close this window | print article


Four Marketing Musts


by Matt McGovern


One of your most important jobs as a solo professional or small business owner is to generate interest in and demand for your products or services. But if you're like many entrepreneurs, you discover finding time for marketing to be elusive. Much of what you could be doing remains undone—and without some form of marketing your business growth stalls.

To help get you untracked, here are my four marketing "musts" for small business owners. Integrate these four fundamentals and you're sure to feel more confident going forward . . . and more able to plan a bigger "bang" for your time and efforts.


Make marketing a subconscious element of all that you do. This doesn't mean you should be in "hard sell" mode all the time, but it does mean you need to develop a mindset where you view every interaction with someone—planned or otherwise—by phone, by email or in-person as a marketing opportunity.


For marketing to work, you need to be able to sustain your efforts over time. You might develop the most effective plan, but if you can't implement that plan because it's too costly, too complicated, or you simply don't have the time to commit to it, then your efforts will fail.

Plan your marketing in phases. Start with low-hanging fruit. Get a couple of small victories under your belt. Note what worked, what didn't work, what felt most "right" for you . . . and keep moving forward.


Without structure or routine built around your marketing efforts, you're likely to lose focus and get distracted—something that's all too easy for solo professionals and the self-employed to do.

One easy way to add structure is to create an overall marketing plan that outlines for you exactly what you hope to accomplish and when. You can then supplement this with shorter-term, action-oriented "to-do" lists aimed at reaching your marketing goals.

A word of caution, however, don't make "structure" your end-product. Consider structure only as a means to get the results you desire. This does not have to be a painful exercise—my plan and various lists usually fill only one or two pages. What's important is that there's always something to do . . . and that something always gets done.

You'll also want to maintain an element of flexibility in all that you put on paper or commit to your computer screen. Create your plans and follow them knowing that from week-to-week and month-to-month your objectives can—and most likely will—change.


Allot time each week to pursue your marketing goals. Pull out your calendar right now and schedule an appointment with yourself. It could be an hour, two hours or three—whatever you need to keep moving forward. It could be the same day each week, it could be different days. Whatever you choose, honor this commitment of time. Make it sacred.

Remember, marketing doesn't happen in a vacuum, nor is it automatic. You have to tell people why they should want to buy your product or service—and then tell them again.

Only once you've adopted a marketing mindset and are willing to commit the time and energy necessary to sustain your marketing efforts—only then will your marketing become more automatic, more natural . . . and more successful.


About the Author
Matt McGovern combines a rare blend of creative and technical know how with more than 20 years of hands-on management and consulting experience. Through 700acres Small Business Services, Matt provides writing, editorial, book design, project management, Web development, and marketing consultation services—primarily for small businesses and solo professionals. He has authored and edited numerous Web sites, books, e-books, and newsletters; and has also published articles and short stories, including the novel, CURRENTS—Every Life Leaves an Imprint (read more about it at Get "Know How" his free e-newsletter at


Copyright Notice
Copyright © 2004 by Matt McGovern—All rights reserved. This article is the intellectual work and property of the author and is made available here for use only in e-zines, Web sites, magazines, newspapers, and other electronic and print mediums provided the content is not altered and that the author's byline, copyright and link to his Web site ( remains intact. All other uses for any reason by any person or entity are prohibited without the express written permission of the author. The author grants no rights to users of these articles other than one-time usage rights. You may not attempt to sell or resell article content to others, or otherwise profit directly from its use. Send inquiries for use of article content to the author at


close this window | print article