Hello SOTGC community,
For those of us women in business, there are a few words starting with the letter M that can trigger a slew of anxiety from within: MONEY. MARKETING. MANAGEMENT.
MONEY. We need it to eat, pay our rent, travel, retire.
MARKETING. This is one of the ways we attract money. It’s the means by which we promote our services, our messages, our products. It’s our connection to our audience, customers, community, tribe.
MANAGEMENT. Whether you yourself have to manage people or are being managed, this word brings up a slew of emotions. How much management is “too much”? How much is “too little”? How can you oversee and systematize things without becoming BORING.
Each word also has an influence on the next. Marketing can attract money, which will require management. Management can influence marketing, which will attract money. Money goes back into marketing and management to help things grow and prosper.
With each of these topics, a specific resistance faces us: the resistance to put ourselves out there; the resistance to being seen as a “micromanager”; the resistance to attract TOO much attention because it can be misconstrued as bragging, not being humble, or being annoying; the resistance to asking for more money because we don’t want to be perceived as ungrateful. This anxiety isn’t gender specific either. Men can feel just as “heavy” from these terms because each of these words carries its own sense of priority and at the same time.
But for the sake of today’s article, What Marketing IS And What It ISN’T, we are going to touch on the topic of MARKETING. Because if you are truly able to align with what MARKETING is and what it can do for you, you will start to see it as less of an obligation and activity that you feel ICKY about and more as an art, as a bridge between you and your customers, as a means to SHARE your gifts, products, services, STORIES with the world.
What marketing IS:
- A consistent approach to taking a brand, product, or service from UNKNOWN to familiar.
- An OPPORTUNITY for you to share your story, your WHY, your solutions with the world.
- A way to EDUCATE people about what it is that you offer, on a recurring basis.
- A way to build TRUST with your ideal audience, clients, customers.
- YOUR masterpiece and means to showcase what makes you UNIQUE from other people in the marketplace.
- A magnet to attract potential customers and support them through their purchasing process.
- A way to get your loyal customers/audience to help you spread the word about your work.
- A science, a true means to TEST and collect data such as feedback, responses, and sales, and then reviewing that data to see what can be done better the next go round.
- The potential to be as creative, or as clever as ever, to build BUZZ, to connect with your audience/customers emotionally and to story-tell not only YOUR benefits, features, and WHY but that of your customers’ too.
What marketing ISN’T (or shouldn’t be)
- An excuse for you to hide or avoid talking about your story, your products, your pricing, etc.
- CONSTANT talking about your prices, sales, and offers (you want a healthy ratio of messaging).
- Not talking about your products, prices, sales, or offers EVER.
- Copying someone else’s exact formula/strategy and thinking it generates the exact same results for you.
- Solely considering your thoughts, opinions, and desired talking points without considering what your audience/clients/customers NEED.
- Short-term “sprints” then expecting INSTANT results.
- Doing the same redundant thing over and over again to drive a goal, yet expecting different results.
- A reason for you to compare yourself to others and deem yourself inadequate.
Again, marketing—whether that entails using the Internet to showcase your brand digitally (a la Humans of New York), or having a loyalty program such as Kohl’s (and their Kohl’s cash), or mailer coupons like Bed, Bath and Beyond’s 20% initiative, or hosting a webinar to promote your service-based business, OR passing out product samples at an event—allows you to SHARE something that would otherwise be unknown, unsolved, or unfulfilled with PEOPLE. Marketing lets people know how you save them time, money, heartache, headache, you name it. And more importantly than the examination of HOW you are going to market is clarifying and adjusting HOW you FEEL about marketing.
I hope this article starts that shift. In future articles to come, I will expand upon marketing and strategies further. But for now, I want to hear your biggest marketing hang-ups. Go ahead; get them off your chest!
The first, (a little cheat/gift from me), may be that you have a lack of time to market.
What else? What else holds you back from marketing? Comment below! Let’s see if we, as a SOTGC community, can help you embrace marketing once and for all in the New Year.