Marketing as a Game

What if marketing was a game? Something you can play at, play with. A game without winners or losers, just different outcomes.

Would that make marketing feel easier? More fun?

I see many business owners treat marketing as something serious, saying things to themselves such as, “There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it,” “It must be done correctly, or it won’t work,” “I’ll look foolish if I make a mistake, and I’d hate to have it look like I don’t know what I’m doing — it’ll be embarrassing in front of my peers and my clients.” The idea of doing marketing the correct way can be a hurdle that feels hard to overcome.

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Build the Foundation of Your Marketing on Love

Have you ever considered that you could love marketing? That it might be possible to market from a place of love, doing marketing activities that you love, all so you can serve the lovely clients you’re meant to serve?

Love is the answer.

Consider the possibility that the foundation of your marketing is based on something you truly love, something you might be inclined to do even if you didn’t get paid. A message you love sharing, in a way that you love sharing it.

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Put More Love in Your Marketing

Do you want your clients and prospects to love you? I think most of us self-employed professionals would. When your prospects love you, closing sales is easy. When your clients love you, they keep doing business with you, and refer others to do the same.

Yet the language often used for marketing and sales reveals perspectives that don’t have much to do with love. The path to closing sales is to “overcome objections” or “don’t take no for an answer.” You’re supposed to write “killer copy” to use for a “marketing blitz” or “promotional blasts” so you can “blow away” your “targets.” You should “hone your weapons” so you can “battle for market share,” “fight for sales,” and “smash the competition.” When you succeed, you are “killing it” or “crushing it.”

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Asking for Help Is Not Cheating

A desperate self-employed professional contacted me recently. “I need to get clients immediately,” she said. “I’ve been trying for months with no success, and I’m almost out of money.” When I asked her how she had been marketing herself all this time, she gave me the following list of what she had been doing:

  • Attending networking events where she met people, introduced herself, and exchanged business cards
  • Launched a brochure-style website describing her services
  • Started a Facebook page and began posting promos for her business and links to content she found interesting
  • Printed some flyers and posted them on bulletin boards around town
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10 Questions to Kick Off Your Marketing Year

What dreams and goals do you have for your business at the beginning of this new year? As you ease into January, take time to set the stage for a great year to come: great marketing, great sales, and great clients. Ask yourself the questions below to help you reflect and plan, and get ready for good things to happen!

– How much business do you really want? What would be new and different for you if you had that level of business?
– What worked best to bring you clients last year? How can you do more of that in the year to come?

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Stop Reacting and Start Pro-Acting to Market Your Business

If you’re answering calls, replying to emails and notes, responding to invitations, and receiving referrals and leads, it probably feels like you’re taking a lot of action to market your business. But it may be that a good deal of what you’re engaged in is actually RE-action.

Waiting to hear from the right prospects is nowhere near as productive as proactively taking steps to seek them out. And a stream of incoming communications can take up time and energy, but doesn’t always lead to closed sales.

Consider these suggestions for getting out of reaction mode and becoming more proactive in your marketing.

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Optimism: The Secret to Successful Selling

Why is it that some people seem to be naturals at selling, while others struggle to close every sale or even fail completely in a role that requires them to sell? In 1982, psychologist Martin Seligman, PhD, set out to answer that question for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Seligman had been studying optimism and pessimism in the laboratory for almost twenty years when Met Life heard about his research. Could Seligman help them learn how to hire more effective salespeople, they asked?

As it turned out, he could. In a series of studies for Met Life that analyzed the relationship between successful selling and the personality of the salesperson, Seligman confirmed in the field what his laboratory research had predicted — optimists make more sales than pessimists.

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Make This the Year You Do Things Differently

At the start of every year, I encourage my clients to follow the same practice I do of reviewing the past year before setting intentions for the new one. I find that a thorough review of the previous year can provide important guidance for moving ahead. I make a list of “Successes, Accomplishments, and Breakthroughs” and another of “Failures, Disappointments, and Breakdowns.” After giving myself some time to celebrate my successes, I analyze my failures. Try this process yourself, and see what it provides.

Looking at each of your disappointments over the past year, ask yourself what went wrong in that area, and what you might be able to do differently. Let’s say you didn’t gain enough new clients last year. What’s your take on what went wrong?

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Boost Your Marketing with the Buddy System

Remember back in grade school when the teacher asked you to hold hands with a friend on field trips? The idea behind the buddy system is that it’s much harder to get lost if there are two of you traveling together. When you get into trouble, your buddy can help you out, or find someone else who can.

Maybe you could use a buddy in your marketing. The constant challenges you encounter while promoting yourself and your services make sales and marketing a difficult road to travel all alone, and it’s easy to get lost. Working with a marketing buddy can give you:

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Nine Ways to Get Yourself to Market When You Just Don’t Want To

Most of us self-employed professionals truly enjoy no longer having to answer to The Boss. But the lack of anyone to report to can be a problem. There’s no one to make you perform sales and marketing tasks you don’t want to do. If you procrastinate about posting to your blog, resist going to networking events, or find follow-up calls too scary to make, no one will know that you’re avoiding marketing except you.

I understand that marketing and sales involve activities that can be confronting. Even I don’t always find marketing easy, and that’s after 25-plus years of having a successful business.

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