Are you ready for our hot takes episode on marketing tricks people fall for? Sadly, marketing tricks don’t just stick to the Halloween season. They’re alllll year round. So let’s chat about some marketing tricks we notice happening way too often in business ownership.
And since it’s Halloween, it can’t be just an episode about tricks. So of course we have a digital goodie bag just for you! Be sure to tune into the episode. You won’t want to miss “hearing” our costumes. 👻
Don’t Fall For These 12 Marketing Tricks
These tricks are ‘witch and famous’ because of the pain and suffering they cause to so many entrepreneurs. Don’t feel bad if you’ve been sucked into any of these tricks. We have been, too!
1. SEO is Hard
We’re actually going to do an entire episode on this someday soon. So many people hear “SEO” and run because they think it’s too technical to understand.
There are easy SEO tools and best practices you can use to boost your SEO ranking without knowing any technical jargon. Episode 73 talks about how doing ONE thing will improve your SEO this year, and anyone can do it. And episode 48 gives you four free SEO keyword research tools. Entrepreneurs tend to overthink SEO; you don’t have to stress over it.
2. The Promise of Six-Figures
Has anyone else been sucked into the belief that making six figures in a month is easy? 🙋♀️ It makes you feel like you aren’t in the right place in your business when you don’t reach those numbers.
When someone promises, “Do this exact thing that I’m doing, and you’ll make six figures in a week,” don’t listen. Sure, that might work for some people, but realistically, that’s just not how businesses work. When you buy into that promise, it’s discouraging and makes you feel like you’re doing something wrong. You aren’t!
It’s exhausting to see people promising six figures over and over again. It’s a salesy thing to say. They’re not telling you that because they want you to get six figures. They’re trying to get you to take their course, or follow them, or whatever.
Don’t listen to these people. Keep doing you in your business, and you’ll be fine!
3. Results Guaranteed
This is especially true in the SEO world. Everyone is on a different level competitively. One industry might be pretty easy to rank highly, and another could be extremely difficult. Plus, SEO takes time to show any kind of data, and things change quickly.
We get asked about results a lot on discovery calls. “What kind of results can you guarantee?” We always answer, “We don’t guarantee results, and you shouldn’t trust anyone who does.”
There aren’t many things in the organic world that can guarantee you results. You can’t control results or your performance in organic marketing. We aren’t afraid to show our clients when something isn’t working. We don’t spin the numbers to only show the positives. We show the bad and give you a new strategy to make it better.
We like to ‘creep’ it real!
4. Your Logo is the Most Important Brand Asset
A lot of people get very hung up on their logo. They spend a lot of time overthinking it and trying to make it perfect. Your brand is so much more than your logo. Your logo is actually one of the least important brand assets.
We’re a prime example of this. Our website is the only place our logo lives. Otherwise, we’re the faces of our brand. We don’t need a logo for brand recognition because our audience knows our brand through us.
Of course, you should still have a logo but don’t bother putting too much weight on its importance.
5. Bots and Fake Followers
Don’t even get us started on bots and fake followers! There’s only one way to get more followers on Instagram: organically. Don’t even bother buying fake followers or bot accounts. You’re wasting your money, and it could hurt your engagement on Instagram for YEARS.
Your follower count is just a vanity metric. The total number of people following your Instagram account may look impressive, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate how engaged or interested your followers are in your content. It doesn’t do anything for what really matters: conversion. Other metrics like engagement rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate provide a better understanding of the effectiveness of your Instagram strategy.
6. One Marketing Tactic for Everyone
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all-all strategy in marketing. I mean, just think of how different businesses truly are. There aren’t any exact copies, so there shouldn’t be in marketing either! Just because a strategy works AMAZING for someone doesn’t mean you’ll get the same results.
Instead, find a coach who is doing what you want to do. That’s the kind of blueprint you need to follow. Again, not exactly, but as a guide to shape a marketing plan that is perfect for you.
7. Buying Testimonials
Similar to buying followers, buying testimonials is just as damaging. Not only is it considered unethical, but you’re hurting your long-term reputation. Testimonials are meant to reflect the genuine experiences and opinions of your customers. When you purchase testimonials, they become disingenuous and lose their credibility.
If people find out you’ve purchased fake testimonials, it can damage your brand’s reputation. Consumers today are increasingly vigilant about identifying fake reviews. Just don’t do it, okay?! It’s far more beneficial to encourage clients to provide voluntary testimonials.
8. Repurposing Content Without Permission
While we’re at it, we also need to mention repurposing content without permission. We encourage people to use other people’s content as inspiration but NEVER copy it. If something you create was heavily inspired by someone else, give them the credit they deserve. This goes for blogs, podcasts, website copy or design, freebies, videos… the list goes on.
9. Black Hat SEO Strategies
Some businesses partake in sketchy SEO strategies to try to take the easy way to ranking on Google. It just doesn’t happen, trust us. Bad SEO strategies, or black hat strategies, only end up harming your ranking for a loooong time. It’s hard to regain trust when you’ve broken it.
Here’s a quick list of black hat SEO strategies to avoid:
- Hiding text boxes.
- Just adding keywords to your website without considering how to write effectively with them in mind.
- Keyword stuffing.
- Buying backlinks.
- Not digging into SEO strategies when you choose your business, products, and offerings names.
- Ignoring the importance of headline tags and only thinking of them as a design element.
- Creating poor-quality content or writing just to write without any actual effort.
10. Pivot Overload
Listen, we know what it feels like to be frustrated after launching something with no results. It’s happened to us several times in our entrepreneurial journey. BUT jumping from one thing to the next without waiting for results isn’t the way to handle it. You need to give your products, services, and content time to gain traction. It won’t happen overnight, and maybe you will end up needing to pivot, but at least give it a chance.
In episode 65, we share some real signs you’re ready to pivot in your business.
11. Avoiding AI
There are still a lot of entrepreneurs who are hesitant to embrace AI. We get it. It’s uncomfortable to use new tools, especially if you don’t understand how to use them, how they can help, or even if you feel threatened by them.
Maybe you believe you can do better than AI. We still believe everything produced by AI needs to have some human touch to it. But it does quickly produce pretty good stuff for you to use.
Another reason people avoid AI is because they don’t have time… that’s literally the point! AI saves us so much time in our business. Maybe there’s a day we just aren’t feeling creative enough to think of a title for a podcast episode. AI will give us ten options in seconds. We use one it gives us or it inspires something else.
There’s no avoiding AI anymore. It’s here to stay, so you might as well embrace it!
12. Not Investing in Your Business
As counterintuitive as this sounds, you have to spend money to make money. And we’re not saying to just go around throwing cash. You don’t need to spend your dollars on every shiny new tool.
But you also can’t hoard your cash for a rainy day. You won’t grow by staying in the same place. You have to make investments to get to that next level. Here are some things we’ve invested in our business!
Investing in your business is crucial to growth. Don’t be afraid of your money; use it to your advantage!
The Marketing Treats You’ve Been Waiting For
Whew, that was a lot of marketing tricks, don’t ya think? We hope it opened your eyes to some of the things you might accidentally be doing, or believing to be true, in your business. Marketing tricks can always be changed though!
You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging without sending you home with some digital marketing treats, did you?! Trick or treat yo’ self to some digital marketing treats! In it, you’ll find:
- AI tools we are loving lately
- Our testimonial framework
- AI prompts
- A spooky discount
- and more (insert your evilest laugh here)
Happy Halloween, gourd-geous! 🎃
If you liked today’s episode on The Duo On Air Marketing Podcast, don’t forget to leave us a review & subscribe!
MORE FROM THE DUO
Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
To inquire about being a guest on Duo On Air, please fill out this application form.
And to submit a topic or a question for next week’s episode, send us a DM on Instagram! See you on Monday!