How you can market your encore business effectively even though you may
- be an introvert,
- lack confidence in your persuasion skills,
- or just not interested in marketing?
All too often, encore entrepreneurs (and solos in general) come to me for marketing advice. The first thing they blurt out is “I hate marketing” or “I can’t market” or “I am great at what I do but I have really trouble talking about it.” Or, ” I just want to (make jewelry, walk dogs, do the consulting or whatever) and not have to deal with the marketing.”
Of course, they are looking for a simple magic answer that will bring a flood of customers without doing anything to attract those people.
They want to go back to doing the work and not think about marketing.
They are reluctant marketers.
But this is business suicide. If you don’t stand up and promote your business. If you don’t tell people what you do, why you do it and who really needs you, then who will?
But, it is important to understand reluctant marketers are not lazy.
Why do people have just a distaste for marketing? Many have been turned off by sleazy stereotypical “used car” sales tactics. Some are in awe of the celebrity, model-gorgeous spokesperson and feel that without that superstar power, they are failures. Some lack confidence that they know enough or are good enough to stand up to the competition. They feel SHAME—the mistaken belief that I Should Have Already Mastered Everything. Their lack of confidence crowds out positive thoughts of what they can offer.
If you give these negative beliefs any air time in your brain, you are doomed.
The answer is to reframe the conversation. Easier said than done you say.
My response is that you are wrong. The change of your mindset is not that difficult. More importantly, you have all the skills you need to make it happen.
If fact, you will find the process invigorating, confidence building, satisfying and effective.
How do you create that self-confidence?
Start by understanding your why. You might write a story. Or maybe you just have a few sentences. Start where you can. This will be the kindling to ignite your passion and the way you stoke that fire when it starts to falter.
You need to be clear on why you are creating this business so do not short-cut this step. (This is the question discussed by Simon Sinek in his well-watched TED video and you may want to watch for a little inspiration.)
You are the one who needs the passion to keep this business going when the road gets tough. Your belief in the worth of what you offer cannot wane. You need to keep “selling” yourself on why this business needs to thrive when that little voice inside keeps whispering, “Give up. You knew you couldn’t start a business.”
Who needs what you offer and how can you help them? Why are you the one who has the perfect solution? Do you have a new way of looking at this problem? Are you the only one in your area that has the skills to do this? You think about your why not from what you are selling, but from your gift. What is it that you offer that no one else is? Why will you may people’s lives better? Why will you make people smile? Why will customers be happy to buy from you?
Still not convinced that understanding your Why is not breaking down those old fears about marketing? Perhaps you have tried many of the common self-help ideas including affirmations and positive thinking. How is it working for you? Not so much?
- Research has proven positive thinking may actually lower your self-esteem. What must you do instead?
OK, so now you have a story that you know is authentic. The story is one you can tell yourself to stay motivated and excited about your business. Your business idea is no longer something you think “might” work. Now it is a passion to bring your special gift to your special audience.
But one passion story is not enough. You still need to market your business with online and offline tactics. How can you do this when you are terrified of networking events? You can’t stand the thought of Facebook? You are overwhelmed at the thought of writing a marketing plan?
These articles will get you started, but there is more to come. . .
. . . so sign up for Story Alchemy, our newsletter on how to put the magic of story into your marketing.