Have you ever felt overwhelmed when trying to market your business? Perhaps you are confused by the many options available and you don’t know where to start? Or maybe you are an entrepreneur who finds yourself so busy working with clients, putting out fires, and trying to catch up that you don’t see how you can possibly add one more thing to your already overwhelming schedule. If this is the case with you, you’re not alone. These are common challenges faced by service professionals. The danger of being overwhelmed is that it can lead to “analysis paralysis”, but I want to encourage you – there is a cure!
These challenges CAN be overcome and you CAN break through your “overwhelm” to begin marketing your solutions to the people who need them most. To do so, you just need to follow a few simple steps:
- STOP and re-boot – If you are feeling weighed down and confused, the best thing you can do is STOP. Really! Stop dead in your tracks. Just like you need to re-boot your computer when it’s running sluggishly and taking forever to load, you need to re-boot your mindset and your action plan when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Recognize that you need to re-set your psyche and give yourself at least one morning or afternoon (preferably a full day) just to re-group.
- Get organized – Not having your marketing ideas, materials and plan in one easy to access location is a sure fire way to undermine your efforts. So if you’ve been writing your “plan” on sticky notes, random pieces of paper or just have your ideas floating around in your head, it’s time to get organized. Use your re-boot day to gather all of your marketing information in one place so you can access what needs to be tackled first.
- Focus on what is specifically needed to accomplish immediate goals – When you’re in a state of overwhelm, this isn’t the time to be thinking about a 6 month or 12 month plan. A better strategy is to focus on what you need to accomplish in your business right NOW. Do you need: Three more clients? To fill a program or a workshop you’re hosting? To finally finish the copy for your new website? What specific goals do you want to accomplish within the next four weeks that will add more revenue to your business? And what specific marketing strategies do you need to implement to make that happen? Right now, this is your ONLY focus.
- Make time for marketing – Now that you’re clear on what you need to accomplish you need to MAKE time in your schedule to complete the necessary tasks. Don’t leave this to chance! Starting TODAY allocate specific blocks of time in your schedule to work on your marketing and business development. It’s best to schedule this time, early in the day, early in the week and early in the month. Eliminate your time wasters and re-train yourself to work on marketing BEFORE you do anything else in your business, especially checking your email!
- Setup systems – The more systematic your marketing efforts, the more efficient you will be and the better results you’ll enjoy! This includes mapping out an editorial calendar for your writing (so when you sit down at your desk to write your email newsletter or blog you know exactly what to write about). It also means creating a system for following up with new leads, handling the business cards you collect at speaking events, and staying in touch with your audience. Allow technology to do the work for you! You can purchase web-based software to help you with mailing campaigns, management of your social media, as well as your contacts database. Start creating systems and checklists for your marketing so that the details of what must be done are documented and ready to implement, instead of floating around in your mind.
- Get the support you need – We’re usually too close to our business to view it objectively and recognize what opportunities are right in front of us. So, reach out for the support of a marketing coach or consultant to review your plan, give you insight on what strategies best suit your goals, and to give you the motivation you need to move forward. Even if you hire the coach for just one session, it will help you to get moving on the right path.
- Take the first step – Resist the urge to over think this one. You do not have to know ALL the steps before you get started. Your marketing materials don’t have to be “perfect”. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row. You simply need to take the first step. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” That is SO true when it comes to marketing and growing your business. Review your goals, focus on the strategy and just DO! (No thinking allowed!)
It isn’t difficult to arrive at your goals, once you understand what is actually preventing you from getting there. More often than not, it is simply inaction that keeps us from enjoying our success. We’ve all been overwhelmed at one time or another, but staying in a state of overwhelm is a choice. Instead, make the choice that starting today, marketing overwhelm will no longer be the wall that stands between you and the profitable, successful business you deserve.
Share your thoughts with me by posting a comment here on my blog.
Your Action Plan For The Week:
- Set aside a specific time – preferably an entire day if possible – to get reconnected with yourself and your goals.
- Organize. Write your thoughts down, instead of letting them bounce around in your brain. Use a favorite notebook for keeping all your business marketing ideas in one, convenient place.
- Focus on ONE specific, immediate goal and accomplish it this week. You will be amazed at just how liberating and exhilarating this will be!
- Choose to overcome inaction. Begin TODAY to DO whatever it is you have been putting off doing – and continue this each day for one week. You will love the feeling of overcoming what has been overwhelming you for so long.