If promoting your services always takes a backseat, here are three strategies to get your own marketing done!
I started my business in February, 2016. Since that time, I’ve written 50+ blog posts and articles for other clients, generated social media campaigns, and am managing the development of a few websites (among other things). But, take a look at my blog and you might wonder what—if anything—I’ve been doing.
Why Businesses Struggle to Market Their Services
I’m not the only business owner to sideline my own marketing plans. The past two agencies I worked for were stymied by their corporate websites. These projects drug on for months, despite having graphic designers, programmers, and copywriters on-staff full time. Among other freelancers, I can always find someone else with a stagnating personal project.
As business owners, we generally have the resources but get stuck on execution. There are three common roadblocks that can stand in the way of getting things done: conflicting priorities, lack of perspective, and fear of failure. If these sound familiar to you too, here are strategies I’m using to overcome these obstacles.
First, Deal with Conflicting Priorities
As a business owner, happy clients and completed projects are the lifeblood of my success. When faced with the choice of working on a client project or my own, client work wins out every time. My own marketing projects gather dust because I just don’t have the time. But, the reason I don’t have time is that I haven’t made my own work a priority.
Block scheduling is a way to attack this problem. Each week I have been setting aside non-negotiable time to work on specific marketing tasks for my own business. The updated posts on my blog and social media sites were created during my weekly “Intrepid work sessions.” Knowing I have a few planned hours to focus removes the worry that I won’t make progress. During this time block, I also don’t feel guilty about setting client work aside because I’m following my plan.
Second, Get Some Perspective
If I’m honest, sometimes I lack clarity and a vision when it comes to marketing my own businesses. It’s hard to have perspective on a business that you pour your time and energy into each day. For example, I have a much easier time assessing a client’s target market than my own. Questions like, “does my positioning statement resonate with the right prospects?” or “are my key messages compelling?” require an outsider’s perspective.
So, why not ask more questions of people we trust? I have been sharing what I create and requesting feedback from trusted colleagues. I ask my husband to read my blog posts and marketing materials. Input from other people helps ensure that my message is clear.
Third, Overcome a Fear of Failure
I’m often mystified by how I can be confident in the work I do for clients, and still feel anything but confident in the work I do for myself. It is much more personal and therefore scary to put myself out there, for fear of making a mistake in the public eye.
It’s helpful to remember that many things are permanent, but marketing isn’t one of them. It’s truly an iterative process, requiring experimentation, engagement with our audience, and a refining of our methods. Let’s change the marketing paradigm of “return on investment” and instead focus on “results on investment.” In other words, let’s reframe this fear of failure by seeing every marketing initiative as an opportunity to learn what works.
Hard, But Not Impossible
Does what I’ve shared describe some of your own challenges in marketing your business? It’s true that we can always do a better job. But, we can also cut ourselves some slack. The most important aspect of marketing is getting clients to know, like, and trust you through the services you provide.
If, like me, you aren’t satisfied with the current state of your marketing program, shoot for some incremental progress. Try the three step process above, and you might be surprised at how quickly you begin to make progress.
If things still aren’t working, give me a call! I’d much prefer to help you market your business than sit here focused on mine. …And I’m only halfway kidding.