advance faster than others. Sign up for his free course: How to Craft Influencer Outreach Emails That Get Responses (And Avoid Common Mistakes That Get You Blacklisted).