What’s your one surefire, can’t fail marketing strategy? What did someone tell you is the one thing that always works? When you think of what these strategies might be, I’m guessing things come to mind such as attending networking events or publishing articles, and these certainly can be effective marketing strategies.
If you look at the broader picture of marketing, you can see it with a unique perspective. A perspective that produces consistently great results no matter what marketing strategy you choose. A real-life win that you can count on no matter what. Curious what it is?
I’ll say it again: Be. Yourself.
Marketing takes action: putting your message out to the world so potential clients know who you are, know how to find you, and want to work with you. Without action, there aren’t any results. We like action.
Yet, action isn’t the whole story. Marketing that truly works, consistently and with a flair, also takes being, as in being yourself. Being yourself takes courage. It’s a bold move in a flock of sameness. It’s sunny yellow in a world of drab gray. It’s a secret weapon — a chance at meteoric success in a sea of mediocrity. It’s nothing short of revolutionary. Many people won’t allow themselves to fully embrace fully all their weirdness, and feature it rather than try to hide or fix it.
I had a client who started a business as an organizer. She researched the profession, saw how others were marketing their services, and followed suit. She did all the right things: networked with realtors, took out ads in relevant publications, attended her professional meetings, picked a niche. Yet, she was having trouble attracting clients and was feeling frustrated by her lack of traction. As we reviewed her marketing, it was a bit baffling why she wasn’t having more success. Yet, as we talked, it became clear she had a picture of what “successful marketing” looked like, just as she had a picture of what it meant to be a “professional business woman.”
Her idea of what it meant to be professional created a disconnect in her marketing; what was missing in her marketing mix was her. Her essence, her personality, her spark, the secret sauce that made her, her and differentiated her from all the other organizers in her area. She’s quirky and a tad irreverent, yet she was reluctant to let those aspects of her personality show for fear of scaring off potential clients. As a result, the more she personified the “ideal” business person, the more her business stagnated, despite good marketing done well.
What do you see for yourself in this client’s story? Where have you defaulted to “being professional” and left your true self behind? If you were truly being yourself, what type of marketing would you do, and what kind of pizzazz would you bring to it? You’ve joked for years about wearing a sandwich board on the street corner — would you give yourself permission to try this, as well as other unique ideas? And if you’re doing more traditional marketing, like attending a networking event, what would happen if your real self showed up, the quirky, irreverent, fun and funny person you are; how do you think others would respond?
The truth is, when the real you shows up in your marketing, others are drawn to you. That’s what makes being yourself the bold move it is, the secret weapon that makes others wonder how you’re being as successful as you are. People are afraid to let their true selves show; ironically, this is exactly what makes marketing more fun and effective. Grant yourself permission to come out of the marketing shadows and let your flair show; you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.