I’ve been reading the book the 12 Week Year, and it’s got me thinking in a big way about how we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to being able to succeed.
The premise of the book is that only by getting committed and focused, and then breaking down your years into 12 week chunks, can you truly be great.
When you’re running a small business, if you’re going to achieve greatness, whether that be making an impact or building a profitable empire (or even better, doing both), your marketing matters. Because your marketing is the front-end of how people discover you and learn to know, like and trust your brand.
But what if you’re out there marketing your heart out, and things are feeling less than stellar and your numbers indicate the same thing?
Start by looking at your marketing approach to see where you may be your own worst enemy:
#1 Does Your Marketing Feel Like You?
Before you think I’ve taken a sharp turn into the metaphysical realm, hear me out. When it comes to online marketing, it’s hard to find the right balance for how to approach things, especially when a lot of what’s being taught is distinctly masculine in energy.
For example, even the names of some common tactics are aggressive (tripwires, anyone?) and can seem out of alignment with who we are. I know for me, I strive for a happy medium in my marketing of the masculine and the feminine because I’m as likely to reference Danielle LaPorte as Ryan Deiss, and as a person, I have a definite edge to me.
But let’s say you’re more feminine in how you work and approach what you do, then masculine energy and tactics are going to be majorly misaligned for both you and your audience.
Then, there’s the tricky business of how you like to best communicate. Do you speak the language of innovation or passion? Details or excellence? Understanding how the world best sees you can make a critical difference to how that message is received, how you choose to market and how you feel when you’re doing it.
That’s exactly why I’ve included a training on your marketing personality using the Fascination Advantage System from Sally Hogshead in the upcoming No B.S. Marketing School. (And good news, I’m a Certified Fascination Advisor, so I’ve got special insights into what that report really means!)
[clickToTweet tweet=”Dudetastic marketing tactics make you feel the ick? Here’s why.” quote=”Dudetastic marketing tactics make you feel the ick? Here’s why.”]
#2. You’re Doing ALL the Things
Marketing is sort of like a buffet. There’s 100s of choices and you want to eat what you like and not combine things in a way that are going to make you seriously queasy later on.
You may have shiny object syndrome and be jumping on every bandwagon with the latest tactic or tool as soon as it is released, or suffer from just doing a lot of things and not doing any of them well.
We’re all guilty of this at times (myself included) as we want to play around, see what works and not miss out on opportunities. But this divided focus ultimately sinks us as we don’t optimize every single strategy and tactic we have.
Perfect example is blogging. Most people blog, but they let a lot of the pieces around it fall apart because they’re focused on crossing ‘write and publish post’ off their weekly to-do list. They don’t always blog with a plan in mind for their content, they ignore SEO, they don’t really promote the post and so it rarely sees the light of day after a couple days.
But how much better would that post be if there was a plan and promotion around it?
Pick a handful of tactics and do them really, really well for the best results. Skip the rest or put it in the “parking lot” for later.
#3. You Don’t Stick Anything Out Long Enough
Every single day we’re inundated with success stories, which can mess with our heads in a big way. It can make us think that things should be happening in a matter of mere days, instead of months or multiple years.
Have you ever said:
“Yeah, I tried that, it didn’t work?”
Stop and ask yourself if it really didn’t work, or if you didn’t stick it out long enough. This happens a lot (and I mean a lot) with podcasting. People do 10 episodes and they fade away.
Having just reached the 100 episode milestone for the Marketing Moxie show, I can tell you this much, 10 episodes isn’t enough to base an informed opinion on regarding if your show is working or not.
Consistency is the hallmark of successful marketing. If you constantly start and stop things you’re never going to have enough details or data to base a decision about if something is working or not.
On the flip side…
#4. You Keep Doing Things That Simply Aren’t Working
While it’s important that you give things time to see if they’re producing results and supporting your business goals, there’s a time to move on.
It could be that you’re holding on to a website that desperately needs to be rebranded so you can serve your clients. Or you’re insisting that Google + is still the #1 social platform around.
No program, no tactic has an indefinite shelf life, which is why you need to build in checkpoints monthly or quarterly to assess how things are going.
At the point you’ve been podcasting for six months or a year, and your downloads are mediocre at best, you get little listener feedback and it’s not helping you accomplish your goals, then you can say maybe it’s time to retire the show. Give it your all, and then be brave enough to admit when something isn’t working.
The same goes for your messaging, copy, site design, any social platform, product/service, emails, and so on.
Also, keep in mind that as your business evolves you’ll outgrow things, and you need to watch for the warning signs that it’s time to freshen things up or let them go.
Once you’ve got a handle on these fundamentals of how you approach your marketing, then it’s time to look at your “marketing” cycle, which I’ll break down for you in more detail next week.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Get out of your own damn way with your marketing. New blog post.” quote=”Get out of your own damn way with your marketing. New blog post.”]
Which of these four areas do you need to address in your business? What can you do to improve your overall approach to marketing to help things serve you and your audience better?
If you want to learn more about your marketing approach and how to make results happen in your biz, check out the No B.S. Marketing School. It’s now open for enrollment and is $150 off through next Wednesday, September 9th.
When you’re running a business, marketing can quickly become a full-time job. Which is great if you’re making a living as a marketing expert.
But if your title is actually CEO, coach, consultant or creative [fill-in-the-blank], this can quickly become a big old problem.
Because newsflash, marketing isn’t your job. Running your business is.
Which is why it’s time to put marketing in it’s rightful place. And what if, instead of trying out another expert’s advice based on exactly how they did it, you dialed in to exactly what works for your personality and your customers — actually gets YOU results?
This is exactly what the No B.S. Marketing School is all about. By focusing on the part of your marketing you can control and absolutely nailing it, you can dramatically alter the course of your business.