“What happened to your blog?”
This is a question I’ve heard three times in the past two weeks. The latest was from someone I couldn’t shrug off: my business coach.
“Well you know, I’ve been busy,” I said, letting my words trail off. She was silent. That excuse wasn’t going to fly.
I could give 10,000 reasons why I’ve stopped marketing my agency over the last six weeks. I’ve been busy, I was traveling, I’m getting leads though referrals and relationships, I had no idea if any of it was working anyway — you get the picture.
This is a common theme among entrepreneurs and small and mid-sized businesses. Marketing is a tough thing to keep consistent. Because what happens when marketing is consistent? You get clients and when you get clients, you might be too busy to actually market your business. Which is fine, until those client contracts end and then you are right back at square one.
At least, that’s the case with me.
You would think I would know better. I am a marketer. I love marketing. I read about it, write about it, study it, obsess over it and talk about it all freaking day. I live in marketing.
I realized that I had failed myself as a marketer. I had failed my business. But luckily, that's not the end of the story.
I wanted to use myself as an example as to why marketing is so important and, also, why it is so darn difficult.
My coach and I had a long discussion about why I wasn’t marketing my business. We talked about how important client work is and how I needed to value that but how I was doing a disservice by not taking care of my own business. If I didn’t take care of my own business, I would never be able to take care of my clients. Who wants to work with someone who is so scattered because they are always frantically trying to sign their next client? No one.
This is really the ongoing lesson for myself and so many business owners: you have to always be marketing yourself. You have to work ON your business just as much as you work IN your business.
This isn’t always easy. I don’t see the time spent on my marketing translating into dollars like I do when I work on clients. I can’t always see what’s happening on the other side of the screen when I’m writing blogs, pitching articles or connecting with leads and referrals. I can’t always guarantee money is going to come in from those efforts.
But I know that money can come from those efforts. I know that clients can and do find you when you put the work in. It’s my job to know this, to trust this, to improve my skills every day at this and it’s my job to show these results to clients.
That’s why I decided to use my business as an example to what you can accomplish and buckle down with marketing.
After talking to my coach, I sat down and wrote myself a marketing plan. I broke down the stages I was in, wrote myself strategies and tactics, called my assistant and told her that we had work to do.
And I’m going to be sharing it all here because I thought the best way to hold myself accountable was to make myself into a client and prove my results every step of the way.
If you are a marketing nerd or if you want to improve your own marketing and take a look at how someone who specializes in handles hers, I’d love for you to follow along over the next few weeks.
We’ll start on Tuesday and every week I’ll post two updates. The blogs will share how I broke up my marketing, the actions I’m taking, the results I’m seeing and what types of changes I’m making over the next 60-90 days.
My goal is that in the end, you get some ideas about how to understand what your marketing needs, what types of marketing you can do for your business, how to measure your results and just how effective marketing can be for your business.
Also, I hope this helps me stay consistent and accountable to one of my most important clients: my own business.
Because in the words of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”