Recently, I was at an event half-listening to a speaker give his speak-to-sell talk about his favorite marketing tactic, when I heard him say something that jolted me out of my daze (I’m paraphrasing, here):
“I’m going to show you why speaking is the only marketing tactic you need to build your business.”
Why did this jump out at me? Well, not because it isn’t true (or at least, not necessarily untrue), but because it’s incomplete.
Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I have no issue with him doing a talk designed around selling his program. I’m a big believer that entrepreneurs should be well-paid for facing their fears and putting themselves out there to build a business and make a difference.
Also, he’s not wrong.
Speaking absolutely IS a great way to market your business.
But, is it the best way? Depends on how you define “best.”
Are there negatives associated with speaking? Oh my goodness, yes. (In fact, I’ll list a few here, in regard to speaking on local stages, as the speaker recommended: stage fright, getting dressed up/doing your make up and hair, travel time, ending up in front of a crowd of folks who aren’t your ideal clients (which means you waste all that time and energy), speaking in front of your ideal clients and bombing your talk, which is also a waste of time and energy, etc.)
And, that’s the issue I really have with what the speaker said at the event.
If you listen to the marketing “gurus,” they all have their one “perfect,” “can’t-miss” tactic for growing your business. And, as I said earlier, they’re all trying to make money, so they’re not necessarily going to share the drawbacks (or if they do, they’re going to downplay them), and they’re going to hype the positives.
For some entrepreneurs, the tactic they’re selling will absolutely be right for them.
But, for others, not so much.
It can be very confusing to try and take in marketing advice and sort out which is the best marketing strategy for you.
So, I want to help! Here are two questions to ask yourself every time you’re considering implementing a new marketing tactic:
- Does it light you up?
- Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?
Now, let’s dig into both of these questions more deeply.
Does it light you up?
I’m a big believer that there is a marketing tactic for everyone. There are SO many ways to market yourself that you can most definitely find SOMETHING you’re both good at and enjoy.
Now, are there times it makes sense to adopt a marketing tactic you’re not crazy about because it’s perfect for your ideal clients? Of course. In this case, consider hiring some help to make it more palatable for you (for example, maybe you hire a writer to write blog posts for you, if you hate writing).
But it’s also entirely possible to build your marketing around a marketing tactic you love, and that will work for you.
The key here is being consistent—if you’re consistent with your marketing, virtually any tactic can work for you over the long haul.
(My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes an assessment designed to help you figure out which marketing tactic is right for you.)
Now, let’s look at the second question.
Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?
My friend Lisa Sasevich often shares this story on her stage about how she decided to have a second child:
After her son was born (who was a very easy baby), she and her husband were contemplating having a second.
And, she couldn’t decide.
She kept making lists about the pros and cons of having a second baby, and the list of cons far outweighed the list of pros. Did she really want to get back into diapers and sleepless nights? What about the expense of a second child? And so on.
But, she kept feeling a little soul around her, wanting to be born, and she couldn’t stop thinking about it.
So, finally a friend of hers said, “Choose your regrets.” She advised that either way, whether Lisa had a second baby or not, she would have regrets. So why not choose them?
When Lisa looked at it that way, the choice was easy, and she ended up having her second child, a daughter.
While I wouldn’t go as far as to say any marketing tactic has “regrets” attached to it, it certainly has “drawbacks” or “cons.”
So, in this case, choose your drawbacks.
Every single marketing tactic out there has drawbacks.
Every. Single. One.
Which drawbacks can you live with? Which ones can you work around?
And, is there enough about the marketing tactic you enjoy that outweighs the drawbacks?
OR, are the results of the marketing tactic awesome enough that you’re willing to push through everything you don’t like?
Bottom line …
That doesn’t mean you can’t try some out and see if you like them or not. That also doesn’t mean you can’t simply stop doing a marketing tactic you absolutely can’t stand, or that isn’t getting you the results you’re looking for.
But, here’s the thing about marketing tactics—they only work if you use them.
If you only use a marketing tactic for a month or two, get bored or frustrated for lack of results and move on, you’re never going to get the traction or the momentum you need to bust through and start seeing big results.
So, whatever marketing tactic you choose, you need to commit to it.
Then, you need to use it consistently (which of course looks different depending on what it is, but likely, it’s putting something out there in relation to the tactic at least once a week).
For at least a year.
Yes, you read that right. A year.
If you commit to that, after one year, you’ll have solid data to help you decide if it’s something you want to keep using, or if it’s time to try something else.
I know for many entrepreneurs, we move fast and make decisions fast, and we love nothing more than to jump right in when an idea strikes us (or, as one of my friends would say “We wake up with our hair on fire”).
On the flip side, we also abandon ideas we once thought were the “next best thing” just as quickly.
If we want our marketing to be successful, we can’t do that. We need to stick with it. Again, for at least one year.
So, choose wisely.
And, if you want more help selecting a love-based online marketing plan that’s right for you, make sure you check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.