What do you think is the most common complaint I hear from my coaching clients?
“I don’t have time for marketing!”
When you run your own business and you wear all the hats, time becomes your most precious commodity. With so many priorities, it’s no wonder that marketing often takes a back seat!
But it’s crucial to the success of your practice that you make time for marketing, regardless what phase your business is in – start-up or established. Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. It’s your primary tool for attracting and keeping clients!
24 hours a day often just doesn’t seem like enough time to fit in all that you need and want to do. While “getting it all done” may be a myth or an unattainable goal, there is a way to maximize the time available to you – it’s called Everyday Marketing.
We can’t add more time to the day but we can add more marketing to our time! You can effectively combine marketing with other activities.
Although time-management experts usually advise against multi-tasking, there are easy ways to combine marketing with things you’re already doing, without compromising the effectiveness of either activity. Here are some examples:
– Workshops, business meetings, networking and cultural events. Invite a business contact or potential client to join you. Strengthen the relationship by getting better acquainted in a relaxed way. Explore opportunities to work together. Your friends might also benefit from attending and they will see another facet of your professionalism.
– Lunch or coffee with prospects or colleagues. If you are already planning to meet up with someone, invite another person to join you. With more people, it feels like a fun social event, while accomplishing your business mission. Everyone makes new contacts, you have more people to share about your work, and group conversation sparks new ideas! (Caution: If you are going to discuss a potential client’s medical condition, do not bring other people to the meeting.)
– Traveling. Arrange to meet for lunch or dinner with a client, prospect or colleague. On a business trip, this is usually more enjoyable than eating alone. A meal you would be eating anyway takes no time out of your vacation schedule. Share a meal with a local resident and you may get hot tips about where to go, or potentially make a sale or enroll a new client.
– Take a hike! Meetings with business associates don’t have to take place in an office or restaurant. Invite someone to join you for a run around the track, a gym workout or a game of tennis. I’ve gotten a few great clients on my neighborhood morning walk! Not all business deals are made in business setting. Golf courses and tennis courts are famous for business meetings! Get exercise and get clients at the same time!
– Doing errands. Talk to strangers! Strike up a conversation while waiting in line at the bank or grocery store. Start with a casual comment about the weather or a local event. Steer the conversation toward the other person. If you ask someone what they do for a living, they will probably ask you the same question, giving you a perfect opportunity to say something intriguing about your work. For example, instead of just saying, “I do massage,” you could say “I help people overcome pain so they can function better in their life.” They will naturally ask how you do that. So tell them and offer them your business card or introductory coupon. In fact, give them two – one to use and one to share!
– Reading an article. If you come across articles that might interest your colleagues, clients or prospects, take a moment to write a quick note: “Thought this would interest you.” Postal mail impresses people more than email that you take the time to send them something of personal interest.
– Social events. The best business relationships often begin socially. Make sure to take biz cards everywhere you go – for example, a wedding, a party, a sports event, your child’s activities. After starting with small talk – “How do you know our hosts?” or “Which child is yours?” – make your next question, “What do you do?” Their natural follow-up will be to ask you the same question, giving you a golden opportunity for a little friendly marketing: “I help people overcome pain…”
– Relaxing. You may have a long list of marketing projects that take time but not your full attention. Combine mundane tasks with a fun activity or some pleasant company. I listen to webinars on the beach after my morning swim! Enter client contact info into your phone. Make phone calls from the hot tub or a park bench. Review your prospect list while listening to music. Bribe Pay your kids to help you stuff and stamp envelopes while you watch a movie. Get together with another entrepreneur to work on marketing over a cup of tea.
As you can see, there are many ways to include marketing in your busy life. We can’t add more hours to the day. So instead of wishing you had more time for marketing, include marketing into the time you already spend on errands, chores, travel, family time and social life! Maximize your time with everyday marketing!