Marketing. Not usually the favourite subject for entrepreneurs and other creative types. But it’s the lifeblood of your business and your career; essentially it’s your livelihood. Marketing, like it or not, is what draws people to you, gets the word out, brings in contacts and is largely responsible for your income. So why do we tend to resist it so much?
I’ve found that most entrepreneurs go into business or choose to do freelance work because they love what they’re doing, and also value the freedom of being self-employed. So who wants to be weighed down with the constant demands of marketing? But marketing it’s one of those necessities of working for yourself, as much as your accounting or bookkeeping. However it doesn’t have to be costly or painful. It does however have to be consistent.
The general rule of thumb is market now for customers or clients in 3-6 months, so you can see why steady efforts are important. Summer months make it easy to relax on this; warm weather, vacations, barbecues and time with friends all vie for our attention. The same of course applies to the December holiday season, but taking a break from your marketing can have disastrous consequences in the months ahead when the money flowing in slows to a trickle. So how do you stay on top of things year round without feeling like a slave to marketing? Here are a few simple steps to make your marketing easier.
- All marketing tasks will be easier if they flow like a well-oiled machine. Pick one or two things to focus on at a time. Schedule these activities, get them on the calendar and do them consistently. Once you get that working smoothly, incorporate something new into the mix.
- Write out what your “marketing mix” is, and make sure it is varied for best results. Combine different mediums such as local advertising, social media, SEO, and in-person networking. Be sure to have on-line as well as off-line components.
- Keep at it. Steady small steps every day is ideal. Make this part of your business routine, setting aside time for this at least 3 times per week. How much time are you spending doing consistent marketing now? What would your business and career look like if that was just 20 minutes per day 3 days per week?
Get creative and fun with this! Marketing is really 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.
Connect with people and let them know about 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!