Have you ever said that? I have a surprising number of conversations with business people that start out that way. Maybe you’re one of them.
Recently I was reading CJ Hayden’s book Get Clients Now! I like to pick up a book like this at least once a year. I find I always find something.
In this case, the author states that the biggest obstacles to successful marketing are fear and resistance.
Sit with that a minute.
Fear and resistance.
Now before you go, “I’m not afraid! I just don’t have the time!” Or some other variation… stay with me.
Fear Takes Multiple Forms
When we’re kids, fear may take the form of a monster under the bed. As adults, it’s more likely to show up as procrastination or lack of acceptance.
“I know WHAT to do, I just don’t do it.”
Do you REALLY know what to do?
If you really know what to do to grow your business, then you do it right? You don’t make excuses. I know, the kids have been out of school and needed your attention or you’ve been “busy” in other ways.
Fear as Resistance
Fear of success, fear of failure, fear that the potential prospect won’t answer your email or will think you’re too pushy or….whatever…
Every time a client doesn’t want to start an email newsletter (an almost GUARANTEED way to grow your business.) Or make a phone call, or go to a networking event or pull the trigger on the new website, it’s really just fear getting in the way.
The Answers are in Your “To Do” List
Look at your “to do” list.
What’s been on it for the past 3 weeks? Month? Six months? (It’s ok. We’ve all been there.) Why did you put them there? Why are you not completing them? What do you need to know to make them happen?
Do you even need to make it happen?
Maybe you don’t need to do it.
For example if getting on Persicope is on your “to do” list but you keep putting it off, don’t bother. Put it on some other “do it later” list unless you’re committed to building your business via video right now. Otherwise, it’s a distraction.
Instead, focus on more immediate business building activities. — Try it for 30 days. What can you do now, that will help you build your business? You can make a list if you like.
Take a piece of paper (I like to go old school sometimes) and make three columns.
Label one column 15 Months, the next 6 Months and third 1 Month
Your goal is to think of your marketing activities in one of these buckets.
Things like blogging and social media go in your 6-15 month columns. These are long-term strategies. Important but they’re unlikely to grab you clients today.
Your 1 month column will have things like – phone calls, emails and lunch/in person meetings – WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
Sorry for shouting.
But I see it over and over. People fill their schedules with so many coffee dates and other go no where events that they spin their wheels and stay stuck in the same place year after year.
You definitely want to plan your longer term strategies and create ways to implement them. Fill in your worksheet but focus it. Know what is most likely to bring you business now….and later….
It’s More Profitable to Think Strategically
Rather than scheduling a call or an in person meeting with that nice gal you met at last night’s networking event, send a quick LinkedIn invite and peruse her connections and profile.
Do she seem like a good referral possibility to you?
Here’s an example, a veterinarian is a good referral possibility for a pet sitter. A yoga teacher can be a good referral source for a massage therapist. Do you see what I’m doing here?
People with related professions can be good referral sources for one another. Those are the people it makes sense to focus on when you’re growing your business. Other people can be good referral sources too, it’s just makes sense to connect with those whose businesses are natural fits.
Go After the Low Hanging Fruit
Go through your own contacts.
Who have you not spoken to in a while?
Who has sent referrals your way in the past but not lately? Drop them a note. You can send along an interesting article or even say something like, “Hey, it’s been awhile since we last spoke, love to schedule a “catch up” call and find out what’s new in your business.”
Focus on them. You’re building relationships here.
If that inner voice in your head says something like, “But I need clients NOW.” Or “Who has time for THAT?”
Then we’re back to that fear and resistance thing. “You know what to do, you just don’t do it.”
And I’m going to say something you may not like.
That you actually DON’T know what to do.
Maybe you haven’t found your “why,” maybe you’re so busy fulfilling client work that you don’t schedule time for your marketing…until you realize you don’t have enough client work. Maybe you feel like you keep hitting roadblocks in your business.
Wouldn’t you like to get off THAT hamster wheel?
Fear and resistance…There’s something that’s blocking your way to your thriving business and it’s YOU.
It’s those little bogeymen in your head.
You know HOW to network. You know HOW to make a Facebook post. You probably even know what to post…at least some of the time.
That’s not to say creating systems for these things aren’t helpful. They are.
In fact, systems are the single best way to manage your business. They reduce your stress, help you make more money in less time and achieve your goals.
You can have systems in your billing. Systems in your client onboarding or intake and marketing systems. Systems in your social media content. (Hint: I can help with the latter.)
It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping it simple is the hard part. Most people want there to be a “magic solution” they haven’t yet come across when in fact, all they have to do is the schedule some time and DO THE WORK.
If you “know what to do” but you won’t do it ask yourself what’s underneath that. Is it fear? Do you think “it” won’t work? Is there resistance? Do you have unrealistic expectations? Journal about it, meditate, ask a friend, get a coach, whatever it takes to break through that mental block.
And then, create a system around it.
Reduce your stress.
Your Social Media System
At minimum, spend 15 minutes a day on Facebook commenting/liking posts. Then, post a few times a week on your personal profile and aim for 3-5 x a week on your business page. Reach out to people you know for “likes” and send out at least 5 friend requests per week.
Then, do the same thing on LinkedIn.
That’s not much right? You can do that. Do you need help crafting interesting posts? Download these sample posts and adapt them to your business.
Do you want to grow it faster?
Are you stuck with the best way to use Facebook ads to grow your business? Hint: It’s NOT boosted posts. I help clients craft Facebook ad strategies that work for them NOW and they can grow into over the next few months. It’s all about finding your prospects and solving their problems.
Running a profitable business gets you outside your comfort zone over and over and over again. It’s ok not to have a system for everything or know exactly what to do next.
That’s called being human.
Next time you say, “I know WHAT to do…I just don’t do it.” Ask yourself, what do you know to do? Write it down. Then figure out if you don’t believe it will help you or if you’re confused about it or what. Think it through and find whatever help you need to make it happen.
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