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You Won't Grow Your Business Relying on These 3 Marketing Myths There are millions of people spending billions of dollars online but you still earn customers just one at a time.

By Kimanzi Constable Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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There's a lot of money to be made online. In 2014, more than $300 billion dollars was spent online according to The Internet Retailer. The Internet offers opportunity.

Getting some of those dollars isn't as simple as showing up, however. Having an online presence is the first step, but you have to convince leads why they should do business with you. You will need a solid digital marketing plan.

There are a lot of strategies floating around the interwebs that sound solid and smart, but won't grow your business. These myths have been passed around like they're the only way to market online. Here are three myths—that on their own—aren't enough to grow your business and should only be one part of a diverse digital marketing strategy.

1. "Social media is the best form of marketing."

Social media is great for businesses. It's a way to organically reach a large and engaged audience, but 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. Gone are the days of the free ride on social media.

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—you can't do that on social media.

Related: How LinkedIn Has Helped Kill Cold Calling Once and for All

2. "Add anyone you've interacted with online to 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.

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.

Related: 5 Quick and Easy Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Engagement and Build Your Email List

3. "Try to reach people who aren't interested."

There were a lot of cold calls and door-to-door visits back in the day 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 have 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.

The digital marketing space can be the Wild West. 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.

Related: How to Get Online Customers to Find You and Trust You

Kimanzi Constable

Content Marketing Strategist

Kimanzi Constable is an author of four books and has been published in over 80 publications and magazines. He is the co-founder of Results Global Impact Consulting. He teaches businesses modern content strategies. Join him at RGIC.

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