Do You Have What it Takes to Market Your Business Yourself?

Marketing takes persistenceIt takes guts. And courage. And a measure of skill, and some intuition.

And persistence. Relentless persistence.

But is it worth the effort? Oh, yeah. It sure is.

You have lots of reasons for wanting to market your business yourself. Sometimes it’s your need to express your vision to the world. It might be your desire to learn the marketing process firsthand.

Sometimes it’s out of pure necessity: funds are tight, and there’s no budget to hire outside help.

For whatever reason, you’ve realized that doing your own marketing is a good idea.

But do you have what it takes to do it successfully? Answer the four questions below, and you’ll know.

1. Do you really know your ideal customer?

Are you getting tired of hearing this yet? Here’s the thing: it all starts here. Deep understanding of your ideal customer is the foundation you build your marketing on.

If you haven’t really spent the time to get to know who you’re trying to reach, and what their challenges are, your marketing efforts will crumble and fall apart.

And here’s even more motivation — it’s going to make everything easier once you’ve figured out who you’re talking to.

Because when you really understand who you’re trying to reach, it becomes easier to drop the marketing techniques that just won’t work. You’ll find you’re not running after every new social media platform, or scrambling to try to use that one technique that “everybody’s doing.” You’ll know what will resonate with your ideal customer.

2. Do you enjoy planning ahead, and working toward goals?

Let’s face it: successfully marketing your business takes some pre-planning. It’s not a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of activity.

Don’t get me wrong: plenty of people do their marketing like this. It can be done. But it shouldn’t be done like this.

Marketing by the seat of your pants is inherently more stressful than marketing with a plan, even if it’s a flexible plan you just use as a guide.

It’s a lot easier to arrive at your destination when you know where you’re headed, right? That’s what a marketing plan does for your business.

3. Are you willing to try, fail, and try again?

Another not-so-pleasant reality, but here goes:

Marketing your business yourself will involve some stumbles, some missteps, and some plain old failures.

But guess what?

Even when you hire a professional, stumbles and missteps happen. This comes with the territory, and you can’t buy yourself out of it.

So approach your marketing with a mind that’s curious, and interested in the outcome. If it succeeds, great. If it fails, review it, learn from it, and dust yourself off and try again.

4. Are you sensitive to good design, and are you willing to learn how it works?

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? ;-)

Here at Big Brand System, I promote the idea that marketing materials that aren’t well designed will never get the attention your business needs.

And well-designed marketing materials that don’t use solid marketing principles are just decoration.

For maximum impact, use great design and marketing together. (Hey, there’s an idea for a tagline!)

How many yes answers did you get?

There aren’t many of us who can answer yes to all of the above. Work on improving your skills in the areas where you need help. Take it one step at a time: you can do it!

Comments

  1. says

    I have just launched my Photobook Design and Photo creativity business (www.rosiejanes.com) and my biggest hurdle is identifying my ideal customer as it can vary with the different products I offer. Have signed up for the webinar and look forward to tackling this hurdle and moving forward.

    • says

      Great to have you in the mentoring group, Martha. I hope you come out of it with a clearer view of who you’re targeting. It makes marketing much easier when you have this nailed down.

  2. says

    Right now at ExpanDigital we are working on tailoring our marketing plan to reach our target customers, who are mostly local businesses who shy away from social media, blogging, and are generally difficult to engage online. Since we are a relatively new startup and trying to keep costs low, we are having a tough time getting the right strategy in place.

    Any tips for an online marketing agency looking to focus on finding customers offline?

    • says

      Hi Ed,

      I’d have to know more details in order to give you specific advice, and this probably isn’t the place to share them. ;-) In general, though, you might try looking into local media like newspaper (both ads and PR), magazines and local websites. Research the media your ideal customer is currently consuming, and get your company there.

  3. says

    This is a really great post Pamela. I found your site today via Copyblogger.com as a guest speaker on an article you wrote. This is great advice for my new site I have. Thanks!