by Cara Lumen
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither can you build your business overnight. There are too many decisions to be made – too much personal growth to be encouraged. I continue to have coaching clients come to me eager to start attracting clients but they have not done their foundation work. And that basic work simply takes time. It takes time to uncover your most effective place of service. It takes great decision-making to focus your business into an effective organism, and it takes a sequence of position-building steps to create a firm foundation upon which to build your business. It’s an unfolding process that simply takes time.
Who do you serve and what do you offer them?
I have coached many service professionals in the healing modalities. Their work can often be successfully applied to just about any person with any ailment. But that is such a broad target market that no one will recognize themselves in that positioning and will not have any clue that they are the perfect client for that services provider. So the first thing any of us have to do is choose a target market and narrow our niche. And that niche keeps changing. I just tweaked my niche today – again. Defining your business and positioning yourself is an on-going process that requires frequent self-evaluation and awareness of the changing marketplace. Once you get your "who and do what" statement figured out you are at least aiming in the right general direction. I went from "I help entrepreneurs attract the people they are meant to serve" to "I help resourceful women entrepreneurs move their passion from vision to venue and attract the people they are meant to serve." Do you see how the additional bit of definition helps people recognize themselves and how it helps me recognize my ideal client?
The pressure of earning money leads to overwhelm
You may or may not be an overnight success, but there are many steps to take before the income can be generated. And those steps take time depending on the depth of your business experience and the clarity of your vision. What are your strengths? How can you best capitalize on them? What is your packaging? What is your pricing? What marketing strategies are you going to use? Allow time for those answers to emerge. I can urge you to use all four mandatory self-promotion strategies but each one takes focused time to put into place with your unique approach. Give yourself lime to decide upon and implement the marketing strategies that suit you and your business.
Stay with it
It takes six weeks for marketing to work. So if you market really hard for four weeks and stop because you don’t see any results, you’ll find that in two more weeks you will see some results. But those results will ultimately stop because you stopped. Marketing is a consistent, weekly, daily activity.
It takes seven to nine contacts with a prospect before a purchase is made. What happens if you quit after four? Not a lot. When you promote a teleclass or a new product, schedule your marketing to begin six weeks out and plan seven to nine ways to remind people of your offer.
Listen to the messages you receive
You are always receiving feedback from many directions – your intuition, your clients, the success or non success of a marketing strategy. Keep listening. Take notes. Set up ways to measure. Your clients will tell you what your unique gifts are. Listen to what they ask you for. Notice what they compliment you on. Listen to what else they need that you might give them.
Take measurements. Write down how many people are on your list, record what strategy you are putting into play and check the numbers in three months. See what strategies are being the most productive for you and do more of those.
Notice what kind of referrals you are getting. I am both a coach and a writer. I’m marketing the coaching more but I am getting steady referrals for my writing. I have to listen to that and see if I’m missing a larger message about my business structure and/or my marketing.
Cultivate your strengths
Entrepreneurs are often multitalented and certainly multi-interested. So much of our work is about making decisions – choosing one thing over another, letting go of one thing in order to make room for something new. Uncover your core motivation and honor it with every choice. I am a lifelong learner and a teacher. All my choices must be held up to those two strengths.
I know what I’m not particularly good at and there are a few things that I have to work with and around in order to find my unique but still effective approach. Listen to your own testimonials. Read your own "press." Notice what others see in you and build on it.
Growth takes time
Life is an unfolding process. We must allow it to happen. Building a business is an unfolding process. It is about growing you. It is about unfolding your potential. It takes time to learn new things, make new decisions, uncover new insights, and develop new strengths. Business is not instant – it is a glorious adventure of self-discovery and a gradual awakening to your perfect place of service. Don’t rush the process. Enjoy every minute of it.
© 2009 Cara Lumen