Getting out of the Vicious Circle
by Robert Middleton
Do you know what the "Vicious Circle" is when it comes to marketing your business? It's the thoughts that go 'round and 'round and lead to... no marketing at all! This vicious circle is composed of three elements that feel very real to you: 1. Lack of Skills 2. Lack of Time and 3. Lack of Courage.
These elements can act independently but when they're connected, you get the ultimate marketing "non-synergy." The vicious circle conversations inside your head go something like this: "I really need to market but I'm not sure where to start, and not only that I can't fit marketing into my hectic schedule and besides, if I put myself out there I may make a fool of myself, so I'd better just keep a low profile and do good work for my existing clients -- marketing is undignified for my kind of business. Whew!"
Now this Marketing Flash isn't a rah-rah piece on how to get out of the vicious circle by a) getting more knowledge b) finding more time and c) building up courage. Not that there's anything wrong with those, but I want to point you in a whole new direction. This direction is called the "Virtuous Cycle." The Virtuous Cycle spirals up not down. It uplifts, motivates and inspires.
The first way to think about the Virtuous Cycle is to consider that marketing is less about doing and more about being. Yes, marketing should actually be an expression of who you are. "Being marketing" means communicating your ideas far and wide. It is sharing the value you have. It is making a contribution to as many people as possible. It is making a difference through what you know.
Yes, being marketing and creating a Virtuous Cycle simply means WRITING and SPEAKING as much as you possibly can.
The Virtuous Cycle is composed of the following three elements: 1) Professional Growth 2) Making a Contribution and 3) Promoting Your Services.
Let's take them one at a time:
By writing and speaking, first and foremost, you will become better at what you do. Getting ideas out of your head and down on paper has the beneficial side-effect of making room for more ideas! Yes, the more you write, the more ideas you have and the more ideas you have the better you get at what you do. You grow and your clients benefit.
By writing and speaking you are able to reach many more people than you do now. Your ideas reach more people and they help more people. That wonderful idea you wrote about may help another do something better, faster or cheaper. Contributing to others is extremely satisfying. When we help others we feel better about ourselves.
Finally, by writing and speaking you get known by more people. When more people know about you they talk about you. When people talk about you, some invariably contact you to ask how you can help them. If no one has heard of you and no one is talking about you, is it likely that they'll call you?
All three of these benefits of the Virtuous Cycle work synergistically. The acts of writing and speaking become self-reinforcing. You are not looking at writing activities as a "marketing chore" that you must get around to one of these days (vicious circle), but as activities that are rewarding you at every turn. As you start to speak and write, your ideas and focus become clearer. You start having better ideas for your clients. You are full of the satisfaction that comes from helping more and more people and, as a bonus, more people call you and want to work with you.
Isn't it time you got out of your vicious circle of avoiding marketing activities and started to think in a completely new way? Marketing can be a joyous activity, a Virtuous Cycle of sharing a wealth of ideas, growing, contributing and prospering in the process.
I promise that if you start thinking this way you'll know exactly what to do (share what you know and make it useful) have the time to do it (it becomes a natural part of your weekly routine) and the courage to do it (when you're making a real contribution, fear tends to disappear).
Yes, there are the nuts and bolts of writing and speaking: "What exactly should I write about? Who would want to hear me speak?" Watch that you don't slip back into the vicious circle. Jump back into the Virtuous Cycle and say instead, "That idea that worked so well for my client is worth writing up. I'll write a short article on how other businesses can apply it and distribute it to my network of clients, prospects and business associates."
It really is that easy. Whether you distribute what you write in an e-mail message, in a newsletter or in a national trade publication is not the point. Getting your ideas out of your head and out to people -- somehow, anyhow is the point.
And speaking is very much the same. Your professional organization, your alumni group or even a group of clients all may be interested in what you have to say. But you'll never know unless you ask.
Start your Virtuous Cycle today!
"This article, copyright Robert Middleton, Action Plan Marketing. All rights reserved.
Robert's web site is a comprehensive resource on marketing for Independent Professionals.
For free marketing resources and valuable marketing tools visit http://tinyurl.com/eald6
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