Are you an all or nothing business? Does your marketing activity wax and wane? Do you stop/start, get frustrated, give up and do nothing? Do you go from day to day without clear direction?
Self employment is a tough road. When times are good, we are happy the world is sunny and warm. When things go quiet, panic sets in and suddenly our attention once again focuses on advertising, but has a budget been set aside? Have we given consideration to what messages we want to send out? Business administration tasks such as book-keeping and marketing are often cast aside as ‘chores’ only to be carried out when necessary.
A healthier approach is to have a planned marketing strategy set out over a period of time. This way you can make use of the many different channels of communication and routes to market that are available to you, enabling you to measure success and reflect on the effectiveness of each approach. Consider seasonality, green lights, trends – can your business be packaged up to fit in with current hot topics? Are you selling your strengths, is your product portfolio still relevant?
For example when starting a business or injecting new life into an existing one, the temptation is to launch headlong into printing brochures, placing ads, setting up social media accounts without any real objective in mind apart from to win business. However this knee jerk reaction only leads to frustration as most business generation is a slow burn and the result of building lasting relationships.
We are now more discerning consumers both personally and in business, there is a lot of choice. We can take time to consider who we do business with. So building loyalty and trust and looking after your clients regularly goes a lot further than a quick flier or tweet.
Stop/start marketing is not effective. Blog regularly, keep in touch, attend events, set time aside each week to do these tasks and you will find that work is more steadfast and regular, rather than having bursts of activity, then doing nothing when you’re busy, then another burst when times are quiet
Having a clear strategy to stick to over a 6-12 month period helps you to remain focused, gives you a framework and a ‘to do’ list and you can measure progress (or lack of). Without this structure and discipline it will be difficult for your business to thrive.
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