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Small Business Marketing - Are You Playing Small With Your Marketing Strategy?

Jan 10, 2008
One of the areas in which many service professionals (that includes success coaches, organizers, designers, writers, speakers, counselors, consultants and trainers) play small is in how they acquire new clients.

Maybe this sounds familiar: you go to a network marketing meeting, talk with one new person, exchange cards and agree to "do lunch." Two weeks go by and after you finally get a lunch date on their calendar, they cancel at the last minute. The end result? A lot of time spent for nothing gained.

So the erstwhile business owner works even harder on their "elevator speech," hoping that will make the difference. It doesn't. The elevator speech isn't the problem; playing small is.

The thing with playing small is that it keeps us feeling small as well. The antidote is to set the marketing strategy bar high, aiming to impact and attract dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people, not just one or two. When we stretch ourselves with this type of vision we leapfrog our thinking past its comfort zone, right into the "gulp" zone. But it's in the "gulp" zone that we'll find the financial and soul-fulfilling success that we're craving.

You'll discover that implementing marketing plans in the "gulp" zone doesn't mean doing different activities than you're used to, but it does mean doing the activities you're used to...differently.

For example, the "playing small" version of speaking is to speak to network marketing groups here and there, hoping someone calls you. Setting the bar higher means having a specific marketing strategy for getting 70% or more of your speaking audience to sign up for your newsletter (adding their names and contact information to your database) and then following up with a specific offer.

See how the activity is essentially the same but the anticipated outcome - and the actions taken to achieve it - are markedly different?

Let's look at another example, say, article marketing. The playing small version is to send a few articles out to several article databases. Setting the marketing strategy bar higher means that in addition, you contact an association journal that reaches hundreds or thousands of your ideal clients and pitch two or three article ideas to them. (I have repeatedly done this with remarkable success).

Whenever I, as a success coach, speak on the topic of playing small in marketing, a woman small business owner usually asks me, "But Kendall, don't you have to start somewhere?!"

Yes, you do. And the beginning steps to all marketing plans are likely to be small steps. The difference is playing small is what happens when you stay at the first step, never moving beyond it. I prefer to (and challenge you to) take that first small step with your eye on quickly leapfrogging into the "gulp" marketing strategy zone we talked about a minute ago.

Marketing strategy in the "gulp" zone is easier than you think and the personal and financial rewards are sweet!
About the Author
Business coach Kendall SummerHawk, the "Horse Whisperer for Business" delivers savvy ways for entrepreneurs to turn hectic businesses into 6-figure successes. Get her "7 Quick and Simple Tips to Brand, Package and Price for More Money, Time and Freedom" at http://www.kendallsummerhawk.com.
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