it's hard to fall in love with marketing that dosent pay off
Creating content takes a LOT of time. That’s why I charge $75 for one email and $150 per website page (writing that out makes me think it’s time to up those numbers). I AM in love with marketing, but creating these elements takes me the better part of a day and leaves me creatively exhausted.
Many people struggle to invest time, money, and energy into their marketing because they try it once or twice, and it doesn’t work out. They quickly fall OUT of love with their marketing because failure hurts and leaves us riddled with self-doubt. It makes us question why we are putting in all this work in the first place.
As business owners, we must do the mindset work around accepting failure, but this isn’t something that happens overnight. When we put a lot of energy into marketing our products or services only watch it flop, it’s hard to pull ourselves back into the saddle and try again.
We’d rather put our energy into the parts of our business we enjoy. The equine author wants to write, the maker wants to create, the Equus Coach wants to help people, and the horse trainer wants to work with horses. The thing about being your own boss is that with every freedom it offers, there are five unexpected responsibilities.
I recently got into a conversation with a spiritual horse business owner who is NOT in love with marketing. I asked her about her goals, her dreams, and her aspirations. She wants financial freedom; she wants thousands of people to read her books and be impacted by her words.
Her goals are BEAUTIFUL and very attainable, but when the conversation switched to what she is doing to get there, things ground to a halt. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this conversation. There is an overwhelming consensus among spiritual horse business owners that marketing is too salesy. It makes them feel icky and slimy, and doesn’t work anyway so they avoid it entirely.
it's not all rainbows and daisies
This is an entirely different conversation that I’ll get into in a future post, but the truth is, you can’t just serve or create or write if you’re bootstrapping your business. Can/should that be a future goal? YES OH YES, but unless you have the cash to outsource everything else (if you do book a call and I’ll get to work for you), you have to wear all the hats at first.
You can be the best dang trainer, writer, coach, or maker in your field, but if you can’t effectively market your offer, you’ll never have a successful business.
There’s another critical piece here. If you don’t love your marketing, feel super aligned with it, and get excited about putting it out there into the world, you will struggle to get the results you want. Your audience can feel the negativity that arises when you force yourself to do something you don’t love, and that energy will repel them instead of attracting them. Holy heck, the subconscious mind is powerful huh?!
What can you do? Strategy
- Develop a brand strategy. This is your “why” it’s what you stand for, it’s why you started your business, it’s the heart and soul of this thing you are dedicating your life to. Who do you help? What do you help them with? Why do you help them with this? How is your help different from your competitors? What do you stand for in your industry? The answers to these questions will become the cornerstone of your marketing content.
- Discover the form of content you enjoy creating. Do you love creating beautiful photos and graphics? Talking into a microphone? Writing? Making videos? Put aside your fear of tech, showing your face, not knowing what to say, and anything else that may be holding you back right now and really dig into your intuition. If those limiting beliefs didn’t exist, how would you create content?
- Stop trying to do it all. Pick one social media platform, ONE STINKING PLATFORM, and pour your heart and soul into it. I don’t care what Gary V tells you to do. He has a huge marketing team AND a super unhealthy work-life balance. Unless you want to live like him, stop following his advice.
- Don’t build it all on borrowed land. Abriana J has great words on this so I’m going to link them here but the idea is that you can’t build your business on social media alone. You. Don’t. Own. Your. Followers. You need an email list or a website to get people off borrowed land and onto something you own.
- Start the dang email list. It’s not sexy, it’s not exciting, but it’s the number one way to help your clients fall in love with you and even if the entire internet goes down you can rebuild off that list.
- Experiment and play. Look at your data once a month. What posts, emails, or videos did really well? What made them popular? Do the comments on them inspire any similar topics you can expand on? What isn’t going so well? Can you make some changes to your strategy or do you need to scrap that topic/format entirely? Remember, your insights are just data. They have no bearing on your worthiness as a human being or a business owner. If you let your insights get you down, you are doing a huge disservice to your followers and your business. The more you can refine your content and discover what your audience loves, the more clients you will get, and the more you will be inspired to keep creating.
What can you do? Mindset
- Don’t be afraid to pivot. Maybe you’ve been working on building a Facebook Page for the last 5 years and you feel like you have to stay there because of all the effort you’ve put in. If that Facebook page isn’t making you money, and you resent creating content for it or feel like your likes aren’t even ideal clients it’s time to let that puppy go. I have an M.S. in Economics. Economists call that a sunk cost (Meaning what’s done is done, you aren’t getting your time or money back.) You can let that go and start over somewhere you feel aligned with.
- Make sure you are excited about the platform that you chose. If the thought of managing a Facebook group makes you want to vom, don’t pick that one! There are a TON of platforms out there and for every one of them, there are thousands of businesses that have used them to generate a ton of cash.
- Do Less. Don’t try to post every day, blog every week, or go Live 20x a month. Especially if you are still bulking up your content creation muscles. Start with 2 posts a week and one blog or video per month. If that goes well for 90 days you can consider increasing it but never pressure yourself to show up more than what feels good to you.
- Get fired up. If you can’t tell, writing this post has me totally fired up. I’m supposed to be writing two sales pages for a client and yet here I am hours past lunch, starving and a little sweaty, with the words pouring out of my fingertips. What started as a lighthearted inspirational post has morphed into a classic Laura Langfitt tough love smackdown (be kind to yourself as you read this. My words are always meant to encourage you to make positive changes, self-hate shame spirals don’t help anyone). When you go to create your own content, you gotta get fired up. You can probably feel my energy as you read this. That’s what makes it good. Go back to your brand strategy, find an element of it that just makes your heart sing, and create content about it. Let your voice flow, unleash your passion, and share what’s on your heart with those who need to see it.
- Stop making it about you. UHHH I just told you to get fired up and share what’s on your heart but now I’m telling you to stop making it about you? HUH? Your marketing content shouldn’t be about you. I should never see a long list of accomplishments, sales posts, and bragging when I check out your content. I’m not writing this post for me. It’s not about me. I don’t struggle to love my marketing one bit, I saw a struggle that my audience members were having and I got fired up to help them navigate this struggle. Whenever you create a piece of content ask yourself, will this inspire, educate, or entertain my ideal client? If the answer is no, it’s probably about you and not them.
- Commit to consistency. I’ve been at this for two years. I’ve finally found a mico-niche I freaking love, and messaging that resonates with my ideal clients. I’m now at the point where I’m ready to grow in the right direction. Was I perfectly consistent? No. Could I have gotten to where I am now faster if I followed the advice in this post? YES. My point is, you are going to go on vacation or take a break from social media occasionally. Your marketing will take the backburner during tax season or after you fill your client schedule for the first time. That’s OKAY! The important thing is to remember that when you don’t see results during these times, it’s not your marketing’s fault. You are human and you have to allow for human imperfections in your business. Commit to consistency for the long haul. Not 30 days or 6 months, but for the next 10 years. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
I’ve filled your brain with more than enough to think about here but here’s what I want you to walk away with.
- Marketing success doesn’t happen overnight and you have to be willing to fail for a minute before you find the massive success you want.
- You have to get fired up to create your content and serve your audience if you want them to get fired up to work with you.
- You can’t just serve your clients or, make your products if you truly want a successful business. You have to put on your CEO hat and do what needs to be done.
- There is no one size fits all for marketing. When you find a way to create content that you love, it will come effortlessly to you and you can get excited about it and even enjoy it.
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