The reading level for this article is All Levels
Of all the things entrepreneurs struggle with, this one is probably the most difficult and most dangerous. Why? Because it directly impacts the success of your business.
I know I’m not revealing any big eye-opening secret when I tell you that if you don’t regularly and consistently market your business, your business won’t grow. I know you know this. But none of that helps you when you hate marketing. (In fact, it probably makes you feel even worse, doesn’t it?)
So what did you do? Here are 3 steps to get you started (hint — these work even if you love marketing):
1. Find a marketing strategy or tactic you enjoy. There are LOTS of ways to market yourself, I guarantee at least one of them you will like doing. Your job is to find it and then build your main marketing strategy around it. Here’s a list of a few marketing activities to get you thinking:
a. Writing — blogs, articles, etc.
b. Speaking — live, on teleclasses/webinars/livestream, or even podcasts
c. Being interviewed on radio or television
e. Chatting with people via social networking
At least one of those should resonate with you.
Once you figure out your favorite marketing activity, the next step is to build your marketing strategy around that activity. (More on that in step 3 but first…)
2. Outsource what you hate to do. The problem is no matter how much you may love one marketing activity, there are probably other essential activities you don’t love quite so much (hence why you probably hate marketing to begin with). So the trick is to build your marketing plan around what you enjoy doing then you outsource the other pieces you don’t enjoy.
Sounds pretty easy when I put it that way, eh?
Okay so what if you have no one to outsource to and you’re worried about cash flow. My advice is to take a deep breath and find someone. Look, outsourcing your marketing is the easiest way to see a return on your investment — if you start consistently marketing your business that money WILL come back to you.
Start by looking at your budget. See what you can put aside each month for marketing help. Then find someone who can do the tasks you need done in that budget. You might not be able to get everything done, but prioritize what’s most important (i.e. what you’re going to see a return on your investment the fastest) and focus on that.
3. Start small and build from there. Yes I know there are lots of marketing activities out there you could be doing, and the more marketing you do the better your results. However, that doesn’t mean I want you try getting everything done tomorrow.
Here’s the minimum of what you need to have a successful, growing business — one main lead source bringing leads into your business and one main way of converting those leads into customers and clients. That’s really it (at least for the marketing side). You get that nailed down and the rest will come.
And here’s some examples of how this can look:
1. Lead source (speaking, blogging, videos, interviews, social networking)
2. Lead cultivating (ezine, free calls)
See how simple this can be?
And to take this one step further, let’s say you love speaking and hate writing. You can focus on speaking and hire a virtual assistant to take care of putting an ezine out for you.
Voila! Marketing plan built around your strengths and outsourcing your weaknesses.
Then once you have that nailed down you can start adding more marketing activities to the mix. Before you know it, you’ll find you have built up an amazing marketing system that’s feeding your business (and better yet, you may discover you don’t mind marketing quite as much as you thought you did).