Copyright 2006 Suzanne Falter-Barns
Ever feel like you’re pedaling fast but simply not going anywhere with your marketing? That seems to be a common theme these days, and I know why. Even thought the Net is laden with marketing programs of all kinds, few of them really rise up and truly transform most people’s marketing efforts.
Why? Because even the best material in the world can’t overcome some basic problems human foibles … if you insist on implementing them alone. So that’s why even I, seasoned marketing pro, turn to coaches and consultants for help with my own marketing. And it’s making a huge difference in my business!
These are some of the dangers to doing your own marketing … and some helpful tips at the end.
1. You have no perspective. You may know your service inside out, but if you’re like most of us, you have no idea what the market will respond to. An SEO consultant I worked with recently suggested that my current Get Known Now bonus didn’t appeal broadly enough to my market … so I changed it. I’m already getting a better response.
2. You don’t have a professional overview of the market. Good consultants really know all the markets your product could appeal to. They can suggest some you haven’t even thought of, or reveal new ways to reach existing markets, based on their own research.
3. You’re not up on the latest techniques — or may lack the technical know how to get the job done. You may not even know what you don’t know, or where to find the resources that will help you. And yet, better technology and resources can make your business boom!
4. You won’t get out of your comfort zone alone. Once we step out of our comfort zones, real progress can begin to take place. Recently I pushed one of my group coaching clients to really hunker down, get serious, and define what she was all about. She kept insisting there was no market difference for her services … and then, just when she’d almost given up … we found the right place to dig to really define her brand. I know she wouldn’t have gone there alone.
5. You may think you can do it, but are secretly intimidated. Along with that comfort zone comes a sense of what we think we can and cannot do. And often we don’t even admit to ourselves where we stop. Future success remains a fuzzy, rosy blur. But a good consultant or action group will give you specific steps to break intimidating processes down AND the support to make sure you got the job done. It’s certainly OK to be afraid — if you can push through your resistance.
6. You don’t know which expert or program to listen to. Committing to a program or consultant moves you forward, because it forces you to get out of overwhelm or confusion and take concrete action steps. (And there are a lot of good programs and coaches out there … so just pick one!)
7. You lack accountability. The best part of coaching and group programs is that they give you a structure to stick to — and accountability for your promises. You need to show up and say to another living human being (or several) what you’ve done and what fell through the cracks. That’s powerful medicine for those who are inclined to break promises.
8. You may lack the discipline to measure and track everything. But when you bring in a consultant or a coaching program, suddenly everything changes. You’re suddenly taking your business more seriously, in the detached, professional lens of other business professionals.
9. Frustration can lead to inertia. We all have the tendency to give up when we experience a setback or a loss. Yet, that’s just when we need to hunker down and move forward, because that’s when we can find great lessons ahead. (See the comfort zone comments above in point 4.) Supporters who actually care about you and your progress will see to it that you keep moving on.
10. We naturally want to stay small and hidden. It’s in our wiring. And one of my biggest jobs as a coach has been to help people give themselves permission to get out there and be heard. Working with a coach or a group moves you to naturally become big.ger and more visible, in comfort.
11. We’re often afraid to even begin. If you know you have a mission, but you just can’t seem to get started, this could be why. A good marketing program or a coach can push you over the hump to the point where you can forge ahead on your own. Think about it — if you’re not going to do this work you’re moved to do, who is?