Practice What You Preach
The past two and a half years have been a whirl wind! Our clients have been keeping us so busy that we haven't been able to practice what we preach.
Marketing isn't a sprint, it is a marathon that requires continual commitment. It is hard. Although it isn't rocket science by any stretch, it is always the task that is left for last, making it the first thing to get bumped off the todo list in favor of something better - and usually more directly attached to immediate income. For most of us, (Testarossa Marketing included) the daily workflow of revenue generating work is consuming. Choosing to set aside time that won't turn an immediate return on investment is difficult but important - especially for small businesses.
We've had conversations with my clients about their pipelines; how to keep them full and how to level out the consistency of their workflow. To successfully balance all stages a pipeline and customer life cycle, a dedicated commitment must be made to marketing. This will help in all stages of your pipeline but especially in the early stages when you are drawing the attention of a new prospect to your company. This is where it becomes imperative that your company is visible at all times. The marathon begins.
Throwing out a single press release, a blog post or an ad isn't going to help you go the distance. Not all of your future clients are going to be ready to see your message. You are never going to know when the right time is to send a message and we can't all afford to be everywhere at once. The answer in marketing is never a silver bullet but the closest we can get is to stick to the basics and maintain a continual presence based on your budget.
Maybe it is a press release one week, a blog post the next week, and an email blast advertisement the following week supplemented by print ads. By reverse engineering from your budget, a simple staggered plan can be set forth into the world and although you're not everywhere, you are somewhere which increases the likelihood of catching the eye of an interested prospect.
For most of us "a touch a week" sounds doable but by the time Friday comes along, you are left wondering what just happened to your week. This is where marketing becomes a marathon. It is time to exercise our professional worth and show our dedication to the careers we've chosen by strengthening our businesses by making marketing happen. Maybe you get it out of the way first thing on Monday morning. Do you have times of the day or days of the week that you notice you are less focused on revenue generating work? Marketing can fill these times by serving as a break from the daily routine. If you are aware of these mental lulls and know what to do with them, your productivity will make you feel good.
The other factor to consider your opportunity costs. How much is your time worth? Let's use lawyers as an example - senior lawyers will bill upwards of $400/hour. They are going to focus their time on key clients and the most difficult cases that require their area of expertise. Once lawyers go outside of their areas of expertise, billable hours increase because there is a learning curve that needs to be accounted for or they are doing work that a less seasoned lawyer would work on. Either way - not a great use of time. In a bigger firm, lawyers will stick to their specialties and share tasks with experts - optimizing their time and their client's retainers. Ok, maybe that last part is a stretch but that is how we roll!
Getting back to marketing, are you ready for the marketing marathon? We must all be better at dedicating the time (if available) to dedicate to marketing, delegate it, or if there isn't anyone to delegate it to - outsource it. And yes, this goes to us as well.