Posted: 2006-05-11 / Author: Bernadette Doyle
Small Business Marketing: How To Find Time For It.Small Business Marketing:
Small Business Marketing: A big challenge for every small business owner is the need to 'find time' for marketing.
I can relate. None of us are full time marketers. We're all providing services to clients. And when you're serving clients too, it's hard to fit in sales calls and marketing activity. It's hard to maintain momentum.
One thing is for sure, whatever shape our business is in right now, we all have the same 365 days in 2006.
Will you use that time to create a structure that supports you and brings in clients automatically, or will you still be complaining about 'lack of time' when 2007 rolls around?
Despite being one of the most disorganised people on the planet, and someone who was earning all my income from selling my time just 18 months ago, I have managed to create an 'autopilot' marketing machine, generate passive streams of income, and I now earn more than I ever have, whilst working less hours. I truly believe that you can do the same, so in this article I want to share with you a few ideas that may help if you've been having trouble 'finding time'.
1. If you don't enjoy it, you'll never 'find the time'
If the idea of marketing and selling your services leaves you with a yucky feeling in the pit of your stomach, then let me assure you, you'll never 'find time'. As long as you feel like this, there will always be a more attractive activity pulling your attention. Even if your fairy godmother gifted you with two whole weeks, you'd still find ways to avoid marketing and selling. It's called 'Creative Avoidance'. Is your problem is really a 'lack of time' or are you creatively avoiding marketing and selling?
2. If your business isn't structured properly, you'll never find the time
If meeting your revenue goals is dependent upon you working with clients 4-5 days a week, then it's going to be really hard to find time for marketing. You may need to take a closer look at your pricing structures and put together a business plan that includes time for marketing, administration, rest, and time to reinvest in yourself. E-Myth author Michael Gerber calls this working 'on' the business, not just 'in' the business. My own experience was that I had to simultaneously increase my prices whilst slashing overheads to create a situation where I did have time to work on my business.
If you're working flat out just to keep afloat, then you definitely need to take a closer look at what you are charging.
3. If your only way of generating income is by selling your time, then you'll never 'find the time for marketing.'
Somehow you need to break this catch 22, and the way to do that is by 'productising' your services. Sharing your expertise through a book, an audio package.
I know, I know! You're too busy working with clients to have the time to create products. The good news is, there is a way to create revenue producing products that does not have to take hours of your time.
The first product I ever created was simply a recording of a day long seminar that I ran. That product brought in Â£7,000 additional profit over the next 12 months, with no extra work on my part. Be creative. Is it possible to package material and information that you already have in a way that creates value for your clients and customers? A little bit of effort right now could be repaying you over and over for the next twelve months.
4. If you aren't clear on what the next action is, you'll never 'find the time for marketing'.
Think about an area of your marketing that you're struggling to find time for. I'm willing to bet that you're thinking of it as a project as opposed to a single action: 'Sorting out my website', 'rewriting my sales letter', 'building my opt-in list'. These are projects, the success of which depends on a series of actions plus knowledge. It's hard to move projects along when you think of them in this way. It's your thinking that needs to change, not time!
I learned this technique from time management guru David Allen. He says 'often the simplest things are stuck because we haven't made a final decision yet about the next action.' What can happen is we think about the project and some part of us thinks, 'I don't have all the pieces between here and there'. We know something is missing, but we're not sure what it is exactly, so we quit. Or rather we don't quit, but we leave the project stuck on our psychological radar, for us to feel a little bit worse about every time we think of it.
Take an area of your marketing where you feel a bit stuck and ask yourself 'What's the next action?' So 'I need to sort out my website' may become 'I need to create a website which attracts visitors and converts them into customers' which may become 'I need to find 3 role models of successful business producing websites in my industry' may become 'I need to spend 30 minutes online researching websites'. It's much easier to find 30 minutes to take the next action than it is to find time to 'sort out your website'.
In summary, you deserve to have a successful business and I promise you that whatever myths you've been fed, you can create that business without struggle, sacrifice or hours of extra work. If 'finding time' has been a problem for you, maybe it's your thinking that needs to change rather than your 'time management.'
Bernadette Doyle is dedicated to helping self-employed and small businesses become Client Magnets. Get her FREE report "7 Secrets of Becoming A Client Magnet and Attracting All the Clients You Want" by visiting http://www.clientmagnets.com
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