Do you wish you could market your business without feeling pushy? Is it time marketing felt more authentic to you?
So, have you been avoiding marketing? I get it. I have so been in your shoes!
When I left corporate in 2001, I had been a marketer for most of my career.
Back in the day, I was dialed in when it came to big company marketing for AT&T and two telecom startups.
My expertise was in implementing national programs. Including, customer research, ad campaigns, product launches, and preparing sales teams to pitch benefits (instead of features).
I had this whole ‘match the service to the customer’ thing down! Or, so I thought.
Then instantly, I became a solo entrepreneur.
I wasn’t prepared, and then this happened:
I froze like the new girl in middle school when it came to marketing MYSELF. Sheesh! It was incredibly sobering, scary, and downright depressing.
And the worst part, I didn’t have a clue where to start. Can you relate?
On the bright side, doing marketing work for my new small business owner clients wasn’t the challenge.
Even as a newbie marketing entrepreneur, I was fully prepared to help business owners create website content, blogs, emails, post on social media and such. That I could do in my sleep.
Sadly, when it came to explaining who I helped, I could barely cobble together a decent networking “elevator pitch” (self-intro). It felt like I was tooting my own horn.
It’s funny now, but it wasn’t at the time.
You see, I was fully confident in my previous jobs, when my business card had a big company logo.
I don’t know about you, but when I first started out as a business owner, I was pathetically unaware that I’d need to re-establish my credibility. It felt like starting from scratch.
Were you ever the new kid at school? Well, this was 100 times worse.
If you worked in corporate in a past life, you may have discovered, becoming an entrepreneur is an entirely different kettle of fish.
And what’s more, no one prepares you for the networking moment when someone asks, “What do you do?”
When this happened, I mumbled like a shy six-year-old introduced to strangers.
So, you might say, “Didn’t you practice your self-introduction ahead of time?”
Unfortunately, not enough. As I have confessed, talking about my business felt like I was “bothering” people. Have you ever felt that way?
Today, thankfully, I’ve progressed and am comfortable introducing myself. Because, to the people who need my help, I am NOT bothering them.
And what about all of the other people? If they aren’t interested in hearing about the clients I help, they aren’t MY ideal clients. End of story. Gratefully, I move on to another person to chat with.
Truthfully, it took some time but eventually the whole concept of promoting myself and my skills became my (new) comfort zone.
Because when all is said and done, I am my business. Do you look at your business that way?
No worries if you don’t.
I’m sharing ideas and insights to help you get into your comfort zone when marketing so you can market your business without feeling pushy. That way, you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.
My best 7 tips to market your business without feeling pushy
Tip# 1: Reframe your marketing mindset.
I wish I could tell you differently, but marketing is necessary. On the bright side, the better job you do of marketing your business, the easier job you’ll have of closing sales. Why?
Because you’ll attract more of the right kinds of potential clients.
The biggest thing that helped me reframe my marketing mindset was finally having this aha moment. I recommend you take this truth to heart:
Marketing isn’t about you.
It isn’t about your skills and talents.
Marketing is about your clients’ wants and dreams.
- Call it what you will, self-promotion, marketing, or business development.
- At the end of the day, you need to let people who you can help know that you exist.
- You don’t have to reach EVERYONE. Just your people.
I’m not telling you anything new here.
I wish I had a magic pill you could take every morning as you set out to do the important work of marketing your business. Alas, no such magic pill exists.
What I can share with you is the marketing mindset that worked for me.
And that is coming to terms with this fact: you are the #1 person bringing in clients.
Until your business grows large enough to hire a team, it’s on you to bring in new clients.
So, whatever it takes, wrap your head around embracing marketing.
Tip #2: Re-tell short client success stories.
At the beginning of a client relationship, marketing is not about your skills or your talents.
Your #1 marketing goal is to help (future) ideal clients begin to know, like, and trust you.
While there are hundreds of ways to build your know-like-and-trust factor, what works for me is this:
- Telling brief (3 to 4 sentence) stories
- Describing the kinds of clients I help
- Explaining their results, outcomes
How do you come up with your stories?
- Do deep thinking, reflecting.
- Gather your thoughts about anecdotes you can share with potential clients.
- Use the stories that light you up when you recall them.
If you don’t have paid-client successes yet, use stories about peers, family, or friends you’ve helped.
Here are the best places to look for your chocolaty-rich client success stories.
- Re-read your testimonials.
- Review messages and texts that happy clients sent thanking you.
- Go over your endorsements on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Yelp.
- Examine your notes from client conversations.
And your next step, practice your short three-to-four sentence stories.
You can refine them as you figure out which ones resonate with your prospects.
Pro Tip: After which stories do your prospects say, “Tell me more”? Use those!
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Tip #3: An easy way to market your business without feeling pushy: Become intentional about the clients you want
Does your perfect client description consists of a few sticky notes?
Is your ideal client story currently a vague summary you keep in your head?
If so, it’s time to write it out.
When a referral partner asks,” Who is a great referral for you?” Do you have a clear, crisp answer?
If your reply takes longer than two minutes, here’s another meaty assignment for you.
Practice saying to business colleagues, “My best referrals are people who [describe your ideal clients]”
You have heard this, many times, many ways: you can’t serve everybody.
Do deep work to become clear and focused on your perfect, ideal clients.
Review your ideal client story when you create marketing messages or do business development.
Each time you create content, get in tune with who your ideal client is and where they’re stuck.
Before you record videos, podcasts, or post on social media, refresh your understanding of your perfect clients’ situation.
Tip #4: Choose how you will process “rejection”.
They say, none of us is a fit for everyone. That couldn’t be truer in business.
Sadly, as an entrepreneur, you are going to experience rejection.
When networking, you’ll encounter people whose eyes glaze over when you say what you do.
These folks will begin looking over your shoulder to see who else they can meet.
It’s the cold, hard reality of doing business. But it’s okay. Every business owner runs into people who are simply not interested in their products and services.
You can get out in front of the rejection stuff!
Journal about how you’ll handle yourself at business events, when someone makes a hasty retreat after you say what you do.
What’s more, if someone dashes away after your self-introduction, they’ve just saved you time, right?
- Think of it this way: they just did you a favor.
- You don’t have to waste any time talking with them.
- You’re free to move onto the next person, who may be your ideal client!
Tip #5: Commit to creating content every week. Calendar it.
Why? Creating and sharing valuable content that helps future clients, is how you begin client relationships.
Once again, you’ve heard this ‘create content’ mantra a thousand times.
If there was a way around it, I would have discovered it by now.
But you know the drill, we live in a 7 x 24 social media tsunami.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you must be a content creator and publisher. 100%.
Really? Yes, because in addition to your in-person efforts to meet new clients, you want your online presence to be chock-full of your brilliance—the pearls you share with clients. Right?
What better way to build the know-like-trust factor you need with your audience of future clients?
After all, when a potential client Googles your name what are they going to find?
Today, if you don’t already have a list of juicy topics your ideal clients can’t wait to open, it’s time for you to buckle down and create one.
Do this for your business.
I promise you, if you become prepared with a treasure trove of content topics based specifically on your ideal clients, you’ll feel so grounded about marketing and messaging.
Why? Because you are then ready to educate potential clients with the topics, questions, and lessons you know they are looking for.
At the same time, you’re continuously building your know, like, and trust factor with people who find you on social media or your website.
If you skip the content planning step, you’ll be facing a blank screen for far too long trying to think of something to type when it’s time to write a blog. Or record a video or Facebook Live.
Discover your own method for adopting an approach to putting together content that is comfortable and natural for you. You want to set yourself up for success and market your business without feeling pushy, don’t you?
Do you prefer writing? Make blogs and articles your main content tactic.
Don’t love writing? Rather turn on the camera and talk? Great! Never write again. Record videos, podcasts, Instagram Stories and Facebook Lives.
What’s more, it’s your business. Communicate with your audience however you like, as long as you’re consistent.
Tip #6: Get excited about sharing your knowledge.
After all, you love serving your clients, right?
To market your business without feeling pushy, think of marketing as an invitation. You’re pouring your heart and expertise into your wonderful content and getting it out there. Feel good about sharing your best ideas for your people—who don’t know you—so they can discover your talents and expertise.
It all boils down to this, marketing is sharing your one-of-a-kind insights and experience.
Sharing your knowledge is fun, don’t you agree?
Here’s the truth, you can do whatever it takes to get happy about your marketing tasks. After all, it’s your business, am I right or am I right?!
- When you’re creating marketing materials, turn on your favorite music.
- Get out of your office. Go to an inspiring place to draft your crazy-exciting content.
- Brainstorm content ideas with a trusted business buddy.
Don’t forget this gem, how inspired are you when you think of all the struggling clients you’re going to help?
The reality is, you’ve gotta do marketing to help your clients find you. It’s the lifeblood of your business.
Tip #7. Become intentional about marketing. Write out your plan.
Once again, this isn’t anything you haven’t heard.
And yet, actually sitting down preparing a marketing plan is something far too many women avoid like the plague.
Tell me, will an affirmation help you? If so, write your own, that feels authentic to you. One that’s focused on helping you market your business without feeling pushy.
Try this, or your own version:
My marketing leads me to new clients and opens new opportunities.
Finally, to market your business without feeling pushy, ask yourself
I have some questions for you…
- How much of your talent and time have invested in building your business?
- You know the benefits clients get when they work with you, right?
- Do you have big dreams of where you want to take your future clients AND your business?
- Have you set your highest income goals?
- Are you doing everything you can to ensure clients out there—the ones who need you—can find you?
Once you make a decision to work through any discomfort you feel about marketing, you will find the methods, approaches that are true to who you are.
You’ll rapidly increase your confidence and certainty about sharing content and messages that resonate with your audience.
I’ve lived it myself. I’ve seen it with so many women entrepreneurs.
I’m pulling for you!
You can get clarity, that after every herculean step you’ve completed to start and get your business this far, it’s about the value you provide clients.
You can take the next marketing actions to make sure your clients know how you help others, just like them.
What if you could finally create content consistently?
If creating your marketing content has felt like a chore, a time-suck, or a massive mystery, you may have given up on content entirely.
But the truth is:
Content is key to attracting ideal clients and filling your programs. So don’t give up!
If your content ideas are buried in your beautiful brain, you want a process to help your words flow.
You want specific actions to implement so that the content you create stands out to your dream clients.
When you schedule a free Clarity Call, together, we’ll uncover your personalized marketing content actions. That way you can impact more clients. Click below to set up your FREE Clarity Call.