It happens to most every entrepreneur... You’ve got a killer idea for marketing your business. Maybe you’re even really excited about it. Then you find yourself procrastinating and not taking the action steps needed to make it happen.
Chances are it’s because you were somehow afraid... Afraid no one will notice or respond? Afraid it would be the wrong thing? A waste of money? Embarrassing? Highly successful? That people won’t like it or you?
I’ve been a full-time marketing professional for the past eight years, and I still suffer from fear of marketing sometimes. Typically it’s when I’m trying some new marketing strategy or tactic, or launching a new program. I’ll be happily moving out of my comfort zone and suddenly I’ll realize I’m procrastinating about some of the marketing tasks.
Mind you, I write weekly ezines and blog posts, regularly submit articles, audios, videos and all kinds of other stuff online. So it’s not like I’ve been hiding. I made the big step of putting myself out there on the Web years ago.
Mentally I should be good with all this by now, right? Yet all of a sudden I’ll find myself stalling on something that isn’t even a big deal compared to what I normally do.
Suddenly I’m paralyzed by fear of all the unknowns and what ifs. The ironic part is that the tactics I’m stalling on are almost always the ones that end up getting the best results.
Thankfully, I’ve found a few ways to move past the fear and procrastination to get my marketing done. Since I know from working with hundreds of clients over the years that I’m not the only one who suffers from fear of marketing, I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks I use to keep going…
1) Have a written marketing plan. It’s harder to put it off when you’ve got it in writing. And be sure to set milestones and due dates to keep you honest.
2) Put it in your calendar. If you schedule in time to work on each marketing task you greatly increase the chances that it will get done.
3) Break it down. A marketing tactic like writing and publishing a regular newsletter, for example, can require many steps to implement. Break it down and attack each separate task as its own to-do until you’ve got the whole job done.
4) Add it to your to-do list. Keeping it in front of you makes it harder to forget (whether on purpose or unintentionally). And crossing it off the list feels good.
5) Ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Sometimes, just by stopping and thinking it through, you’ll realize the reason you’re procrastinating is totally illogical. Suddenly it becomes easier to proceed.
6) Ask yourself what you might gain. Think about the potential benefits of taking action. Imagine what it could do for you business. If that’s worth having then it’s even more worth doing.
7) Reward yourself. Promise yourself something special once you get a marketing task done or marketing implemented. It can be as simple as a coffee break or walk in the park, or as fancy as dinner out, a vacation or a even new pair of shoes. Whatever makes sense and motivates you.
The bottom line is, if you want to grow a thriving business you’ve got to put yourself out there and do the marketing. You can’t let fear of rejection, failure, success or anything else hold you back.
Because, as I’ve learned from experience, our fears are usually bigger than the reality, and our dreams smaller than the future in front of us. But you only discover the truth by taking action.
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Practical Marketing Expert Stacy Karacostas specializes in taking the stress, struggle and confusion out of growing your small business. She's the author of "Putting Your Business on the Road to Success", "The Small Business Website Bible" and more than 200 articles on marketing, copywriting, sales and success. For more information, visit Success-Stream.com.