Marketing: The Bottom Line Your Business Needs You to Pay Attention To

Your business has multiple aspects to it, things that need attention. Some are more important than others, some more fun than others. There’s one bottom line that needs consistent attention no matter what though, and that’s marketing.

Marketing can have vague connotations: does that mean posting fliers, or hiring a consultant? Does it mean going to mixers, or investing in social media? It could mean any or all of these marketing strategies; while it’s important to find the right marketing strategies for you and your business (you can read more about that here), what’s most important is that you do some kind of marketing on a regular basis. If not, your business will soon be in trouble. The question is, what’s the best way to do that?

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How to Figure Out What Marketing Strategies to Use

Maybe you’ve been there: you’re talking to someone in your industry at a mixer and they ask you if you’re using [insert name of the latest trend here] to market your business. Or you’re talking to a seasoned business owner and they say that “everybody” in your industry uses [a certain marketing strategy], making it sound mandatory. You stand there frozen: a) not knowing if those strategies are right for you; or b) wondering what you did wrong, because you tried those strategies and they didn’t work. You’re left wondering, how do you figure out what marketing strategies are the right ones for you?

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Sales for the Asking

“So that’s what I have to offer you, Mr. Prospect. What do you think?”

“Well, Ms. Professional, I’d like to think about it.”

“Okay, may I call you next week?”

Does this dialogue sound at all familiar? Yet another sales conversation is ending with a stall from the prospective client. Is he actually interested in hiring you, or was that just a polite way to say no? What exactly is it that he wants to think about?

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Hard Work + Smart Choices Aren’t Always Enough to Land Clients

You’ll often hear me say that the secret to finding clients is to make effective choices about what to do to market your business, then do those things over and over. While that advice is absolutely true, implementing it sometimes runs into some roadblocks.

What happens when you deliver what you think is a dynamite 10-second introduction, but your prospective clients don’t seem impressed? Or you have several lunches with potential referral partners that seem to go well, but no business results from them?

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Inspiration for Your Business & Marketing

I was talking with a good friend and business colleague over dinner recently about being busy. She has very little free time: busy personal life, plus her business to run, and I the same. We both felt pinched for time and were longing for some space, literally and mentally, from those things that are required just to keep our businesses running on a daily basis. We agreed it seems as if there’s a giant mountain of things that we need to do that can sometimes feel like a heavy weight, and only when that work is complete do we have time to do other things.

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Keep Your Marketing Well Full

There you are, sitting at your desk, ready to get the word out about your business. Trouble is, you not sure what to say, or how to say it. Adding to that, it seems like you’ve said everything 100 times before. Bottom line: you’re feeling a distinct lack of inspiration. Sounds like the perfect time to fill your marketing well!

What does it mean to fill the well? It’s a phrase I learned from reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The book is a guide to uncovering your creativity, and one of its first suggestions is to set aside time each week to replenish your well, the source of your creativity.

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More Money or the Pursuit of Happiness?

We self-employed professionals are constantly faced with difficult choices about how to best grow our businesses. Should I pursue this line of business or that one? Would it serve me better to choose Niche A or Niche B? Shall I spend my time building a relationship with Client X or Client Y?

Often, these questions hinge on what we perceive as the most desirable result. If we value potential earnings more highly, we select a course of action that will lead to more money. If we are more concerned with our personal fulfillment, we follow a path that we believe will be more satisfying.

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Scheduling for Marketing Ease & Accountability

Working with clients over the years, I’ve seen the impact a work schedule can make. Creating the right schedule can sometimes be a tricky thing; the good news is, when you find a schedule that works for you, it can make a big difference in being productive, getting your marketing done regularly, and feeling on top of things. While there is no empirically “right” way to schedule yourself, there are a few things to consider.

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Consistency and Accountability: Complementary Bedfellows

Are consistency and accountability related?

Yes!

Consistency is the capacity to show up for something over and over, to produce results that are equivalent over time; stay the course, steady as she goes.

Accountability means you stay true to your word, that you can be counted on. You say what you’re going to do, and you do it, holding yourself answerable.

What do these have to do with getting the word out about your small business?

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You, Your Marketing, and Staying Accountable: Why Does it Seem So Hard?

Perhaps this sounds familiar: you think about doing marketing, put it on your calendar, call an accountability buddy, tell yourself you got this, and… an hour later you’re watching YouTube videos of fluffy kittens and eating chocolate.

What happened? You did what the experts say to do to keep yourself accountable:
Get a buddy – check
Put it on the calendar – check
Give yourself a pep talk – check

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Get It Written Day
Sept 15, 2017

Join C.J. for a day-long virtual writing retreat, and get your stuff written! Work on your blog posts, articles, or book with coaching and peer support. Find out more.

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