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EPISODE 112 | 5 signs your marketing strategy isn’t working and what to do about it

June 4, 2024

In this episode of The Hayley Osborne Show I’m sharing some of my key insights on the signs your marketing strategy isn’t working and what to do about it.

While you’re probably super comfortable right now doing “what you’ve always done”, things can change quickly and leave you vulnerable.

I’ve seen businesses get caught off guard because they’ve been doing the same thing over and over because it worked once.

It’s time to do something else to change the game and move the needle.

It’s time to learn how to leverage marketing your small business to work for you and it’s return on your investment, because when you do, the world is your oyster.

Join me in my new 4-week experience, Superhero Storytelling. Sharpen your pencils and unfold your capes as we prepare to take off on a creative adventure. It’s time Superhero Storytelling you create the confidence you need in your messaging and understand the power in your story.

My proven storytelling framework will reignite your origins story which in turn creates a better foundation for your audience to know you, like you and trust you. When they trust you, they buy from you.

Take a peek at:

Superhero Storytelling to learn more, enrolment is open, (link in bio) and I can’t wait to see you power up your storytelling and leverage your small business story for a big impact.

We start June 11 2024.


0:01 Marketing strategies and storytelling for small businesses.

4:08 Storytelling and marketing strategies for small businesses. 

9:00 Marketing strategy importance for businesses with a single main source of income. 

14:20 Marketing strategy, authenticity, and focus. 

20:15 Importance of content refresh, engagement, and storytelling in marketing. 

Hayley Osborne

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Hayley Osborne show. 

This is episode 112. And I am so glad that you are here. Today, I really wanted to talk about some signs that you might be seeing but not quite seeing, you know, because like when you’re so close to things, you can’t see them anymore, within your marketing strategy that isn’t working, and what you can do about it. 

So you know, you might be throwing spaghetti at the wall, you might be that type of person just doing whatever works. Or you might have a marketing strategy that you are working towards, and working through inside your business to help you to be able to achieve the goals that you want to do want to be able to achieve throughout the year. 

But it’s not sticking, it’s not working. So there are a few signs that you may need to change what you’re doing that I commonly see. And I found when I work with business owners, I thought it would be a great time to address that. Here on the podcast. As we are recording this podcast. 

As you know if you are an avid listener last week, I not last week, the week before so it’s coming out soon at the end of the month, recorded an episode with Kashi, David Koch, from crushes business builders and the sunrise he it will be airing on Channel Seven for crushes Business Builders, where I mentored a business on growth strategies inside their business. 

And it was super fun. And I absolutely loved it. But before we get started, I really just want to take a moment to talk to you about a special little thing that I’ve been working on. You may have seen it, it’s a bit of a soft kind of launch for me. But I want to let you know one of the best things I’ve ever done for growing my business is get really clear on my story. And you know, my story has changed over the years from where I started my business to where I am now. 

And I’ve had to morph and change with the times starting out this business with no kids with a different name and a different style of business where I am now with kids working under the Hayley Osborne brand, and therefore, my story has had to really change. So I wanted to officially welcome to the table superheroes, storytelling. So it is my four week experience for small business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who are really ready to discover the superpower inside their business and frame it into a really dynamic story to tell. 

So clear storytelling, beautiful messaging, and an increase in sales, because that’s what happens, when you’re really clear on your story. You know, everyone else around you through your marketing becomes very clear on who you are and what you do as well. And so I found that a lot of business owners revert to selling as opposed to storytelling. And that’s not the way to go. So when you’re trying to sell on your social media, it’s like throwing water balloons at a porcupine, okay, through your marketing, it’s the same thing. 

These platforms require an element of storytelling, and an element of, you know, know, like and trust. So people have to get to know you before they even like you. And then when they like you, they trust you. And then if you are consistent in your approach, it’s not until they need what you have to offer that they’re going to consider you as part of their repertoire, which is so massive. 

And so I encourage you and I say I’ll say this till the cows come home that you need to really storyteller your way to growth. So within superhero storytelling, you will learn the best frameworks and tools that I’ve built and created to develop my story and what it is today. 

So you can use them in your business to create your story too. And it’s been designed by me to help you understand your unique strengths and how to harness them through storytelling. And it is storytelling with strategic thought. That is the key to growing your business. I’ve worked with so Many businesses over the years and this is the one thing that keeps coming up as a massive block. 

And once these elements are really nailed, the rest becomes so much easier, it feels so good when you get back to that origin story. And what that looks like for you to tell it really proudly in different ways that will resonate with your audience at different levels depending on where they’re at in their journey. So they can really relate to you. 

And it’s time to develop the setting and environment for your narrative to be really aligned. Everywhere your business shows up like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, if you’re on Twitter, or Tiktok. And importantly, most importantly, your website, it is the key. This is the key to showing you how and it I have found over the many businesses I’ve worked with that inside your business, it’s really important to frame everything you talk about in a way that is relatable to your audience, from where they’re currently at, in their journey to potentially where they could be when they start working with you or purchase your product. 

Which is beautiful. So move over selling and get really comfy storytelling your way to sales, there is a unique trait that most business owners have that are successful. And they’re very good at storytelling and people buy from people, okay, people buy from stories, and we can all create really amazing stories behind our brand. And behind our business. And it’s discovering, you know, I like to call it your superpower that ultimately really works to attract your dream clients. 

And I found that doing this, for myself, was such an amazing process. And it can be for you, too. This experience starts on jun 11 Go to superhero To enroll now, because it’s time for me to show you how to actually do this inside your own business. And I’m so excited. And I don’t want you to be boring your audience anymore. With just buying my stuff, here’s my service, it doesn’t work like times have changed. Anyway, Okay, so without further ado, let’s get into today’s podcast episode. And I wanted to talk about the five signs your marketing strategy isn’t working, and what to do about it. So it’s kind of a funny thing, right? 

Where it’s like, you kind of know that you need something and it’s like that stone in your shoe that is there, but you can walk on it, you know, it’ll, it’ll be okay for a while, until it’s like you have to actually stop and empty it out. And that’s kind of the same way that a marketing strategy works is, you know, when it doesn’t when the pipeline dries up, when you focus all your eggs in one basket. And all of a sudden, that basket is empty, and so is your pipeline. 

And that is not like a very nice place to be. So I wanted to kind of point these out, as the signs that I see often, and what you can actually do about it to fix that. So, you know, when you’ve got new potential clients coming through the door, throughout different channels at the same time, that feels really lovely. 

But if you’re constantly just focusing on one avenue, you’re gonna set yourself up for failure eventually, even though it might seem good now, and you kind of ride that wave, but then you know, it will inevitably always come to a point where you will be stuck. And you know, you will kick yourself and say, I wish that I had done that sooner. I wish that I had added those layers into my business sooner, so that I wasn’t in this place. And you know, you need to protect yourself, especially in this day and age, like people are nimble, people change, things evolve. 

And, you know, people aren’t loyal to anyone. So it’s important that you, as a small business owner, become quite nimble in your approach to how you market your business, and how you position yourself in the market. And where are you focusing your efforts on your brand awareness? So the first one I want to kind of say as a bit of a red flag and I saw this actually recently with a client and friend of mine that their main source and generator of income had jumped ship to use another service. 

And so they found themselves in a bit of a transition period where they hadn’t done any other marketing and with this main stream of income they had new they decided that they wanted to use someone else. And so if you’ve got one main source slash generator of income so you folk, you get a lot of your work say from a government agency, or you get a lot of your work say from a really big corporate client. And you know, you’re kind of sitting comfy and you’re okay with that. 

I would honestly for your own good look at other Ways to generate that income? Because there is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure eventually, okay? Because, you know, you never know what is going through people’s thoughts, what is going through business owners thoughts, what are going through consumers thoughts. 

And, you know, if you don’t have multiple ways of that people can come in to work with you, if you’re not servicing, you know, and marketing yourself in different avenues, or you’ve just decided, you know, you’re so busy right now that you weren’t putting effort into your socials or anything like that. Because you don’t need to, because you’ve got income, I’m going to say to you, please do that. Because eventually, if you are relying on one big source, it will dry up. 

And I have seen this happen, and it is scary, especially if you have responsibilities, you know, in your life, then you don’t want that. So it’s important to take a little bit of time out, to figure out what are the marketing strategies you need to do to be able to increase your brand awareness and therefore attract new clients. That is, the very first thing I wanted to say is, it is a bit of a red flag, if you’ve got one main source of income. That you know is your strategy is not working, because you need to be doing more than that to safeguard yourself. 

The second thing that I want to say is that, you know, a sign that your marketing strategy isn’t working is that you’re no longer proud in the way that you show up and add value to your audience, that you’re lacking the confidence to show up and add value to your audience. And that is a really big sign that your marketing strategy isn’t working, you know, confidence in and the pride that you have in your offerings, and what you do, Excuse me a minute. And I’m not going to press pause, because I want to keep this as real as possible. 

We’ll have a little drink, when you’re confident, and you’re really proud of what it is that you have ate, because there are two really critical components of being able to build an authentic brand presence, and I see this so many times is people can become disconnected from their business, and therefore aren’t showing up in the way that they know that they can, because they’re so stuck or set in their ways, and lack any creativity around that to be able to be nimble enough to pull out these other beautiful ways to storytel or these other beautiful ways to show up. 

But when you start to lack that confidence, and you’re no longer proud, it is a big sign that your marketing strategy isn’t working. Because, you know, the frequency of the universe can kind of feel that as well. And your audience can feel that. And so it’s really important to be able to be really proud and you know, your communications need to be really authentic. But if they’re lacking that authenticity, that resonates with your audience, or that once did resonate with your audience, the best thing that you can do is recreate that, and you know, spend some time with someone to look at creative ways to reignite that for you. 

And therefore, it’ll make you feel more confident and it’ll make you feel really proud of your business. And you know, your audience today really values authenticity. And if you don’t know that, yet, you know, it’s time to really understand that because, you know, in business above all, this, it can be like, really evident when you’re not being authentic, and can really often detect when a brand isn’t fully behind its message which is super important, which can lead to, you know, diminishing trust and engagement. 

Okay, so the third and this is massive part two and sign that your marketing strategy might not be working and what to do about it is you really unorganized in the way that you approach your marketing. And I know that there will be some of you listening that go that is me hand on heart. That is me, Haley, I am so unorganized in the way I approach my marketing. And you know, a lack of organization I’m going to say to you can lead to really inefficient use of both time and money. 

Okay, your financial resources. So without a clear plan, you might find yourself allocating a budget towards things that don’t align with your business goals or your audience’s needs. And this then results in a really poor return on investment for you. And it can often result as well in really inconsistent messaging across different channels. 

And you know, when you’re inconsistent, it can confuse your audience, which is something you don’t want to do because your audience has served with so many different messages as soon as they step out the house, so you really want to not dilute dilute your brand’s identity, you know what you stand for. And you don’t want to make it difficult for people to choose you. And you know why they chose you over your competitors, it has to be a really easy process. 

And so if you’re really unorganized in the way you approach your marketing, it can be quite difficult for your audience to choose you over somebody else, because they see all sorts happening. And one way to be able to mitigate this is to organize yourself. So creating a marketing strategy is a really great idea. I have been sick, however, I just want to say it is absolutely inevitable that I will be recording a podcast episode every single week for the whole year then I am going to be well. 

So I just want to highlight that you know, to keep the wheels moving, it is what it is. And I, you know, there’s no way out of 52 weeks in a year that I’m not going to be sick. So I’m just you know, if you’re thinking of starting a podcast, like this is kind of all of the things that go with it as well. So I’m just keeping it real. And I’ve always kept it real. And I always want to kind of showcase to you that authenticity is really important. 

And that’s what I stand for. And you know that if you follow me over on my social media, and so I call a spade a spade, it is what it is. And that is the way that I approached my teaching for all of the years I’ve spent helping small businesses. And so, you know, I just want you to know that I yeah, I keep it really real. And it’s quite an organized way that I approach my marketing because it’s authentic, right. And that is what resonates. 

And so if you can be really authentic and organized in the way that you approach your marketing, across different channels, and you’re consistent across different channels. This will help people to choose you over your competitors, the way that, you know, I practice what I preach and show up. The fourth thing I want to talk about is it lacking clarity and direction on what you want to focus on next. Okay, so this uncertainty, if you’re having it, often points to a really deeper issue of misalignment between your marketing activities and your business goals. And so it is very clear to your audience as well. Even if you think I’m just kind of throwing spaghetti at the wall, I’m showing up and doing the thing. Well, people can see that, okay, and like I said earlier, people buy from people. 

And if you don’t want to be, you know, the front and center of your personal brand, that’s cool. You know, you keep your private life private, but figure out a strategy on how you’re going to show up. So as I said earlier, too, you know, I’ve got kids, they don’t appear in my social media, they don’t need to, they don’t appear in my marketing, because that’s not what I’m about. 

I’m about teaching you, as a business owner, how to create really nice and aligned activities and strategies with hopefully to have the biggest growth with the least amount of time and effort in your business. It’s got nothing to do with my children. And so when I say be really authentic, there is a way that you can do that where you are not baring your soul, where you have a strategy, where you are aligned in your messaging, and you do have clarity and direction on what to focus on next, without baring your soul. 

And so without a clear understanding of how each marketing effort that you’re doing contributes to achieve your specific objectives. I don’t know if I’m getting technical now. But I just love this stuff so much. You’re going to be wasting your time, you’re going to be wasting your effort on things that don’t drive your business forward. And I don’t want that for you, I want you to move forward with clarity, and like specifics on how you’re going to grow your business and the direction that you’re going to focus on next. And that’s something that I really help my clients with. 

Because when there’s lack of focus both time and budget, there’s a huge risk of you spreading yourself thin across multiple touchpoints. So everywhere you reach out in terms of your marketing, without significant impact, and it can lead to burnout. And it can lead to financial strain, without really meaningful rewards which can, you know, can’t be sustained in the long run as a small business. So you’ve got to be really clear on the direction on what you want to focus on next. 

And lack of clarity is something that comes up a lot as a sign that your marketing strategy isn’t working and You know, what you need to do about it is Get really clear and sit down and knock it out. The fifth point I want to say is, if you are seeing a decline in engagement and conversion rates, this can be a sign that your marketing strategy isn’t working as well. 

And you need to change it. If you notice that you are consistently dropping in engagement on your social media posts, your lack of open rate in your emails, you’ve got low interaction with other marketing materials, it’s another kind of red flag that your content may no longer be resonating with your target audience, right, because people move on. 

So when they discover your product or service or whatever it is that you do, they are at a particular point in time, and they then move on. And so to the next thing, or the next big thing, or whatever it is, and so your content may no longer be working with your target audience. So you need to be mindful of this and don’t keep doing the same thing. Because if you keep doing the same thing, you will always get what you’ve always got. engagement is a key indicator of how well your messages are being received, as well as interacted with. 

And a decline could suggest that it’s really time to refresh your content strategy, or your social media strategy, as well as your marketing strategy and explore new channels, and explore new ways of doing things, right? And not only will this really, you know, expand and give more life to your business, but it will give it to you as well. And then when you see people interacting with what it is that you do across your marketing, and they are loving it, and they are wanting to work with you, this gives you an extra boost. 

And that is such a beautiful place to be in. And you know, it is your conversion rate, your marketing is the conversion rate. That is a direct indicator of how successful your messaging is. And so that’s what I will be talking about inside superhero storytelling, which is a short four week course where I will be taking you through how to create beautiful stories inside your business instead of selling. 

So if you’re seeing fewer leads, and you know, converting fewer customers or if you’ve got sales that have stagnated or started to decline, like despite this, you know, your same old marketing efforts, it’s a strong indicator that your current strategy isn’t hitting the mark. And it could be because your stuff is outdated, your messaging is outdated, you’re misaligned with your customers’ needs. Or just you know, your marketing channels that you’re working on are no longer effective. 

So just remember that all of these points that digital and traditional marketing trends move fast, okay, which means you need to as well and in order for you to be able to move fast to keep up with these things you need to invest to be able to educate yourself on how to do that. Okay, so like listening to this podcast, for example, if you do want to work on your storytelling, my course starts on the 11th of June and I am so excited. 

It is a beautiful experience, where you can come along and learn from me. We go deep into storytelling and creating that beautiful narrative for you so that you can light up your business. Alright guys, that’s it for today’s episode, and I hope to see you next week. I gotta go enjoy the rest of your day. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode. If you have hit subscribe so you don’t miss any new episodes released every Tuesday. 

And while you’re there, leave me a review. I would absolutely love to read it. Also, don’t forget to tag me at Hayley K. Osborne over on Instagram and share these posts with your audience so they can learn to share. If you want more, head over to Hayley forward slash podcast for today’s show notes and links to catch you next week for another episode of The Hayley Osborne show.

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