Marketing works best when you do it consistently. That means marketing yourself (your company, products, services, solutions, offers, etc.) daily, weekly and monthly. There are many experts (books, websites, services, newsletters, blogs…) that offer great advice on how self-employed professionals can improve their marketing efforts.
The best marketing advice and tools are whatever work best for you. Again, marketing only works when you do it consistently. Here are my suggestions on finding and executing the best marketing plan for you.
Discover what drives you
Identify the factors that propel you to action, as well as the factors that prevent you from moving forward. Also, associate non-action with pain. For example, the consequences of not marketing include having fewer clients, long downtimes, less income, difficulty attracting new clients, etc. Each consequence has a price to pay:
- It’s harder to pay bills.
- You have to work harder and longer to find clients.
- You have to cut back on expenses.
- You have to go out and get a “real” job.
- You can’t buy nice (or essential) things.
Find what motivates you, and use it to drive your marketing efforts.
Create a marketing plan that aligns with your goals
Find and apply a marketing method that has worked in the past. Go through your list of clients and note how you found them (or how they found you):
- Email marketing
- Cold / warm calls
The method that worked the best is your best marketing tool because it worked for you, and you are familiar (and likely comfortable) with using this method.
Take action based on your intrinsic drive
- Treat marketing like a client project that will pay off. Set deadlines, plan a schedule, and make yourself accountable for getting it done on time.
- Focus on DAILY, not weekly or monthly, effort.
- Create EFFORT goals, not OUTCOME goals. That means focus on doing the marketing task (effort) rather than achieving something specific (outcome). For example, “I will email a new potential client every day.”
- Set goals that speak to YOU. Tie the goals to your core values and vision. For example, “My goal is to make $100,000 per year, so I need to find 3 new clients this year.”
- Get an accountability partner. Find someone to listen to your goals, and help you to ensure hat you take action.
- Wake up earlier (or don’t watch TV / play games) to focus strictly on prospecting.
- Turn the process into a game. Assign points for different marketing actions (e.g., writing a blog post = 5 points, sending a prospecting email = 10 points). Reward yourself for hitting a points goal, or beating your previous week’s score.
Again, the goal is to find marketing strategies that work for you so that you will repeat the actions. Make marketing part of your daily routine. Find what works for you, that is easiest for you to repeat. Keep it simple and do it consistently.
Need help with creating a simple marketing plan? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.