Do you hate marketing? Maybe feel allergic to it?
One of the most important aspects of being in business is the ability to market. To get the word out to folks who can benefit from our services. But so many business people resist it; particularly when they are:
- Worried that it will take time away from direct client work
- Unsure about how to talk about what they do
- Overwhelmed and confused about where to begin
- Concerned that they’ll have to be pushy or phony
- Fearful that they’ll abandon their values
One way to shift out of thinking, “I hate marketing” is to market to the right people.
Very often we think we have to work with everyone who puts a hand up, but that isn’t true and it can be harmful.
We’ve all had to deal with people who exhaust and drain us. You know the ones. You see their names and your heart sinks or races with anxiety. They make unreasonable demands or bully you; never follow through on their commitments, are consistently late, or don’t show up. Who don’t pay their bills on time or fail to pay them at all.
Time to stop tolerating that.
Dealing with difficult people is rarely satisfying. They sap your energy, waste your time, and diminish your well-being. That’s a high price to pay.
Not only that, no one with an ounce of sense wants to market if that’s the clientele they attract.
Imagine how your business would be if all your clients were ideal.
These are people you’re meant to serve. They energize and inspire you. You love working with them so much you can’t believe they actually pay you. When you work with clients you love, you love what you do; it’s as simple as that.
So there you are, loving your work, loving your clients, loving your life, and enjoying a steadily increasing income. Who wouldn’t love that? At this point you might even start to love marketing!
As an added bonus, your clients will be willing to give enthusiastic and positive testimonials. They’ll be happy to refer you because you’ve demonstrated real excellence. In other words, they’ll start to market for you.
Create a red velvet rope policy (yes, just like the ones outside exclusive clubs) to make sure that you let in only star clients, ones you love to serve.
I can hear some of you saying, “But, Carol, I’m just starting out and need all the clients I can get.” I understand. Initially, your rope might need to be looser in order to pay the bills, but remember this will be temporary. Continue to focus on your ideal clients are so you can attract more of them. You’ll be able to tighten up your rope over time.
Here’s a hint.
Think of your current favourite clients (or if you’re just starting out, use your imagination). What is it about them that’s so engaging? What are their traits, values, and attributes? What qualities do they have that allow you to give excellent service?
For example, the clients I cherish most:
- Have a sense of humour
- Honour their commitments
- Are open to learning
- Value themselves and others
- Show up on time
- Can afford my services
Now describe the clients with whom you do your best work. (Don’t be surprised if they look a lot like you!) Then make a commitment to market to them.
Remember by trying to please everyone you end up pleasing no one, especially yourself, so create a red velvet rope policy that pleases you.