Getting Off the Dime
by Robert Middleton
On a recent Tele-Clinic call (my marketing workshop by telephone) the hot topic was not how to implement specific marketing strategies but how to "get off the dime" and implement ANYTHING!
It's been my experience working with professional service businesses for over 15 years that this has always been (and may always be) the case. People become literally paralyzed when it comes to taking any action that is outside their current comfort zone.
I suppose that this is human nature and that if some people don't have goals or aspirations and want to spend their lives maintaining mediocrity without risking their comfort, that's up to them.
The real tragedy, however are people who do have goals and aspirations, really do want to accomplish something meaningful and actually put some effort towards the realization of their dreams but still get stuck and never make any significant forward progress.
A long time subscriber to this eZine recently bought my Client Magnet Workshop on Tape and just sent me an e-mail about her progress in launching her eZine. She said...
When I hit that "send" button last night to send it out,
my hand was shaking. I was so worried people were
going to write back pointing out mistakes or to even
laugh at me--maybe I'm not really the expert I think I
am. This is a very real fear for me.
But send it out she did and ultimately received very favorable comments.
I'll assume that if you're reading this eZine you have an issue or two about marketing and that getting off the dime, overcoming your fears and jumping into the void, so to speak, are not the easiest things for you. But honestly, what's the worst thing that can happen if you step outside your comfort zone and risk yourself by starting to really market your services?
Nothing. That's right, about the worst thing that can happen is that you won't get any response to your marketing efforts. I promise you that your prospective clients won't send out hit men when they receive a marketing piece from you. (Although to many that might be a relief - your marketing problems would be over.) But if you sit around procrastinating nothing is going to happen anyway, so doesn't it make sense to give it a shot?
So where do you start? Here's some ideas that may help.
1. Set a Goal
Yes, I know that's a mundane suggestion that you've heard a million times before. But if you haven't done it, it's time. To set a goal you must WRITE IT DOWN. Make it specific and realistic. For instance, you may have a goal to attract more clients so that your income increases by 20% in the next six months. That's specific and realistic. Vague goals get vague outcomes. You also don't need dozens of goals. A few focused ones will get you started.
2. Make a Plan
You need a strategy and a list of steps to put your goal into action. For instance, you realize that if you are going to increase your business by 20% you will need more focus and more visibility. I usually recommend a "5 P Marketing Plan" as a starting point. You can write it on one sheet of paper. For details on creating your own 5 P plan go to http://www.actionplan.com/6psmarkt.html (yes I used to have 6 Ps!)
3. Make a To Do List
Your strategy will have several action steps. For instance, if you decide you're going to network more, your action steps might include: - research networking groups, prepare marketing materials to bring to groups, visit several groups, join one or two groups, attend groups regularly. - Now go to your to do list for today and put the first action item on that list and get it done. But what if you're not sure how to do what you want to do?
4. Get Knowledge
The more you know about the ins and outs and how-tos of a particular marketing strategy, the better off you'll be. My website and business is set up to provide that knowledge. For instance, If you're focused on doing more and better networking, then first learn more about successful networking. The resources I have available include:
Links Page to marketing articles on the web:
Marketing Bookstore with ideas on any marketing issue you can imagine -
InfoGuru Marketing Manual - I happen to think my "InfoGuru Manual" is pretty good, but of course, I'm biased. It covers the complete range of marketing strategies for a professional service business.
5. Get Support
I know that as a professional service business owner, you're an independent type. You want to do it your way. I understand. I'm like that too. But sooner or later you need to admit that you don't know it all and that getting some ideas, insight and inspiration from someone who's been where you want to go might not be a bad idea. In other words, you need an occasional kick in the butt and someone to listen to you during tough times. How can I help?
Whether or not you reach your marketing goals is up to you. The information and support is available. No more excuses. No more complaining. It's time to take action!
All rights reserved. Robert's web site is a comprehensive resource on marketing for Independent Professionals.
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