We expect perfection in everything these days. Perfection in our schools, healthcare, government and business. And, of course, in ourselves.
If it’s not perfect it’s just not good enough.
And, of course we want our marketing to be perfect, too. We want every marketing activity to work flawlessly every single time and to always attract our ideal clients. Right?
But then we try a few things and realize our marketing is far from perfect, and we feel frustrated, disappointed. In many cases we just give up.
Where has that thinking gotten us? Not very far. In fact, the search for perfection is a hopeless waste of time, energy, and money.
I have a little saying pinned to my computer:
“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.”
It may be hard to accept that your marketing will never be perfect. It can be good, it can be effective, it can produce the results you are ultimately looking for, but it will never be perfect.
This is what perfect marketing would look like:
Every time you communicate to anyone about your services, that person would buy your services 100% of the time.
I’ve never had that happen or seen it happen, have you?
Yet I’ve heard these same things over and over for years:
• That article isn’t good enough to send out yet.
• I’m not yet ready to give a presentation about my business.
• I need a lot more preparation before I give a webinar.
• I can’t send out an ezine because I might not follow though.
• I don’t have an advanced degree yet, so I can’t do that.
All these pictures in your head of how it’s supposed to be stops you cold.
Q. OK, Robert, so I get that my marketing isn’t ever going to be perfect. Then what’s the use? Should I settle for mediocre?
No, “settling for mediocre” is just another way of saying it has to be perfect. It isn’t true.
Q. Then what can I do? It seems hopeless.
Perfect is the enemy of progress. You simply want to do the best you can with what you have.
Q. Well, is there a ‘best’ way to approach my marketing?
I actually do have what I call “The Perfect Marketing Plan!” But it might not seem perfect to you. It’s simply what works, not just in marketing, but in any other thing you want to get good at.
Here are the five steps to the Perfect Marketing Plan.
1. Get the best information you can find about marketing your professional services. Articles, books, courses, etc.
2. Really study that material in depth. Don’t settle for skimming over this information. You need to understand it deeply – the best you possibly can.
3. Do any and all of the exercises or worksheets included with that information. Get to feel comfortable with the ideas.
4. Then take action. Not when you ‘master’ the material, but when you know enough to take small (imperfect) steps and give them a try in the real world.
5. Evaluate your results and get feedback and coaching from someone who’s been there before.
This is as about “perfect” as it will ever get. This imperfect approach to learning and implementing marketing actually does work – not to get perfect marketing results – but to get some marketing results.
Since I started my business in 1984 this is what I’ve done. I read about 300 books on business, marketing, and selling. I studied the best ones in depth. I did a lot of planning, worksheets, scripting, etc. And then I got out there and tried several things until I got results.
Some things didn’t work terribly well. Some things worked brilliantly. Those I repeated and turned into step-by-step systems that I could duplicate and also teach to others.
And along the way I hired coaches, participated in programs and mastermind groups and asked for feedback and help. I still do.
Q. Of all the things on that plan, which is the most important?
The most important is taking action.
If I were to place a bet on who would be most successful with marketing and had one person who was very knowledgeable and another who was willing to take action, I’d choose the action-oriented person every time.
Most people think the information is most important. But information without action won’t get you ANY results. However, taking action will automatically expose you to information, if only in testing the various ways of doing something.
But I recommend both. With both, you have a much better chance of success, and if you also add some level of support or coaching, your results will be even better.
Q. So where do I start?
Follow that plan. There are lots of ways to do it. Books, courses, programs, various coaches.
Of course, I have a bias towards my Action Plan approach. I teach this in my Marketing Action Groups. And over the years, I’ve seen a lot of success with this approach.
Participants learn the principles of marketing, they do exercises and receive assignments to take specific action steps. And then they get feedback and coaching.
It’s not perfect, but it works. People become better marketers and they get more and better clients. They give up perfectionism. They get into the habit of putting marketing into action based on proven step-by-step plans.
Q. Are there spaces open in the Marketing Action Group?
Yes, the group is ongoing Just link here for complete details.
THE MORE CLIENTS CLUB
If you want to become a more successful marketer of your professional services, Action Plan Marketing provides a comprehensive resource called the More Clients Club.
The Club is a collection of online marketing courses and tutorials, expert interviews, and resources – with hands-on, step-by-step strategies and guidance on how to attract more of your ideal clients.
In addition, the Club includes the twice-monthly live Marketing Action Program via Zoom videoconference to keep your marketing on track and accountable.
And access to all of this is only $9 per month.