I had this interesting conversation with a friend and fellow entrepreneur the other day and she bemoaned that she “should” be doing a free webinar and more free consolations and oh, her website needs to be redesigned and rewritten and on and on.
“If you don’t want to do webinars or consultations or telesummits or any of the other marketing strategies that you feel like you ‘should’ be doing, then don’t.”
She got really quiet – maybe from the shock of a marketing consultant telling her not to market, maybe from the pure joy and relief of mentally crumbling up her to-do list.
“But, then how do I get more clients if I don’t market?”
Ah, great question. You still have to show up and connect with prospects, let people know what you have to offer and how you can help them, and you still have to have sales conversations and ask people to work with you.
You just don’t have to do it the same way everyone else is – especially if it doesn’t feel right to you.
The most effective way to market yourself is to BE yourself.
The worst way to market yourself is to do those things you don’t want to do because you “should” do them.
(We’ll need to talk later about why you’re letting someone else tell you what you have to do instead of listening to your heart, but that’s another blog post).
Marketing that makes you feel bad also makes your prospects feel bad.
If you think they can’t sense how much you hate doing teleseminars, then you are underestimating the brilliance of your clients.
Of course they can tell when you’re doing something you don’t want to do to make a buck or two. And they don’t like it. Not one bit.
So, quit feeling bad about not doing what everyone else is doing. Focus on doing what you love – what gets you excited. Share your passions, desires, beliefs and dreams with the world.
Stop marketing. Start BE-ing.
That’s when the magic happens.
I got out my big calendar, sticky notes, colored pens and every ounce of courage I could muster and set a date for every product launch, free training webinar, business trip, mastermind call and important deadline.
That was relatively easy (especially with some music, scented candles and a glass of wine). Then, it came time to create my content calendar.
Now, if you are a client, I would tell you that a content calendar is vital to your online success.
You have to know what you are going to talk about and when, how you are going to promote your products, build your tribe, offer free content, connect with influencers, attract new prospects, grow your list, yada…
Having a well planned content calendar keeps you from staring at a blank screen for hours and prevents the sort of frustration that requires alcohol and/or chocolate to cure.
If consistency is key and content is king, then having a calendar of what you are going to blog about, post about, pin about and tweet about is the door.
So, here I am to admit that I created my content calendar. Filled it with all sorts of great topics on marketing, social media, copywriting, SEO, branding, messaging and that sort of stuff. It was ambitious, but doable. Professional, but personable.
It was impressive. And it gave me the icks.
My intention is to present thoughtful, helpful, educational, informational and maybe even entertaining articles that people will love to read and want to comment on.
Problem is, there are a ton of other people better at these topics than me.
For messaging (with their truly authentic voice) there’s Nisha Moodley, Sarah Jenks, Lisa Fabrega, Danielle LaPorte, Gabrielle Bernstein, Jen Blackstock, Sara Mazenko, Terri Cole, Vasavi Kumar and too many more to list.
For social media, I’d go with Amy Porterfield, Kate Buck Jr, Mari Smith and the dozen or so great blogs that are dedicated to the latest and greatest tips and strategies for making social media work for your business.
So, what in the world do I have to offer? How can I compete? And how in the world can I be expansive, playful, connected, ease and creative (my core desire feelings for 2014) if I am consistently writing blog posts?
See why I freaked out?
Here’s what I came up with (my commitment to you):
- I will share great articles from the amazing people (and others) listed above so you can learn from the very best.
- I will write articles that mean something to me and, hopefully, you. They could be business-related posts or personal posts or thought-provoking posts or anything else I think you might like posts.
- I will post said articles as often as possible. That could be every day. Or every week. Or even once a month. I don’t know yet. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
- I will let you know how this experiment goes. Is it really about consistency or is producing great content that people really want to read enough to create a buzz?
But what I know is that at least this plan doesn’t suck the life out of me and makes my calendar a whole lot more fun to look at.
I have this innate need to hide- always have. So the idea of posting a video of me wildly dancing on my Facebook page seems impossible. And it is.
But that’s exactly what one of the ladies that I love to follow did. I shouldn’t be surprised. She is constantly updating her profile pic and forever posting super close up pictures of herself.
In some cases I am jealous. She is beautiful and clearly very comfortable with herself and her body. I, on the other hand, haven’t managed to get a new headshot in years and still use a selfie from the inside of my car as my professional image (I know, it’s all sorts of wrong).
But I couldn’t help wonder if she was being her authentic self, or crying out for attention and stroking her ego with all of the comments she knew she would get from her friends.
So the question becomes, how do you know if someone is being authentic or if they are being egotistical?
For me, it’s their ick factor. I just couldn’t watch the video she made. It seemed too forced, too personal and private, and too inappropriate to share with the entire Facebook community.
It makes me not want to work with her because now I wonder if she cares about my success or more about showing herself off and promoting how wonderful she is.
Maybe it’s my ego shining through right now, but that’s how I feel. And, as we all know, it’s how we feel that determines what we buy.
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