- Give Yourself Time
Most of my clients are their own worst boss! Their expectations are so high that they don't really give marketing efforts time to work before they start doubting, questioning and wanting to ditch the whole effort. Acknowledge that you are a lifestyle entrepreneur. This is a business owner who won't compromise on her lifestyle - she's not about to sacrifice her relationships, miss the big school play, go without a vacation or working out and taking care of herself. Given your commitment to your lifestyle, create marketing programs that support your lifestyle success. Just because someone else looks like they are moving fast doesn't mean you have to pile on a load of stress and sacrifice everything that's important to you. Build time (we're not talking perfection here) into your side.
- Commit to Frequency
I heard this in the early days of my career in newspaper advertising back in the 80s and it's still true today. Actually it's probably more important today than ever. We are literally bombarded with over 68,000 messages a day. Your client has learned to put up a big filter and be selective about how much information she lets in. So, you have to be consistent in your efforts so that little by little she'll develop an awareness of who you are, develop a trust in you and your services, and be there when she is ready to buy. This is also about trusting your vision and making a commitment to keep showing up in real, vulnerable, confident ways with your marketing.
- Create a Support Team
Doing it alone will have you burnt out and is a sure-fire way to zap your creativity. Create a plan for your ideal support team - both for your business and for your home life. You don't have to hire them all at once. Knowing that you have a plan for which people you want to add and when you want to add them can be liberating in itself. Then gradually hire people on a project basis or for a few hours. As you are ready to step into the next level of success for your business, you'll hire another person to help you expand your capacity. Growing with the evolution of your company allows you to keep focused on your "strengths-based" work - the juicy, creative part of your business that is directly related to growing the business. Let others (who are working with their strengths!) handle the rest.
- Look for and Create Systems
This is a key area for a lot of growing business owners. To handle the growth look for anything and everything that you do over and over again. Make a system out of it. Design a template, checklist, procedure list so you aren't redoing it every time. I have to say, I equate "systems" with "freedom." Every 10 - 15 - 30 minutes count in my busy life. Learn how to use your online systems and programs to help support you not having to hold so much information in your head (i.e. birthdays, appointments, to-do's, ideas). As you build your support team co-create systems with them. My amazing assistant, Jan, helps me with my newsletter. Not only does she do all the behind the scenes management of it (shopping cart, template, editing, list management, etc.) but we've created a system to help me get it out on time. We have calendarized the newsletter so we know our publish dates, and then three days before it's due to her she sends me the template with as much information as possible already updated. I just have to write the welcome, provide the article, and product announcement. A system set up for my success! (Thanks Jan!)
- Let Out Your Personality
Surprisingly - this is such a big area for creative entrepreneurs! You would think with all that creativity busting at the seams in your business that this would be easy. What I find is that a lot of creative entrepreneurs are so conscious of their creative side that when it comes to marketing they think they have to button it up and "be professional." Being professional can be a business-killer. I don't like to use that word much but I have to say - being professional and blending in - will get you just that - blending in and not standing out to your ideal client. For starters, just be a little more personal and creative in your marketing than you think you "should." You will be surprised at how you will connect with more people when you tell them about your cat, your vacation or your real -life stories of "annual summer schedule nervous breakdown" (oops - talking about me!).
- Claim Your Expert Status
This is another big one for many women entrepreneurs. We have been raised with those stories: "Don't be too big for your britches," "Don't brag," and the biggie, "Just who do you think you are?" The thing is your clients WANT to know that you know what you are doing. The only way they'll know is if you tell them. You can tell them in many ways that are fun and creative: through stories of your clients and how you solved a problem or they achieved a success working with you, through photos of you in action, and especially in your newsletter or blog. This is where you can shine with each publication, giving them tips, resources and stories about what you know works.
- Take a Stand
Don't be wishy-washy. You'll get lost in the sea of mediocrity. All those businesses you hear about failing each year - many of them were indistinguishable from each other. What are you passionate about? Let your clients and potential clients know. Sure it's a bit risky - they might not agree. The key here is to really know your client! Your ideal clients will feel closer to you and more attracted to you. They will keep coming back. Even dare to be controversial - not just to get attention but to really let your passion out. People love passionate and engaged people. They want to know how you are different from someone else. I do this every time I publish this Joyful Business newsletter. Many people like the idea of a "joyful" business but then they'll say, "Yeah, sure, but can you really enjoy your business?" As you know, I take a stand for including your passion, creativity and lifestyle in your business. Some people don't agree and they quickly go away. The ones who stay are true fans. They want to hear and know how they can keep this philosophy alive in their own businesses.
- Build Your Celebrity Mystique
I recently bought an audio CD series from Rev. Michael Beckwith through Sounds True (an audio learning company). My coach was curious and asked me what their email said that prompted me to make the purchase. The truth of it was that I bought because he's built up his expert status and his celebrity mystique. I've heard him speak on The Secret DVD, Oprah and Larry King enough to know he drips soul when he speaks. So, I've been waiting for a product from him. Now, you might say that you haven't been on Oprah (yet). You can start today - right in your own life. Share pictures and stories of you and your coach, your mentors, your mastermind group - these show commitment and professionalism in your business. Get your picture taken when you go see famous speakers. Share pictures of you speaking, at special events, or charity fundraisers. All these situations are opportunities to share more about you to your readers, and they shape your personality and your values and make you real. Bottom-line is that people want to buy from successful people. Show them how you are a success!
- Keep Learning About Marketing
You want to keep learning and growing in your marketing expertise. Marketing vehicles change, your ideal client evolves and so does your business. You want to always be filling up with how can you improve, tweak, change, make adjustments and try new things while keeping the successful marketing strategies fresh. Schedule learning from the experts (this is not to suggest you should follow every new marketing idea - manage your energy here!) and track what is working for you and what needs a fresh tweak. A great example of this is a sales page for a product. It might work at the beginning, but you'll eventually find that the conversion fizzles. Is it that you need a fresh message, updated testimonials, a stronger headline, installment payments, or is your current market saturated and it's time for new markets or to add to your list? This takes time. Put it in your calendar to visit your stats, get feedback and determine what needs to be changed. After all, marketing is a like a game, and to play the game you always have to be in movement trying something new, paying attention, stretching, being curious or systemizing what's working to free up energy.
- Get a Mentor
Unless you want to spend energy, effort and lots of money recreating the path on your own - do yourself a favor and make a leap forward by learning from the best mentor you can afford. The key to having a successful relationship is to find a coach, consultant, or mentor who shares a similar philosophy and values as you do. For example, I am a heart-centered, bring your whole life to the table, creative attraction expert. If you are looking for a linear, push, push, rush, rush, dominant personality - I can refer to you some who will fit the bill. What I do is help creative entrepreneurs who are similar to me - they want creative expression, meaningful work, a lifestyle they love and financial success to support it all. I help them get down the path further and quicker with less stress and more ease. What type of mentor do you need at this point in your business cycle? Who do you see that you admire and want to be where they are? What I know is that when I've worked with mentors who push and are more domineering - I just don't flourish. When I work with someone who has a business that is where I want to go and approaches it with fierce love - I blossom. Who do you need for your next evolutionary leap? If heart centered marketing speaks to you and you're ready for a leap in your business, then stay tuned for our upcoming Platinum Mentor Program -Magic & Miracles in Marketing & Mindset.