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Minding Your Business: Marketing

Marketing is tricky and anyone who tells it's easy is full of it. Just when you think you've got a program that works, some a-hole changes the algorithm or the rules and it doesn't work anymore. 
Scribbly line representing marketing plan.
We're growing businesses in a time of unprecedented competition and trying to differentiate ourselves amongst all the noise. "You have to do videos!" they say. And "Email 3 times a week!" and "Show your face!" and "Be authentic!" There's paid search, ads on social platforms, paid influencers, tradeshows and old school efforts like actually calling someone. And newsletters are back, I thought that ship sailed off into the 80s. It's a lot. And most of us are experts at design and product creation, not marketing. It can be pretty freaking overwhelming. 
Here's what I've learned in the long ass time I've been marketing my own business. It's a crap shoot. Some stuff will work, some won't. Some will work for awhile and then not anymore. BUT. You gotta do it. It doesn't matter how great your product is if nobody knows about it. Marketing is absolutely crucial to business success. Being able to recognize failure early and try new things will grow your business. And then you gotta keep doing it, especially when you're busy - we market for the business we want in the future. If you wait til business is slow, you're just extending the lack of sales. 
Papers with lists for marketing tasks.Marketing has always felt overwhelming to me so I deal with it the same way I deal with anything that seems too big or too hard. I break it down. I start with the business goals. Then I look at each goal and figure out what steps I need to take to achieve that goal. And within each step, what tasks are required? I map out the resources I need, the schedule and the desired outcomes. And at the end of that exercise, I basically have a very well organize list. And I LOVE LISTS. I can get through a list. 
All that said, what I'm learning right now is that Tik Tok is a great place find potential customers. And from personal experience, I can tell you that showing off your personality is a great way to create trust and make new friends. Bottom line: doing some marketing is definitely better than doing no marketing. If you really can't wrap your head around there are some excellent educators out there like The KMB Collective and Allison Carter Celebrates. One of my favorite educators is David C. Baker, he tells it like it is and I learn something from every article he write: Onward, go forth and market thyself!

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