Why Is Marketing So Hard?

by Trish

I hear this all the time. Business owners who just want the clients to automatically show up at their door. Freelancers who just want to do the fun stuff and not the boring stuff.

Learn to LOVE IT!

I did. Back in 1995 when I started my freelance biz, I had no idea how to get clients. I was pleased when they found me by chance, thrilled when someone referred me to another publisher. In 1996, I started figuring out how to get more clients and as the years wore on, the thrill of the chase got to me.

Shhhh. Don’t tell, but I actually really love marketing now.

So much so that sometimes I wish I could just market for a living. Thus why I blog and consult and help other freelancers/businesses get where they need to go.

But ideally, a business owner must learn to do both.

Here’s how:

1. Set aside some marketing time on a daily basis. If you hate it as much as I did back in the beginning of my business, you’ve got to get into a habit. Don’t force yourself to do a lot of it at once and pick out the funner pieces of it to start with (for me, this is writing copy, blogging, Twittering, checking in with folks, sending out emails, direct mail pieces, and writing eZines). The boring stuff (for me, database management, keeping up-to-date with email and addresses and who needs what when) just has to be done (set up a rewards system: cookies, donuts, TiVo).

2. Divide your marketing tasks into doable chunks a la David Allen’s Getting Things Done. For today, I have to dive back into my contact management database and move some things around. I have to format some lists into proper format and check my contacts to make sure everyone is on the right list to get my newest piece of direct mail. Later, I’ll have to print labels and put stamps on. But that’s fun. I can watch stupid movies and do that at the same time. No, I don’t have an assistant. Darn.

3. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. And just keep doing it. Word to the wise: even when you’re full up and scheduled to the wazoo, keep marketing. You never know when it will pay off and you never want to let yourself get out of the groove. This is probably the hardest piece of freelance time management out there. How to market and work and keep up with everything? It takes practice and determination and fortitude, but isn’t that what you set out to prove when you started your business? If you tackle some small marketing piece every day, you won’t be left with a pile of not-so-fun projects that bore you to tears and make you curse the day you had to start this damn business.

Relax! Everyone’s marketing just like you. It’s hard out there, but so full of opportunities! Don’t sit back and let 2010 slip by without claiming your share.

Ready? Set? Go.


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