Sometimes you’ve just got to follow your gut and give yourself permission to do it your way
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit jaded and overwhelmed by people telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing in my business. I accept that I probably add to the information overload with my own meagre twopenneth worth from time to time - but I hope I do it in the spirit of ‘sharing and things to try’ rather than laying down the law like a Banana Republic dictator.
- “You must use Wordpress” - Oh must I? I’ll stick to my beloved Squarespace thank you.
- ‘Webinars are the only way to build an audience’ - I hate the thought of doing webinars mainly because I’m terrified that no-one will show up, or that I’ll make total arse of myself.
- ’You must send out your email shots, mid afternoon on a Tuesday’ - well I send mine out on a Friday morning. Deal with it.
- This time last year, the gurus were telling me that Google + was the be all and all - well look how that turned out!
If you don’t want to use Pinterest and Instagram, then don’t flipping use them. If you don’t like writing, make podcasts, or just pick up the phone and speak to people. My point is, it’s your business, run it your way.
My husband runs a small sports injury clinic - he’s booked solid for weeks and sometimes months in advance. He hates social media and can’t be bothered with it. So he steadfastly refuses to use it. He gets clients by building relationships and has a strong referral network of people who send him a steady stream of clients.
The very idea of having to pick up the phone to make cold sales calls fills me with horror. It takes me back to my days as a junior account executive in a PR company having to call journalists to pitch them a story angle about some piece of shit product and convince them it was the best thing since sliced bread. NEVER AGAIN!
I’m very comfortable with the written word, and I’m very confident in a networking or face to face situation. So I focus on those things - and that’s what keeps my order book full.
I think we’re in danger of losing trust in our own instincts
I’m seeing a bit of a pattern among small companies I meet, who are suffering from Action Paralysis. There’s a tsunami of conflicting information out there about how to do digital marketing, so they end up doing nothing. They’re afraid of doing it wrong, or feel overwhelmed by the amount of time it takes to write blogs, make posts to go out 5 times a day, run webinars, build email lists, make ebooks etc.
Take the pressure off yourself
So I invite you to think of this:
- Take the pressure off yourself - if a piece of marketing advice doesn’t seem right to you, or you instinctively believe it’s not right for your customers, then let it go.
- Focus on what you do best - your customers have chosen to work with you, so if they don’t get invited to a special Facebook group, or access to a library of white papers, that’s ok. They get something better. They get you.
- Give yourself permission to say: “Nah, I don’t want to do that.” The world will not come to an end.
- If you want take a social media hiatus, that’s fine. Just pin a post to the top of your Facebook page or Twitter feed saying “We’re taking a social media break for a couple of months while we make exciting plans for our business. We’ll be back soon.”
- Don’t lose sight of your needs - if you started your own business so you could spend more time with your family, then it’s pointless if you are permanently glued to your social media apps on your phone.
- Remember the passion you felt to start your own business - information overload can turn the joy of running your own show into bitter resentment and exhaustion.