Learn to Love Marketing

If I told you that there was something you could do to build your business or your profile – every time and without exception – would you do it? Of course, the answer is marketing. Marketing is one thing that you can do to actively build your business or your profile. I suspect you already knew this, right?

Now if I said there was a way of marketing that you could do without going too far out of your comfort zone, would you believe me? If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable about marketing, you need to know that there is a better way. There are simple activities and habits you can apply that plays to your particular strengths and they will work.

There are a lot of businesses that simply do not do enough marketing and there are even more people who will do everything to avoid marketing. There are lots of reasons for this and throughout a twenty year professional services marketing career I think I have heard most of them.

Have you ever thought or said one of these?:
• I don’t know anything about marketing so I wouldn’t know where to start
• I don’t have time for marketing – I am too busy running my business
• We’ve tried marketing in the past but it never seemed to work
• We don’t need to do any marketing because we already have enough work coming in
• I can’t afford marketing. I don’t have a marketing budget
• I pay a marketing manager to do it for me
• Marketing is not the sort of thing we do in this industry. It’s just not the done thing
• I can’t charge back marketing time to my clients so I can’t justify doing it
• I did some marketing at the start of the year and I’ll do a bit more next year
• My customers can find me so that’s all that matters
• I’m just too busy. Marketing is not a priority in my business.

For a long time as an in-house Marketing Manager I pushed my internal clients to use traditional marketing methods. For a long time I asked my clients to trust me and let me prove that if we stuck to the marketing plan, the results would be clear. I employed all the tenacity and creativity in my Marketing Manager Bag of Tricks. I came up with great marketing programs that I knew would work, did all the legwork, rolled them out and asked for support from my colleagues who seemed very enthusiastic. But when it came time for them to step up and do their bit, things fell flat.

I could see that my clients were uncomfortable. There were times when I saw colleagues avert their eyes as I passed them in the corridor in case I asked them to do something marketing-related. Some were upfront and told me marketing was not their thing. Others made half-hearted attempts to do their bit just so I would tick them off my follow up list. In organisations big and small, only a very small number of clients ever went the full distance, did what was required of them and boosted me as I battled through from one campaign to the next. To them I will always be grateful.

I have been lucky to work with brilliant, educated people throughout my career – successful businesspeople that had achieved great things. Yet these same people were clearly put off by marketing. They weren’t being lazy or rude towards me, they just couldn’t bring themselves to do these tasks that made them feel so out of their depth. Even small things like making a call or setting up a meeting with their clients seemed an insurmountable step for some to take.

I knew there had to be a better way. So I’ve given up the daily fight to push traditional marketing to the masses. I’ve set up Straight Shooter to teach a better, more comfortable way to market.

Through Straight Shooter I can show you how Marketing can be practiced as a series of ongoing habits or behaviours. These habits can minimise the stress and eliminate the “hard sell” that so many professionals dread.

And through this blog I hope you will teach me. Leave a comment and tell me what is working for you or what isn’t.

So let’s start this journey together as we get our story straight and learn to love marketing.