Most of us started our business because we were passionate about a particular topic and found that we are REALLY good at helping others with their related challenges. That is a great reason to start a business!
Unfortunately, it often happens that once you start your business, you realize that you really in the business of marketing. You need to make a living. The only way to do that as an entrepreneur is to sell to clients and customers. And to get clients and customers you need to market.
For some folks, hearing this word creates an instant frown. Perhaps you’ve thought, “I don’t want to market…. I just want to do my ‘thing!’”
I know that this thought has crossed your mind at one time or another, because it has crossed mine. When I first started my business as a Virtual Marketing Assistant, I just wanted to work comfortably in my cozy little home office and to have people send me checks. It never really occurred to me that I’d have to actually get out there and sell my services…I just expected clients to show up knocking on my door.
Perhaps you can relate. I think entrepreneurs who have an aversion to marketing feel that way because to them, marketing represents something pushy, sales-y, and difficult. In the back of their mind their thinking “used car salesman” and that’s not who they want to me.
I get it!
The good news is that marketing your solo service business doesn’t have to that way. And you don’t have to be afraid of marketing. It can actually become … (gasp) FUN!
The thing is… marketing is simply a matter of sharing solutions in an appealing way with people who are already looking for them. I’m going to say that one more time; marketing is simply a matter of sharing solutions in an appealing way with people who are already looking for them. So there’s nothing to be afraid of.
To overcome your fear you need to complete the following steps:
- Stop worrying about what other people think of you – You’d be surprised, they really aren’t as concerned about you as you think they are. Instead of worrying about what they think, channel that energy into generously sharing your expertise with them.
- Get really clear about what it is you actually do for your clients. Don’t label yourself as an Acupuncturist, Graphic Design, Coach or Consultant. Instead, focus on the benefits and results you create for your clients. Doing so will make it much easier for you to talk about what you do (and make you much more attractive to ideal prospects).
- Take action in spite of your fears! Many times we allow limiting beliefs, doubts and fears to hold us back only to find out months (or even years down the line) that the thing we were worried about had no basis. So, stop holding yourself back. Take steps to move forward in consistently growing and marketing your business. Kevin Nations says “Winners take imperfect action!” You don’t have to be perfect, but consistent action will take you a VERY long way.
- Reach out for support! No one who is successful in life or business has done it on their own. We all need a support system, a place to bounce ideas and reassurance that “it’s going to be OK”. Start surrounding yourself with individuals who believe in you and want you to succeed. Hire a coach to help keep you accountable and to help you strategize. (If you have not already done so, I encourage you to contact me for a FR*EE “Profit Breakthrough” session where we can discuss your struggles and how to create better results in your business.) Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Remember, marketing is simply a matter of sharing solutions in an appealing way with people who are already looking for them. There are countless people right now looking for the very solutions you have to offer. It’s your duty to share your expertise and service. Allow marketing to be your vehicle to doing so!
Thanks Sydni. This is exactly how I feel about marketing. If there was a business idea I could do without having to market….awesome. But also being a Virtual Assistant mean getting my message out to the world. Not an easy task, when you are bombarded with so much marketing advice. What to do , what to say?
Sydni Craig-Hart says
Thanks for your candid comment Fiona! What I try to remind my clients is that “marketing is simply a matter of sharing solutions with people who were already looking for them.” So don’t think of marketing as trying to “sell” like a pushy used car salesman. Think about it from the perspective of a good friend asking you for help and you happen to have the perfect solution! Would you hold back from telling her about it? Of course not! So, the same principle applies to your clients. You are making them aware of a powerful solution that is available to change their business and their life. And being of service.
If you can embrace this mindset, talking about what you do with prospective clients will be a LOT easier. 🙂