Marketing. Not usually the favourite subject for entrepreneurs and other creative types. But it’s the lifeblood of your business, and essentially, your livelihood. Marketing is what draws people to you, gets the word out, brings in contacts and possible partners, and is largely responsible for your income. So why do we tend to resist it so much?
Most of us went into business or choose to work freelance because we love what we’re doing, and also value time freedom. So who wants to be chained to the constant demands of marketing? Like it or not, it’s one of those necessities of working for yourself, but it doesn’t have to be costly and painful. It does however have to be consistent.
The general rule of thumb is market now for clients, customers or bookings in 3-6 months, so you can see why steady efforts are important. In summer months it’s easy to relax on this a bit; warm weather, vacations, barbecues and time with friends all vie for our attention. But taking a break from your marketing now can have disastrous consequences in the months ahead. So how do you stay on top of things without loosing all of your summer fun? Here are a few simple steps to make your marketing flow easier like a well-oiled machine.
1. Pick one or two things to focus on at a time. Once you get that working smoothly, incorporate something new into the mix.
2. Write out what your “marketing mix” is, and make sure it is varied for best results. Combine different components such as social media, blogging, SEO, and in-person networking. Be sure to have on-line as well as off-line elements for best results.
3. Take steady small steps – daily is ideal. Make this part of your business routine allocating a set amount of time to it each day. [note: How much time are you spending doing daily marketing now? What would your business or career look like if that was just 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week?]
4. Memorize your lines. Many people call this the “elevator pitch”. I personally don’t like being pitched or pitching, so I prefer the term “warm open”. How can you tell people about what you do, genuinely and sincerely? Write down a sentence or two, know it well and say it often.
5. Get creative and fun with it. Marketing is essentially just letting people know what you do. What would be something that feels interesting, creative and enjoyable for you? Maybe it’s sponsoring an event, contributing an article to your favorite trade magazine, or sharing the details of your latest project at social functions.
Marketing is just connecting with people; letting them know more about you and how you might be able to help them or someone they know. If you take the pressure off and let go of trying to “get something” you may actually make a connection – and that’s something that we all love and remember!