I talk to a lot of emerging entrepreneurs who have the view that marketing starts when you have a completed website, clear offer, snappy elevator speech and crisp business cards.
- Marketing is only about selling services
- You must have your brand (and offers) nailed before you can go to a networking event
- You can know the right offers to create without talking to ideal prospective clients
I see marketing differently.
Marketing is about:
- Connecting with people you are interested in working with and listening intently to what they care about, and what specific problems they have. My friend Ramit Sethi is pathological about his research — he spends a huge amount of time and resources learning about the needs of his customers before developing offers.
- Hanging out in many different environments, in person and online, and noticing the kind of people you really enjoy talking with and helping
- Carefully collecting samples of competitor services so you can analyze both what is being offered in the market, and what is lacking in the market
- Once you have a good idea what your market needs, what you want to offer them and how your service or product stands out above the others, you can make your marketing plan and do things like nail your website copy, have a snappy elevator speech, and amp up your social media efforts
So if you are holding back from going to networking events, attending conferences or having conversations online until your services are set in stone, I encourage you to rethink your marketing strategy.
- Order a simple biz card from moo.com with your name, email address and phone number
- If you must have a website, it can be this simple. http://brianwong.me/
- Get out there and listen, listen, listen
Marketing works in seasons. Seeds you plant today will bloom in many months, or sometimes many years.
Do not wait until you have to eat to market your services. You will go hungry.