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.
As the holiday season approaches, it can be overwhelming to think about what needs to be done before the end of the year. For you personally, there are often extra family and social obligations. Adding your business marketing to-dos on top of that can create an even bigger sense of obligation and overwhelm.
Luckily, there’s something you can do about that.
When getting your end-of-year marketing done, try these tips to make your life easier and create space for those things that are most important, personally and professionally.
One of the most persistent barriers to the success of self-employed professionals at marketing themselves is the “I don’t know how” problem. Here’s how it often goes.
An expert or a colleague advises you to take some specific marketing action: “Collect all your leads in a contact management system” or “Write a white paper” or “Ask your website visitors to subscribe to your mailing list” or “Develop some referral partners.” You evaluate that idea, and decide it’s a good one. “Great,” you say, “that’s just what I’ll do.”
It’s happened to the best of us: you had good intentions of getting started early, of finishing before the deadline, of easing into the task, yet there you are, last minute, wondering how you can get things done, pronto.
This may be a familiar scenario with regards to your to-do list, but what if it happens to your marketing? Marketing can’t happen that fast, can it?
“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
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.