Way too often, I find fellow business owners ruining their marketing by spreading themselves too thin.
The key to getting results from marketing your business is by making sure that you slim down your dedications.
I know a few methods of tiring myself out and diluting my efforts, and I think the best way to do this, rendering myself totally useless, is by trying to focus on 5 marketing avenues at once. Focus is a funny word here because that's exactly what I would lack. It's more like a game of "can I keep 5 things afloat while trying to run my business in the background?" Try to do this, and your brand will end up looking like it's trying to keep spinning plates up.
How many times have you seen a twitter feed from a company that has about 10 tweets from the week they started the account, and then nothing for 3 months? That's the result of having too many plates to spin.
It's easy to lose focus and try everything at once.
This is true, in part, because there's a disease running rampant. It's name is speaking-with-little-knowledge-and-a-lot-of-confidence...disease.
If you tell your great-uncle Barnacle (real name) that you're going to market your business online, he will probably have some really handy pointers for you. He will probably tell you the same things that other people with very little knowledge of what makes marketing effective will tell you.
You can expect to hear things like;
- You've got to make some Facebook Ads if you want to succeed.
- If you're not on Pintrest, you're NUTS.
- Email marketing is dead!
- You need to have a podcast.
Being swayed into signing up for 10 social media accounts at once is common because of the overwhelming amount of crappy advice coming from all angles. It's actually really surprising how strongly regular (non-marketing) people will tell you how to market your business.
You'll get similarly strong opinions when you tell someone that you're changing your diet. Ever mention that you are cutting back on meat? All of the trolls come out of the woodwork to tell you that you need a lot of protein in your diet. Though probably less than 3% of people are actually educated on nutrition, 97% of them want to tell you how to take care of yourself in this way.
Your market plan should be unique, like you.
There's no top 5 tips, BuzzFeed-style list that can work for every business.
I am asked what the "number 1 thing a person can do to grow their business" just about once a month. My best advice here would be to stop thinking like that. Your business, your needs, and your plans are, or at least should be, unique.
The people who make up a company each have individual skills-sets, and you should play into them. Certain tasks energize people, and some tasks absolutely drain people. You should start with whatever feels good to do/produce, research how to use this most effectively (giving yourself a valid excuse to do what you want to), and measure the effects it has on your business. If it isn't working, you're free to switch it up at any time. Reiterate, refine, and have some freakin' fun.
Use common sense when choosing how to promote yourself. Making recipe videos might not be the most effective thing when you're selling car parts. If you sell software to yoga teachers, and you love healthy food, then sharing vegan nutrition information will probably attract the right type of people/customers to your site.
Imagine if you mostly did things that you liked, and outsourced the rest to another person or technology? You just might even love your work.
It's common to think that you have to grind through tasks that you hate in order to run a business. There's a misplaced pride in doing things that are uncomfortable and working too many hours.
Uncomfortable with billing people and following up? Set up automatic monthly billing emails with FreshBooks. It will even send reminders about payments and up-charge people who take too long to pay.
A rather spunky client of mine can't take making spreadsheets and organizing data, but she comes up with engaging and fun copy and campaigns all of the time. She can bang out 15 entertaining/educating Facebook posts in 10 minutes, but she doesn't want to write down how they performed. She ought to just keep doing what she loves, and fill in the gaps with other tools or people who can compliment her. Just sign up for a premium social media posting platform like Buffer or Hootsuite, little lady. The $10-$20/month will be paid back by making the reporting and analyzing process painless and giving her more time to do more fulfilling things.
Rig the game for more fulfillment and success. You set the rules, so stop telling yourself that you have to learn how to use Facebook Ads. I know college students who do it almost as well as Agencies.
Play to your strengths, and forget the rest for a minute.
What do you do now?
- Make a list of your favorite 3 ways to promote your business or operate your business.
- Google search for techniques on using these things to grow your business.
- Decide on how you'll measure success. More followers? More email subscribers?
- Do it for 2 weeks
- Review your success and change things if need be.
- Make a list of your 3 least favorite things you do to operate or market your business that you know can help you a lot.
- Google search for alternative and automated systems that do what you hate.
- Just pay for the premium version.
- Decide on how you'll measure success. Less stress? More time for more fulfilling tasks?
- Do it for 2 weeks.
- Review your success and change things if need be.
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