Do you have a lot of good intentions when it comes to marketing your business? You’re not alone. Most small businesses do. But there’s a big problem with relying on your “intentions”. They don’t do a thing for you if you aren’t taking any action.
I’ve noticed a trend when listening to other small business owners talk about their marketing efforts. There are several common themes, more like excuses, that get in the way of their marketing efforts. See if you can relate with any of them:
1. I’m going to start being consistent tomorrow
Let’s be honest here. You’ve probably been telling yourself this for months. Or even years. You want your business to grow. You see the importance of online content like blog posts and even social media posts.
And, you’ve probably noticed that when you take any steps to create and actually publish a blog post, article, or be active on social media that you see a jump in engagement. You may have more traffic to your website. More people looking at your page. Maybe you even get an increase in prospects reaching out to you.
But then life happens, and you get busy doing other things in your business. There are so many areas to keep afloat.
If you’ve been telling yourself that you’re going to write that blog posts for months and haven’t, it’s a good sign that it’s not the best use of your time in your business. It doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea to do. But it may not be something that YOU need to do yourself.
Consistency is important in the marketing world. If you can’t be consistent on your own, find someone that can help.
2. I have to write it myself
Why? Why do you have to be the one to write your articles? There’s a world of talented ghostwriters out there that can do it for you.
I’ve written blog posts and articles for YouTubers, podcasters and professional speakers. It’s crucial that their blog posts match their voice and tone. But sitting and writing a blog post isn’t the best use of their time within their business, so they hire me to help them out.
Remember, you get to be in control of what you hit “publish” on unless you choose to give someone else that permission. That means you can read over what the ghostwriter wrote and make sure it matches what you want. If you don’t like it, you can have them edit it until they get it right.
It may take a few posts for the two of you to get into a good rhythm. But it can happen if you give them a chance to learn your voice and style. Here are some tips that can help:
- Talk to the freelance mental health writer on the phone or through a video call. Tell them what you’re looking for.
- Have a marketing plan for your business that includes words and phrases you like to use or avoid. Share what messages are important to your business and what you stand for.
- Communicate who your target audience is.
- When you have an idea for a blog post, send your ghostwriter an audio file sharing your thoughts and ideas about it. This will help them to get a good feel for the emotion that you want to show and how you want to come across in your content.
- Provide feedback after each project. Ask them what could help the project to run smoother next time.
And if they don’t seem like a good fit, don’t give up on the idea of working with a freelance writer altogether. Learn from your experience and move on to find a better fit.
3. I don’t have anything new to say
Maybe that’s true… but I highly doubt it. And even if your message is the same as someone else’s message, you can say it in a different way that will connect with your target audience.
Let’s use “self-care” blog posts as an example. If I Google “self-care”, there are 2,360,000,000 results. There are literally billions of pages of information regarding self-care online. And yet, you could write a new article today sharing tips on self-care and still end up ranking on the first page eventually. More importantly, you could write a blog post sharing your best self-care tips that helps someone change their life.
Here’s a real life example. Back in 2018 I wrote a blog post called “7 PEOPLE YOU SHOULD NEVER TAKE ADVICE FROM”. Even though I rarely do anything with that old blog these days, the article continues to rank on the first page among the 1,630,000,000 results, and even shows up in the Google answer box. Several years later, it continually drives traffic to my old blog.
It’s not that the information was never shared before. And it’s not that there aren’t much better websites that are discussing the same topic. For example, my blog post is usually ranked right ahead of a post on Michael Hyatt’s website. His website and business are way more active and have way more resources than what I had when I was writing that old blog post.
But mine is still ranking. Why? It’s all about SEO and the algorithm.
4. I don’t have enough money for a marketing budget
Yes, money does matter when you’re working on growing a business, but when it comes to marketing, you can do a lot more than you think with a very little budget.
That’s one of the beautiful things about content marketing. If you learn how to craft your content the right way, you can compete with companies that have much larger budgets to work with.
Will you be able to do all the same things that they can do? No, but there are plenty of things that you can do.
It’s likely that you already have a website for your business (if not, that’s Step #1). That gives you the perfect opportunity to start reaching your audience. Using the right SEO tactics and sharing the right information on your website can help draw the right people to your business. And, you can set up a blog and start expanding on your marketing efforts.
You can also put your favorite social media platform to work for your business. Use it to engage with your prospective clients. You can start showing your expertise and building trust with people without spending a penny.
5. I don’t need any new clients right now
If this belief is stopping you from doing any marketing, I want you to ask yourself a few questions:
- What happens if my current clients drop off? Do I have others that are knocking down the door to work with me?
- Are my current clients the people I enjoy working with the most?
- Is there an opportunity for me to scale my business?
Maybe you really can’t take on any more clients at the moment. I get it. That’s totally legit.
But could this be an opportunity to scale your business? Could you bring on another therapist or hire an additional coach to work along with you? Could you help help reach more people by hiring additional staff to take some of your workload and allow you to expand?
Or, maybe when you stop and think about it, you realize that your current client load isn’t really your ideal client load. If you start to use marketing to target the people you really want to work with, you could work on replacing some of your clients. You know the ones—you’re probably picturing them in your head right now.
Or maybe you are used to working in feast or famine mode. Things are going great in your business right now, but if a few clients stop working with you then you’ll be in panic mode trying to replace them as quickly as you can. If you haven’t been investing any time into marketing, this may take a little time.
These are all reasons why you want to keep up with some level of marketing even when you aren’t necessarily looking for new clients at the moment.
Which one sounds like you?
Or is there more than one that you can relate with? Don’t waste any time feeling guilty. That’s not going to help you either.
If your small business marketing efforts for your therapy practice or coaching business have been lacking, here are some quick steps you can take to turn things around:
- Get realistic about what you can do. Trying to write a weekly blog and be on social media daily might not be a realistic goal for you right now. If it’s not, then stop stressing yourself out about it. Create a plan that you can actually follow without running yourself ragged.
- Look for things you can automate. You can sign up for a free Hootsuite account and schedule an entire month of social media posts for several platforms in a few short hours. Look for tools like this that you can put to work.
- Batch your work. Instead of trying to write one blog post every week, sit down and spend one day writing blog posts for the entire month. Once you get in the flow of writing it’s easier to keep things going then to start and stop repeatedly.
- Hire help. You may not have the budget to hire a marketing expert in-house, but maybe you can afford to hire a ghostwriter or social media expert. Or, maybe you just want to pay for an hour of marketing consulting so you can get some questions answered. Or, it may be hiring an assistant to handle other administrative tasks to free up more of your time.
The best thing you can do to improve your marketing, is to stop letting excuses and the beliefs above stop you from making progress. Look for small steps that you can take to move forward. And if you need a helping hand, let me know.