There’s a lot of money to be made online. In fact, in  2014, more than $300 billion dollars was spent online according to The Internet Retailer. The Internet offers loads of opportunity. Having an online presence is only the first step, but you have to convince leads why they should do business with you. You will need a solid digital marketing plan. In that plan, make sure you factor in these 3 marketing myths.

When getting ideas about what to do with your marketing strategy, remember to not put all your eggs in one basket. The following 3 myths are not enough to row your business and should only be one part of a diverse marketing strategy.

MYTH #1: Believing social media is the best form of marketing.

Social media is great for businesses. It’s a great way to organically reach a large and engaged audience. However, most of the major social media platforms are now publicly traded companies that have to generate profits for their shareholders.

This has meant charging entrepreneurs to reach the audience they already have. The organic reach of social media these days is low. If you want to reach more people, paid advertising is the only way to do that. The days of a free ride on social media are long gone.

One form of marketing that hasn’t changed, and won’t, is email marketing. If someone is signed up for your email list, they can see your emails every time you send them out. Social media platforms belong to those companies. Just because someone is connected to you doesn’t mean they’re part of your community. Your website and email list are your community. These are also the places where you can close the sale. Unfortunately, you can’t do that on social media.

MYTH #2: Adding anyone you’ve interacted with online to your email list. "building your email list"

There’s an old school strategy being used. This strategy is to add anyone you’ve interacted with through email or on LinkedIn to your email list. It’s said that there is an “implied permission” and that those people can opt out. This is TERRIBLE advice and a strategy you should run from. Not everyone’s email needs to be caught by your net.

The people on your email list should be people who chose to sign up — not people you decided to put on the list. People buy from someone they know, like and trust. They won’t do any of those if they get that email from a list they didn’t sign up for. It’s shady and chases away business.

MYTH #3: Trying to reach people who aren’t interested.

Back in the day we did a lot of cold calls and door-to-door visits as a way to get new business. Even though we live in the digital age, we see the same strategy being implemented. It might be the cold email about getting your website more visibility, or the person who’s constantly posting about their services in different Facebook groups.

The myth is you just need to try harder to reach those who haven’t expressed any interest. It’s a leap to believe someone will first get exposed to what you do and then spend money with you. Remember, they potential customer has to get to know you first before they feel comfortable spending money. Stop wasting your time and efforts trying to reach people who aren’t interested. Spend your time growing your audience in other ways that show those people why they should do business with you.

Don’t get caught up in what’s common. To stand out, you have to be different. You become different when you don’t follow advice that is popular but ineffective. Focus on building an engaged audience and a few of them will buy from you. Develop and maintain a reputation as someone people can trust. You’ll get more business in the long run.

Digital marketing is just getting started. As social media and the Internet grow, so will the opportunity. More people will be online, which will offer you a chance to show them why they should do business with you. Don’t blow it before you have a chance to take your business to new levels of success. As always, there’s no place like the top!

Thank you for your attention!