When it comes to marketing one’s professional services, the most common emotion isn’t fear, it’s overwhelm.
My friend, Jill Konrath, has an overarching description of prospective clients these days: Everyone is “crazy busy,” she points out. And this is why it can be so hard to reach people, get meetings with them and sell our professional services.
But as independent professionals, we’re crazy busy as well. We seem to have more things to do than ever before. And when it comes to promoting our services, we get overwhelmed because of all the things we think we must do to keep up with everyone else.
Here are just a few of the things we can do these days to market ourselves online:
Develop and maintain our websites
Keep a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
Develop a podcast
Create online videos
Write an email newsletter
Publish a blog
Post articles on LinkedIn and Medium
Hold a webinar
Advertise on Facebook
Send promotional emails
Overwhelmed yet? I’ve done a number of these things, but just reading this list practically gives me a panic attack.
We look at a list like this and inevitably think,“I’m not doing enough to market my professional services; I’m falling behind; I’m not doing enough; I’ll never catch up!”
That’s overwhelm. And then we freeze and end up not doing anything because we don’t want to waste our time doing the wrong thing.
A few tips to help you start feeling more in control:
1. There is nothing on that list above that you MUST do. Yes, marketing entails communicating to prospective clients in one way or the other, but there is no one strategy or technique that is absolutely essential.
2. You can be effective marketing your services by doing ONE thing consistently and very well. It might be an email newsletter, giving talks, or networking, but it doesn’t need to be all of those things.
3. Find the marketing activity that you enjoy the most and do that one over all the others. For me, it’s writing. It’s easy for me and doesn’t stress me out. But you need to find the thing that’s fun and easy for you.
4. Do everything you can to avoid information overload. Delete your junk emails as quickly as possible. Don’t visit Facebook 20 times a day, and check your messages less often. Focus on one project at a time with as few interruptions as possible.
5. Use online tools that get you organized and save time.One of my favorites is Evernote.com as it’s great for organizing lists, ideas, projects and people. And many of my clients swear by HighriseHQ.com to manage their contacts and follow-ups.
6. Book very specific times to do your marketing activities.For instance, I always write this eZine on Mondays and rarely miss an issue. Many of my clients make follow-up calls or send marketing emails the first thing in the morning.
7. Let whatever you do today be enough.Stop beating yourself up for not being a “super marketer.” That’s obsessive-compulsive behavior! Do whatever you can the best you can and be a little easier on yourself.
8. OK, breathe, relax.Push yourself away from your screen for a minute or two and be in the moment. Step out of overwhelm intentionally whenever you notice you’re getting sucked in. Then return to your work with more awareness and presence.