“But I’m not a widget!” she whined. “It’s harder for me!”
Denise was giving me her number one reason she despises marketing and selling. I laughed and told her that it was also the number one reason EVERY solo-business owner despises marketing and selling!
It feels different when YOU are the product.
You’re not selling “things.” You’re selling YOU, your soul, your passion, your ideas, your services.
And marketing YOU feels sensitive. It feels like ego. It feels phony. It feels sales-y.
I won’t lie. There will be discomfort when you Uplevel your marketing efforts and when you become more present in the marketplace.
But know this:
The people who release their fear of being seen are the same ones who have more clients than they can handle and more revenue than they ever imagined. They experience the ultimate paradigm shift: That marketing is not sleazy or false. That marketing is actually how they serve!
In fact, it’s a relief when you realize that the problems in your business are not the Universe telling you that you’re lame. They’re just “marketing problems.” Learn the valuable skill of marketing and watch your income build.
And take heart! It doesn’t have to be slimy. In fact, authenticity is your new competitive edge. In the ever-growing din of social media noise and viral everything, your clarity and authenticity are your best leverage.
Here are the psychological foundations that will strengthen your brand and build your business…
FOUNDATION 1: CLARITY (Know Your Ideal Clients And Prospects)
When you know your ideal client – and I mean REALLY know them, not just place them demographically – then you get to speak ONLY to him or her in your marketing. This not only saves you time and money (after all, marketing to “everyone” is expensive) but gives you true freedom to be yourself and to cater to that one ideal person.
FOUNDATION 2: AUTHENTICITY (Be Powerfully and Publicly Real)
People buy from people they “know, like, and trust.”
So, how do you build that? I follow 5 authenticity rules…
1 – Establish a regular contact schedule.
Make SURE your newsletter goes out at the exact same time each month or week. This shows that you honor your peeps, and that you are reliable.
2 – Be vulnerable.
Allow your peeps to see your human side. Even the most distinguished among us burns the potatoes and doesn’t pay the credit card bill on time sometimes. Let your peeps see themselves in you.
3 – Be credible.
Make sure you also establish credibility to go along with your vulnerability. Too often we focus only on our foibles. Don’t forget to also share the wisdom you’ve gained, the wins you’ve created for clients, the awards you’ve won, and the great people you associate with. (This is where selfies speak volumes!)
4 – Let go.
Some people will unsubscribe. Some will be snarky. No problem. They’re just telling you that they’re not your ideal client. This is the beauty of marketing well. People get to self-select. Let them go.
5 – Be An Expert.
Getting over your fear of being an expert is crucial. This means getting over the worn-out belief that you need to go back to school and get more letters after your name before you do this. If someone requires that you have letters after your name – then they aren’t your peeps!
FOUNDATION 3: TRUST (Give Your Stuff Away)
The common fear that makes us contract our hearts and souls in our businesses is that if we give away all of our secrets and information, no one will actually want to pay to work with us. Not true. As the ancient Greek poet Archilochus so aptly pointed out: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
Training! That is what is most important. When someone pays you, they want more than just your information. They need the accountability, the focus, the training! This is why my clients often work with me for three to seven (or more!) years. Information is only part of what we do in our work as service providers.
If people only needed information, then there would be only one book about nutrition and diet, only one book about money management, and only one book about owning a business. And no matter what service you provide, your marketing is education people need in order to understand that you are the right service provider for them.
FOUNDATION 4: CONSISTENCY (“The Fortune Is In The Follow Up”)
A musician friend called me disappointed the day after he had hosted a huge event in his town. “Hardly anyone came last night,” he said.
I asked him if he told his list about the show.
It turns out he wrote to his list two weeks before the show. No follow up. No reminders.
Often, the biggest psychological barrier when you are the product is making the time to follow up. Too often, we shrink when it comes to staying consistent with follow up. Your peeps are busy. They need reminders. Many people will only respond to that last-minute sense of urgency.
There are strategies to doing this well, for sure. But not following up is a surefire way to get NO response!
Does this stuff take time? Yes.
But remember, it’s the pushy people who want to rush the process that make us all despise marketing. Be patient and allow that strong connection to grow, and you’ll have never ending income in your business.