As a business owner, it’s natural to have lots of ideas about getting the word out about your offerings and to want to test out new ways. You’ve tried different marketing techniques, some of which you liked more, some that worked better, and some you’re convinced will work eventually. The question is, what’s really working, and how long should you test something to know?
Testing requires two things: curiosity and measuring. Curiosity to try something new, and measuring so you’ll know how well it’s working and whether it’s worth continuing to do. Here are several things to keep in mind when you’re testing different marketing strategies:
I was talking with a client recently about putting herself out there more, marketing-wise, and she mentioned how that made her uncomfortable and that she’s shy and introverted. That got me thinking about how often the traits of “shy” and “introverted” (vs. “outgoing” and “extroverted”) are perceived to be the same thing, when in fact, they’re not. You can be shy, yet outgoing, or vice versa. I know an extrovert who has a hard time initiating a conversation, and I’m an introvert who easily talks to strangers. How you approach marketing can be influenced by this perception, so it makes sense to take a closer look at how you operate.
Introvert vs. extrovert
The distinction between introverts and extroverts is how they recharge their energy.
Is your marketing plan producing the results you need? When was the last time you evaluated your plan to see if it is leading you toward success? Are you even using a marketing plan at all? Here are four questions to help you determine whether it’s time to reset your plan.
1. Are you getting in touch every month with at least three times as many new clients as you need? Not every prospective client will say yes. You need to have a marketing pipeline filled with prospects, contacts, leads, and referrals that you can draw from.
How important is it that you have a clearly defined market niche for your professional services? Can’t you simply make yourself available to work for anyone who might need you? Doesn’t having a niche limit you to serving only a small portion of possible clients? Why would you want to rule out any possible sources of business? Discovering the answers to these questions can have a powerful impact on the success or failure of your business.
When you have a market niche, it defines either your target market — who you wish to target as prospective clients -– or your professional specialty –- the services you specialize in providing within the broader scope of your profession. The most effective niches define both these elements.
Are your marketing activities in need of a boost? Motivation? Inspiration? Consider adopting a muse.
A muse is a person or being that serves as a source of inspiration. To adopt a muse means to intentionally choose a model individual to inspire your work. Following a chosen muse can guide you as a self-employed professional to sort out what you need to do in order to market yourself successfully.
Here are five Marketing Muses you might consider adopting. Each one embodies a different set of abilities and personal qualities which you might be able to relate to, or to emulate.
I’ve been helping more self-employed professionals build business with writing recently: articles, blog posts, ebooks, and more. To explain to them the type of editorial content professionals need to write in order to attract and land clients, I coined a new acronym, REAL:
R = Relevant
E = Educational, Entertaining, and/or Evocative
A = Authentic
L = Leads to trust
Working with these elements, I’ve realized that they apply to more than just writing. In fact, they apply to any sort of marketing a self-employed professional does.