There are two things that make us struggle with marketing. One is relatively easy to solve and the other is more difficult.
The first thing is all the strategies and skills needed to market ourselves effectively. You know, writing good materials, getting in front of prospective clients, the selling process, etc.
Those can be technically challenging, but there are endless articles, books, courses, and people who can help you with that stuff.
The second thing is much trickier and often less obvious. It has to do with the mindsets, beliefs, and fears we bring to the marketing and selling process.
Technology and strategies we can look at somewhat objectively: “Here’s a thing I need to know and it’s something I can learn and get better at.”
But our mindsets, beliefs, and fears are what we look through, that color our perception of those technologies and strategies.
So, we may have a mindset about technology in general: “I’m just not the technical type. I’m terrible at learning all that stuff.”
Or we have a limiting belief about certain strategies: “You want me to write about what I do? Well, I’m just not a good writer.”
And we have all kinds of fears related to marketing and selling: I just can’t approach that person. I’ll be rejected and I can’t face that.
So, the first big realization we can have about why we struggle with marketing is that ultimately it’s all interior stuff.
It’s mindsets, beliefs, and fears, not technologies and strategies that prevent us from being successful at marketing and selling.
And this is a hard realization. We’d like to think that all the challenges related to successful marketing are all exterior. We just think we don’t know enough or don’t have the experience and skills.
But it this were true, we’d simply buckle down, learn what we needed to learn and get on with it.
I remember in 1996 I was determined to learn how to create a website. So I bought a book called, “Create Your Own Website in a Week with HTML” and because someone told me it was pretty easy, I just read the book and a week later had my own website.
But many other things that were, in comparison, relatively easy, took me years and years to master because of the interior challenges.
You know, things like picking up the phone and calling someone!
In any case, if you are ready to realize that what’s stopping you from being effective at marketing your professional services is mostly interior stuff, not exterior stuff, you can then take the next step.
Your Next Step…
If you’ve struggled with marketing your services and always find reasons for not taking action, it’s time to examine your mindsets, beliefs, and fears.
Mindsets are overarching attitudes about something. What is your prevailing attitude about marketing and selling in general? If it’s something like, “Marketing and selling are for hucksters, not professionals,” you can see why you’d avoid marketing like the plague!
Beliefs are often one-sided perceptions about a situation. A common belief I often encounter with clients is, “They just wouldn’t be interested in what I’m offering.” Well, obviously this stops you cold from even finding out if they are interested or not.
Fears are more visceral projections that something bad will happen if you try something. “You want me to email or phone to introduce myself to members of my professional organization? Are you mad!!??” The sweaty palms and beating heart are more akin to jumping out of a plane without a parachute!
There is one universal antidote to mindsets, beliefs, and fears.
And that is asking yourself if they are actually true.
Is it really true that marketing my services means I need to be a huckster? Are there other more realistic possibilities here?
Is it really true that they won’t be interested in what I’m offering? Can you know that for sure? Can you discover ways to test that belief?
Is it really true that something terrible will happen to me if I introduce myself to the members of my professional organization? Will they send a hit-man to take me out? Will I die from a heart attack?
With ruthlessly honest inquiry, you might discover that your mindsets, beliefs, and fears are no more than a cruel illusion, designed to keep you safe and comfortable (when you were in no real danger in the first place).
If you really want to make a difference with your professional services, what else can you do? Consider the alternative. Isn’t avoiding taking action, making excuses, and imagining failure, a whole lot worse?
Look at what’s true. And the truth shall set you free.