Regardless of what your thoughts and feelings are about marketing, let me assure you, it is not a bad thing. It’s not evil… it doesn’t bite. On the contrary, marketing happens to be a critical cog in the wheel of business success. And in my opinion for small businesses, it’s the most important cog because if your target market doesn’t know you exist, you most definitely won’t make any sales… and no sales equal no business! You need to get your marketing message out there.
And let me suggest that if you’re not screaming your marketing message from the rooftops, there may be more going on here than meets the eye. I repeatedly hear two common excuses from small businesses all the time… those being either a lack of money or a lack of know-how to support their marketing efforts.
Now I’m a firm believer that where there’s a will there’s a way, so let’s go ahead and diffuse those two excuses right now.
For those of you who claim poverty…
Yes, there’s no doubt that money can expedite the effectiveness of your marketing however there are dozens of marketing strategies and tactics available to you for little or no cost… just a little sweat equity so to speak. Take networking for instance. It doesn’t cost you a dime to tell someone what it is you do and how you can add value to their business. Or how about starting an e-newsletter or blog? Both can be done for little or no cost.
For those of you who claim ignorance…
There are simply way too many free or inexpensive marketing resources out there to use that excuse and be able to look yourself in the eye. Take this article for instance… it cost you nothing but your time and some energy to pull value from it. Sign up for some free e-newsletters or read the blogs of marketing experts. Tap into free resources from organizations such as SCORE (www.score.org) or the SBA (www.sba.gov). The resources available to you are unlimited.
How about this? Here’s one simple answer that addresses both the money and know-how excuses. Go to the library, borrow some books from Jay Conrad Levinson’s “Guerrilla Marketing” series, skim through them, pull out 2 or 3 ideas out of the dozens available that you would feel comfortable doing, and do them.
Or how about this idea? Barter. Trade your products or services for some marketing help. Not sure how to go about doing this, then join a bartering network. For a small fee these networks can connect you with others looking to trade.
Yes, it can be that simple. Marketing can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be… you choose. If you say it’s difficult, you’re right, it’s difficult. If you say it’s easy, guess what… you’re right, it’s easy. Bottom line is yes, it is a choice… your choice. So why choose to be stoppable? If you are really passionate about what you do, choose to be unstoppable.
Now remember earlier when I mentioned that if you’re not screaming your marketing message from the rooftops, there may be more going on here than meets the eye? Well typically there is. My experience tells me that in many cases, a person’s unwillingness to do whatever it takes to market their business usually stems from beyond the two excuses we’ve just explored… it tends to border on the psychology-side. So if by clearing up the previous two excuses doesn’t do it for you, use the following revealing questions to dig a bit deeper and get to the root cause:
- What excuses or stories are you making up to let yourself off the hook for not marketing enough?
- Is there a confidence issue here? If so, what are you really afraid of?
- Is there an underlying fear of not looking good?
- Do you honestly and truly believe in the value of what you do? How about in your ability to deliver it?
- Is there a fear of failure at play here?
- How about a fear of success? Are you consciously or unconsciously sabotaging yourself so that you will not have to step into bigger shoes?
And we can go on and on and on here with the questions however my point is for you to dig a little bit… figure out what’s really going on. If you’re having difficulty, bring in a professional like a coach to facilitate this process.
So in closing, be willing to shine the light on yourself to see what’s really going on. The clarity that this exercise can bring as well as the possibilities you can discover can be life changing for you and your business. Just remember, it all starts with you, your desire to succeed, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make it so.