I think many people are getting confused about what exactly IS marketing. Unfortunately I see a lot of people – and I talk to many of them each week – who are spending a lot of time “marketing” and not getting much of a return from that investment of time. So I felt compelled to write this post to hopefully help clear up some confusion and provide some assistance.
First of all, marketing is NOT just about generating exposure.
Exposure is really just one aspect of marketing. Think of it this way, if everyone KNOWS who you are (you’ve accomplished generating exposure) but they aren’t compelled to buy from you or hire you, then you haven’t really done your job of marketing.
Unfortunately, I think too many people have fallen into this trap.
They are busy “getting exposure” all over the place: on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. They’re doing radio shows and writing articles and networking and potentially other sorts of “exposure” generating activities, but they don’t have any clients…no one is going from knowing them to hiring them.
And often what happens when they are so busy getting all this exposure, and perhaps even becoming quite well-known, but still not generating business, they feel the answer is “I just need to do more.” So they get busier and busier doing more and more…but you see, MORE is usually NOT the answer.
So what is the answer? Well there are several…
DIFFERENT is the answer (not just doing more of what’s not working). Having a specific, measurable objective for each marketing activity is the answer. Having a compelling offer is the answer. Having a distinct and meaningful (to your ideal clients) brand or positioning is the answer. Targeting is the answer. Having a functional and proven lead generation and conversion system is the answer. Asking for the order is the answer!
Getting exposure is just ONE part of the marketing equation. In the traditional definition of marketing, it’s the P that stands for Promotion. But anyone who has studied marketing knows that marketing is comprised of FOUR “P’s”: Product, Place, Price and Promotion (And, I actually add a fifth, that I believe is MOST important, and that is Positioning).
And without ALL of these “P’s” you aren’t really marketing.
Is it starting to make sense WHY your “marketing” isn’t working the way you’d like?
You see, just getting out there and getting exposure without first identifying who your ideal clients are (and making sure your marketing is getting in front of them), and without first identifying what your unique positioning is, and what your core marketing message is, and what your offer is…well, it’s just a waste of time.
Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s the truth.
If you look at your marketing and all the effort you’re spending “getting the word out” and you’re not happy with the results you’re getting, then it’s a pretty safe bet you don’t have the foundation in place – you don’t have a strategy.
The biggest mistake I see solo-professionals make is that they jump right into the marketing tactics. They start DOING the marketing, before they’ve PLANNED it (created the strategy).
After studying marketing in college and practicing it in the real world for over 21 years, I know that if you don’t have a solid strategy in place, you’re taking a pretty big gamble on your marketing. And I don’ t know about you, but I’m not willing to gamble on my livelihood and my ability to support my family. Are you?
Gambling is Optional
When you take the time to create a solid foundation for your business (and it doesn’t have to take long) and create a solid marketing strategy, you know EXACTLY what you need to do to get the clients you want, and to make the money you want to make. There is no guessing. There is no gambling. You know what to do, and when you do it, you get the results you want. And if you don’t get the results, you get great feedback you can use to fine-tune your process so you WILL get the results you want.
Because I know how reliable this is, it just kills me when I see smart, hard-working solo-professionals out there gambling with their marketing. Because I know they are working way harder than they need to be, they are wasting time and money, and they are still ending up frustrated because they’re not getting the results, the clients, and the money they want, and deserve.
So how do you break this cycle if you’ve fallen victim to it?
You step back and assess what you’re doing. Are you just busy trying to get exposure? Or, do you have a strategically designed marketing plan with activities that are specifically designed to get you in front of your ideal clients, with…
(1) A Signature Program or Service specifically designed to solve the primary problem your ideal clients have, and…
(2) A Price that serves your ideal clients in the highest way, and enables you to meet your income and lifestyle goals, and…
(3) A Unique Personal Brand they will notice and remember, and…
(4) A Core Marketing Message you know will resonate with them and what’s most important to them, and…
(5) A Compelling Offer that promises to solve their pain, and…
(6) A Strategically-Designed Marketing System in place to convert them from prospect to paying client
If you don’t have these important pieces in place, STOP MARKETING NOW!
Because you’re wasting your time and money.
Do whatever you need to do to get these in place. I can assure you if you do, it won’t matter what’s going on around you…the economy, competition…YOUR business will flourish because you will know exactly what you need to do and say to ensure that it does.