Marketing experts have complicated marketing to keep people buying their things.

Think about it, if you tell someone over and over again that something is complicated and only YOU have the answer to fix their problem, then you can convince people to buy your stuff whether you have the solution or not. So the expert makes their sales goals and people keep coming back to buy more because they don’t have actual solutions. 

Not cool and no wonder that marketing often feels gross. Why would we want to intentionally do something that is manipulative and exploitative? 

The good news is there are plenty of folks out there who are doing it differently. 🙋‍♀️ (If you’re new here, welcome!)

First things first: what even is marketing?

It’s one of my favorite questions to ask and people often comment with complicated answers they’ve learned from “experts.”

Here’s how I define marketing: sharing and inviting people to change one specific thing in their life through your product or service. 

In other words, it’s the actions we take to get clients and customers. It’s how we let people know about how we can help them. 

Since working with entrepreneurs since 2008, here’s what I’ve noticed: A lot of women share, but they don’t invite.

It’s like hinting to your partner about what you would like for your birthday and then getting disappointed because they missed the hint instead of simply being explicit and telling them and stating what you want. (shout out to my hubby who happens to be a brilliant gift-giver)

What this sounds like is:

  • Here is how you can work with me…
  • If this resonates, here is the next step…
  • This is how I help people and here is where you can sign up to solve this for you to
  • Book a conversation here
  • Click this link to register

But do I need to do paid ads on Facebook or Instagram?

I work with a lot of folks who either don’t have extra funds to experiment with online ads or don’t want to give one penny to that @$$hat Zuckerberg. There are PLENTY of other ways to market your business. 

Here are some options:

  1. Attend networking groups and book calls with people who are either personally interested or who can refer people to you (listen, I’m an introvert and networking is not my favorite thing but you can do it in a way that works for you.)
  2. Hold an online or in-person workshop or class. (Fill your free or low-cost workshop on social media, through networking, directi invites, and more) At the workshop, teach your cool stuff and then either make a direct offer or invite people to have a conversation with you. This doesn’t have to be an over-the-top sales pitch and can be a gentle and natural invitation.
  3. Email friends and family and let them know what you are offering and ask them who they know who might be interested. 
  4. Create content and share it online (videoes, audios, blogs, social media content, etc.) and in the content let people know how they can hire you. 
  5. Create a referral program and reach out to colleagues to let them know what kind of referrals are a great fit for you. 
  6. Call people you know and talk to them. This isn’t about pitching or being obnoxious, but simply ask them to keep you in mind if they or someone they know is interested in your services.
  7. Speaking – podcasts, events, local events, local networking, radio shows, etc. 

Notice that I didn’t mention any fancy funnels, paid ads, or getting all of the things done perfectly in your business. You don’t need a fancy website, expensive headshots, or a new logo, or, or, or…. 

How long do I have to market before it works?

Lastly, marketing isn’t a one-and-done attempt. It’s ongoing as in, all-the-time thing. If people experience feast or famine in their business, it’s 98% of the time linked to inconsistent marketing. 

Despite what the formulas promise, there is no exact strategy that is going to work 100% of the time. Marketing ebbs and flows. Once you find the things that work, keep doing them. You will evolve, your offers will evolve, your audience will evolve, and technology evolves.

Remember when you could post things on your Facebook business page and people actually saw it? Now, the only way for people to see your business page posts is to pay. So things change, which means that you’ll evolve, too.

Guess what? We’ve all been there with that hit-and-miss results. So no judgment here, okay? We acknowledge what works and keep doing it. We acknowledge what doesn’t work and we do it differently. 

But… a lot of really brilliant people get burned out and are doing allllll of the things in their business so they run out of time and energy to always be marketing. 

There is more good news here – keep things simple. People often try to do too many things and it’s a recipe for burnout. 

Think about simple ways you can be generating interest in your business consistently and stick to one or two strategies.

This can look like: 

  • Building relationships and staying in touch with those relationships for awesome referrals. (aka networking with like-minded folks)
  • Speaking once (or more) a month. 
  • Creating content and sharing it on two platforms that you resonate with. It’s impossible to be everywhere all at once so choose two and keep showing up there. Customize content for that platform. Instagram is different from LinkedIn or Pinterest or Facebook. 

While we can complicate marketing, what if we just kept it super simple? 

Where to start?

Craft your offer and let people know about it more than once. 

It’s tempting to get discouraged after you share what you’re up to in the world and nobody buys right away. But “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and either is your business. 

The online folks who make it look so easy and like it happened overnight aren’t showing you the years of work that happened before they “made it” or the large team they have doing all of the work behind the scenes. 

Keep it simple. 

Remember that all marketing is, is sharing AND inviting people to change one specific thing in their life through your products or services. 

Choose one thing to do and take action this week. Your brilliant business deserves a shot.