The Biggest Mistake Small Business Owners Make With Social Media

Do you struggle with how to effectively market your business on Facebook? Have you spent a lot of time on Twitter (or any other social media sites) and just aren’t seeing any results?

I talk with a lot of clients who struggle to understand what actual role social media should play in their marketing, so you’re not alone! Today I’m going to share with you the biggest mistake I see being made in social media marketing. If you’ve failed to get any meaningful results so far, there is a very good chance this single tip can set you directly on the path to getting the huge results you’d love to see!

First, let’s get the facts straight. Why even bother with social media if it’s not worth our time, correct? If you’ve wondered about whether social media marketing is a good choice for your business, here are a few facts that you may not know:

  1. The number of profiles on Facebook is climbing steadily towards 1 billion. Really, there’s a very good chance that every client or customer you’ll ever work with for the entire duration of your career…is ALREADY on Facebook.
  2. Internet users now spend more time using Facebook than they do using Google. Time = Attention. Attention is what we try to get with traditional media, and it is very expensive. Meanwhile, Facebook has more attention than anyone. Yet it remains free for the most part, and it remains one of the most affordable advertising options online as well.
  3. Twitter isn’t just a bunch of people talking about what they had for lunch today. It has been used as a launching pad for several best-selling authors and multi-million dollar companies.
  4. Savvy Twitter users often get MORE sales from Twitter than they do from expensive, traditional marketing campaigns.

So, if business owners all over the world are using social media to build significant sales, why can’t you too? The answer is you can!

Are You Spinning Your Wheels?

Yet I see many professionals and small biz owners spinning their wheels and not getting nearly the results they could be getting. Why does this happen? Certainly, there are a number of things you can tweak to improve your efforts, but I want to share the biggest mistake I see out there all the time.

The Biggest Mistake We Make In Social Media Marketing…

I’ll use real estate as a specific example, because I know that business really well and have a good number of clients in the real estate business also. Go to any real estate professional’s Facebook page, and take note of which groups they’ve joined. They’re mostly real estate groups, aren’t they? Then, go take a look at their list of friends. They’re mostly other real estate professionals, aren’t they? I see this over and over again, and if you think about it, it makes sense.

As a real estate professional, they’re naturally going to gravitate to others in that field. It’s edifying. It’s interesting. It helps you learn about your business. It also, importantly, does NOTHING to market your business to the people who are actually going to buy from you! This example is true in real estate, but it also applies 100% to any industry. We’re all guilty of it.

There is nothing wrong at all with using Facebook to network with others in your field. But do this with the knowledge that this is NOT your target market. If you want Facebook to be a networking tool, that is fantastic. If you want to use it to sell more, you need to be spending the majority of your time engaging and talking with potential clients and past clients! It’s really as simple as that.

If you’re a locally-based business, search for groups with the name of your city in them. It will likely turn up a lot of results, and you can join them, meet and talk with people in your community and begin building relationships with people that will actually buy from you. If you’re not bound by any geographic concerns (such as a business like mine where I can just as easily work with a client in Australia as I can work with someone here at home), find groups, forums and discussions that interest your prospects. Quite simply…don’t get sucked into the trap of only talking with others in your field. Simple, no?

Bonus Mistake

A second mistake I see most commonly in the social media world is when marketers fail to offer free items as a promotion. Look at this page, which is one of the highest conversion pages on Dangerous Tactics. It offers a free report in exchange for signing up for my email list. This page alone has generated well over 1,000 inquiries for me, and all I do is mention it on my social media sites every once in a while. No paid marketing, no SEO, no geeky tricks.

A page like this (known my most marketers as a “squeeze page”) won’t ever get much traffic from search engines, because there’s almost no actual content on the page. But people love to get free stuff, especially when it’s awesome. It’s kind of the perfect thing to offer to your contacts in the social media world.

Whether you’re running a personal profile on Facebook or a business page is fine. I’ve done both, and I personally have chosen to stick with a personal page because candidly, I just like it better. I understand I’m supposed to be using a business page for business stuff, but I’m just a hardcore rebel like that. LinkedIn is another great source of new leads for me. 2,000+ inquiries from LinkedIn in 2012, all from offering free gifts of various sorts to people. It works, people!

Your Website is Probably Failing this Test

Testimonials. Testimonials. Testimonials!

Your website doesn’t have enough of them. I promise.

If you’re a small business owner, it’s crucial to understand there are two different types of content. Analytical content and emotional content. Do you know the difference?

Both are crucial. I’ll talk more about this over the next few posts if you like. Just shoot me an email if it’s a topic that interests you, and I’ll use your questions to develop the articles on this subject. For now, please understand that VERY FEW people are going to take action to help you, contact you or buy from you just because you have cool content on your blog. If someone is going to do BUSINESS with you, they need to feel comfortable with you, and they need to feel compelled to take action.

These two factors cannot be skipped. If you skip them, your website will not get the results you want. Period.

And no amount of education or information is going to make this happen. Know this:

  1. People don’t take action because they’ve learned everything they need to learn.
  2. People don’t take action because the time is right.
  3. People don’t take action because they’re “in the market”.

So why do people take action? What causes us to make buying decisions? We make buying decisions emotionally. We say we don’t. And we’ll flat out deny it if you ask us directly. But we do. It’s just how it works. We make buying decisions emotionally, and then we back those decisions up with logic and data. We justify our emotional decisions with logic. Every buying decision is a logic sandwich. Yummy (high carb btw) logic on the top and bottom…but the meat of the decision is emotion.

The test most small business websites fail

The most crucial test for any small business website is to be emotionally compelling. And interestingly…this is usually the last thing any of us thinks about when it comes to putting content on our site. We want to load our website up with all the most helpful information possible. And that’s important. But it’s not the whole story. If you want your site to generate leads and business for you consistently (the ongoing topic of this blog), it needs to be emotionally compelling…not just informative.

The topic of engaging your readers emotionally is a huge topic, and it’s one I’m happy to answer any questions about. Just hit me up with any of your concerns via email, or let’s chat on Twitter. I’m shooting to cover this a lot more in depth in future articles. But for now, let me share a secret weapon with you. One of the most dangerous tactics of all…liberal, strategic and aggressive dispersement of testimonials on your website.

Testimonials are your most powerful opportunity to share what OTHER people are saying about you. Clients, customers, readers. It’s not you talking about yourself for once. Your readers WANT to feel compelled to work with you, and testimonials are a great way to encourage it. Testimonials get read. They get noticed. They make a difference.

After working on hundreds of client websites over the last several years, I can report definitively that very few small business websites out there are fully utilizing this crucial type of content. If I were to point to a single type of content that was more emotionally compelling than any other, it would be a stack of high quality client or customer testimonials. Yet on most websites I see, testimonials are hard to find. In many cases they’re not there at all. Big mistake.

Does Your Website Pass The 10 Point Checklist?

Nothing is more frustrating than wasted time. Blowing time away on stuff that doesn’t work. Stuff that produces no result for your business. Nothing grinds my gears worse. How about you?

I’ve never met a small business owner who didn’t value efficiency. You want better results in less time, no? Let’s work on that.

As you know, your website is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. Having a website that doesn’t produce a meaningful result in your business isn’t really something most of us are cool with. Your website should produce results, just like any other part of your marketing strategy, correct?

If we’re on the same page about that, then this article is pretty crucial for you to read. There are so many thousands of web developers and website providers out there, and you likely have questions. For example:

  • How the heck can I know who is worth working with?
  • How do I know if my website has what it takes to produce results?
  • What do I need to do to get my website set up properly?
  • How do I market my website after it’s set up, so it continues to produce results for me?

Today I’m sharing 10 critical factors for website success with you. After building these sites for years and working with clients all over the world, I have noticed a few essential elements that you really want to make sure you address. Please don’t stop here. This article isn’t the end all and be all of how to be effective online. It’s the bare minimum. This is like your tool belt. You need to have the right tools for the job. After you have the right tools, you still need to put those tools to work for you. But at least you can rest assured knowing you have everything you need to truly produce an impressive result.

As you know, starting off with the wrong tools can only lead to frustration down the road. Let’s get you started off on the right foot! Here we go:

  1. Use your own domain name – A custom domain name is inexpensive and simply a fundamental part of a professional web presence. If your current website is located on a domain name that you do not have control over, then the truth is…you don’t have your own website. This is step one. Get your own domain name at Name Cheap and get your site developed on that domain name.
  2. Use your own server – After you have a domain name, go set up an account at Bluehost. This is where your website will live, so it’s accessible on the internet. Bluehost is a great web host for small business websites. If you’re a larger business and expect several thousands of visitors a day, then you’ll need a more robust web host that can handle that type of traffic. If you’re in this category, set up an account at MediaTemple.
  3. Use a professional, flexible design – Rule number one when it comes to web design…you should be able to change it yourself quickly and easily. If you have to go through your web developer every time you want to change something, you’re going to get frustrated fast. This is one of the many reasons I recommend Bluehost. After you log in, you can easily install WordPress with a few clicks of your mouse. It’s fast. It’s simple. It’s totally free. And it’s one of the most feature-rich and flexible ways to build a powerful website out there. After it’s installed, WordPress can be made to look and work however you like. Just like anything, there’s a learning curve. But everything worthwhile does. And even if you don’t want to learn how to set it up, just shoot me an email. I’m happy to hook you up with a custom WordPress setup. You’ll be up and running within just a few days. Pretty easy 😉
  4. Update regularly – After you’re up and running, update your site regularly. Let both the search engines and your customers and clients know that your site is active and current. No one visits a website over and over again if it’s never updated. Blogging and social media can all be synced up with your site very easily, so keeping your website updated doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. If you’re not sure what to publish to your site to keep it updated, here’s a list of 20 ideas to get you started :-)
  5. Don’t try to do everything – One thing I see small business owners do so often is trying to add every single widget and feature available to their site. Instead, do something different. Only add the essentials. Be different. The internet is cluttered with websites already that are trying to be everything to everyone. Don’t clutter up your site with so many tools and resources that no one knows where to even start. Let it be simple, clean and easy to navigate. It’s easier for you this way, and your visitors will appreciate not being overloaded.
  6. Leverage media – Don’t shy away from media. Pictures, video, blog posts. Content like this keeps people on your website longer. If you want your website to produce leads consistently for you, then you need your visitors to stay on your website long enough to get to that point. Keeping visitors on your website for a minimum of 2-3 minutes is crucial. After this point, conversions go up considerably. What keeps visitors on your website? Content. So have lots of it :-)
  7. Implement both analytical and emotional content – Many small business sites focus on analytical content. It’s good stuff. Facts and figures. Data. Market stats. Market updates. Industry news. Product and service descriptions. All that stuff. It’s important. It’s great for search engines. It educates your readers. It’s also fairly dry, and it doesn’t compel action. If you want to educate, inform and help solve problems, then analytical content is crucial. If you want readers to take action, then you need to use emotional content. You need to have calls to action (described in the next section of this list), and you need to have pictures, video and testimonials. These can take many forms, and there’s no fixed formula. But pics, vids and testimonials (this also includes user-generated content like blog comments, etc) engage people on an emotional level. People don’t make decisions because of data. They make decisions emotionally. They don’t admit it, but that’s how it works. If you want your site to generate business, you need to understand this. If you want your website to get leads and sales regularly, you need to engage people emotionally. Use emotional content liberally.
  8. Calls to action – If you want business, you need to ask for it. Sorry. I know you don’t want to be a sleazy salesperson, so I’ve got some awesome news for you. You don’t have to be! If someone reads a post of yours and loves it, what’s the next step? The next step isn’t always to buy something, but let’s face it…sometimes it is. Selling your stuff isn’t sleazy. Being sleazy is sleazy. So…don’t be sleazy. But don’t neglect having calls to action. Go to the About page on this site. Is it sleazy? Is it high pressure? Most people don’t think so. I don’t think so. There are 12 calls to action on that page. Not 1 or 2. There are 12. Can you see them? This page generates new leads for me every day. I end up working with many of them. Many business owners hire me to help them get more business from their site. Very often, I find the entire site has only 1 or 2 calls to action. 1-2…on the entire site. I have 12 on one page. See the difference??
  9. Optimize your About page – The about page is likely the most misunderstood and under-utilized page on your whole website. First off, many small business websites don’t even have one. So…make sure you have one. From here, let’s take note of what role the About page plays in lead generation. Very few people hit your About page right away. But after they’ve been on your site for a while, they inevitably go there. It’s typically the 5th or 6th or 7th page people visit. If you’ve done a good job providing cool content for them, they’ll be at the point where they’re considering subscribing. But they’re not gonna just do it automatically. They need something to put them over the edge. They’re also looking for any reason they can find to NOT subscribe to your site. So we’re on thin ice here. They’re on their way to your About page now. This is your shot. Don’t screw it up :-) How do you make an awesome About page? Make 75% of it about them. Who reads this site? What can you find here? Why is this the best website for this particular subject? How is this website different? Where is the best stuff on this website? Who are you and why are you qualified to have a site on this subject? See…there’s a question in there about you. And it’s important. And every other question is about them. Demonstrate to them that you know what they’re struggling with and that you can help them. Then have compelling calls to action. Do that…and your About page will no longer be a wimpy little bio about your company. It will be a page that generates business for you daily.
  10. Have access to great support – The web is constantly changing. Does your website update it’s technology on a regular basis? Do you have access to quick and personal answers for any of your questions? If you want to change or update something on your website, do you have access to training that makes it easy for you to do anything that you want to do? Is your website supported by someone that knows how lead generation works and understands your personal goals? These concerns are a crucial part of the equation. I hear from readers at least a few times per week who bring stories about how they have a great-looking website, but it’s not producing the results they want, and they can’t seem to figure out what’s missing or what to do next. Whatever website you have, it should be built for the purpose of accomplishing the goals you have for it. And the process of achieving those goals shouldn’t be a mystery. You should have access to support that walks you through the whole process, so you can get the results you’re looking for.

How does your current website measure up? If you have any questions, it’s my pleasure to help. You can subscribe to get further info, or contact me. I’m excited to talk with you further!

Here’s a List of Awesome Blog Post Ideas for You to Steal

One of the concerns I hear so often is that you don’t know what to write on your blog. The idea of sharing ideas with your readers on a consistent basis can seem daunting when you haven’t done it. You never struggle with what to say when you’re talking with a customer or client though, right? You talk casually. You have fun. You share ideas. You answer their questions. It’s all very natural.

Your blog is the same. It’s very natural. It’s just a different format. If you’d grown up in the 1800’s, the idea of talking to someone on the phone would have been strange indeed. If you grew up in one of the past few generations, having a cell phone you can carry around in your pocket…strange indeed. We don’t think twice about these things now. Your blog is the same.

Brainstorm out some ideas to share with people, and before you know it you’ll find you have more to share with people than you ever thought possible. You have more value to give than you think. I promise :-)

Here’s a quick list of blog post ideas to get you started. Please take these and use them as you see fit:

  1. Video or written review of the your favorite tools you use in your business.
  2. Talk about a book you’ve read that relates to your industry and what you’ve learned.
  3. Share your thoughts on an article or blog post you’ve read.
  4. Predict where your industry is headed and share why you feel that way.
  5. Describe something specific you do in your business that sets you apart, and share how you came to do it that way.
  6. Share a problem with your industry or a concern you have about the market.
  7. Share testimonials and case studies. Has a client taken your advice recently and had great results?
  8. Give a step-by-step system for how to accomplish a specific result in a specific amount of time.
  9. Video and/or pictures of your office, your team, your family, your town, your hangouts, etc.
  10. Showcase a member of your team or one of your favorite clients.
  11. Rave about your favorite blog, magazine or writer. Share what you love about them and thank them for helping you.
  12. Share something you’ve learned lately? What are you doing differently now than you were this time last year?
  13. Have you responded to an inquiry from one of your customers or clients lately? If one person has that question, it’s likely others do too.
  14. Have you ever made a mistake? Share the details and what you’ve learned.
  15. Do you consistently see clients or customers making the same type of mistakes? Identify a common mistake and educate your readers to save them a bit of heartache and hassle.
  16. Share why you love your business. What motivates and excites you about doing what you do? What got you into your business to begin with?
  17. Share your to-do list. What are your 5 biggest goals in your business in the next year? Where are you going? Get your readers involved.
  18. Publish your reading list. What do you have on your list to read that will motivate, inspire or educate you?
  19. Ask your Facebook friends a question, and share the feedback you get.
  20. Interview someone in your industry. Post the audio or video as well as a transcribed version on your blog. This is a great way to educate your readers, yourself and meet awesome people all at the same time :-)


Define, Learn, Do!

This is a post written by Jodi Keck. We work together behind the scenes here, and if you’ve worked with me as a client, there’s a good chance you’ve talked with Jodi at some point. He has a lot of great marketing and PR experience in both business and politics, and he’s a great asset to the team. He asked to share some thoughts with you on the blog, and I think there are some great ideas here. He addresses a few of the biggest areas we usually address with clients. Getting traffic to your site, generating leads from your website and earning business and sales from your subscribers after they sign up to your list. Let me know what you think :-)

This whole concept just makes sense:

  1. Define what you want.
  2. Learn from someone, or someone’s, who have already done what you want to do.
  3. Then do what they did to get there.

Sounds simple right? Unfortunately, most people tend to operate using the reverse of this theory. They do (go to college or learn a trade), learn something based on other people’s criteria (counselors, parents, etc.), and then only later, when it’s too late, do they ever take the time to think about what it is that they really want to do. So many of us go through life shooting success arrows randomly and getting frustrated that they never seem to hit the target. The problem is that so few of us ever take the time to set a target. It’s pretty hard to hit something you’re not aiming at.

Getting better results from your blog or website

The same principles hold true when generating leads on the internet. Most sales people and business owners set up a website, learn a few tricks as they go, and then only later, when they aren’t seeing results, do they truly attempt to define what it is they’re trying to accomplish. By following the define, learn, do philosophy you can eliminate most of the frustrations associated with your website. Simply define what it is you want to accomplish, learn from someone (like us) who has already done what you want to do, and then do what we did to get there.

There are a couple basic steps to follow. The main focus of most of our clients’ web pages is lead generation. You want to direct traffic to your site, have them either buy something or sign up for a mailing list of some sort, and then use these contacts to follow up and generate more sales. Let’s start with the first step, traffic.

The Biggest Misunderstanding about Getting Traffic to Your Website

Many of you are under the impression that more traffic always equals more leads. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me ask you question. Would you rather have 2000 hits on your web page and get 10 leads, or 200 hits to your page and get 40? It’s a no brainer right! The idea is that quality trumps quantity every time. One way to make this a reality for you is to find a focused keyword or words, like a niche, and direct a much more qualified group of prospects to your page. There are several ways to go about doing this and Christian has covered most of them in previous posts. You can get an entire series of videos here on how to set up and optimize your website in fact.

An Important Point about Getting Leads from Your Website

The second thing is all about calls to action. I’ve found that the reason most websites aren’t generating the leads people want is because they’re not asking for them. Most sites have one, maybe two, calls to action on the entire site. Usually it’s a newsletter or something similar and has a conversion rate of around 2%. Ask yourself this question. Why? Why should they sign up for your email list or newsletter? What do they gain? Are you really so invigorating that people should simply want to sign up just because you’re you? Maybe this is truly the case for some of you but it most definitely hasn’t been that way for me. Our site has multiple calls to action on every page. Many of them are offers for a free report or a training video that requires them to submit an email address in return for getting the item. By offering value in return for information we often generate about a 40% conversion rate compared the 2% mentioned above.

An important point on earning business from your email list

The third thing is follow through. Sure it’s great to build an email list with thousands of names, but how are you ever going to follow up with so many people over an extended period of time? Most sales people and business owners follow up once, maybe twice, and think that the sales should just start rolling in. Unfortunately, it rarely works out this way. Many prospective clients can take weeks if not months before they are ready to buy. In order to take advantage of these leads and not have them fall through the cracks we have to find ways to maximize our effort without spending exorbitant amounts of time. The most effective tool that we’ve found for doing this is blogging.

I know, I know. You don’t have time to blog. I hear it all the time. The problem with that is that you don’t have time not to. Blogging is an effective means of staying in contact with multiple people with one action. Every blog post can be sent to every person on your email list, facebook page, or twitter account with the click of a button. Every time a client asks you a question and you write an email answering it, you have a blog post. It makes sense that if one person has a question many others will have the same question, right? Whether you’re out with clients, reading a book, or just doing what you do; there are always thoughts, questions and ideas that can be written out on a smart phone and sent out into that wonderful space called the internet. Like I said before, maximize your effort while minimizing the time spent. Blogging doesn’t have to be a chore. Christian has an entire video series on how to create, utilize, and maintain a blog. It’ll get you well on your way towards hitting you’re target!


  1. Define what you want.
  2. Learn from someone who has done it.
  3. Then do what they did to get there.

A simple concept that will completely change your outlook and your results!