If I say the word marketing, how does it make you feel?
If you’re like a lot of health and fitness professionals, the idea of doing any kind of marketing for your business is approached with a great deal of resistance. We’re told we should be doing it in order to ‘get our name out there’, and we understand why that’s important. But when it comes right down to it, we don’t really want to.
Why is that?
Part of it stems from not knowing what to do. There is a heck of a lot of advice out there on marketing, and it’s hard to know what will work, or even where to start.
Take this article I stumbled on recently.
It claims to have a 40-point checklist of things you need to be doing in order to have “effective content marketing”.
And hey, it’s not completely wrong. Each of the items on that checklist are marketing ideas that work well for some businesses.
However, the reaction most people have when they see it is: 40 points? FORTY? Who has time for that? I have a business to run and clients to see! And besides, why should I care about content marketing anyway?
Where do you even start with a big list like that? Do you just try stuff and see what happens?
And it’s not just that one article. There are hundreds of listicles online you can read that promise you the top 10 ways to promote your business, or the 7 things you need to do in order to make six figures next year. All promising that if you follow their methods, success for your business is sure to follow. But really, they all feel off, or like they don’t apply to you. Reading them just makes it feel like marketing is this big thing that you as a small business owner could never really do properly.
So your marketing gets left by the wayside, and for good reason.
But for many solo practitioners and small business owners, there is another issue here.
Truthfully, for many people the idea of marketing just feels wrong. Bad, even. It feels like you’re imposing on people, or asking too much of them. Or that you have to resort to some sort of dishonest, unrealistic tactics in order to ‘do marketing’.
Why is that?
For a lot of us, the core of it is shame. We dislike marketing because we’re ashamed to ask for what we need. We’re afraid people will think we’re desperate or unreasonable for charging what we do or for advertising our services to them at all.
So not only do we not know where to start with our marketing efforts, but we also feel like we shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
"Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think." ~ Brené Brown
Does that sound familiar? It’s a terrible spot to be in when you’re trying to build your business! But it’s so so so common.
So how do we get out of this spot? We want to build a good practice and have great clients, right?
Well, let’s go back to the beginning here. What if we flipped the idea of what we think marketing is on its head. What if the purpose of marketing was to help others? A conversation about finding the right fit and what the person needs from your services. Does that feel more doable?
Because in reality that’s what marketing is about. Helping attract the right people to your business and helping them figure out if your business actually meets their needs. Being really authentic and honest and building good relationships.
Unfortunately, that word “authenticity” has become a bit of a buzzword these days. I’ve certainly used it a lot in the newsletters I send you guys. In some circles, authenticity isn’t really, well, authentic. It’s just another tactic used to draw people in and isn’t coming from an honest place. Sure, they’ll say it’s authentic or try to make it look simple and honest. But if you look deeper, you find it’s just another sales pitch with no substance behind it.
But I’m not interested in this fake sort of authenticity, and I bet you aren’t, either.
People connect with people. If you are a genuine, caring person in all that you do, people will be drawn to that. If you show the real you in your marketing, that will attract the right people. People who you can actually help. People who are a great fit for your business.
People connect with people. If you are a genuine, caring person in all that you do, people will be drawn to that.
So you don’t need a list of 40 things to do to market your business online. You just need to be brave enough to connect with people, listen to their needs, and respond honestly. And I know you all can do that.