Are you leaping ahead or stuck in the blocks?

January is done. 11 months left in 2018 to make an impact. What are you doing to make 2018 THE YEAR that you shift from dabbling to investing in results-driven marketing?

So far this year, I have been meeting with many CEOs who have expressed an interest in investing in marketing. They have proactively reached out to schedule a call, meeting or both. Below is a synopsis..

5 Marketing Situations from Recent Meetings:

  1. I have been thinking about this (marketing my business) for a long time. I am gun-shy as I have been burned in the past by marketing companies that have not delivered results.
  2. I am dabbling. I took your test and I am definitely a dabbler. I need help to put a marketing plan in place to deliver leads and break through the revenue ceiling I have hit. (Take the test to see if you too are dabbling)
  3. I need your help to reach my bigger goals for my business. But I have no time.
  4. We are flailing. We have no idea what we should be doing when it comes to marketing.
  5. Lack of focus and lack of results. We have made poor decisions with respect to marketing in the past and are trying to evaluate our alternatives to get back on track.

Do any of these sound familiar?

What hurdles do you face?

Five situations from five meetings. Being hesitant after being burned is completely understandable. Spending money on marketing efforts with no measurable return hurts. Who would want to repeat that experience? In fact, all situations are understandable. But the reality is if you really are committed to growing your business, you need to get over these hurdles.

Have you been burned before?

Have you hired a firm or individual to deliver results for your business and they did not deliver? I get it. Whatever the situation, is doing nothing really an option? Do you stop marketing your business because a past effort did not work? Jump over this hurdle and leverage this bad experience to find a better, more accountable partner. The good news is you are wiser now. You know more to help you evaluate potential partners. Ask about accountability and ROI. Don’t hesitate to dig into the details to help you to evaluate how/if the provider is going to demonstrate value for your business.

Is lack of time holding you back?

Is being too busy your hurdle? Everyone I work with is busy. No one is looking for ways to fill their work days. The reality is you have to make time. Marketing your business can’t be done without your involvement. You are the head of your business. You are likely the face of the brand. You can’t hand off marketing completely. With the right partner, you can let them drive the strategy and own the execution, but you are essential in the strategy. Having no time to build your business is a hurdle you have to jump over. It may be true, but you need to figure out how you can make the time. My analogy is exercise. A common excuse is I have no time. Get up earlier. Work out after work. Make the time, because you won’t find the time. The same is true for working ON your business, which is where strategic marketing thinking fits. You need to have this in place (aka the foundation) before you keep wasting time and money dabbling with marketing tactics.

Is money the issue?

Dabbling is a symptom of cutting corners, looking for the silver bullet. Are you willing to invest in growing your business? We will show you an ROI,  but the reality is you need to be willing to invest. If a new client is worth $10k/year, what would you invest to generate a pipeline of 40 new clients this year?  As a business owner, ask yourself, are you being short-sighted in allocating enough in the 2018 budget to fund a marketing plan? Do you have a budget for marketing? You need to.

Are you flailing?

This is a horrible feeling. Trying hard and making no progress. Flailing takes a lot of energy. You risk running out of energy and sinking. Stop! Come up for air. Consult with an expert to bring the right expertise to your company. Don’t waste time and energy and money trying to figure out something that is not your skillset.

Ready. Set. Go.

it is time for action. A new month is here and you are not going to let another month in 2018 go by without taking action. However, don’t confuse activity with progress! Be wise. Be focused. Get a marketing plan in place for your business. None of the above five companies had a marketing plan. Four out of five have been dabbling with various marketing tactics with limited results and little to no accountability.

Now is a great time to set your company up for success in 2018 and beyond. It is certainly not too late and there is no time like the present. Don’t get caught overthinking. Don’t spend the year intending to doing something and end up doing nothing.

Get in the blocks. Envision what success would feel like with marketing operating on all cylinders for your business. See it. Feel it. Now take action to secure the talent and expertise with a proven track record to make it happen. Act. Jump. You’ve got this.