Potential clients often reach out to me to help them with marketing their brand and business. They want to know how to get more traction with Twitter, more likes on their Facebook page, or turn all of those contacts they’ve amassed in LinkedIn into real prospects. All of those are legitimate topics with simple enough how-to instructions. But no matter how many Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn Tutorials they watch, better marketing results will be a daydream until they focus on the three c’s: confidence, consistency, and content.
Effectively marketing your message, products, and services online and offline requires that you confidently and consistently target the right audience, with the right content, and the right calls to action. Some of my clients get it. Others are disappointed in my simplistic response and off they go looking for a quick fix to a long term relationship problem. Anyone that’s married or in a long term relationship knows that quick fixes rarely work and often lead to more heartbreak and hassle. The same is true in your business.
Marketing is all about relationship building. The best service-based professionals understand that better marketing results are never just about the tools and platforms, but about the connections we forge with our VIPs (very interested prospects). This is why confidence is so critical to marketing.
Think about this: Would you willingly date someone with low self-esteem, that didn’t believe in themselves, and was so fearful of being rejected they never really showed up in or committed to the relationship? If you answered yes to that, I am sure there’s a Dr. Phil episode somewhere that can help you. If you know your worth, are confident about what you bring to a relationship and have healthy boundaries and expectations, you would never willingly step into a relationship with someone like I described above. Yet many of the women I work with are asking potential customers to do just that.
There should be no wonder why you are not attracting the right clients (those that are willing and able to pay you) if you lack confidence about what you are offering. Before you brush off my words and assert that you are indeed a confident woman or man, know that it is entirely possible to confident when it comes to the personal side of your life, but be uncertain and doubtful when it comes to your business persona, no matter how great your website looks. Here’s a sample of how a lack of confidence shows up in your business life:
- You don’t believe in the value of what you have to offer. This leads you to underprice your services while dreaming of making more money. Even though you invest in other people’s higher-priced programs, you don’t really believe that other people would invest in yours until you hit a magical milestone that you have yet to identify. It’s why you go for another certification, another downloadable product, another training course – all without taking any real action.
- You constantly compare yourself to other people. How much time do you spend looking at everyone else’s branding and offerings and concluding that they are better than you? This leads you to spending hours tweaking and changing your brands, colors, images, niche, etc., claiming that you can’t really start “marketing” until you get it all figured out. What you are failing to realize is that there are people waiting for you to show up exactly as you are – website or not. The lessons you have lived and your unique way of showing up and connecting to them is what they want. No one can fill the space you have been purposed to fill.
- You choose networking events and opportunities with audiences that are not your ideal client. This allows you to feel good about “doing something” but also logically explain to yourself and others why you weren’t able to generate any leads. If your target market is professionals with private practices, like doctors and lawyers, why are you spending your time trolling for Meetup.com groups or joining Facebook groups and expecting to find clients willing and able to pay for your services. As long as you look for your ideal clients in the wrong places, you can be assured that your results will line up with the belief that you are holding: no one is really interested in what I have to offer.
- You make sure you stay a best kept secret. Even though you have a proven track record, you irrationally believe that the work you do or the services you provide really aren’t that good. You have testimonials and the clients that you do have, love working with you. But instead of letting their responses validate your work to the world, you secretly think they are just being nice. And since you don’t really think they meant what they said about working with you, you never follow up with them by asking for referrals or inviting them to work with you again.
So what’s the prescription? How can you make the transformation from being “undatable” to being the solution of choice that your VIPs want to commit to long term? It starts with confidence. Confidence at its core isn’t some emotional surge that ebbs and flows like the tide. Confidence is rooted in having the right mindset, the information and resources you need, and sufficient practical experience. Start with the following six steps:
- Know your worth and don’t settle for anything less. Or as my mother used to say, “Don’t sell yourself short.” Remember, your ideal clients are not making buy decisions from your bank account. Assuming that they can’t afford you or are unwilling to pay you is a pessimistic attitude. Approach your potential clients with the expectation that they are willing to invest in the results you provide and will do whatever they need to do to work with you.
- Accept and acknowledge the difference you make in your client’s lives. You have a purpose. You have impact. Humility is not about downplaying the significance of the way you contribute to your clients, it simply means that you don’t act as if all the credit belongs to you. Never believe for one moment that your success is a fluke or be in fear that you won’t be able to replicate your success. Your purpose is not an option, it’s your calling.
- Own your brilliance. Learn just as much from their failures and missteps as you do their successes (And if they are only ever talking about their wins without ever acknowledging their misses, I’d stop following them all together.) Be willing to be a trailblazer, to do things according to the vision and passion you have for your purpose. Sometimes that means you will be out in front, ahead of everyone. It will be uncomfortable at times, it may even feel lonely at times, and there are many times when you will not be understood. Every person that has pursued their purpose-based passion has endured those feelings and reaped the rewards of owning their brilliance, paving the way for others to stand in their own light.
- Do the work of identifying your ideal audience and VIPs. Something magical happens when you let go of the idea that everybody is your potential client and focus on the people you’ve been called to serve. This is the one of the biggest areas of resistance with many of my clients, but once they make a shift in their thinking about the value of narrowing their focus, they finally see their marketing plan paying off. Look at the example of Jesus, there’s a reason he focused on 12 disciples and not 12,000, and look at the outcome of his choice to focus on a small “target” audience. It doesn’t mean that he didn’t help others outside of his disciples, the new testament is full of examples where his ministry and help went beyond his inner circle. But he also never tried to go where he wasn’t called.
- Have the right systems and tools in place. I’ve done complimentary sessions with entrepreneurs who tell me they are serious about marketing, but then come up with a list of excuses for not taking action. They can’t blog, haven’t been able to set up an email autoresponder, or don’t have the time to put a follow-up plan in place. Marketing isn’t rocket science, but it does take honest effort effort to put a results-producing system in place. Marketing is an integral element to building a profitable sustainable business. There’s an effective way to market your message, services and products. And then there’s an ineffective way that keeps you on a marketing treadmill: you can increase the incline and up the speed but you are still going nowhere.
If you are frustrated with your marketing results, it’s time for a reality check.
Are you attempting to market from a place of fear and doubt? Or are you secure in your purpose and what you have to offer, going forth with confidence to reach the people you’ve been called to serve? Before you invest more time in Facebook, Twitter, or even offline networking events, evaluate whether or not you are missing the mark in your mindset and habits. Regardless of how many tweets you send, blogs you post, or even business cards you collect, your marketing won’t get better until your confidence does.
Making sure your business model is aligned to your strengths is the one way to build your confidence. Click here to take my quiz to learn if you are operating in your Brilliant Zone, or if the wrong business model is blocking your profits.