In 2020, many of us self-employed folks were just trying to survive. Some of us couldn’t work at all due to pandemic restrictions or home schooling needs. Others – serving industries like travel, food service, or personal care – lost our entire market overnight.
We humans are endlessly creative at finding paths to get in our own way. Even the most well-adjusted, self-aware people struggle with internal obstacles that keep them from being as effective or productive as they would like.
Last year was quite a year, and it’s left me with the question of what holds me back -– beyond a pandemic, of course.
As a long-time business owner, there are plenty of things I could list: negative self-talk, faulty assumptions, out-of-date self-image…
It’s easy to let things slide, especially when they feel difficult. Unfortunately, sometimes in business, following up with clients can feel that way.
Why is that? It’s not as if your hands are broken and you can’t type, dial the phone, pick up a cup of coffee, or you don’t know how important following up is.
Productivity is a popular buzzword these days. There’s an assumption that being productive is a good thing, and in fact if you’re going to stay in business, you will need to be productive. But what does that really mean, especially when it comes to your marketing?
There’s a phenomenon I think of as pseudo-productivity: when you’re getting things done-ish. These are things that keep you busy, maybe even fill up your calendar, yet they’re not actually productive. Real productivity means you’re getting things done that move your business forward, like getting the word out about your offerings, or creating a solid foundation for your ability to serve your clients.
It seems that a considerable amount of marketing and sales advice to self-employed professionals is aimed at extroverts. “Go to networking events and meet new people,” the authorities say. “Speak in front of groups.” “Call people up and chat with them.”
If you are an introvert, these experts might as well be telling you to fly to the moon. What if you don’t enjoy public gatherings, dislike being the center of attention, and hate to call strangers on the phone? Can you still do well at personal marketing?