What's not working?
There's a scary point in growing your company when you realize what you've been trying isn't working.
Maybe it worked before and doesn't anymore...
Or maybe it wasn't really working, but it felt good to keep moving and staying busy.
The feeling of checking boxes is literally addicting:
"It is a fact. Crossing out tasks or marking them as completed with a simple √ within a to-do list makes you feel great... your brain releases a load of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for generating feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness. This not only makes you feel good but also motivates you to continue completing tasks and extend that pleasant feeling."
Micro-Tasks. The Pleasure of Checking Off, Francisco Sáez
But enough about brain chemistry.
Take a hard look at your marketing efforts for the last year.
Ask yourself, "Are my sales & marketing efforts focused on attracting my best clients? Am I constantly drawing new clients who have the right mindset and the right budget for me to make a BIG impact in their business?"
If you can't answer these questions confidently, you are not alone.
I've worked side by side with extremely bright and successful teams who are flat out puzzled by how to get traction with their marketing. Many of them are even professional marketers! (It seems that what works for their clients doesn't work as well for their service business.)
More and more frequently, I hear of teams who are completely disbelieving that marketing can actually work for their business...
I hear things like:
The marketing tactics I've tried are expensive and don't work as well anymore.
We've taken a DIY approach to save money... but I'm confused on what to do and if it will even work.
Maybe we should just stop marketing and have the whole team sell? ("We're all in this together, anyway.")
I keep running out of steam before I see any tangible results.
Maybe if I had a checklist or better software?
You may have started to believe that marketing simply won't work for your audience ("Well...my business is unique and hard to explain!)
It's time to change your mind.
At some point, you realize you *might* have unrealistic expectations about what should work, and how long it should take.
A new checklist isn't the answer.
The fancy software will only complicate and confuse you.
What you need is a total reboot of your mindset. There's a dramatic shift that gets back to the core about what communication is all about.
It's not about you (Or your business).
Marketing is all about helping people get what they want.
It's about helping people discover the answers to their own big problems. (It can start by helping them realize they have a problem).
But we need to face the fact that your potential clients don't really care about you (or how great your 'proven process' is).
Everyone has a to-do list that's 3 miles long and not enough hours in the day (just like you).
The last thing they need as they are standing in line at Starbucks is to wade through your emails / blog / facebook / twitter / website and read a bunch of content about how awesome and smart you are. Remember - It's not about you.
Marketing is about helping.
But to really help, you have to be specific.
You have to pick who you can help.
You have to pick what problems you can help them solve.
If your marketing isn't working, it's because you don't have a focus on helping.
"what got you where you are - won't get you where you need to go."
You may have built a business by serving every client you could. But you can't repeat 'all things to all people' in your marketing. It simply doesn't work.
It's time to focus on really helping move your clients forward.
But, you have to pick who and how you help.