The other day I had a question drop into my inbox that I get all the time (pasted below):
How do I get clients without blogging, vlogging, speaking, tweeting, or live webinars, etc.? Do I even have a business without these?
Please say yes, because I hate doing them — but I’m not sure if there’s another way.”
Every time I get this question, the writer’s struggle / exhaustion / disappointment / confusion hits me in the heart. So, I want to share my answer here on the blog in case you’ve ever wondered the same thing.
I won’t make you wait, here’s my answer: No. You definitely do not need to blog, vlog, speak, tweet, or host live webinars to win clients…. BUT BUT BUT (it’s obviously a big BUT!):
If you’d like to build a successful business, you DO have to do SOME FORM of marketing and promotion to attract people and convert your ideal clients into delighted paying customers.
The key is to think about and run with the marketing strategies that are going to work best for YOU.
So if you hate blogging, vlogging, speaking, tweeting, or live webinars – don’t stress. There’s no rule that you have to do that shit. I’d say all those tactics come under the overarching banner of content marketing. And while it can be really powerful, content marketing is just one form of marketing. There are also other powerful ways to promote your business, attract leads, and encourage leads to become paying clients. (And I say that as a lover of content marketing!)
Look, marketing your business certainly takes consistent effort and attention, and there’s likely to be a learning curve with whichever marketing strategies and tactics you decide to rock, but it doesn’t need to be a shit show. Personal experience tells me that, when it comes to creating the business of your dreams, there are no bonus points for dragging yourself through the mud.
So while yes, you must have some way of connecting with your ideal clients, they can be ways that work with your innate strengths and interests.
In case you’re coming up blank trying to think of other types of marketing you could explore, here are some ideas:
Sponsorship. Networking events. White papers. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Pitching yourself to various media outlets. Outreach. Direct marketing. Referral programs. Collaborations. Paid traffic. SEO. Advertising. Influencer marketing.
Now for the most important tip in this blog post:
Regardless of the specific tactics you use, the big goal of any marketing effort is always to build real, authentic, genuine, awesome relationships with your potential clients.
That’s the philosophy behind absolutely everything I create here at Betty Means Business, and anywhere, in any business, at any time.
Building a thriving, sustainable business that supports you is a marathon, not a sprint. So if you want to be in business for a while? You need a way of getting in front of your ideal clients, and attracting leads (a.k.a. potential clients and customers) honestly and authentically.
I often talk about attracting “fresh leads” — as in, attracting totally new people into your business orbit — but the truth is, they don’t always have to be fresh leads. Leads can be people you’ve worked with in the past or people you’re working with now who you may be able to help get to the next level.
But how do you go about attracting more of these leads?
Like I’ve said: Your marketing strategies don’t need to be shit that you don’t like to do. It doesn’t need to be stuff that feels really icky and awkward or makes you feel dead inside. In fact, I strongly recommend it isn’t! If those past couple of sentences describe your current relationship with ‘marketing’, I encourage you to think about your lead-attraction strategy a different way.
Ask yourself: What’s one practical action step that you’d enjoy taking (or at least not absolutely hate) that will connect you with your ideal clients, and allow you to build relationships?
The exact tactics that are going to work best for you and your business depend on who you are and a number of other variables, including:
- Your strengths as a creative and service-provider: Do you do well on 1-1 video chats? Or better over coffee? Are you killer at follow-up emails? Can you crush podcast interviews? Pursue what you’re good at.
- Your ideal clients: Where do they hang out? What’s really going to land for them? What do they really like? How do they prefer to consume information? Do they like to read? Or watch you on video? Do they open emails?
- Your business level: Are you just starting out? Or are you more experienced and confident with things?
- Your market and industry: What works? What’s been done to death? Are there industry regulations you need to take into account?
- Your brand values: What do you stand for in your business? What do you love and hate about your industry right now? How can you translate that into a marketing tactic?
- Your budget: Do you have a marketing budget? If you don’t, that’s fine — but it will impact whether you or not you’ll be able to engage with certain paid marketing channels.
All of these factors combined together can really help you sort out what steps you should take to get in front of your target clients, and new leads.
Because let’s face it: While marketing may not be your favourite thing, it’s bloody important.
I know you’re here to help people. You’re here to make an impact and make a great living. But if you don’t put yourself out there? The people who need you can’t find you. If you want to build a sustainable, thriving business that supports you and your clients? Then you need to do something to bring people and great clients in the door.
Not sure where you should start with this avoiding-stuff-I-don’t-like self-promotion thing? Here are a few ideas to get you into action:
If you hate vlogging and blogging? Try a podcast.
Despise speaking on camera? Give blogging on LinkedIn a try, and/or pitch yourself for some guest posts.
Can’t stand webinars, but love meeting people in person? Start going to events you think your ideal clients would attend.
Feel awkward selling yourself? Why not think about setting up a referral program with potential partners who can send clients to you, so you can pick up some word-of-mouth business.
(There are tons of options, but those are off the top of my head. Got one you love in particular? Drop it in the comments below!)
One more important tip:
Don’t confuse being scared of something with already hating it.
It’s normal to feel nervous, awkward, even a little scared or overwhelmed when you’re experimenting with new marketing strategies or tactics. Those feelings don’t necessarily mean a certain strategy isn’t for you. Experiment with strategies, even if you’re not totally confident you’ll like them at first. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable, to push your comfort zone. That’s just part of trying something new, learning and growing.
Focus on your strengths and your preferences, don’t be scared to experiment. And most importantly: find what works for you.
I hope you this post inspires you to get cracking exploring the marketing strategies and tactic that work for you!