Today we’ll cover part 2 of our 3 part series on, “What Is Marketing?’
In the last post (What is marketing part 1) we covered some of the basics of what categories fit into marketing and talked a little bit about PR and Sales.
Today I want to start a list of marketing strategies you can consider when you start to build out your marketing plan and marketing calendar.
I say ‘start a list’ because there are as many marketing strategies as there are creative people in the world… and there are new possibilities for marketing coming up each and every day.
An example of a completely new area of marketing in the last few years is social media. Until the last few years social media didn’t even exist and now it makes up a large portion of many entrepreneurs marketing time, energy and sometimes budget.
I invite you to add any of your favorite marketing strategies to this list by adding them to the comments below. :- )
(Also, if you are looking for a big comprehensive list, I happen to provide one in my Marketing in the Morning™ program - if you want to learn more about that, as well as my single most important tip on marketing, you’ll want to check out my upcoming FREE webinar. You can register here.)
So here’s the ‘start’ of the list:
- Google Hangouts
- Online Forums
- Online Advertising
- Business Cards
- Hotel Keys
- Magazine Ads
- Editorial Coverage (PR)
- Sidewalk Art (the legal kind :- ) )
Getting the drift? The list simply goes on and on and is only limited by your imagination. What would be fun for you to do in your marketing today?
In our next post we’ll continue to dig into What Is Marketing as we talk about your compelling message, so be sure to check back!
Today I want to dive into a pretty BIG question… What Is Marketing?
The reason I want to explore this is because it’s a question I believe people want to ask, but are often afraid to ask when in a group or when talking to a marketing ‘expert’. Heck, it could be embarrassing, right?
There was a time, some years ago, when I didn’t understand or know what marketing was… I confused sales, PR and marketing and really didn’t understand how the different parts fit together, never mind how they fit in my business.
So, for anyone who really wants to know, “What is marketing?” Let’s dig in… we’ll do this in 3 parts. :- )
The first part, which we’ll cover today, is the overall picture of the activity of ‘marketing’.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, this is the primary definition of marketing: the activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc.
The secondary definitions add a bit to it, so I’ll include them as well:
1a : the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market
1b : the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service
2: an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer
What does all this tell us? Basically, marketing is any activity that gets the word out about your product or service or helps people to make a purchase of your goods.
So, by definition, it makes sense that I was once confused (and you might be too) about what fits under the umbrella of marketing. Basically – it’s ALL the activities – which means ‘Marketing’ includes PR, it includes sales, and it includes the typical activities most people label as ‘marketing’ – things like advertising, social media, pamphlets, business cards, networking and much, much more.
Now, I do separate PR, Sales and Marketing into 3 sub-categories for marketing as it makes understanding each area much easier, and it has helped me and my clients figure out what areas to place focus as we grow our businesses.
To me, PR, or public relations, is the process of getting ‘editorial’ style coverage for you, your business, product or service. Meaning, someone else is saying things about you to their audience… often, that makes it a VERY valuable piece of the overall promotion and marketing puzzle. Without a doubt it’s one of the things that needs to go into your marketing plan.
And, to me, sales is the process of helping someone determine if you, your product or service is the right fit for what they want or need. Without the sales process, you could do all the marketing and PR you want and you might not ever have money flow into your business. It’s the final step in the marketing process and deserves a great deal of your attention.
Finally, ‘Marketing’ as I’m defining it here are all the activities you do to make people aware of your business, products and services. As I mentioned – everything from advertising to business cards fits into this category – and in order to have a successful business, you’ll need to have a whole SLEW of marketing strategies in place and working for your business to grow.
In the next post we’ll dig more into the question, “What is marketing,” by looking deeper into all the different marketing strategies you can consider as you build out your marketing plan and your business.
Day in and day out I am reminded over and over about how much more clearly and how much louder actions are than the words people say.
When you are building a business understanding this becomes even more important. If someone tells you they will do something, or, conversely, if you tell someone you will do something and then there is no follow-through, what does that say about that person, or about you?
It comes into play at all levels of our lives – with our families, with our business, with our peers and friends, and just as importantly with ourselves.
Start to take the time to really watch what you commit to in all areas of your life – including with yourself. Make it a firm commitment that if you agree to something you will do 1 of 3 things, no matter what:
1 – Fulfill your commitment: Be sure it is on time and in a manner of which you can be proud.
2 – Adjust the terms: If you aren’t going to make the commitment, it’s ok to adjust the agreement as long as you do it prior to any agreed upon deadline. Manage expectations, do your best and be upfront if things aren’t working out the way you’d hoped.
3 – Cancel the commitment: This must be done BEFORE the deadline – and if it has to be done, it should be done WELL BEFORE the deadline. It’s ok to change your mind, as long as you respect yourself and everyone else in the process.
And, when it comes to working with other people, you can let them know that you expect them to fulfill within these parameters (or others, if you decide these don’t work for you) prior to getting started. If they can’t manage to stay within these guidelines, you probably want to go elsewhere with your relationships.
Now, let’s tie this to your marketing and marketing strategies. How does this concept apply?
Both with yourself and with others you may engage for support, services, partnerships etc.
Once you commit to yourself that you are going to do something specific with your business, products, services, marketing, marketing strategies, sales – whatever it is – you need to set yourself up for success and follow 1 of these 3 guidelines too. Make sure whatever you are planning is actually DOABLE so you can aim for #1 and fulfill the commitment.
Listen, not all marketing works the first time around (in fact, most doesn’t), so make your job continuing to do the work, to track the results and make changes. Don’t judge yourself based on the outcome, be pleased with yourself for DOING THE WORK. That is more important that anything else – just do the work.
And, if you engage someone else’s services or support for your marketing or marketing strategies, or you engage in a joint venture or partnership, make sure the other person is approaching things with this kind of attitude. You’ll find you get much further if you start out on the same page, so doing the work to set the expectations up front – so everyone knows what they are responsible for, what the deadlines are etc – will make everything much more likely to succeed.
Remember, actions always speak louder than words. Watch yourself and others around you and you’ll see this is one of those simple and true facts about our reality.
P.S. If you are looking for some help with your marketing or your marketing strategies, you might want to mark this FREE training in your calendar and register here: http://www.paysoncooper.com/webinar/
During a phone chat with someone the other day I referred to something as a ‘Near Life Experience’.
There’s something about it that caught my attention – the idea that one could go through life having only a ‘near life experience’ and never fully living. I know I’ve gone through periods in my life where it feels like I’m just going through the paces, not really experiencing or noticing the days, the hours and the moments as they go by.
It’s easy to fall into the pattern of just working and checking things off the to-do list as an entrepreneur… but we chose this path usually because we wanted something more. A more fulfilling experience. The opportunity to change lives – our own as well as others. To feel truly alive.
My thought was to commit to breaking out of that space for at least 2 moments a day. To really be present in the now – to notice my body, where I am in space and time and truly experience my life, as it is, right now.
Want to join me? If you do, share what happens for you, I would love to know, so share it in the comments below. Ultimately, I’d love to get to a place where I am living in the moment 80-90% of the time – right now, I get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to be present. As the saying goes, it’s called the ‘present’ for a reason – it’s a gift. Let’s not waste it.
We all struggle with not wanting to work sometimes… hopefully you enjoy what you do and want to do it most of the time, but even when you do, there are days when all of us just don’t want to get busy with our work.
This becomes a bigger issue when you are working on an aspect of your business that you may find more challenging. You might really LOVE what you do – say hypnosis or coaching – but when it comes to sharing about it – say, by doing marketing or planning out marketing strategies, you struggle and avoid doing that work.
There are a few different ways you can approach this problem. You may have to experiment to find what works for you – and you may find that something that worked before isn’t working this time, so you have to switch things up and try something new.
1. Give Yourself a Break
As entrepreneurs we tend to work really, really, REALLY hard. Sometimes we just need a break. I think a lot of people are afraid if they stop, they’ll never want to start again… if that’s you, breathe. If you take a break, it will be ok. You’ll want to dive back in, and chances are, you’ll find you have new inspiration, new energy and new ideas.
Take a walk, listen to some music, plan an upcoming trip or vacation, chat with a friend, go to a movie, sit in a park – do whatever you WANT to do in that moment, let go of not working (really LET GO – you can’t decide to take some time off, then beat yourelf up for not working – that won’t help and you’ll stay stuck). Do something for you that is replenishing, relaxing and restful.
2. Use a Timer
If you have a task at hand, like creating marketing strategies to launch a new product, and you are avoiding it, use a timer. Set it for 25 minutes and agree with yourself that 25 minutes is all you have to do. Now here’s the most important part – when the timer goes off STOP. You need to honor that agreement with yourself. Take a break, get a coffee/tea – do something different for at least 5-10 minutes or longer. Once you take the break, if you feel inspired to continue, dive back in. You’ll be surprised at how often you WANT to jump back in and continue. Sometimes just getting started is the biggest hurdle, so this can help you jump over it with ease.
3. Do Something Related
In our busy lives as entrepreneurs there are always about 1,000 things we can focus on – and from that list there will always be some we don’t relish. It’s ok… if you aren’t in the mood and you have the time, focus on something you really do enjoy, but that is related to the task you don’t really want to do. After you give yourself some time to get your juices flowing, approach the other task again. Sometimes you’ll find that by opening up your creativing and getting into the flow of work when you are ready to do the parts that aren’t always as much fun for you, they will become much easier.
If you have any strategies for dealing with procrastination or simply not wanting to do certain tasks in your business, share them below. We can all help one another so much just by sharing a few tips we use – it can be something so simple you think, “Everyone knows this…” You’d be surprised how many people either don’t know or just haven’t thought of it that way – so please share.
And, if you find you are struggling with marketing strategies – coming up with them, knowing which ones will work for you and your business, creating marketing strategy templates (that you can plug and play and use over and over), you might want to click here. I’m working on something new that might just be exactly what you need.