“Don't be afraid of marketing, because marketing is how you get your message out there.”
Marketing is either a grand opportunity to be creative or it's a daunting task that gets put off until another day. For many new and well established entrepreneurs, it's the latter. They see the value in it, but question if they are doing it right or if they know what to do.
Fear tends to halt the necessary action steps in various aspects of our lives. Fear has the capability to turn a priority list into an I'll-do-it another-day list that we attempt to forget. Ironically, the encouragement to do the daunting task never goes away. It simply looms in the back of our mind like a thorn continuously reminding us of its presence.
What is your marketing plan? Do you even have a plan?
“I think a lot of people are scared of the word 'marketing',” said Jill Celeste, MA. “They don't know what it is. It's like a big mystery. Marketing is not rocket science. You just have to learn it.”
Jill Celeste is a Marketing Coach, the founder of the Celestial Marketing Academy and author of “That First Client”. She established her first marketing business, working after hours, in 2010. Within four months, her business was up to capacity and she was able to quit her corporate job to become a full-time entrepreneur. Initially the business was a social media marketing agency; implementing social media solutions for businesses. Teaching clients how to market brought Jill great satisfaction. She transformed her business model several years ago to a coaching practice.
“Don't be afraid of marketing, because marketing is how you get your message out there.”
“Everything I do is to teach purpose-driven entrepreneurs how to be the directors of marketing for their business,” explains Jill. “When you're the director of your business, you make marketing a priority. There are entrepreneurs out there that don't market and wonder why they don't have customers; they are the ones who haven't adopted the mindset that they're the director of marketing for their business. My mission is to work with lightworkers* because I believe energetically we need lightworkers right now. We need these people to rise up, and in order to rise up, if you're going to do it from an entrepreneurial standpoint, you have to know how to market. It's not even about making money, it's about increasing your visibility so you can get your message out. Of course you want to be earning money. It's about fulfilling your purpose.”
“Marketing is how you let people know you're out there to serve them.”
If you're reluctant to market, ask yourself, What do I dislike about marketing? Often times the real reason for our delay or avoidance is quite simple. Jill shares this explanation, “We don't like to do things we don't know how to do.”
It is uncomfortable for people to pursue a necessary action step when they lack the self-confidence in something unfamiliar, and yet attempt to pull it off as if they are skilled at the task. “A lot of people think it's hard – it is hard work – but it's not a hard topic,” said Jill.
“There's a couple of things you can do,” Jill continues. “First of all, you need a marketing plan. The marketing plan determines the tactics you're going to implement. So when you have this plan, you won't be implementing anything else unless it's on the plan.”
An important key to keeping the distractions of what others are doing, or the latest craze, from interfering with the foundation of your goals is to know where you want to take your business. Jill illustrated her point with the concept of going on a trip. “If you're driving to a destination, and you have a plan on how you're going to arrive to that destination, you're not going to veer off and hit Niagara Falls and then come back around. You're going to go straight to your destination.”
Marketers are inundated with fast-paced social media changes, and the hottest trends, so it's easy to be distracted, make impulsive decisions, and fall victim to the 'pretty object' syndrome. For example, you've developed a solid strategy and you notice someone else is making great headway utilizing the latest trend, or you see another business branding their product with the latest technology, and you quickly shift gears to follow their lead. Soon you find yourself on the express train going down a rabbit hole of “I gotta do's” and end up weakening the foundation of your original well-thought out plan.
Lack of quality-work-time is another distraction. As Jill stated, “You need to figure out what's distracting you. It might be social media, email or content from the latest marketing text. Whatever the distraction is, you need to minimize it. This could mean removing apps from your phone, or setting designated hours to check your email. Whatever eliminates your particular distraction, do it.”
The marketing guru who is eager to sell you the latest get rich trick and greatest formula can also be an unsuspecting distraction from your original marketing plan. “People, especially lightworkers like you, Cindy, who are very purpose driven and heart-centered, those marketing formulas are, well… it's like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. They don't work because, you're like, I don't want to write an email subject line like that, or I don't want to create a Facebook ad that looks like that.” The formulaic approach doesn't feel authentic, which can put your entire strategy and approach out of alignment with your intention. A growing number of entrepreneurs are tired of being sold to, and they are recognizing the many snake-oil tactics being used to sell the 'flavor of the month’, so to speak.
Business owners may know their specific trade but, generally speaking, may have little to no experience in marketing. It is easy for them to get caught up in the exciting hype of a given marketing trend - even when their intuition guides them elsewhere. They still may attempt to put into action the trendy marketing ‘fix’ hoping against the odds that these tricks and formulas will bring in hundreds or thousands of dollars like the marketing guru selling their concepts said would happen. When the instant results don't materialize, we tend to believe 'I'm doing it wrong because I'm not getting where I need to be, so obviously I need to follow somebody else'. It's natural for us to want to copy the patterns and steps of someone we believe is doing everything right. We do ourselves a disservice when we ignore our intuition and follow the crowd for the sake of a trend.
“It doesn’t' work,” stated Jill. “Either your marketing efforts will fail, or they'll succeed and you feel like shit. So it's a lose lose either way.” We do ourselves a disservice when we ignore our intuition and follow the crowd.
“Everything you do in marketing is about your ideal client. People love to buy, but they hate to be 'sold' to.”
It's time to get back to the marketing basics; the principles in marketing are timeless. “It doesn't matter what the latest trend is, what the latest piece of technology is, you have to know who your ideal client is. Who do you want to serve above anyone else? Who would you serve for free if you were independently wealthy? Dig deep into your answers. This will assist you in your heart-centered marketing,” stated Jill. “You have to know your unique selling composition. You have to know these foundations.”
“Benchmark, study, what others are doing, however you cannot use their voice.”
There are many avenues for marketing. It's easy to put our attention on the one outlet we are familiar with to promote our products and services. With the growing popularity of social media and the amount of time our eyes are focused on a computerized device, we naturally feel that's the best place to market. Many entrepreneurs simply forget the value of how vital face-to-face interaction is to the success of growing a client base.
For the sole-preneur who is wearing seventeen hats, and has no clients, they should consider scheduling four hours per day for marketing. If you have half the number of clients you desire, then dedicate two hours a day to marketing. “It sounds like a lot of time, and it is, however if you're not marketing you're not bringing in any money.” A lot of the hats business owners wear are not money generating, and it is beneficial to work on those types of activities first. These activities could include creating some type of consistent content such as publishing a book, ebook, magazine articles, guest blog posts, and recording podcasts and videos.
“It's time to embrace marketing and make it your own.”
Jill assists entrepreneurs in learning how to market their business by teaching clients how to create a functioning marketing plan, transform disorganized action steps into a road map with a direction, and develop a strategy with the intent to increase revenue. Please visit ThatFirstClient.com to receive a free version of her book “That First Client”. It's a workbook, and if you don't know where to begin, it's a good starting point. It serves as a refresher for those who are familiar with marketing to remind us of the elements we may have set aside previously. Jill is in the process of writing her second marketing book and plans to publish it in 2017. Jill is one of the collaborative authors in “Cultivating Joy” (2015) The Joy of Receiving and “Gratitude and Grace” (2016) The Gray Suit. To learn more about her services and Celestial Academy, please visit JillCeleste.com.
How does Jill Celeste balance her business; raising teenage sons; her marriage; caring for her mother, a basset hound and three guinea pigs; and her other obligations? She meditates daily, has a gratitude journal, writes Morning Pages, and has set hours on her computer. “Acknowledging that you have to take care of yourself, because a lot of people don't even do that.”
*A lightworker is an average, everyday person whose intention is to help others unconditionally. In regards to entrepreneurs, they are heart-centered individuals utilizing their intuition to guide their decisions and actions for the good of everyone that comes in contact with their business, services, products and beyond.
Cindy (C.K.) Kochis is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who transformed her coaching practice as the foundation of Elements For A Healthier Life. She is providing a community space for people to share their personal stories, professional knowledge and healthy eating options. Cindy is a coach, virtual assistant, author, grandmother and sassy redhead. She self-published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “Unleash Your Inner Story”. For more information about Cindy’s services, visit ckkochis.com.
This article was originally published in the October 2016 edition of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine.