Unless you’re literally hiding under a rock, if you’re in business and have any clients at all, you’re doing something that qualifies as marketing. People tend to fall into two camps: those who are doing more marketing than they realize, and those who are doing less than they think.
Which camp do you fall into?
As an aside, for our purposes we’re defining marketing as getting the word out about your business, its services and benefits, to potential customers so that you can have a sales conversation with them and hopefully close the sale. Marketing creates opportunities to have sales conversations.
How you might be doing MORE marketing than you think
It’s sometimes the case that you’re doing things that you may not think of as marketing. Remember when you went to your neighbor’s party and talked about your business, and how much fun you have with your work? That was marketing, esp. if you mentioned you’d be happy to give them a demonstration or complimentary consultation sometime if they’re interested.
Or perhaps you comment on articles on Medium.com and are signed into Medium with your business persona; that qualifies as marketing, too, because you’re doing something on behalf of your business that creates visibility and has the potential to start a business conversation with like-minded people — people who might be interested in your services.
Chances are you’re doing small things that you may not see as marketing that are having a positive impact on getting you business. Look at the things you normally do each week and see if you can spot the hidden marketing you’re already doing, then look for ways you can do those things more intentionally; this is a great way to do more marketing with more ease.
How you might be doing LESS marketing than you think
It’s easy to think you’re doing more marketing than you are when you do things like put up flyers, pass out business cards, or give speeches. These are all great marketing strategies; they can qualify as less marketing, however, if they’re not done with focus and intention.
For example, putting up flyers to advertise your dog walking business may be a good idea, yet if you post them in an area where there aren’t many dog owners the flyers won’t be as effective. If you pass out business cards at a networking event, yet you don’t take the time to create a bit of a bond with the people you’re giving your cards too, it’s less likely that they’ll follow-up with you, or remember you when you follow up with them. Or let’s say you give a fantastic speech, yet it’s to the wrong audience — people who aren’t your ideal clients, or who can’t afford your services — you’re less likely to have anyone approach you after the speech and inquire about working together.
Be careful not to make the mistake of thinking that because you’re busy, you’re doing enough marketing. You may be doing less marketing than you realize: marketing should be effective, not just busy work.
Take a step back and look at your hidden marketing activities, as well as the overt marketing you’re doing. You’ll get a better sense of what’s working, and where to put your marketing efforts to get more clients!