A lovely client asked me why I bother advertising when I am so busy. She is also a sole trader and is really busy with plenty of clients. She keeps telling me that she doesn’t have the time and, importantly, the inclination to create social media posts when she is: a) busy, b) doesn’t need mores client and c) is still getting fresh enquiries. And she asked me outright, “why should I bother with marketing when my diary is full and I am busy actually working!“
It really got me thinking…especially about the massive corporates like McDonalds or Google …we all know their name and what they do and where you find them…yet, they still advertise and more than that they still spend millions on content marketing…across TV, radio, their websites and social media. Why? Surely, they have enough clients! What’s the reason?
From my research, here’s five reasons for you to think about…
1) No one is a forever client
You may not want to hear this….it may break your heart…but even the most loyal client may one day no longer need you. It might be money. It might be that they move. It might be that they change job or direction. You may think about clients who have been with you ‘forever’ and think it could never happen…but, if you have been in business a while, think back to when you started and those clients that you have mostly forgotten right now, but who at one point were pivotal to your business. They have gone. And without doing any marketing, you can not secure a ‘replacement’. If you wait to lose clients and then market you will end up with a big ‘gap’ – it is so much better to have a waiting list than a list of cold leads you need to chase.
2) There is always competition
As Samantha always says on our Business Skills Consutlancy workshops, if there are no competitors then it is likely there is no market!
This means everyone has a competitor. Worst still, there is always a competitor (who might not be as busy as you!) but who will be continuing their marketing. Therefore, as mentioned above, as well as considering new and future clientele, if you are not producing content and waving your ‘I am still here’ flag regularly and your competitor is…who is the potential new client going to go to? Or worse still, who is going to catch the eye of your current clients and lure them in, if you don’t demonstrate everything you have to offer and more?
3) Perception, perception, perception
The way you present yourself through your marketing and across your advertising platforms, like your website and social media, is pretty much the only way people have of seeing what your business is like if they don’t deal with your face-to-face on a regular basis. …and, even if they do, if your online presence doesn’t reflect you, then who will believe it?
If you are really busy and, therefore, your website doesn’t change and there are no recent social media posts on your business pages, it can very easily give off the impression that you are no longer active, perhaps the business is suffering or that you are closing down. If you are busy, this is obviously completely wrong, but it is amazing how quickly people jump to conclusions. It is ok to promote yourself whilst also giving off the message of a busy and successful business. Marketing doesn’t have to be just about gaining more sales and asking people to buy from you. It is about telling your story, sharing your expertise and, when busy and successful, sharing your wins!
4) Expansion and growth
Just because you are busy or at full capacity right now, doesn’t mean you don’t have space to grow…can you work differently? More efficiently? Offer alternative services to increase sales without working extra hours? Are you getting to the point where you may need a bigger premises or even looking to employ more people? It may be not right now or even next month, but the trying to build up your marketing to grow is much harder than taking on a new strategy to grow, based on a strong marketing already in use.
If you know me at all, you know I am obsessed with consistency and I look for it in the businesses I buy from too. I love branding. I love that feeling that you ‘know’ a company and trust a company.
If you market consistently, you are much more likely to get continual work, rather than peaks and troughs. If you only advertise when quiet, then those messages take time to seep through and so you will have dull, quiet periods, followed by crazy busy times – no one likes working like that! Consistency in marketing – ‘touching’ (I hate that term but it is the most accurate) your ideal audience with that little ‘I’m here flag’ whether it is through a newsletter in their inbox or a social media post in their newsfeed a few times a week will ensure consistent enquiries and, hopefully, consistent workload.
Finally …it is ok to say no
If you are too busy it is ok to say ‘no’ or explain that you won’t get to that person’s project or product until a much later date. Being full or busy is not a bad thing. If someone really wants you and can, then they will wait. If not, at this time, yes, you may lose that client. But that’s ok. It is not a bad thing (you are booked and busy after all) and it is much better to say no than to try to squeeze them in and do a bad job because you rush.
So apologies, I can’t let you off the hook, you have to market. I love writing strategies and plans – so let me help you. Talk to me about a downloadable content marketing plan too.