Marketing, done well, reduces the need for “selling” in Sales.

You've likely heard some paraphrase of the above a million times.

Potential clients come to you ready to invest, they just need to hear the details. It does not completely replace the sales process, but it makes it a whole lot easier.

The issue?

Most small businesses, whether online-based or brick-and-mortar, fail at marketing. They may not realize they're failing until it's too late, but they are.

How do I know?

I've worked with hundreds of small business owners and, in a few questions, I can usually pinpoint where their marketing goes south.

Here are just a few of the reasons:

• Inconsistency in communicating with ideal audience. One week / month, you're everywhere, the next … POOF! vanished like the wind.

• It's all about * you *. Not your audience, not their problems, but * you *. What you're doing, what you're up to without converting those experiences into lessons / solutions for your customers and clients.

• Fear of failing and lowered sense of self worth stop you from taking any chances. Henry Ford said it best “Do what you always do, get what you always got” or there's always Albert Einstein's “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results”.

• Too slow in creating things and when things are created, they're often more about the product, price or promotion than about your customer. Perfectionism often results in a massive slowdown through your business and it's easy to become to focused on the product and how to “get it out there” that we lose track of our customers' perspectives.

• Too focused on one channel or one media: Facebook, email, teleseminars, whichever is more than being everywhere your potential clients are.

Do any of these, or others, creep up for you in the dark of night? Are you wondering what you can / should do differently?

My 2 cents:

• Identify those areas which are a challenge for you.

• Pick one and tackle it. If writing is a challenge, write a blog post or a Facebook Note or an email to someone who can help your business. Then “finish” it. Post it, hit “send”. Whatever it takes. Do it in less than an hour.

• Once you see movement and completion on one of your challenge areas, it'll be much easier to tackle others. Momentum is a very powerful force. Take advantage of it.