We all know that if you are not marketing your business, I am going to wag my finger at you about the reasons that you should be. When I begin working with clients, there are many times when I ask what their marketing plan is and I get blank stares and sometimes even a cricket or two chirping in the silence of their response.
Often I will hear these responses to why someone does not have an active marketing plan:
“I don’t have the budget.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I have a website, isn’t that good enough?”
“I’d rather be making a sale.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
Here is the deal: Marketing is your business.
How is that? Well, if no one knows about your business, then you won’t have clients and you, therefore, won’t have a business. “But I have clients” you say.
Well, that’s great and that’s because you had marketing of some sort – even if it’s not immediately obvious what that marketing was.
So here is where I recommend you start assessing and beefing up areas of your marketing:
- Get an idea.
First off, you need to know who your clients are. I’m talking about ideal clients and then ‘outlier’ clients who may not fit into your ideal client “box” but could be reached with a few new strategies. Knowing your client helps you know how to market to them.
- Get a plan.
Sit down and plan. A good business has a marketing strategy that covers a lot of different bases. I won’t go into too much detail here, but I recommend establishing goals, short term and long term, and then breaking up those goals into manageable time frames. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.
- Get a budget.
This part is so important. Even the smallest business can have a marketing plan and budget. That budget may be $5 a month, but it’s there. Assess all of the areas, print and digital, where you could be marketing and divide your budget accordingly. I recommend establishing a budget for a month to three months then stopping to reevaluate. Did digital marketing do better for you than print? Then it’s time to move resources. Also, budget your time. You don’t want to spend all of your time on marketing, so keep track of where your time is spent and maneuver time and energy where possible.
- Get moving.
It’s really that simple. Stop making excuses for not marketing and start marketing.
These things are simple, and there are definite layers here, but make sure you are aware that beneath it all you are invested in your product or service. Your genuine support in your business will show through how you market, where you market, and to whom you are marketing.
Take Action: Set aside an hour or two this week and think through these four things. Start by writing out how you’ve already spent time and resources marketing (think: how did people find out about my business/service?). Then, move through the steps. When you reach number four, I’m confident you’ll be excited to move forward with your marketing plan!
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