In the last few weeks, a couple of new clients have said the same thing to me, although in different words. And what they are saying is at the core of what makes a business grow – or not grow.
In the course of discussions about their business and plans for growth, each of them suggested the need to be held accountable for spending time on marketing or building their business. Among the hundreds of business owners and entrepreneurs I have spoken to, this need for accountability to someone or something occurs often.
Some, especially those in financial services, blame their lack of marketing on “compliance issues,” which can be overcome more easily than they often believe. (Ask me how.)
Others blame it on limited time or money, being burned in the past, not knowing where to start or it just falling off the plate.
All of these excuses are standing in the way of business success. It’s not the economy, the euro, increased gas prices or anything else. It’s a lack of commitment to the task necessary.
In recent weeks I have seen how valuable networking, sharing with other business owners and marketing my own business can be. (Yes, even I have to find the time.)
Based on my marketing of Bigger Pie Strategies, let me offer some hints for fitting marketing in:
- Do it for 15 minutes a day, every business day. Even better, do it first. It’s like exercise. It’s the getting started that takes the effort, but once you are into it, it makes you feel better.
- Start simple. Creating a new website for a new product launch is a serious effort. Making two or three calls to your best clients to check in and see what else you can do to support them is great marketing of you, your business and your desire to help them.
- Set realistic goals. As I have found, specific marketing actions rarely correspond to immediate or direct sales. Rather it’s the accumulation of marketing efforts that leads to an overall increase in brand awareness, then an increase in sales. That distinction means it makes the most sense to track the bottom line or the overall lead generation, not the number of new clients you earned from attending a local chamber of commerce luncheon.
- Enlist someone else to keep you accountable. This other person doesn’t have to do anything more than make you accountable. Tell them what you intend to do for the week or month, then ask them to call you on it in a week.
- Find a “wingman.” To make sure you don’t end up like Goose in “Top Gun,” attend events with someone else, preferably a person with a complimentary business. Let that person introduce you and you introduce him or her. You cover twice as much room and having someone else speak about you is more sincere than when we prattle on about ourselves and all the great things we can do.
- Obtain professional marketing help. Bigger Pie Strategies works with numerous business owners to help them find the best marketing strategies to find their ideal clients, the people who want and need to spend money with them. It is not uncommon for us to save business owners money on their marketing by tweaking their existing marketing spending to focus on their ideal clients.
- Quit talking and dreaming – and just do it. NOW!
If you don’t dig into your marketing efforts, someone else will, finding and marketing to your existing and prospective clients and gathering the sales that follow.