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If you’re like many entrepreneurs, the thought of marketing makes you slightly sick to your stomach. And it’s more then a simple like or dislike of marketing, it’s the idea of trying to fit it into your to-do list. You already have a million things going on, how can you possibly fit marketing in?
So, instead, you end up not doing anything…until you run out of work that is. Then you desperately race around, trying to cram as much marketing as possible into as short amount of time as possible to try and ramp up your business.
Business picks up, you stop marketing again.
As I’m sure you already know, this isn’t a great way to grow a business on any level. But what do you do? You’re already overwhelmed with everything you have to do in your business, not to mention everything you have to do in your life, so how can you possibly fit marketing into that?
Never fear, that’s what the below 3 tips are designed to do, get you out of marketing overwhelm and into marketing superstar.
1. Make marketing a priority. Okay, don’t stop reading yet. This one might be tough to swallow but it has to be said. Marketing your business HAS to be a priority. If it’s not, then you will doom yourself to a “feast or famine” business model (where you oscillate between too many and too few clients, and because you’re in a constant roller coaster, you can never get enough traction to actually start growing your business).
But, I can hear you say, my priority needs to be on getting the work done. That’s what my clients are paying me for, and because they’re paying, then they have to be my top priority.
My response to that is well, not exactly. You’re right, you need to get the work done, and do a good job, or you’re going to run out of income pretty quickly. But, if you trade doing the client work over marketing, then you’re never going to get ahead.
(And, to be honest, it’s not fair to your clients either to have you constantly stressed about your business because you don’t know what’s in the pipeline. You owe it to yourself AND your clients to have a successful, thriving business.)
You need to have the mindset that marketing your business is JUST as important as doing the client work. Without the marketing, you WILL always struggle.
However, with that said, there’s no need to panic because…
2. You don’t have to do it all alone. There’s no law that says just because marketing is a priority means you need to do everything yourself. You can (and should) build a team. In fact, I would go one step further and tell you your team can ALSO help you with client work or admin work or just about anything.
Now with marketing, as with anything, there will probably be tasks you need to do yourself. But there will be many tasks you can easily outsource. The trick is to figure out what tasks you really need to do (and make time to do them) then outsource the rest.
But, I can hear you saying, what if I don’t have the cash flow to outsource? See, that’s the beauty of outsourcing marketing. There’s a very clear ROI. So let’s say one new client is worth $500 a month. Do you think regular marketing will bring you at least one new client? Of course. So maybe you set aside $250 a month for a virtual assistant to help you with some marketing tasks, knowing one new client will more than pay for your VA and any more clients above and beyond will be gravy.
(If you need help with marketing strategy to know what to outsource, drop me an email. I create marketing strategies for my clients, as well as do the work for them.)
3. Start small. This is what I did in my own business. You’ll notice I have a lot of marketing tasks going on right now — I have my newsletter, I blog, I podcast, I’m on social networking sites, I’m doing direct mail. I didn’t wake up one morning and say “I’m going to start everything today.” No, I did things one at a time. I started with my newsletter, then I added blogging, then podcasting, then social networking, etc. After I mastered one task, I went on to add another. So my marketing wouldn’t seem so overwhelming to me.
But remember, the biggest thing is to actually DO something. Start taking some action in your marketing, and the rest of the pieces should start to fall into place.