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 undoneand
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.
1. MAKE MARKETING YOUR MINDSET
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
someoneplanned or otherwiseby phone, by email or in-person as a
2. MAKE YOUR MARKETING SUSTAINABLE
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.
3. MAKE IT ROUTINE
Without structure or routine built around your marketing efforts,
you're likely to lose focus and get distractedsomething 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 exercisemy plan and various lists usually
fill only one or two pages. What's important is that there's always
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 canand most likely willchange.
4. MAKE TIME
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 threewhatever 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.
Only once you've adopted a marketing mindset and are willing to commit
the time and energy necessary to sustain your marketing effortsonly then
will your marketing become more automatic, more natural . . . and more