Why are you in business?
I mean, seriously, why would you take the risk of running your own business? It’s not like it’s easy.
I’ll tell you why I did it. Maybe you have a similar story?
Back in 1992, I was at the beginning of my career as a graphic designer. I got a job right out of college working at a design studio in Miami.
Five years later, I found myself newly married. I had just given birth to my first child.
And I couldn’t imagine going back into the office.
I tried to fathom putting this helpless baby into the arms of someone else, and returning to my drafting table and computer. And I just couldn’t do it.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work. I loved my work, and the people I had the privilege to work with.
It was that I knew I wanted flexibility in my life going forward. I wanted to have control over how I would juggle being a mother and being a professional.
So I gave notice. And I started the scary task of going out to find clients, and building my new business, project-by-project.
What’s Your Story?
Did your business start because of a major shift in your life? I’ve heard from some of you who have told me:
Your interests changed, so you went “back to school” to learn what you needed to know about your new passion, and you’re applying it in your work now.
Your life changed: you got divorced; you became a new parent; your kids grew up; a spouse become ill; you retired. And the change caused you to reevaluate and start a business in response.
Your career changed: you were laid off; you got bored; your industry changed. Something compelled you to make a major change and start your own business.
The economy changed, so you took matters into your own hands and started a business.
It doesn’t really matter how you started. I applaud your courage, no matter what spurred it! It takes guts to start a business, and a lot of passion and savvy to keep it going.
Now I’d like to help you get the attention you deserve. Your ideas and offerings need to be seen, appreciated, adopted, and shared.
The Modern Formula for Grabbing Attention and Keeping It
Attention-getting isn’t what it used to be. Here’s what it used to look like:
- Contract with an ad agency to develop a campaign for your product or service.
- Pay the agency a lot of money; meet with them multiple times; hope and pray that they “get” what you want to do; and wait.
- Review their ideas, and pay another big chunk of money to buy the media they recommend: newspaper ads; magazine ads; radio spots; television commercials.
- Broadcast your message. Hope for the best.
Those were the days. (Not really.)
Here’s the thing: to even get into the game, you had to have a lot of money. You had to find the right agency. You had to hope they got as excited about your product or service as you were. And you had to pray their campaign would be a “hit.”
That’s an awful lot of uncertainty in exchange for an awful lot of money spent.
Things are different now.
It’s not that uncertainty is out of the picture: we’ll always have to deal with not knowing if our efforts will pay off.
The difference today is that so much of the power is in your hands. And that’s exciting.
Here’s what marketing looks like today:
- You determine your ideal customer
- You create a message that will resonate with them
- You build visual marketing that communicates your message
- You use content — blog posts; ebooks; guest posting; interviews; podcasts — to get your message out
- You drive everyone who finds you back to your website, which is your marketing hub
Guess what? You have control over every one of the steps above.
Oh sure, you could work with an agency to get these things done. But are they going to care as much as you? I don’t think so.
Let’s make the year ahead the year your business gets the attention it deserves.
Are you in?
Develop a gorgeous brand that builds your business
Build a brand you’re proud of with the step-by-step technique in the Quick-Start Guide to Branding Your Business. Identify who you’re trying to reach, fine-tune your message, and translate it all into a brand you can be proud of.