This is Week 14 of a 52-week project/experiment in DIY marketing. Armed with nothing but a copy of the 2009 Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar and my bare wits, I'm applying the skills you need to grow a business in real time, day by day, and reporting on them week by week. I'll provide a topline of my experience here every Monday; see my companion blog, A Virgo's Guide to Marketing, for the full story, additional links and other marketing-related goodness.
This week, something has come up again and again in conversation and in action: the idea that you'll never be totally ready, so you might as well get going.
Ilise and I have been talking about it vis-a-vis cold calling, as we prep our upcoming webinar for Freelancers Union (rather slyly if accurately titled "Cold Calling is the Brussels Sprouts of Marketing"): you don't have the follow-up materials ready, so you don't pick up the phone to call. Same thing with…
- starting a blog (you don't have the perfect design/list of posts/title/theme)
- getting on Twitter (you don't know who to follow or how you'll get followers or what to say) or…
- going to networking events (you don't have your rap/elevator speech down or your business cards ready)
The thing about marketing yourself is that it is always a work in progress, just like your business is always a work in progress. (Or, if you want to get woowoo about it, like YOU are a work in progress.) If I had waited until I had the perfect verbal business card, I'd never have gone to a single event. I'd still not be going to them, since my focus has been slightly shifting and constantly narrowing faster than I can keep up with it.
The next time you find yourself saying, "Oh, it would be a waste of my time to (have cards printed up, go to this event, pick up the phone)," ask yourself: would it really? Could you print cards cheaply (or for free) to start collecting input? Could you go to the event to try out a new rap (or ask people about theirs)? Could you make some calls just for practice?
That's what I'm starting to do, and it's opening me up to all kinds of possibilities I'd never discovered.
You can read more about them and the rest of my calendar week at the Virgo Guide to Marketing. Just start at the jump!