5 Common Marketing Mistakes – and How to Fix Them

Learn how to succeed at marketing and avoid these common mistakes biz owners make.

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Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. So do common marketing mistakes!  — Paid ads, organic social media marketing, Google, SEO, websites, personal branding, funnels … the list goes on. Most business owners understand that marketing is an essential part of growing their business. However, those same business owners often express frustration at previous marketing failures.

“I tried Google Ads and got no leads.”

“No one interacts with my Facebook posts.”

“People don’t do anything on my website”

These are all stories I hear regularly as the owner of a digital marketing agency for therapists. Frustrated business owners who tried the DIY approach and failed. Or, worse yet, paid some “expert” a fistful of cash – only to not get the results they had hoped for.

Here’s the thing about successful marketing – there is no “one size fits all” solution. Just because someone has a proven system, that doesn’t mean it is guaranteed to work for you. Take solace – any mistake you’ve made on your entrepreneurial journey is probably quite common.


Check out this video (or keep scrolling) to learn the 5 most common marketing mistakes I encounter at Goodman Creatives … and how to fix them.

1. Get clarity on your niche and dream client before investing in anything

Entrepreneurship is seeing a problem and coming up with a way to help someone solve it. By having clarity on your soulmate avatar, you can consciously create a cohesive personal brand and message across everything you do.

Work. Finances. Relationships. Health … the list goes on. To attract leads with ease and flow, we must first understand how your offering solves their pain point. What keeps your soulmate avatar up at night? Do research. Gain clarity. Only then can your marketing connect deeply and inspire them to reach out.

5 Common Marketing Mistakes - dream client and niche

2. Don’t spend your entire marketing budget on a website

All too often, new business owners break the bank investing in a big, fancy, custom website. While this certainly helps you stand out in the crowd, it’s usually more than you need at first.

Instead, invest in an effective website built on a template. Customize it to your needs, then put the rest of the money you were going to spend on design into Google Ads and retargeting on Facebook. That’s the fastest way to get your website in front of leads who are ready to become paying clients.

Here’s what a basic, starting marketing budget looks like – in priority order.

  • Google Ads – $300 for monthly management + $500 minimum ad budget
  • Facebook – Set aside at least $300/month to boost your content, test creative, and run retargeting ads on FB, Instagram, and across the ad network.
  • SEO – $500/month for management (+ a copywriter if you don’t want to write) — and be ready to invest that for 8-12 months before seeing real results.

If your marketing budget allows you to do those 3 activities, your leadgen will be off to a good start. The trifecta of Google, Facebook, and SEO will bring in leads now and also start building a foundation for the future.

5 Common Marketing Mistakes - spending too much on a website

3. Not paying someone to manage your Google Ads and SEO

In the previous “common marketing mistake,” we discussed saving your money for paid ads and search engine optimization. While you absolutely can go the DIY route for Google Ads and SEO, both have a huge learning curve. The question is, how much time and energy do you want to dedicate to doing the technical work?

Here’s the reality – Google is constantly updating its algorithm and adding new features to its paid and organic offerings.

Keeping up with all those changes is a full-time job. So often, business owners get everything set up, leave it alone for a while, then find that their rankings have slipped or their cost per lead has skyrocketed.

For all these reasons, I strongly recommend hiring an expert to manage your SEO and Google Ads. However, do your research first. There are a lot of shady companies out there using methods that will actually hurt you in the long run.

If you want to chat about your needs and get a few recommendations, schedule a free strategy session with me – I love referring people to the freelancers and agencies in my digital Rolodex.

5 Common Marketing Mistakes - Google Ads and SEO

4. Talking about yourself too much – and too soon

Truth bomb – your dream client doesn’t care about your story (at first). They have a problem and need a solution. You are a means to an end. Your marketing should offer value simply because it’s the right thing to do – not because it leads to a conversion. It may sound counterintuitive, but that’s the foundation of a successful personal brand.

Even if someone never becomes a client, their life should be made better by your existence. When you approach business from that perspective, your dream client will naturally be drawn to you. That’s how you succeed in online marketing … by creating inspirational, authentic content that gets people to know, like, and trust you.

5 Common Marketing Mistakes - talking about yourself too much

5. Choosing too many marketing channels

Ideally, marketing is omnichannel – reaching your target audience everywhere they go online. However, the realities of that goal are limited by your time and budget as a business owner. On average, people need to see your content in their feeds 10 times before it passes their subconscious barrier. Facebook, Instagram, newsletters, ads, blogs, funnels, websites … oh my!

Take an honest look at what you are willing to do – and what you have the budget to outsource. Focus on the channels that excite you and avoid marketing FOMO. It’s better to have zero presence on a certain channel than to send people to a place that’s filled with crickets chirping. You can also outsource automotive HR support and experience their exceptional service.

5 Common Marketing Mistakes - too many channels


In the end, running a successful marketing campaign and growing your business online comes down to understanding 7 basic things:

  1. Who is your target audience and how can you serve them?
  2. What does the customer journey look like – and where does it happen?
  3. How does your website guide that journey and turn leads into clients?
  4. How much time are you willing to dedicate to marketing?
  5. What is your overall marketing budget?
  6. What parts of the process can you automate?
  7. When is it time to bring in hired help?

Did anything in this post resonate with you?

Were you shaking your head “yes!” because you’ve made some of these common mistakes? Are you wondering what to do next? If so, let’s chat!

As an online marketing coach, I help business owners get more leads, clients, and sales without being “salesy.”

To do this, I draw from 25 years of experience in marketing, web design, and personal branding. Together, we can help you stand out in a busy online crowd.

Sound good?

Schedule a free consult today.

Got Questions?

Ask me anything about this article … or, reach out to see how I can help you get a steady, predictable stream of therapy clients you love with less effort and stress.

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About the Author:

Greg Goodman

As a therapist business coach, web designer, copywriter, and marketing expert, Greg has been helping mental health professionals get a steady stream of clients they love since 2006.

In his career, Greg has helped everyone from associates to established solo partners, group practices, and beyond. He even had a 6-year stint as the head of a large mental health clinic in San Francisco where he kept 43 caseloads full.

In addition to his work helping therapists, Greg is a passionate photographic storyteller, traveler, husband, father, and human being dedicated to personal growth and making the world a better place.

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