To make it in business, we need 3 main things:
- A viable, valuable product or service that solves a real problem
- A way to sell and deliver it
- A defined group of people to sell it to
But checking all three boxes will not do anything for your bank account.
You must let people know every day that you have a business, that you love what you do and that you want to solve their problems.
No business survives without consistent marketing.
So many of us delay sharing about our businesses because we don’t feel ready. We wait for the perfect pitch, platform or process to get started. We wait for our website to be built, or for our About Page to be perfect or for our new headshots to be ready for our fabulous business cards. We wait for the perfect newsletter template before sending an email to our list.
Here are some common barriers that prevent people from consistent marketing that I just gathered from business owners on Facebook:
- I am too busy delivering services to clients to market my business
- I don’t know what to do in what order
- Marketing technology feels too complicated
- I don’t have my pitch nailed
- I don’t want to waste my time
Boy do I get it!
No one wants to feel sloppy or unorganized. And I am not advocating that you are.
Building a clear, effective brand story and marketing system takes planning, money and time.
But given your current level of information, tools and resources, couldn’t you do something each day that would increase your chance to get ideal clients?
Our starting point without a big budget for outside designers and copywriters may pale next to more established entrepreneurs with more established platforms.
My friend Scott Stratten, one of the most successful professional speakers I know who makes a million dollars a year from speaking alone had humble beginnings in his marketing.
He shared these fliers he produced 20 years ago when he was transitioning from his role in Human Resources to speaking.
Not exactly the wry, sardonic marketing genius we see now producing a viral video with 32 million views and writing best-selling books.
But you know what?
He made the most of the resources he had at the time.
And he worked his tail off, slowly invested in his brand and now has a highly successful company.
Work with what you’ve got
My friend and past client Glenda Watson-Hyatt has one of my favorite series of posts on Facebook. They are infused with her humor and personality. They don’t require fancy graphics and video editing.
She narrates her life while proudly claiming what she is: A badass motivational speaker.
A dry pipeline feels overwhelming
I worked with a client a few months ago who was having an unusually dry spell in her successful business.
Leads that normally came through the door organically didn’t. Deals that normally closed went the other way.
And suddenly, discomfort turned to unease.
So she started taking small steps every day.
Really small things, like sending a note on LinkedIn, or reaching out to schedule a coffee, or posting a video on Facebook.
Every day, without fail, she did 5 small sales or marketing actions.
As she took more action, she felt more in control.
She used this energy to do the longer-term hard work of working deeply on her business model, brand messaging and marketing system.
Now, 6 months later, her business is thriving. Opportunities are coming out of the woodwork.
This wasn’t by accident.
She made this happen by committing to small, uncomfortable, imperfect action every day.
Right now, clear 20 minutes from your day and commit to 1 marketing action that you can take right now, without complicated planning or design work.
- Send an email to a potential partner
- Write a Facebook update about your services
- Reach out to a LinkedIn contact and propose a coffee or 20 minute Skype chat.
Imperfect action every day leads to more stability, opportunity and visibility in your business.
This is a great post to start my day! Some times we help clients with Their marketing and we don’t do a small step for Our marketing. We need to be Our Own Client. Great post and an eye opener!
Debbie Weil says
Oh man, does this speak to me. I’ve fallen off the consistent marketing bandwagon recently. Your advice to “commit to small, uncomfortable, imperfect action every day” is perfect. Thinking of you and hope you are having a wonderful summer.
Thanks Pam! This is a great post, full of wisdom and actionable. I am ever grateful for your passion and your sharing. Gonna go send some e-mails right now.