Effective marketing of your business requires commitment. No matter what marketing approach you choose, you must be consistent and persistent with it, if you want to see results. You’ve probably heard that advice. But this sort of commitment doesn’t always happen in practice.
Do any of the phrases below sound like something you may have said about marketing at some point?
“I tried that a couple of times, but I didn’t see results right away, so I stopped.”
“I was using X to market my business, but then a friend suggested Y, so I started doing that instead.”
“I don’t know if this is the best way to market myself, so I don’t want to risk doing it.”
These are all signs of commitment phobia in marketing.
The late Jay Conrad Levinson, father of the Guerrilla Marketing series, always said, “mediocre marketing, with commitment, works better than brilliant marketing without commitment.” That’s right, one of the most highly-regarded small business marketing gurus of all time said you don’t need to be brilliant to get clients, so long as you’re committed.
In order for any marketing method to pay off for your business, you need to commit to using it over time and following through on what you start. Networking events won’t produce clients unless you return to the same events repeatedly and get to know people there. Social media won’t bring you business unless you continually expand your network and post useful content regularly. Speaking gigs won’t result in clients unless you follow up with your audience afterwards, usually more than once. And so on.
There’s nowhere in small business marketing that commitment isn’t essential. And yet, entrepreneurs all too often avoid it.
I get it — committing to a particular marketing approach can be scary. You worry that you’ll spend time and money and it won’t work. Or that you’ve made the wrong choice about what to do. Or when the first couple of prospective clients don’t bite, you feel rejected, and it makes you want to try something else instead.
Perhaps a metaphor will help. Remember when you were learning to ride a bicycle? In the beginning, you were wobbly and uncertain. Maybe you had training wheels to keep you upright, or perhaps you fell a time or two and skinned your elbow. You didn’t go very fast at first, or get very far. But you stuck with it. You saw that other kids had learned to ride their bikes, and now they went everywhere on them, having fun. Wanting that outcome for yourself, you committed to the challenge of learning to ride.
This is the sort of commitment you need to successfully market your business. Instead of spending time worrying you won’t succeed or second-guessing what you’ve chosen to do, put that energy into following through on each marketing approach you select.
To get clients by building referral relationships, expand your list of likely referral partners, reach out to as many as possible, and plan to stay in touch with each one over time.
To build your business by blogging, write and post high-quality content regularly; promote your blog posts via email, social media, and networking online; and incorporate calls to action that convert readers to clients.
To land clients through public speaking, speak on relevant topics to audiences in your target market, capture the names of your attendees with a special offer or giveaway, and follow up immediately and repeatedly with a related call to action.
When you commit to a specific marketing method, and follow through on all the steps it entails, you won’t need to market yourself in a dozen different ways. You’ll have a plan to follow that you won’t want to change just because you hear about a new marketing idea. And you will see results, if you are consistent and persistent.
In affairs of love, refusing to make a commitment often ends the relationship. Don’t let commitment phobia wreck your business! Make a realistic choice about what approach you’ll use to market your business; create a plan to execute your decision; then commit.