It’s the time of year when we self-employed professionals often begin to look back at what we’ve accomplished in our business over the last twelve months, and judge our progress and results against what we intended back in January. What frequently results from a process like this is a catalog of everything you haven’t done, or have done wrong. But I believe it’s even more important to consider what you’ve done right this year.
My new client “Rhoda” had looked over her past year’s results and was feeling discouraged when we had our first coaching session. She’d hoped to get 10 new graphic design clients this year.
“I don’t know how to market,” one of my coaching clients said. “I hate marketing,” declared another. “The marketing thing feels so unnatural to me,” claimed a third.
My response to statements like these from my clients is to reply (gently and compassionately), “I don’t think that’s true. I think you’ve just misunderstood what marketing is, and how it works.”
When You Think You Don’t Know How to Market
When it comes to having a sales conversation, you may find yourself melting into a puddle. You might hear yourself say things like, “What’s the big deal about asking people to do business with me? I know it’s just a conversation between two people, and that people don’t bite, so why can’t I seem to do it? I wish I could just get over myself.”
There are two fallacies that contribute to these inner critic conversations; understanding these lies can be a lifesaver because only then can you get over yourself and become the sales pro you’re meant to be.
Do you love your business but hate the selling part? Whether it’s calling prospective clients on the phone or writing persuasive emails and web copy, most self-employed professionals say that selling is the element of their business they dislike the most.
If it was possible to sell without having that feeling of discomfort in your gut, or those sweaty palms and increased heart rate, would you be willing to make a change?
If you work for yourself, I’m sure you’ve been there: sitting at your desk, staring at your marketing to-do list, knowing you really need to get this work done, and yet you just can’t seem to get going — you’re just not in the mood.
You wonder if it is even possible to motivate yourself to embark upon your marketing plans, especially when you don’t feel like it.
It’s easy to start a new year thinking, “This year will be different! I’m going to stay on track with my marketing, and really get the word out about my business.” Yet once again, the months fly by and by the time you reach mid-year, you find yourself wondering if what you’ve been doing is working. Are people more aware of your business? Are the places where you’re putting your efforts making a difference? How can you tell if the marketing you’re doing is on track?