Your business is up and running, but you need some cash coming in. Whether you’re experiencing a slow down in your business or this is a new venture, you’re ready for some clients/customers.
So you print some business cards. You hand them out and post them on a few bulletin boards. Then you get a call from a publication offering “special rates” and bragging about the benefits of becoming an advertiser with them. What the heck, you sign up.
You pick up a competitor’s brochure. Hmmm. Maybe you should have a brochure too. You notice that one business offers a discount. Another provides a free class. Maybe you should try those too.
You’ve got no strategy for your small business marketing. Imagine if you ate this way. You see someone eating a burger, so you grab a burger. You’re your friend mentions Pad Thai, so Pad Thai it is. A granola bar in your desk drawer. An apple on the counter. A kid eating a doughnut. A commercial for a pizza…
Is That a Problem?
If you ate that way you’d have a stomachache by the end of the day. But what about your business? What’s the problem with having no strategy for your marketing plan?
I’m glad you asked. You’ve actually got two problems. First problem is the source of your random acts. Your second problem is your lack of results.
Random acts come from:
1. Fear and anxiety: Ever feel desperate to make your business a success? Maybe you need to pay the bills. Some food on the table would be nice too.
Or maybe you feel attached to being successful. This is your dream. You’ve invested time, money, and YOU into this venture. What if it doesn’t work out or doesn’t bring the kind of return you’d planned on? Maybe others are counting on you; your family, friends, clients, investors…
The problem is that when you’re operating from this viewpoint you’re living in the limbic part of your brain. That’s the primitive part associated with fight versus flight. From that place you’re not resourceful. You can’t access the creative part of you. You also can’t access the part of your brain that makes good decisions for marketing. You’re in survival mode.
Not only is it bad news for you, your clients/customers will actually be driven away by the energy of fear. Some will be aware that they feel fear or anxiety from you. Others will pick up on subtle clues like the tone of your voice or your body language. Either way it’s not the kind of results you were hoping for.
The universal law of attraction says that what we focus on is what we get. When we’re in limbic mode trying to hustle business anyway we can, our fear attracts the poverty we’re trying to avoid.
2. Habit: Solopreneurs and corporations alike suffer from the “We’ve always done it this way” problem. Habits serve us in that we don’t have to recreate everything everyday. But just because I’ve always paid for a yellow pages ad for the past 20 years doesn’t mean it serves my business today.
3. Monkey see, monkey do: If you don’t have a marketing strategy lined up, it’s easy to pay attention to what others are doing and then grab something from their menu for your meal. What works (or doesn’t work for them) may not work for you.
4. Mistaken beliefs: Sometimes we hold beliefs that aren’t really true. Beliefs like “Doing something’s better than doing nothing.” Or “The more marketing options I try, the more I enhance my chances of succeeding.”
If these beliefs sound familiar you might want to spend some time examining them to see if they 1) are true and 2) support your success.
5. Lack of clarity: If you don’t have clarity it’s hard to develop a plan to reach…what was that you were trying to reach? Oh, yeah, you’re not sure.
To achieve clarity you will need to spend some time focusing on what you want. You will have to shift to the part of your brain that allows daydreaming and creativity. Sometimes the supportive ear of a coach or friend can help as well.
Opposite of random
Creating a marketing strategy that draws on your strengths, manages your challenges, takes into account your target market, your budget, and your beliefs and leaves you juice to provide service through your business takes some time. But the results will be worth it.
I’d love to hear about your random (and not so random acts of marketing.) Join in the conversation here.