5 Tell-Tale Signs That You Don’t Have A Clue About How To Promote Your Business

tell-tale signs you don't know how to promote your business

tell-tale signs you don't know how to promote your business

I know it’s sad  for some of us, but there are still business owners and other product creators out there today who still don’t have no clue about how to promote their business.

Even though this is 2015 and counting.

How do I know?

Well, besides the fact that I personally know some individuals fitting this description, I also receive promotional emails in my personal inbox and through social media, on a daily basis, from such people.

That’s what prompted me to write this article.

Interestingly enough, when I have the time, I do reply to some of those guys to tell them that they are doing it wrong, but for the most part they ignore my help.

If this is you, it means that you don’t have a clue about how to market and promote your business, and you’re simply hurting yourself.

I’m not sure if there are still so called gurus who would teach anyone to market this way in 2015, but if there are out there I hope they find this article too.

However, spamming is not the only tell-tale sign that you don’t know how to promote your business, there are others that we will discuss here as well.

So, make sure you read about all 5 points.


1 – You’re Sending Unsolicited Emails to People you don’t Know

First let’s look at the definition of unsolicited emails.

Here is how a site called Webopedia defines spamming:

Spam is most often considered to be electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings. Some people define spam even more generally as any unsolicited email. However, if a long-lost brother finds your email address and sends you a message, this could hardly be called spam, even though it is unsolicited. Real spam is generally email advertising for some product sent to a mailing list or newsgroup.

If you’re sending unsolicited promotional emails to strangers it’s a strong sign that you have no clue about how to market your business, and I hope that you will soon realize that’s why it’s not working for you.

You see, when you haven’t even taken the time to get to know someone, and you’re sending an email that suggest them to buy something from you, or even to “check it out” as some people like to call it, it tends to makes people upset with you. Not a very good way t introduce yourself, now is it?

That’s not the kind of reaction you want to get if you want to promote your business or sell your product.

What you should do Instead…

Join forums and social media groups and interact with people. Get to know them.

If you interact with people within your niche, you will eventually even get access to their market and be able to expose your business the smart way.

A note of warning, though, if you are fake, if you’re not genuine in your attempt to get to know people, they will feel that too. So, if your issue is that you are too selfish or self-centered to be interested in people, your best bet is to hire someone to do the job for you.


2 – The Only Thing you Promote is your Product or Service

I don’t know if you’ve got that by now yet, but people don’t care about what you’re selling.

Why do you think advertisers turn up the volume during commercials on TV? Because they know that by nature people won’t care.

So when you send your unsolicited message it’s just like those annoying commercials, and just like most people do with commercials on TV, they’ll discard your message.

Instead of promoting your product or services so much, try promoting YOU instead.

I’d be way more interested if you emailed me about you and what you do, then if you put your product in my face.

Wake up and smell the coffee. This doesn’t work anymore!

If it has ever worked to some degree in the past (maybe) it certainly doesn’t work anymore in 2015.

This is how someone replied to a person who emailed some of us on Linkedin about their product rather than trying to connect the smart way.

Do you really want to get that kind of reaction?

Tell-Tale Signs you don't know how to market


What you should do instead…

Instead, introduce yourself, and genuinely explain that you would be willing to get some help and feedback about how to promote your business or product.

You’d be surprised about the suggestions that you would be getting if that is your problem.

Or try to get to know people first and then send them individual messages, not blast emails to a long list of names as you can see above.

This doesn’t work my friends.


3 – You are Using your Business Name Instead of your Own

Gosh do I hate that one.

Are you still using your business or product name instead of your own?

I don’t care what you’re selling, it’s NOT a good idea to use your business name instead of your own name.


Because usually it doesn’t inspired trust in people. It actually has the very opposite effect, it tends to make people run away from you.

Before being a business, you are a person, and that’s what people want to see.

If you were to write your resume, would you write it in a way that you are the job you did, or would you write it as the person who did the job?

Obviously, you would use the latter suggestion, wouldn’t you?

  • You’re not accounting, you’re an accountant
  • You’re not engendering, you’re an engineer

So if you get that, what don’t you get that using your business or product name instead of your own is totally wrong?

You are the person who owns the company, the business, the product or the service… etc, but you are NOT the business.

It’s interesting that this type of behavior was born online, tough, but it doesn’t make any difference whether you promote your business online or not.

What you should do instead…

Do not use your business avatar in your blog or social media profiles. Use your real face.

Do not use your business name as your name, but your own name.

By doing this people will recognize you as a person and trust you much better, and your sales will increase.

If you could only get that much from this post, you would start flourishing in your business, I’m sure.


4 – You are not Blogging

If you have an online or even an offline business, you should be blogging about it.

By the way, I have written numerous posts about how to promote your business the right way through blogging, so check out my blog.

Even though there are literally over 500,000 blog posts written each day, you need to have your own.

The reason why there are so many blog posts written each day it’s because people know that it works.

On the other hand, people who do not have a blog struggle to get a momentum.

I have a friend who has written what otherwise should be a very popular book, because it touches the cause of a very specific but large market.

He was told by quite few people which include publishers that his idea was unique. It was even accepted in a couple of book stores that sold a  handful of copies, but it fell short of reaching its true potential.


Well, even though I encouraged my friend (the author of the book) many times, to start a blog that would be discussing the topic of his book while helping him build relationships with his target audience, he has never done it.

He doesn’t have the money to pay someone to do it for him, but he won’t do it himself either.

So he’s stuck and so is his book.

Bottom line, even though the book should be a popular one, no one knows about it, but a handful of people.

This is a very good example, that while just starting a blog with no planning, you’re blog will probably fail rapidly; having a good reason to start a blog and not doing it is an obvious business mistake.

What you should do instead…

Create a blog or hire someone to do it for you.

If you have a business or a product that you want to put out there, there is no better way than having a blog that will help you promote it for you.

When you use your blog the right way, it will be the vehicle that’s going to drive traffic and money to your business.


5 – You are not Building Relationships with your Audience

In 2015 and in the coming years, businesses are and will be built with relationships more and more.

My Friend Don Purdum often writes about that. You can check one of his latest articles here for more details on the subject.

Whether it’s the relationships you are building with other business owners, your potential clients or through your customer service, it’s all one and the same thing.

It’s all about how good you are at building relationships to help you grow your business, and your profit.

If you’re not even trying to connect with people right now, and all you do is advertise, advertise, advertise… good luck to you!

What you should do instead…

In order to do that it’s would be a good idea to have a blog first as I explained above.

While it’s not impossible to build relationships without a blog, it makes it so much easier if you do, because you can give people high quality information and value through your blog.

Once they come to your blog it’s up to you to try create a connection with them. By that I mean a one on one connection with each individual.

When people visit your blog, check them out. If they do have a blog too, go check it out, and get to know them.

When you go to their blog, read their latest article and leave a comment. Follow them on Twitter or any of your favorite social media platforms.  Make sure you introduce yourself as a genuine person.

If they don’t have a blog, look them up on social media and try to connect with them that way.

If they have come to your blog and leave a valuable comment, you could even email them directly with a thank you note.

The ways you can connect with people and build relationships with them is endless, but here is a start for you.



Doing business today is different than it was 10 or even 5 years ago.

Mentalities have changed, grown and evolved. The way we do business needs to adapt to that.

Business evolves with people.

Look at the way they used to make movies 50 years ago, for example, do you think if they made movies the same way today it would still work for the motion picture industry?

My guess is probably not. Because the public has evolved over time.

Today the public demands more realistic movies, so the industry has adapted with the demand. Look at the quality of movies today!

But remember that internet marketing changes much more rapidly than movie making does.

Instead of decades we’re talking more like  year to year changes that we need to adapt to in order to stay on top.

So, what used to work only 5 or 4 years back doesn’t necessarily work today.

Keep that in mind and get a clue about how to promote your business today. Start by applying my tips here.


You’re tun now. Leave your comments below.


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I write in such a way that your potential customers will fall in love with your business.

Would you like some advice about blogging for better business? Get it here!

27 thoughts on “5 Tell-Tale Signs That You Don’t Have A Clue About How To Promote Your Business”

  1. Hi Sylviane,

    Very thought provoking article you’ve written here!

    I couldn’t agree with you more about this spamming issue. It seems it’s really getting out of hand again. Especially with all the marketing conversations around influencer marketing. There is a lot of misconceptions and ideas floating around about how to do it and 90% of it that is being recommended is nothing more than spam.

    They are giving themselves a bad name. But hey, in the end they are only helping those of us who are doing it right stand out and get noticed. So, it’s a win for us, right?

    I do think there is a balance between branding a company and branding yourself. I will admit I disagree with you on one point and that is that I am my company and my company is me.

    We represent each other every moment of the day and are inseparable. My team will learn to think like me and the business will continue to take on my vision, ideas and even personality to some degree.

    It really depends on what kind of business you have and what your dreams and vision for it are that will define if I market me or my business.

    For example, in the article you linked to it says “Interstate Batteries” not their individual personal names because ultimately that business reflected and grew through its founder and owner. The two are inseperable.

    I hope that makes sense?

    Great article Sylviane and a sorely needed conversation. I hope many find your article and take it to heart.

    Thank you so much for mentioning me and including me in your article.

    Have a great week!!!

    ~ Don
    Don Purdum invites you to read..Are You Creating Content for a Target Market Who Will Never Buy from You?My Profile

    1. Hi Don,

      I completely understand what you mean about the company being an entity of its own, and I know you’re talking about a specific company in this article, but for example, you don’t call yourself your company’s name or sign a comment with your company’s name either.

      When I see someone coming to my blog and their name is “EatHealthy” I know it’s not their name. Then if you go on their site, you can’t find a single human being’s name or face either. It’s like they don’t exist as a person, and that’s what I referring to especially. But thank you for your input and clarification in case someone is getting confused.

      Appreciate you’re coming by.

  2. Hi Sylviane,

    Spam.. that example didn’t even come close to one I received the other day..went on forever listing person after person and NOT from anywhere I recall signing up for.

    Marketing, selling and blogging can form an intricate basket, but if you fail
    to keep weaving by not following through..then all is lost.

    If new bloggers pick the wrong mentor and develop bad habits it takes awhile to discover the map to a better path.
    I think something I read in a program for building an email list said it best and applies to almost anything you do online…establish a relationship with your subscribers.
    Give the respect and consideration to them that you extend to friends.

    Don’t knock on their door with a package to sell in one hand and the other out expecting money.

    Sometimes a person is the business, but have yet to meet a business that is a person…even though the Supreme court seems the think they are.

    Things keep getting more complicated, but from personal observation, unless you have a fortune to spend doing advertising, better read, comment and go blog hopping to make some real friends.

    Cararta invites you to read..Review: Carl Topping’s Digital Media MarketMy Profile

    1. Hi Cararta,

      Thank you for this excellent feedback, I’m glad to hear that some people are teaching the right approach, treating subscribers with respect like friend is a good advice.

      Thank you for coming and have a wonderful day!

  3. Hey Sylviane,

    You wouldn’t believe how much spam I receive in my business email. I came home from vacation and maybe had 40 legitimate emails and the other several thousand were all spam. It is extremely irritating when they are advertising my email address to their entire list instead of addressing us all as blind carbon copy. What can I say, idiots are all around us.

    As Don did mention in his comment, that just means that those that are doing it right have a much better chance of standing out due to how impressed people would be that we’re not spamming them. We definitely can’t save the world that’s for sure but hopefully help a few people at a time learn how to do this properly.

    Great share as always Sylviane and thanks. Hope you’re having a good week.

    Adrienne Smith invites you to read..What Cruising and Building Relationships Have in CommonMy Profile

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Yes, I can only imagine how much trash emails you’ve gotten after a whole week. I receive about 100 emails a day and I’d say 50 to 60 percent is crap like that.

      Yes, I agree with Don too, the more idiots that don’t want to learn, the more opportunities for us.

      Thanks for your input and you have a wonderful rest of the day!

  4. Hi Sylviane,

    Your article reminds me not just about how much spam I’m receiving and all the “bad” commercials I’m seeing every day. But, I’m also thinking about the challenge with me promoting a vegetarian festival in Norway. I launched the festival without knowing any companies/restaurants that would join us. The only thing on my mind was calling and emailing companies that fit a certain description. It felt a bit like spam, but at the same time it felt like the only way I could reach out with a short time limit (I only had a few months until launching the festival).

    Now, we have launched a blog, we have a Facebook page, and we’re creating “strong” relationships with both people who are visiting the vegetarian festival and the companies who have joined us.

    I believe that one of the big problems for many, and why they do it wrong, is that they are thinking that everything should happen immediately. They’re not thinking long term and that it takes months/years to build a business.
    Jens-Petter Berget invites you to read..Facebook Metrics – The Two Metrics to Track for SuccessMy Profile

    1. Hi Jens,

      Very good point. We are a micro-wave society, we want everything now, but that’s not how it works.

      For example, right now I’m learning how to get published on mammoth blogs such as Huffington Post or Forges, but the first thing they tell you is that it’s a process and it takes months for those sites to publish you, and that has nothing to do with quality here, it’s just how it is. But when they do publish you, you can be assured to reap some rewards. However, it doesn’t happen overnight. Most thing don’t, do they?

      You’re right, people who do this want instant results and they’re not thinking long term.

      Yes, I know contacting people like that is never easy and it would make you feel like a spammer or telemarketer.

      Thanks for your input.

  5. Hi Sylviane,

    I get a lot of spam emails for products and services too. I just ignore it and don’t bother to respond. I’m no guru when it comes to marketing but I do say to myself “buddy, you’re going about it the wrong way” as I delete their email or block them. 🙂

    I’m so glad you shared the right way to promote our business. Thankfully, I’m doing these you said we ought to be doing and it doesn’t hurt to engage more whenever we have a chance. I think that’s one of most important things we should be doing.

    I love the response to the LinkedIn email in the screenshot you shared…that was classic and I bet that person didn’t even reply. 🙂

    Thanks for these great tips Sylviane. Hope you’re having great time in your travels. Where are you off to next?

    Corina Ramos invites you to read..How to Use Twitter to Drive Positive Social TrafficMy Profile

    1. Hi Corina,

      Yes, they sure are doing it the wrong way and I wonder what is the percentage of positive results of doing this. Probably close to none. that’s why they email hundreds upon hundreds of people per week or even day.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

      Next I’m up to Spain and back to the UK.. I actually just posted more details on that on Facebook if you want to check it out over there 🙂

      Thanks for coming as always 🙂

  6. DOH!! I’m doing it semi-wrong?

    Welllll, maybe not.

    Great article Sylviane. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been around–working hard, like everyone else….but hey, I’m here now, right? RIGHT!

    The only part I do wrong here is using my business name instead of my own. Now, this is only partially–as you see my own name and my picture here…but any account I do or when I’m asked what I want people to see on a platform, it’s WantedHero.

    That’s my branding, so it’s important for folks to see that and connect it to me.

    Is that still considered a bad choice?

    I’d like your view on that one….

    – Jaime
    Jaime Buckley invites you to read..Why IS Disney So Set On Destroying My Childhood?My Profile

    1. Hi Jaime,

      Well, interesting. True you are using WantedHero, but I feel that when you do it’s because you are promoting your book collection and in this case I feel that’s appropriate. But as you said here for example you have a picture of YOU and your name under it, so you are doing it right. You are using WantedHero when you should and your own name when you should too. You’re all good 🙂

      By the way, don’t worry about not commenting on blogs, I know you discussed that on your reply to my comment on your own blog. What you said is so true. It’s the same with me. None of the people commenting are my potential clients, and the more I write for my specific market the less comments I have, but that a “natural phenomenon” so to speak. So I totally get what you’re saying. Because commenting on blogs works best for people who are in the social media/blogging niche. I’ve realized that too a while back, so you’re smart guy and you did too!

      Thanks for coming!

  7. Beginners could be productive soon as they take action after reading this article of yours, Sylviane.

    Since I’m handling emails and I’m more into email marketing this time. Unsolicited emails do not just upset the receiver but the sender of course. Some receivers tend to reply angrily or pissed on unsolicited emails.

    Yes, it is great to join forums and be active to create your brand or name most especially if you’re new in your industry. Doing so, you can slowly but surely build good impression and so much more which is a key to trust you and your emails.
    Metz invites you to read..HIYYYAH! Squeeze NINJA! – Build Unlimited Squeeze Pages FAST & DEADLY Like a Ninja!My Profile

    1. Hi Metz,

      Yes, you brought up a very good point, when the spammer send these types of emails and get angry replies like the one I’m showing here 🙂 it’s can’t feel good, now can it?

      Thank you for coming and have a great day!

  8. Hey Sylviane,

    good to see an article on this topic,

    Unfortunately, even today – people haven’t realized that spam does not work. Outreach is a very powerful weapon that is available to everyone but it requires some rules. For me, If I haven’t connected with someone on the social media, never made a comment on their blogs, never bought anything from them – it is best not to send them an outreach email.

    Promoting content or even the person behind it is a far easier process and brings in a greater ROI when compared to product marketing. Agreed completely on the Tv ads point, they do increase the volume in the commercials – and guess what we do in return – Mute the volume on our Tv sets! One can’t force people with ads, applying more pressure on that front will only push and repel the targeted audience further.

    it is time people realize what works or atleast hire the right people to do it,

    Uttoran Sen,
    Uttoran Sen invites you to read..Web 2.0 Blogging – 7 Places to Maintain a Blog outside of your Own DomainMy Profile

    1. Hi Uttoran,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and understand the value of building relationship first and promoting later.

      No, we can’t force people to buy from us. As you said, while they turn up the volume on commercials we turn it down or completely mute it all together, just like we do with those emails. We delete them without even reading them at all, because we already know what is it all about.

      Thank you so much for your input.

  9. Hi Sylviane

    You are absolutely right and I agree that there are people out there who don’t have a clue about promoting a business .

    I like where you said one should promote himself as a person and build relationship with people.

    I want to say thanks for writing this post. Take Care

    Ps: I found out that my mobile network is the cause of me not being able to comment on your blog posts recently. Strange but not surprised that is how it is with mobile networks in my country.

  10. Hey Sylviane,

    I use to be that guy you mentioned on your first point LOL

    I didn’t know what I was doing or how to conduct myself. I can remember when I first purchased an autoresponder, I would just add people to my list and send them broadcast email. Oh how naive I was back then LOL

    But I have come a long way, but still have a lot of growing to do when it comes to promotion. Although I was also guilty of points 2, 3, 4, and 5, I still wanted to learn, grow and watched others on how they promote. My curiosity really helped me to learn how to do things that get the best results from a genuine perspective.

    Although there are a lot of solicitors out there, there is that elite that just don’t know how to promote and are willing to listen and learn like I did. I like the fact that you showed what is the wrong way to promote and provided a solution to promote the right way!

    Thanks for the share Sylviane! Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith invites you to read..My Top 6 Blog Posts For May and June: Short Videos, Google Analytics, Monetize Blog, Guest Post Traffic, Research Next Blog Post, Long Tail KeywordsMy Profile

    1. Hi Sherman,

      Well, I too was someone who learned the wrong ways and used them, just like you did. And like you the curiosity and wanting to learn more got the best out of me and eventually I started to understand “relationship” in business.

      Thank you for your valuable input.


  11. Hey Sylviane,
    Business promotion done wrongly is a bad sign for conversion. Many of us( bloggers) are not aware of the implications of ignoring “proper” promotion – be it with emails or non-electronically!

    I agree with you on the points about marketing oneself first instead of posing a product in supposed customer’s face!

    A customer/reader wants a product/post that would provide solutions for him/her. If we understood this and applied same more often then it becomes easier to achieve success online!

    I left the above comment in kingged.com where this post was found.

  12. Great post Sylviane!

    Isn’t hard to believe there’s still so much spamming going on!

    And your excellent advice about using your own name, instead of
    your business name is spot on!

    You unfortunately see that being done a ton as well!And even though you pointed out
    that on any given day, a staggering half billion blog post are published daily!

    The really good news is, probably 98% of those post won’t ever rank on the first two or three pages of any of the major search engines, for a ton of valid reasons!

    So, our well keyword researched content, has a far better (statistical) chance of ranking!

    You’ve not only shared five excellent reasons as proof, but you offered (at least) five extremely practical ways of fixing these all too common occurrences!


    1. Hi Mark,

      Really appreciate your input here.

      Yes, still ton of spammers and people who use a business name and a logo rather then a real name and their own face, but to me that’s the best way to make sure that I won’t be interested. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling that way.

      Thanks for coming and you have a great day!

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