Until you build a big enough reputation (in your village, town, city, country, continent, or globally), no one will know you.
That’s the catch 22 of so-called “inbound marketing” (the idea that you put out stuff and pray you’ll get business from it).
But it will happen if you do it consistently (Science of Copywriting is living proof of this).
Another example for me was in the accounting niche, which I operated in for many decades. At the start it was a hard slog. It took around a decade before I started making any significant money (which simply meant earning more than I could spend), and then it flowed in.
The other way is to do outreach (so-called outbound marketing). Find businesses you think you can help and contact them. If you’ve never tried it before, you’ll be surprised at how effective it is (provided you understand how to talk to people).
My marketing company ProofMEDIA started out that way. I talked to the local community, found some influencers, helped them, and they helped me back (no one knew me in that industry – it was from scratch – never worry about being new to something – just know your stuff).
How do you talk to people and make this happen? That’s the topic for this week – starting today with the most common problem of all: Listening.
Are you listening now? – or saying “oh, I’ve heard that so many times before, BORING…” 🙂
When I fired the CEO of my last company, I was accused of “NOT LISTENING”. It was true. I seemed to be listening (I have been called a professional listener in the past), but I wasn’t actually listening, I was just NOT TALKING.
When someone has an idea that conflicts with your own, and you feel your own ideas are superior, you stop listening. People call it arrogance, but the reality is, it’s just normal human behaviour (you know, the “I’d rather die than be told I’m wrong” defense).
It’s another example of being closed (being open is tiring unless you have an open nature – or learn to become open).
Allowing yourself to openly listen without a negative emotion is the height of emotional intelligence. Get that habit started and you’ll discover a brand new world.
But before we look at that, why do we struggle at all with listening openly? It’s a simple answer. We have no plan.
We know what we don’t want, but we only know it when we hear it. It’s the same difference between creation and consumption. When we create, we drive, when we consume, we’re driven.
But when we listen AND we know where we’re going, then we can make simple decisions about the suitability of what we’re hearing and how that would impact our plans.
And if it’s not a fit, we can politely decline the proposal on the best of grounds (“that sounds wonderful, but doesn’t fit with what I’m doing right now”).
This is only the tip of a big iceberg though. Read part 2 here.
PS. You might be thinking “but hang on, I’m consuming this post, is that bad then?” – if you’re consuming it openly, then you’re listening, and now you can decide if this will fit in with your plans (haven’t got a plan yet? Then you’re being driven, and the only way to stop that is make a plan – want some help with that? Stay tuned – if you can find the right driver, then being driven is OK).
PPS. The PS above handled an objection. Objections are our gold. When we’re open, we never miss the sparkle and opportunities objections bring us.