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A friendly rant on my approach to marketing.

Ah! Marketing! There is so much advice out there about what to do and the way you "have" to do it! Ugh!

I believe:
  1. you ARE a marketer -- you share effortlessly with friends and family the things that you love, and you are good at explaining the strengths behind the products and services you love -- you are a marketer naturally, but you haven't quite found the way to do it so naturally for your business,
  2. when it comes to promoting your business, it is important to follow your own path,
  3. there IS a marketing approach that works with your personality, and 
  4. there IS a marketing approach that will fit with your life and attract your ideal clients. 
The trick is finding the right marketing approach that brings your life flow, joy, and ease! (and this journey is continuous -- I'm no expert, I'm still working on it!)
With all of this in mind, I've learned to take everyone's marketing advice with a grain of salt -- what works for them, may not work for you.
You don't HAVE to use social media to have a successful business.  The same goes for email marketing! Social media and email marketing (and any other marketing approach) can work for your business -- but you'll only get the results if you do the work. If something doesn't work well for you and/or doesn't feel good -- then don't do it! 
In the past, I've tried all sorts of things like giving workshops, attending in-person networking events, podcasting, Pinterest, YouTube, structured blogging schedules and SEO and I just didn't resonate with them -- I ended up feeling unhappy, stressed and burnt out. 

I've found a new mantra in marketing -- I only need one marketing approach that works well for me and my clients

And now I'm on the hunt for that one (or few) marketing approach(es). Once I find them, I need to be consistent
I know that once I find a way to market my business that resonates with me and that I can do consistently, getting new clients and growing my business will be easy and fun!   
Here are some questions I asked myself to brainstorm marketing approaches: 
  • What are the ways you enjoy connecting with people?
    • For me, it is a one-on-one conversation -- I love the give and take of a conversation and I LOVE to be asked questions that I can give specific resources to address someone's questions
  • What do you find yourself doing often?  (where are you spending your time? what locations do you visit in-person?)
    • For me, I'm often in my home office at my desk online on my computer. 
After reflecting on those two questions, I used my answers to brainstorm new ways to try to promote my business.  I realized I needed to find marketing methods that got me in conversation with people -- where they initiated by asking a question. I also realized that the traditional use of blogging, social media or posting videos on YouTube just wasn't going to work for me! And that is how I came up with the marketing approaches I'm exploring now!
Here is what I am trying now: 
  • Participating in Facebook groups by responding to questions instead of posting myself (it is more natural for me to respond to other's questions instead of posting content out there)
  • Networking via Alignable (that is because my clients are small business owners) and a big part of the platform is Q&A and again I feel most natural responding to questions. (if you are on Alignable -- let's connect, here is my profile!)
  • Writing my monthly newsletter (I would love for you to subscribe if you haven't already!)
    • One thing I love about newsletters is that they are super flexible, they can be really whatever you want -- for me, I've decided to summarize the questions I've answered on social media and Alignable in my newsletter -- instead of trying to come up with someone clever to say each month! (haha!) -- this shift is such a stress relief!
I feel like all of these methods will really work for me in the long run, but only time will tell! I'll keep you posted! :) 
I'm also using Facebook Ads -- I'm not thrilled about pushing ads in people's faces (because ads can sometimes be annoying), but I like that I could define a very niche target audience and that the technology will help me with the consistency. I'm excited to see how it will work out! 
Very shortly after participating in a Facebook Group got a new (and fantastic) client  - so I know that approach works I also know that my email newsletter keeps me in touch with lots of great people. I don't have enough data yet on ads and Alignable, but I'll update this post when I do! 
So what are your marketing plans? Do you want someone to brainstorm new ideas? If you reply with your two answers to the questions above, I would be happy to brainstorm some marketing approaches that would work well for you (assuming you are looking for new ideas -- if not, no worries and keep doing what you are doing!) 
I'm not sure if this is a useful rant.. but I hope it is! 
In short, I KNOW that you can do this and what you do is valuable and needed. Take others' advice on what specific methods you "need" for your business with a grain of salt. Follow your intuition to try a few different methods and then use the data to see which ones worked the best! :) 
photo of Ada Barlatt, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Author : Ada Barlatt, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Hi there! My name is Dr. Ada, and I'm your cheerful OperationsAlly! Since 2016, I've been helping small business owners use technology and automation to save time and boost their business revenues. If you feel overwhelmed, confused, or intimidated by the idea and process improving your launches - I am here for you! Learn more about Ada.

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