Yes, consistency is hard. But it's also the most important thing you can do!Read More
Last week, I wrote about how I’ve failed at marketing my own business, even though I run a marketing business.
This week I got down to walking the walk of my talk… in other words, I started marketing my business as I would do for a client. I’m sharing everything I learned along the way in the hopes that someone out there can learn a thing or two along the way.
I should preface all of this with saying I declared a few goals for the next 90 days. I specifically wanted a certain number of sales calls/proposals and a certain number of clients. I’m not quite ready to give away the numbers just yet. However I have to note that as I went into creating and executing this strategy, I kept those numbers at top of mind.
Once I figured out my goals, I looked at where I am right now and what I need to put into place to get there. Right now I already have several warm leads who in the conversion stage thatI would like to convert into clients through sales calls and proposals over the next few weeks. I also know after that I’m in need of some newer, colder leads that I can move along in my pipeline. Right now I’ve got to be working in those first two stages.
Right now my goal is to connect with newer leads to keep filling my pipeline and also ensure I’ve got systems in place to move warm leads into sales calls.
My business attract new leads in three main ways: LinkedIn, blogs and at in-person networking. Therefore I knew I needed these tasks to be covered on a weekly, possibly, daily basis.
At the beginning of the week, I outlined four blogs for my website, found at least one networking event a week and blocked out 15 minutes a day to find relevant marketing information and 15 minutes to spend on LinkedIn sharing content and connecting with others. It’s important to note here, I took time to dream up content that interests my audience, and to find networking events and LinkedIn groups that have my target audience in them. With these activities, it’s more than just completing, it’s actually putting in the effort. I can already tell I’m going to have to work in more ways to promote my blogs and provide more value through LinkedIn but those are problems to be solved next week.
The next piece of the puzzle was to figure out why not all of my warm leads convert into sales calls and proposals. I know that there’s something missing in my follow up/conversion stage. For this step, I had to look at my past leads that never ended up converting and analyze what went wrong. I went through several emails and notes about calls to break down the process. I realized I don’t a strong enough follow up process for either online or offline leads.
To solve that problem, I’ve implemented a new CRM system and added two additional touch points and I’m in the midst of creating a new lead magnet and follow up email sequence to drive more email subscribers and book more consultations from my emails. I’m also reworking the entire way I present proposals. I’m curious as to how these activities will work moving forward and hopefully by the end of this month, I’ll have data on what’s working.
And that was how I spent my first week implementing my marketing plan! Looking back, it doesn’t look like too much but the amount of clarity I have is freeing. I know where my problems are and I know how to solve them. Moving forward, I have a really clear idea of what I need to be doing every single day and week, which I’m hoping will help me set a really consistent schedule.
My first learning lesson is that all of this is still really mental right now. It took a surprising amount of willpower to sit down and look at everything going on in my marketing and sales funnel. I pushed my business activities back to the end of the day a few days this week when really, I should be tackling it first thing in the morning. One day, I didn't work on my business at all so I've started doing accountability with one of my mastermind partners at the end of every day. My new mantra has become "If I don't spend time on my business, I will never be able to support my clients because I won't have a business!" Because honestly... it's the truth and not just for me, but for every business!
“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.”