Four Marketing Musts
One of your most important jobs as a solo professional or small business owner is to generate interest in and demand for your products or services. But if you're like many entrepreneurs, you discover finding time for marketing to be elusive. Much of what you could be doing remains undone--and without some form of marketing your business growth stalls.
To help get you untracked, here are my four marketing "musts" for small business owners. Integrate these four fundamentals and you're sure to feel more confident going forward . . . and more able to plan a bigger "bang" for your time and efforts.
1. MAKE MARKETING YOUR MINDSET
Make marketing a subconscious element of all that you do. This doesn't mean you should be in "hard sell" mode all the time, but it does mean you need to develop a mindset where you view every interaction with someone--planned or otherwise--by phone, by email or in-person as a marketing opportunity.
2. MAKE YOUR MARKETING SUSTAINABLE
For marketing to work, you need to be able to sustain your efforts over time. You might develop the most effective plan, but if you can't implement that plan because it's too costly, too complicated, or you simply don't have the time to commit to it, then your efforts will fail.
Plan your marketing in phases. Start with low-hanging fruit. Get a couple of small victories under your belt. Note what worked, what didn't work, what felt most "right" for you . . . and keep moving forward.
3. MAKE IT ROUTINE
Without structure or routine built around your marketing efforts, you're likely to lose focus and get distracted--something that's all too easy for solo professionals and the self-employed to do.
One easy way to add structure is to create an overall marketing plan that outlines for you exactly what you hope to accomplish and when. You can then supplement this with shorter-term, action-oriented "to-do" lists aimed at reaching your marketing goals.
A word of caution, however, don't make "structure" your end-product. Consider structure only as a means to get the results you desire. This does not have to be a painful exercise--my plan and various lists usually fill only one or two pages. What's important is that there's always something to do . . . and that something always gets done.
You'll also want to maintain an element of flexibility in all that you put on paper or commit to your computer screen. Create your plans and follow them knowing that from week-to-week and month-to-month your objectives can--and most likely will--change.
4. MAKE TIME
Allot time each week to pursue your marketing goals. Pull out your calendar right now and schedule an appointment with yourself. It could be an hour, two hours or three--whatever you need to keep moving forward. It could be the same day each week, it could be different days. Whatever you choose, honor this commitment of time. Make it sacred.
MAKE MARKETING MORE AUTOMATIC
Remember, marketing doesn't happen in a vacuum, nor is it automatic. You have to tell people why they should want to buy your product or service--and then tell them again.
Only once you've adopted a marketing mindset and are willing to commit the time and energy necessary to sustain your marketing efforts--only then will your marketing become more automatic, more natural . . . and more successful.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Matt McGovern--All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt McGovern combines a rare blend of creative and technical know-how with years of experience and a balanced and purposeful approach to life. He has authored and edited numerous books, e-books and e-zines. Get "Know-How" his free e-newsletter at www.700acres.com/pages/ad_archive.html or explore life, death and beyond with his novel, "CURRENTS-Every Life Leaves an Imprint" at www.MattMcGovern.com/books.html.