An Essential Truth About Marketing
What I can share is a deep knowledge of what it requires to grow a business. This knowledge comes primarily from my experiences. The first and most essential thing that I assess when I am looking at anyone’s marketing efforts is “Can I tell who they are and what they do well or as a specialist?”
If people don’t know who you are and don’t know what you do, sell or offer, then they are limited in their ability to support your business. This limitation comes from the person offering the service. It is not your prospective customers’ fault.
The only way I know to overcome this is to own the responsibility for letting people know about your services.
Who Am I and Who Are You?
Many helping/service professionals struggle with owning various aspects of their identity, skills and talents. As a profession we struggle with being forthright about ourselves. Therapists in particular are trained to focus on others and set themselves aside. I challenge any therapist or service professional who is interested in growing an aspect of their business to write a bullet point list like the one I have listed below about myself.
- I am a professional counselor who trains, coaches and consults with other mental health professionals.
- I have a steady stream of colleagues that seek out my services.
- I have an ability to recognize my colleagues’ strengths.
- I am a highly creative and intuitive person.
- I use those skills to hone in on what my peers need to grow in themselves to attain their professional, business and career goals.
- I facilitate my colleagues’ growth in a way that is sensitive to their unique identity.
My services are based on cultivating a relationship that encourages vulnerability and imperfection. Vulnerability and imperfection are central to career, business and professional development. They are not aspects of self to be feared, covered up, or hidden.
I am Not a Marketing Professional
Like many of you, there is a lot more that I could be doing as it relates to marketing my business. The only thing that keeps me from doing it is a full professional and personal calendar. Like many of you, I wish I had more availability to address my business goals or demands. I share this to say that it is not easy for anyone. When you look at what someone else is doing in their business, it may look like it comes easily or naturally to them. In some cases, the way they market could be playing to their strengths.
In most cases, the people you have noticed “succeeding” in their business efforts can tell you what they have had to learn and overcome in order to put themselves and their businesses forward to the world. In fact, what they are doing requires a lot of work, effort, intention and consistence.
What Marketing Means to Me
Not everyone is born for sales and selling. Selling as a practice requires some combination of charisma, confidence, knowledge, an intuitive sense of others, and ideally a product or service the person selling believes in and feels good about.
We know that marketing has an effect on people. Many therapists don’t like that effect. We get annoyed by seeing services and products seemingly everywhere. We don’t want to invoke that annoyance in others. We, as a profession, would rather sell very little rather than engage in direct marketing and risk being a nuisance to others.
I think we give too much weight to marketing messages being a nuisance. The truth is that people need to know what you do or offer and they need to be “reminded” if they are reasonably expected to participate in your service or buy your product.
- I think of marketing as simply sharing.
- Further, I define marketing as letting people know about my service.
- I consider all of my activities that involve engaging other professionals as some form of marketing.
- Marketing can include demonstrating knowledge by solving a problem or sharing insights.
- Marketing involves maintaining healthy personal and professional relationships.
- Marketing involves considering one’s audience.
- Marketing includes believing that you have something of value to offer and that people should know about it.
It is my sincere experience that some people are hiding. They are dodging into the back seat of the classroom or lecture hall. They are hoping not to be called on and not to be noticed.
Others are hiding by doing too many different and seemingly disconnected things. People can’t find their service because their service always changes.
Still others are hiding because deep down they lack confidence in themselves and fear that if people buy their service or product they will be disappointed and let down by what they receive.
I have had that happen. I have had a service delivered wherein the client(s) were disappointed. It was hurtful because I delivered what I believed to be my best efforts based on the directives given. Their disappointment did not alter my belief in my own ability. Instead, it helped me to recognize who is and who is not my customer. It helped me to recognize that to those who are not your client or customer…nothing you do will be good enough.
The people who are annoyed at the marketing of your service/products are likely not your customers. The best thing you can do is provide meaningful and engaging marketing efforts that are clear and allow your customers the opportunity to find you.
Copyright © 2018 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.