What’s stopping you from starting to market your business?
Marketing can be overwhelming. I totally get it. I feel the same way when it comes to financial planning, accounting or cooking without a recipe. I become totally stressed and am afraid of stuffing up, or, do something to embarrass myself. Everyone has different strengths, and trust me, cooking isn’t mine!
The thing is, marketing doesn’t have to feel like that. You don’t have to be scared of it, avoid it or feel like a shonky used car salesperson who is saying “buy my stuff”, “like me on Facebook” or “Subscribe to my email!”
When it comes to getting started on marketing, I have heard every excuse in the book.
- “I can’t do this,”
- “I don’t have time,”
- “I have no money,”
- “I don’t know how to market,”
- “I have no followers or fans,”
- “I don’t have a website,”
- “I can’t use technology,”
- … you get the picture.
Don’t lose hope though, there is a way to get past it so that you can market your business and get results, without the fear or the overwhelm. That’s why I am going to show you how to avoid three common mistakes, so you can feel confident and excited about marketing.
Mistake 1 – Not Knowing Where To Start
Simply put, what is stopping you from starting?
Taking the first step can often be the scariest, which is why there is inspirational quotes out there about “the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step” or “getting started is the hardest part” etc. However, all these quotes won’t help you if you don’t actually do anything. On Google, there is over 4,310,000,000 results when searching for “how to market my business,” yet, many people don’t even get to this step. So, what is it holding you back?
Everyone is different, and there are many reasons, but one of the most common, is that many business owners are trapped in a fixed mindset. What does this mean? A mindset is defined as collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought habits. In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits and believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. However, a growth mindset means that you believe you can grow as a person, and with time and practice, you believe you can improve. In other words, beliefs affect your behaviour, and your mindset determines if you are going to be a success or failure.
Hence, the first step to getting started is to develop a growth mindset. With this change, you get the courage to take the first step in marketing, which is knowing your why
Mistake 2 – You don’t understand your purpose.
There has been a lot of discussion in marketing and business about being an “authentic brand, and finding your why,” but why bother? Is this just a new thing in marketing? Isn’t the point of being in business to make money, have freedom and autonomy to make your own decisions? Haven’t businesses existed for years without talking about their why?
Well, simply put, if you don’t know why you exist, then there is good chance you won’t enjoy your business and your business won’t be around in 5 year’s time. So what do I mean by “finding your why”? Everyone in business knows what they do, some know how they do it (their unique selling point, or differentiation), but most don’t know why they do it, their authentic purpose. By why, I don’t mean to make a profit as that is a result. When you know what your why is, your business can grow and flourish. The reason for this is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The goal of this article isn’t about helping you find your why, but to let you know that if you don’t know your purpose, and what your business stands for (other than making a profit), it is going to be hard to market it.
Once you understand your purpose, everything become clear. Brands like Apple, Virgin, Disney, Nike or Lorna Jane are clear on they “why,” which is why they are global marketing successes. They also understand their customer.
Mistake 3 – You don’t know your customer
Not understanding your customer can also stop you from getting started. When you know your ideal customer as well as you know your best friend, marketing becomes so much easier! You know how to talk to them and just what to say. This helps you feel less overwhelmed as you don’t have that brain fog about what to say, or how to say it, as you feel like you are simply having a conversation with your friend. You also lose the pushy sales vibes, and fake promo talk, as you sound like you are talking to a real person not a void.
Now to be clear here, I am not saying you should only sell you product tor one target market, but unless you have infinite resources (money, time, people) then choose a target audience and primarily market to them. Always market to a clear audience but sell to everyone. This will give you focus, clarity and consistency, which is the key to good marketing.
In conclusion, to kickstart your marketing, you need to be in the right mindset. By believing that you can get better at marketing through practice and learning, you will feel more confident and start to feel less overwhelmed. Moreover, by knowing and LIVING your purpose, you will stop feeling afraid, as you will be chasing something more than money. You will be more aligned to reach your goals and help make a difference in other people’s lives.
Finally, by focusing on your customer, you will be solving problems, not just selling products and services. You will know who you customer is, what they need and want we well as how to talk to them. You will understand them, so instead of feeling like you are pushing products into a void, you will be helping solve your friends’ problems. When you make these changes you, will no longer feel overwhelmed and afraid, but confident and proud.