“I don’t have time to market my business.” It’s a common complaint from self-employed professionals. When you are the only one who can serve your clients, manage the business, keep up in your field, and perform all the sales and marketing functions, time becomes the most precious commodity you have. How can you find time for marketing with so many other important priorities?
You have many time management techniques at your disposal, of course. You can defer some tasks or delegate them to an assistant, chunk down big projects into smaller steps, and set aside blocks of time on your calendar for making calls, writing emails, or updating your social media channels. But perhaps you have already tried all those approaches and discovered that time is still scarce.read more
Productivity is a popular buzzword these days. There’s an assumption that being productive is a good thing, and in fact if you’re going to stay in business, you will need to be productive. But what does that really mean, especially when it comes to your marketing?
There’s a phenomenon I think of as pseudo-productivity: when you’re getting things done-ish. These are things that keep you busy, maybe even fill up your calendar, yet they’re not actually productive. Real productivity means you’re getting things done that move your business forward, like getting the word out about your offerings, or creating a solid foundation for your ability to serve your clients.read more
One of my clients had recently experienced a string of failures. A business venture that had consumed a great deal of her time flopped. A new line of business she was attempting to market was finding little response in the marketplace. Several of her long-time clients stopped working with her.
She woke up one morning feeling depressed. If her business was failing, perhaps she was a failure as a person. Maybe she needed to give up her business and get a job. Or find a different kind of business to be in. She was feeling lost, stuck, and discouraged.
Seeking inspiration, she ran across this quote, often attributed to Winston Churchill: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”read more
A large part of the secret sauce for marketing is your mindset.
Not sure if you can be a good networker?
Not sure if you can write a blog?
Not sure if you can represent your company at a trade show?
When it comes to marketing, the odds of success will be stacked disproportionately in your favor if you have a positive mindset. This means believing in yourself, remembering why you love your business, and taking inspired action.read more
A few months after I started my business 25-plus years ago, I was delivering a workshop one evening on an ideal topic to attract likely clients. And sure enough, the room was full of self-employed professionals who were excellent prospects to hire me as a business coach. I presented what I thought was a value-packed program, and my audience seemed to be learning useful material from me. “I’m sure to land some clients from this,” I thought.
After the workshop, a woman came up to me hesitantly. “This class was very helpful,” she said. “But I’m wondering… would it be possible for me to hire you to work with me personally? I don’t know if you do that.”read more
Writing is a great way to build your business, and whether you’re new to it, or have been doing it for some time, there are ways to make it easy. Below are ideas on how to write so that it can be simple, fun, and effective to accomplish, and create a steady stream of interest in your services.
What to Write
Finding inspiration for what to write is, at times, daunting. Inspiration is all around, though, and often times it’s a matter of adjusting your perception to see it. Just finished a client session? There’s an article in that!
As a self-employed professional, have you defined your marketing niche? You may think so, but a closer look might reveal that your chosen niche isn’t as effective as it could be. You may have selected a target market, but have no defined specialty among the services you offer. Or you may be clear on your professional specialty, but vague on who to target as prospective clients.
A clearly defined niche for an independent professional is one that spells out both a target market and a specialty needed by that market.read more
It might have happened that when you started your business, you told a few people what you were up to and clients just showed up. You may have had the good fortune of not having to work too hard to get noticed or think much about the details of your marketing; things just seemed to take off.
(If you’re saying to yourself, “Is she for real? This actually happens to people, where they don’t have to struggle to get clients, especially at the beginning?” The answer is yes, it’s a real thing.)read more
It seems that a considerable amount of marketing and sales advice to self-employed professionals is aimed at extroverts. “Go to networking events and meet new people,” the authorities say. “Speak in front of groups.” “Call people up and chat with them.”
If you are an introvert, these experts might as well be telling you to fly to the moon. What if you don’t enjoy public gatherings, dislike being the center of attention, and hate to call strangers on the phone? Can you still do well at personal marketing?read more
When it comes to getting your marketing done, you may have the best of intentions. You’ve set aside time on your calendar, outlined the actions you want to take, and called an accountability buddy who’ll check in with you in a few hours. And yet, here you are, stopped in the face of getting things done, wondering what the heck happened.
It’s likely your old friends fear, resistance, and procrastination have come to visit.
When this trifecta hits, it can be unsettling. You’re an accomplished person, running a business and taking care of those you serve. How can it possibly be that you’re finding it hard to do the marketing you said you were going to do? Especially when you actually want to do it?read more