Posted by : Amanda Stein Monday, April 8, 2013

Excuses. We all have them. Some we like more than others. All of them hold us back in some way. When it comes to marketing, the excuse center in our brains get a large dose of adrenaline and go into overdrive. I understand, marketing is a strange and scary place and we aren’t really sure what is going to happen there. Let me calm your fears. Marketing can be the best part of your week if you let it. Below are some of the most common excuses I hear when it comes to marketing. All of them have a remedy, and most of them are painless. I may step on some toes, but it is for your own good. Some of these might sound familiar.

1. “I don’t know what to say” – Many people are afraid of the blank paper (or you could call it ‘blinking cursor syndrome’) They sit down to write their marketing message and their mind goes blank. The remedy for this one is get to know your perfect customer, find out what it is they need, figure out where your product or service fits into their lives. Boil all of that down into one sentence that identifies your customer, pinpoints a need, and demonstrates a result. All of your marketing copy will flow from that.

2. “I can’t afford it.” – I hear you saying you can’t justify the expense of marketing. I have two remedies. One – there are tons of ways to market your business for free. Do a search, ask a professional for some ideas, be creative. Two – When done right, marketing will make you money. We can all afford that. Right?.

3. “I don’t know how/I’m not creative” – Everyone is creative. Period. We were made that way. Not everyone is a painter, songwriter or designer. But everyone is creative in some way. So, you don’t know how to market your business. OK. You didn’t know how to drive a car until you learned. You didn’t know how to write your name until someone showed you how. You can learn to market your business. There are tons of resources online, lots of classes at your community college. Sorry, ignorance is no excuse.

4. “It doesn’t work.” – You are telling me that you’ve tried something in the past and you didn’t get the results you wanted. That may be true. The marketing that you tried, did you speak to the right audience? Did you send the right message? Did you use the right vehicle to deliver it? Did you have a way to measure the results? If the answer to any of those is no, I’m not surprised that it didn’t work. When you convey the right message to the right customer using the right vehicle…it will work. I promise.

5. “We’ve never done that before. “ - You have a business and are making ends meet and you have never done any marketing. Not bad. Imagine how successful your business would be if you had done even a little marketing. You could be pulling down serious profit by now. I know doing something new is outside of your comfort zone, but if you want something you’ve never had, you must do things you’ve never done. My remedy is to challenge you to make small strides into seriously marketing your business for six to nine months. At the end of that time, I promise you will see the results of your efforts. If you don’t you can go back to the way you used to get business. Slowly.

6. “What if…” – Usually this excuse is followed by the worst case scenario. And you can go all day with the worst case “what ifs”. My remedy, what if it works like you think it will, you get tons of new customers, profits are coming in and product is going out. What if you create new problems? Instead of how are we going to pay the bills, How are we going to fill all of these orders? What if you need to expand? If you want to play the “what if” game make it the good kind. “What if we miss our goal?” Well you are guaranteed to miss it if you don’t make an effort. Remember the un-aimed arrow hits its target every time.

7. “I’ll get to it later” – No. You probably won’t. Procrastination is a big enemy of success. Procrastination hates the successful with a passion. Success fights back by getting up off the couch and getting busy. My remedy, what can you do, right now, that will get you closer to marketing your business? It doesn’t have to be a major campaign, right now. But what can you do? Make an appointment on your calendar to do something toward marketing your business every week. Then KEEP IT! It might be the most important appointment you have.

8. “I’m too busy” – A close cousin to “I’ll get to it later”. It is a more accepted form of procrastination because you can’t really fault someone for being lazy if they are way too busy. They just don’t have enough hours in the day to market their business. Besides, what would they do with more business? My remedy, if you are ready to build your business, and grow your operation, it is time to hire someone to help you market your business. You don’t have to do everything in your business. It is impossible to be good at all of it. There is a reason you do what you do. You are good at it. Go find someone that is good at what you need done and have them do it for you.

We all make excuses from time to time. I am good at it. But excuses don’t accomplish anything and that is not what we are about. We have dreams that need reaching. That is why we started our businesses in the first place. We must at least try to reach them. You can make those dreams happen, if you starve the excuse center of your brain and dive in. If you have an excuse I didn’t cover, email me any time and I will gladly send you a prescription to cure it. -

By Mark Combs,

Emails for Small Business with Constant Contact

Google Contributor

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