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It seems like everyone is an “expert” nowadays. Advice is so freely found and offered, even if you have no intention of seeking it or asking for it.

Family, friends, co-workers, associates, neighbors… nearly every person you come in contact with has something to say, or some advice to offer. And, for the most part, it’s well-intentioned.

You can Google any key word and download tons of information on nearly any subject you desire.

Some of it comes from credible sources, and other information comes from self-proclaimed “gurus” or “experts.”

It will pay you big dividends to carefully consider the source of any and all information.

Check out credentials and credibility. Ask for references and testimonials from others they have helped in the same line of work you’re in!

Too often, testimonials are used that relate to work done in a field or project that bears absolutely no resemblance to what you’re involved in.

While “Principles” are constant, the “Specifics” can and will change. Here’s what I mean:

A Principle is timeless. It never changes. For example, in advertising, a Principle would be that you will get more readership from an ad using a headline.

A Specific, on the other hand, is the application of a Principle to a unique situation.

A restaurant, for instance, may run a headline that relates to their type of business.

And a retail clothing company, while still using a headline, will want to tailor their headline to the needs of their customers and prospects.

The point is, make sure that the advice you get, whether it’s volunteered or sought out, comes from a credible and reliable source, and make sure the source has some specific knowledge of your business.

Or, at least they can relate the Specifics of your business to the tried, tested and timeless Principles that apply to all businesses.

This article is one is a series of The 20 Most Common Marketing Mistakes.