In an online writer’s group, about twenty of us were talking about marketing–the dreaded marketing! In every writer’s dream world, there is some fabled marketer working for us, promoting us and we spend our days in cozy coffee shops, or beach side resorts, tapping keys and creating fantastic pieces of literary brilliance… Did I mention, dreamworld?
The trouble with the internet isn’t the lack of advice on how to market, it’s the sheer volume of it. One source says one thing, another opposes it. They both claim what they did benefited them. Someone else will write an entire article about why neither of the previous actions are the best course of action. What should one believe?
This is why mentors are so amazing. Mine had been in the field making six figures for over twenty-five years. Having been down the road, I was sure she’d learned a number of tried and true tactics. So when she said, “Choose something you like to do, and do it consistently.” The next twenty questions started with but and went into what-if scenarios. So she explained.
“If you hate cold-calling, that isn’t going to work for you. If you’re someone who likes email, you might try email marketing. Find what you like to do, what you are comfortable doing and begin with that. You can always change it up later.”
This was brilliant advice. This duck-taped the mouth of my internal editor shut. Consistency I could manage. My downfall had been trying everything, including that which I hated, and wondering why I felt defeated and overwhelmed. This simple concept pared the mental chatter down to the single voice. “Whatever you do be consistent.”
She saw networking as my biggest obstacle. That year I had just 139 connections on one of very few networking platforms. I’d been stuck at that number for years. I set a target goal of one hundred new contacts, decided to learn more about networking, expanded my social platforms and consistently followed her advice for the next several months.
Almost immediately, I discovered a local in-person networking event hosted by Chris Borja (see link below) and because he shared his story of overcoming shyness, I wanted to meet him. The interactive meeting was educational and helped me understand the how and why of networking. By getting to know people, and being interested in them, not trying to sell them, you grow your network, and increase visibility. Until that meeting, I didn’t realize how fun marketing could be or how many amazing people are all around me. At the end, I introduced myself to Chris and after a brief chat, he invited me to coffee. That year, my network quadrupled.
Not only that, but exciting bonuses included being invited to meet with lots of business owners one on one for coffee and learning about amazing services I didn’t know existed. Every person’s experiences were fascinating, and I realized how much I loved meeting new people and talking about their interests. Everyone has a story; every business owner has a “why.”
In a few short years, I’ve had the privilege of working with people from across town, across the country and across the earth. Aside from being enriched by those relationships, I’ve also found immense joy in connecting like-minded people from my network.
We’re all looking for something or someone. And if I can, I’d like to help you find it. In the meantime, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received? How did it impact your life? Share your comments in the comments below.
Connect with Chris Borja.