When you first take the leap into entrepreneurship, I feel as though you quickly get a feel for the tasks that you are extremely good at and the ones that basically make you feel nearly clueless. Especially, if you are a "one woman show" like the majority of us are. For me, I was always good at aesthetics so creating a nice clean website came pretty easy, writing and story telling has always been "my thing" so creating content was a breeze, but when it came to marketing, I literally questioned if I were cut out for this business.
When I ask my coaching clients what they struggle with the most in their business, nine times out of ten they say "Marketing!". I'll admit, the word "marketing" does sound extremely intimidating and we often relate it back to big CEOs in well tailored suits, which i've learned over the years completely grosses us creatives out. But what if I were to tell you that "marketing" doesn't have to be stressful or impossible to conquer?
Today I want to share a few reasons why marketing your business is probably stressing you out and what you can do to get over it!
YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT MARKETING REALLY IS
Like I said before, the word "marketing" can be extremely intimidating, so let's break it down to what it REALLY means.
MARKETING - the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
But to make it a little more simple to understand, all marketing really is is figuring out different ways you can show your audience what you do, over and over again! Think of it as "pimping out your brand". You can literally market your business easily through your blogs content, through social media, through attending events in your area, or even by wearing your product out in public. Each one of those ways, allows you to reach your audience in a different medium.
EXERCISE: Brainstorm a few different ways you can tell your audience about what it is that you do! Explore digital content but definitely don't knock traditional marketing like attending events!
YOU'RE UNSURE WHO YOU ARE MARKETING TO
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to market ANYTHING is not knowing exactly WHO you are marketing to! I wasted so much time and money in the early years of my business because I wasn't clear on my target audience and I thought that I could sell to anyone! The fact is, not everyone will love what it is that you do...and that's totally ok! Your job is to figure exactly WHO is interested in what you have to offer and make sure they know everything about your brand and how amazing you are!
THE VALUE OF YOUR PRODUCT ISN'T CLEAR
When you have a product that your audience absolutely needs and not just wants, it makes it easier to market! You have to remember that people are hesitant to spend both their time and their money. What makes your product worthy of either? Value is based around how your product or service can make a difference in your clients life. While features just explains what the product is. For example, if I am marketing my business coaching packages, I can't just say "I'm going to help you start your business". No, I have to clearly explain exactly how I will help my client get their business started, WHY my sessions are different from those in my industry, why they are worth the investment and explain exactly how they will feel after working with me along with what problems I will solve.
The value in your product or service should solve your customers pain points. I know my particular audience struggles with the stress and confusion that comes with starting a business so I make sure my coaching services eliminates those emotions.
EXERCISE: Think about your customers needs and exactly what they struggle with. Then re-examine your product or service to see if the value is clear.
YOU THINK MARKETING COSTS A TON OF MONEY
Just like our customers struggle with giving up their cash, a lot of times we are the exact same way (especially just starting out). When I first thought of marketing I automatically thought of buying expensive ads on a big website. Of course, being the broke newbie business owner I was, it immediately turned me off. Little did I know that everything I was doing on a daily basis (for free!) was marketing my business. Everything from creating free and valuable content on my blog or attending a local free event (MeetUp.com has a ton of them) was getting my product out there into the world. Granted, I could have been a little more strategic, BUT nonetheless, it was marketing!
You have to get scrappy and figure out the best way to spread the word about your brand without spending up your budget.
Back in college I ran a pretty cool music blog (YES, i thought I was going to become a professional music blogger). I was always trying to think of different ways to get people to read it (this was about a year after Twitter happened) so I thought of what big marketing stunt I could pull on a college budget. It was right around 4/20 (let's be real, you KNOW what happens on 4/20) so I thought about what I could do to get the attention of my audience. I took about $5, went to the Dollar Store and bought up a few packs of cheap lighters. I then wrote my blogs URL on one side of the lighter with a Sharpie and "Happy 4/20" on the other side. I then had my little sister and her friend pass them out on campus.
That one marketing idea cost me all of $5 and brought in a ton of traffic to my site and it is by far one of my best marketing ideas to date. Get creative when it comes to marketing! I can guarantee you your audience doesn't need to see a commercial to appreciate what you have to offer!
See now marketing doesn't sound so bad after all right? It really is about getting creative and constantly showing your audience how amazing we are and how what we have to offer can completely change their lives!