Three mistakes I made early in my creative career

Over the past six months I have several huge mistakes with the marketing, niching and positioning of my consulting practice.

While I made these mistakes early on, recently I struck gold.

My goal with this post is to share three massive mistakes I made in the past six months while launching my consulting practice in hopes that you won’t make the same.

Mistake 1 - Niching too early and being an opportunist

You would think I learned this lesson with my first failed startup, but I made it again when I launched Real Estate Allies. This was a marketing, design and consulting firm with a vertical focus on the real estate industry.

My thought process was that by focusing on a clearly defined niche in a massive market would provide a continual flow of clients.

The truth is, this business probably would have worked, but it failed for the exact same reason that my previous healthcare startup failed.

I didn’t enjoy working in the real estate industry.

I landed a few jobs with Real Estate Allies, but in the end I realized it was too narrow of a niche, and specifically a niche I did not care enough about.

Mistake 2 - Focusing all my time on sales instead of marketing

After I realized Real Estate Allies, I started up Oniron Creative. This was a general non-niched web design and internet marketing agency.

Honestly this brand worked quite well, the site looked great and I closed over $10,000 worth of business as a result of it.

The problem was that all of my business was a result of sales.

I was using tactics like cold emailing, job posting sites and utilizing my existing network to close a majority of my sales.

This was physically and mentally draining as I was spending far too much time trying to get new work.

I had no marketing that was pulling new clients in to me other than client referrals and word of mouth. Instead, I was spending nearly half of my workdays trying to sell new jobs.

Mistake 3 - Having two brands

This was the biggest mistake of all. 

In December I started blogging once a week at and I began to see some major success. 

A few of my posts took off and were shared and reposted all over the internet

Between December and April I pulled in over 10,000 unique visitors to

Yet on my Oniron Creative site I was seeing less than 200 visitors a month...

I didn't have the energy to market two different businesses yet I was committed to focusing on my personal blog.

As a result, I poured countless hours into my blog which yielded little to no income for me.

Striking Gold - The small change that yielded huge results

Eventually I had an Aha! moment. Oniron Creative was obsolete and pointless.

The brand served no purpose and most people didn't even know how to pronounce the name.

I was sending thousands of visitors to my personal blog every month with absolutely no offer other than to sign up for my email list. 

So I made one small change that drastically changed everything.

I killed the Oniron Brand and added a consulting tab to my website.

I moved all of my traffic to one brand and one website

Within the first week I had 7 inquiries for new marketing and design projects.

That is seven leads for new projects that required little to no additional effort on my end. 

Some of those leads turned out to be the best quality clients I had ever landed.

That small change in my marketing yielded massive results in my income and business.

Are you making marketing mistakes?

Your not alone. 

Marketing can be hard.

The most important thing is to choose a path, and then stick to it for a few months.

As Seth Godin said in his recent Skillshare course:

You don’t have a marketing problem until your accountant tells you that you have a marketing problem

If you are making these mistakes, and your bank account is telling you that you have a marketing problem, then it is time to readjust course and try something new.

If you don't know where to get started, feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to help. 

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Thumbnail photo courtesy of Alex E. Promios under the Creative Commons