Member Update: What’s Holding You Back?

4 minute read

When it comes to getting clients, how is that going for you? (Seriously, tell me about it in the comments.)

I hope it’s going well… and by going well, I mean I hope you have a plan in place for marketing your business, that you’re following the plan, and that you’re getting results (i.e., clients).

If that’s not happening for you, let’s talk about it. What’s holding you back?

One of the life lessons that’s taken me longer to learn than I care to admit (still learning!), is that when something’s not working, it’s so helpful to pause and really examine why it isn’t working… and to especially look for hiccups that are in your control.

So, first question. Do you have a plan for your marketing?

Parts of a marketing plan include who you want to reach, how you plan to connect with them, how often you want to connect with them, and what you want to say to them along the way.

You’ll also need to create the assets necessary to implement your plan — a LinkedIn profile, a website, a list, an offer, and templates for your message (emails, direct messages, postcards, or what have you).

If you don’t have a plan yet, why not? Are you waiting until you feel ready? Are you unsure about any of the steps? Are you waiting for permission? Or is it something else?

If you don’t feel ready, that’s okay. Going through the planning will help you feel ready (or at least more ready… and yes, I am going for a record number of parentheticals in this post, thank you for asking :)). So go ahead and start planning!

If you’re unsure about any of the steps, that’s okay, too. Start doing some research, and remind yourself that nobody else sees the planning part, so you can flounder and make mistakes to your heart’s content. You’ll still be moving forward and learning. If you’re waiting for permission, I recommend you give that to yourself.

If it’s something else, explore that. Figure out what it is and what you need to move past it.

Next questions: If you have a plan, but you aren’t implementing, why is that?

Are you scared your plan won’t work? Afraid of being rejected? Afraid of someone saying yes, and then being on the hook to deliver? Is it a time issue?

If this is where you’re stalling, and fear is a factor, embrace the fear and take action anyway. It gets easier, I promise! Remind yourself that rejections aren’t personal — they have to do with whether the company has a need or not. Remind yourself that you have a community here to cheer you on if you get a yes… and to answer questions that come up. If it’s a time issue, take a hard look at your schedule, figure out what a realistic commitment is, and block time on your calendar. And then show up! That’s one of the biggest things at this stage. Showing up consistently.

Okay, third question, do you have a plan that you’re implementing consistently, but you just aren’t getting results?

In that case, I have to ask, are you really implementing consistently? Are you following up with people or expecting a yes at first contact? We’re good at telling ourselves comforting stories, so do a hard gut check on this. A lot of times I find that writers who feel like they aren’t getting results are really stuck on implementing their plan — I’ve made that mistake a time or two myself.

If you’re certain you’re executing on your plan, then the next step is to review your messaging. Are you being specific about how you can help your prospects? Are your messages tailored to the person you’re sending them to, or do they feel cut-and-paste? Are you finding common ground, sharing value, having genuine conversations rather than treating each point of contact like a sales pitch?

One thing that’s really helpful if the results are your sticking point is to share your marketing materials and steps with another writer and ask for their input.

If you aren’t yet getting the results you want from your marketing plans, you have to figure out what’s not working first, and then think through how you can fix it. Often the problem is easy to fix once you see it… it’s just that seeing it can take some work.

Tell us how your marketing is going in the comments!

New on the Site

There’s been a lot of talk in the news and on social media lately about Web3. You might be wondering what it’s all about. Some view Web3 (or Web 3.0) as the future of the internet. The overall promise of Web3 is decentralizing power on the internet and putting your data back in your control… but will it work? Andrew Murray talks about the pros and cons of Web3 and what it all means to writers in our most recent Tech Corner.

How is your relationship with social media? Is it helping you make connections, learn new things, nurture relationships, and land clients? Or is it a distraction and a time waster? Whether you’re not taking full advantage of social media or you’re letting it steal time from you, Suzanna Fitzgerald has a system that could help you get control over social media, and make sure it’s working for you.

Are you struggling to launch your writing business? It might be you’re complicating things. If that’s the case, a bare minimum business launch approach might be just the thing. In this recent article, I break down a bare minimum launch strategy into three essentials. Give it a look and then get your writing business off the ground the faster way.

Around the Web

I love this look at content marketing as a practice.

Looking for your next great podcast find? It might just be on this list.

Have you ever wondered how Google finds new or updated content to add to their results pages? This article talks about the process and shares tips to help you get indexed faster.

This post from HubSpot is like a crash course in market research.

That’s all for now. Make it a great week!