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?
“Will this marketing approach be worth my while?” It’s a question self-employed professionals often ask. But there’s a related question that, unfortunately, they ask much less often: “How much will it cost compared to what it brings in?” Surprisingly few professionals know the answer to this crucial question, and many admit it had simply never occurred to them.
Every marketing approach has a set of costs attached. Social media ads, pay-per-click campaigns, and trade show exhibits come with a price tag in dollars. Networking mixers, business lunches, and posting/interacting on social media take up your time, and may also incur expenses.
Being stubborn is a great trait when it comes to marketing your business. The more you can be persistent in your marketing, the better; remember the axiom that OK marketing, done consistently, is better than great marketing, done inconsistently.
To that end, here are five ways to that being persistent in your marketing will benefit you and your business.
It makes marketing easier
Be stubborn about making sure your marketing is a priority, that you’re using the same marketing strategies consistently, and that you have a set result your marketing is trying to achieve.
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?
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?
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.