You’ve got your business plan, you’ve done your affirmations, you’re pumped up, you’re ready to go … NOT!
You’ve forgotten the most critical success tool for your business – a marketing consultant.
WHY ENTREPRENEURS FAIL?
As a coach, I talk to entrepreneurs all the time. They’re sharp, they have great products and services, and they all make the same mistake – a mistake with two faces.
It’s the marketing. They either (1) don’t understand they aren’t a lawyer/coach/therapist/ small business owner, they’re an entrepreneur; or (2) They think they’re a marketing person as well as a lawyer/coach/therapist/small business owner and are trying to do something they don’t have the experience, expertise or time for.
THE PRICE FOR THIS FALLACY IS HIGH
I would estimate that at least 75% of coaches fail because they don’t know how to market their practices. I don’t know national figures, but lawyers and other professionals are dropping like flies in my town, as are maid services, restaurants, errand services, small bookstores, and the like.
As an entrepreneur, you’re up against big marketing campaigns from big, long-established companies who offer similar services.
PIE IN THE SKY
It’s a common misconception that you get your degree or training, you hang up your sign, and the clients come, but “build it and they will come” is a sad, pie-in-the-sky fantasy.
As a minister said, who hired me to market his church, “They didn’t cover this stuff in Divinity School.”
Why don’t they come? Because there are thousands of other people out there doing what you do, and offering what you offer, and nobody knows about you!
Nobody knows how and why you’re different. You aren’t branded.
Marketing is hard work that requires a professional. You know this about your own field – it takes an innate talent, an instinct to do something well. Good marketing consultants have right-on instincts from years of trial and error, observation and analysis. You haven’t!
Marketing appears to be subjective, but subjective marketing is deadly. It takes a practiced, external, objective eye.
You’re not objective about your spouse or your kids, and you’re not objective about your other baby – your business or practice.
JUST WHAT IS MARKETING?
Marketing is a broad concept that encompasses advertising, public relations, and a lot of other things. Well, let’s take a look at someone who markets small and home-based entrepreneurs, Sharron Senter. She’s known for her free weekly marketing tips and has published several marketing reports, including “20 Excuses to Send a News Brief.”
Sharron (www.sharronsenter.com) has an impressive corporate background in marketing, and will do the following things for you:
- Generating qualified sales leads
- Increase client revenues
- Website creation
- Graphic design
- Sales promotions
- Online marketing
- Direct mail
- Public relations
- Marketing seminars
- Traditional advertising
You can see if you plan to do all these things yourself, you’re going to be working another full-time job.
On the other hand, if you decide to direct all this yourself, you’re going to be dealing with a cast of thousands.
GET ONE GOOD MARKETING COACH
This is a far better approach than working with a large agency. The head of the agency, who has promoted himself to his level of incompetence, will meet with you, the client, and promise to supervise your account himself. Then, unless you’re Microsoft, he’ll go back to his office and assign your account to the newbie. When you call for help or a progress report, you’ll be handed from one person to another.
THE BATTLE OF THE EXPERTS
If you go it alone, dealing with many people, the complaint I hear most from clients is: “She told me to do this, but he told me it won’t work, I should do this.”
You need one, knowledgeable, marketing person with whom to deal. I can’t stress this enough.
PAY THEM AND THEN LISTEN TO THEM
Everyone thinks they know marketing. Few people do. Most of us harbor a secret desire to do a Super Bowl ad or design our own website. It’s “fun” compared to, say, filing briefs or accounting. However, this is not the time for a “vanity website.” This is serious business – YOUR business.
It’s a far wiser strategy to hire ONE person to oversee all this, trust him or her, and then do what they say.
A marketing consultant has experience in keeping you out of trouble. Their job is to tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear. Their job is to help you make money!
To succeed, you’ve got to brand yourself. Everything you put out there has to deliver one coherent impression. This is why you need the coordination.
Your website, for instance, must be constructed from the ground up with search engine placement in mind. You need an expert copywriter, too. The copywriter in an ad agency is usually the primo person there. Copy counts. Copy sells. It’s not the place for an amateur – you.
SMALL … LARGE
Find someone who works alone, as a coach or consultant, or with a small group, or ad hoc agency.
Good marketing coaches collect one excellent person in each area – web design, copywriting – contract or otherwise. They know who’s good at what they do – you most likely don’t.
ARE YOU READY TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING MONEY?
If you are, find a marketing consultant with a proven track record who is willing to give you exceptional service. Interview that person and read his/her business’ Google reviews. After you hired him/her, then trust him/her and let s/he do your marketing, so you can do what you best. S/he should have a number of ideas for you, as well as resources for implementation, that can get your business or practice soaring.