ShouldaCouldaWouldaPsst…do you want to know what you should do to grow your business? What your marketing plan should include? Look no further than the interwebs.

 A quick Google search will tell you the “rules” of marketing that your small business should follow. For instance:

Size matters, so you should grow a big email list (but sometimes you should keep it small).

 You should run Facebook ads. They are totally worth it (except when they’re a waste of money).

You should focus all your marketing efforts on lead generation. Nevermind — scratch that and spend time and attention on lead nurturing instead.

 There are exactly five steps you should take to create an irresistible opt-in offer…except when there are 4…or 7…or sometimes 16.

Confused yet?

Here’s the thing. None of these experts are wrong. The problem is there are so many marketers telling you that you “should” do this or you “should” do that. It leaves you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted — and no further along than if you had ignored them altogether.

TWEET THIS: Shoulda woulda coulda is an exhausting #marketing strategy. There is a better way (YOURS!) http://m.arket.me/1Ca0PH8 #dontshouldonme

There is no end to the “shoulds” when you’re growing a small business online. So, next time you get someone telling you exactly how to grow your business, here are a few things to consider.

Success Formulas Are A Myth

Success doesn’t come from a checklist. Anytime someone says there is a formula for exactly how things should be done, be wary. Success comes from experience and, unfortunately, sometimes that means learning things the hard way. This brings me to my next point.

success and hard work

Data Trumps Everything Else

You can mess around with trial and error — that’s certainly one way to gain experience. But doesn’t that seem overly complicated and painful? There’s an easier way. Find experts who’ve been where you want to go and see what you can learn from them.

Here’s the problem — these days, everyone claims to be an expert and seems to have an answer for what you should do to grow your business (there’s that word again!). When you’re choosing experts, ask yourself if the “expert” has data to back up what they say they can help you with. Numbers don’t lie!

Trust Yourself First

The most important marketing decision you’ll ever make is to trust yourself and test along the way. Before you sign up for that coaching package, bookmark that website, download that guide or join that online community ask yourself what you really need. Not what others think you need.

Break down your goals and create tiny steps toward improvement each day in your online presence and your website. You know your business better than anyone else. Doing a gut check is a pretty powerful place to start.

Over To You

No more guessing games and wondering which experts to follow. If a marketing strategy doesn’t resonate with you, then shake that should off!

small business online marketing masterclass

The only experts I trust are those who can put their money where their mouth is. I’m bringing together 21 of the experts who’ve had a huge impact on my business to share their expertise with you during my free Small Business Online Marketing Master Class.

This Master Class isn’t about telling you what you “should” do. It’s about showing you what actually works. Sign up for free: http://fingerprintmarketing.com/masterclass/