Promoting Your Business Can Be Easy!
Marketing. Love it or hate it, it’s a non-negotiable part of having a business and being a boss. After all, you can have the best product or service in the world, but if you can’t market yourself, no one will know. And if no one knows, no one is buying!
Promoting and selling can bring up a lot of fears, especially when what you’re selling and marketing is yourself. Especially as a service-based business owner, when you’re the one delivering the service, marketing can feel very personal!
But advertising your business doesn’t have to be stress-inducing. You can find ways to market yourself that feel more natural, aligned with your strengths and values, and that feel good to you.
So whether you’re a new boss, an introverted boss, or a boss who’s uncomfortable promoting yourself, keep reading to better understand the common challenges of marketing, and how you can make advertising your business easier.
Common challenges that arise when marketing yourself
After supporting entrepreneurs with their advertising for the past several years, these are some of the most common challenges that I’ve seen my clients experience.
You don’t know “how” to market.
You might know that you should be marketing, but if you don’t have a background or any experience in advertising, you might not even know where to start. When you don’t know where to start, you end up stalling out before you even get out of the gate.
You haven’t seen great examples of marketing.
So many times we’ve seen sleazy, unethical, manipulative advertising tactics and we say to ourselves, “I’m never doing that!” If we haven’t experienced ethical, effective advertising, we might not know how to incorporate it into our businesses.
It can bring up a lot of vulnerability fears.
When you’re promoting yourself, you’re putting yourself out there, and this can bring up a lot of fear: What will people think? What if I look stupid? What if I fail? These thoughts are normal, but you don’t need to let them hold you back.
Marketing can feel overwhelming.
Simply because there are so many choices. Should you have a blog or a YouTube channel? Should you post on LinkedIn or Instagram? Should you do Facebook ads or Google ads? As entrepreneurs, we don’t have time to do all the things (nor is that a good strategy). It’s better to have a streamlined marketing strategy with a few key tactics that work and you can repeat over time.
You pivot your strategy too quickly.
I often see bosses choose one advertising channel, only to pivot to something else when they don’t see results right away. Marketing takes time and consistent effort. This means committing to a strategy, taking consistent action, and measuring your results.
If you’re experiencing one (or all!) of these challenges, you’re not alone. Next, I’ll share specific ways you can approach your marketing, so it not only becomes easier, but more effective.
How you can make marketing yourself easier
A solid strategy can free you up from thinking about marketing all the time, so you can do more of what you love: serving your clients and customers!
Here are my top tips for making promoting your business even easier:
Choose promotional activities based on your natural strengths.
Do you love to write? Blogging or guest blogging would be a great marketing activity for you. Are you a natural speaker? You might consider being a podcast guest. Love networking? Organizing events or speaking at summits might be your jam. Consider what you enjoy doing and how that might lend itself to your advertising efforts. A great book to check out on playing to your strengths and what makes you different is Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored by Mike Michalowicz.
Remind yourself of your “why” in your business.
You started your business for a reason. That reason could be to make a difference, to help others, to share your gifts, or to create what you love in the world. Reconnecting to that reason — and reminding yourself how marketing can help you achieve that — can help make you more motivated to promote yourself.
Commit to ethical marketing.
Marketing and selling don’t need to feel sleazy. Commit to choosing marketing tactics and strategies that are in integrity with who you are and your business values. When you do, you’re much more likely to show up with confidence and execute your marketing strategy. (Plus, you’ll gain respect and appreciation from your audience.)
Do the inner work so it becomes easier to put yourself out there.
Promoting your business means showing up, sharing your work, and inviting clients to work with you. If you’re riddled with self-doubt or constantly second-guessing yourself, this can be challenging. Building your sense of self-worth, believing in the value you provide, and not taking rejection personally, will make the biggest difference in your willingness to show up.
Create a quarterly marketing strategy and plan.
Focus on creating a quarterly marketing strategy and plan that works for you. It should also be in alignment with your quarterly business goals. Make sure your plan is specific, measurable, and includes the key activities you need to do to reach your business and income goals. Measure and track your results, so you can do a marketing debrief at the end of the quarter.
Protect your time and energy.
Proactively decide how much time you’ll devote to marketing and social media. If we aren’t conscious about setting and protecting our business boundaries, we can easily lose track of time on social media or get burned out on marketing. Taking steps to prevent burnout in the first place is much better than finding yourself burned out and needing time to recover.
If you’re still not into marketing, it might be time to outsource.
If you’ve tried all of the above, and you’re still not excited about advertising your business, you might consider investing in help. Whether you find a marketing coach or consultant or hire out some of your marketing activities, finding the right type of help can either make your marketing a lot more efficient or take it off your plate entirely.
You can enjoy advertising!
Whether you choose to do marketing on your own or hire help, promotion is a key business skill that every boss needs to master. Marketing helps you share about your business, build brand awareness, and attract your ideal clients. Once you take the steps to master selling what you do, it not only becomes easier, but more enjoyable.