How To Gain Confidence in your Marketing
by Jay B. Lipe
When I started my marketing firm in 1994, I decided to send out a
press release to the local media. Over the next 2 weeks, I wrote
and rewrote this release until I was sure it would get picked up
in the local papers. By this stage, my inner voice was chanting
"This will work! This will work!"
On that fateful day, I drove to the post office and triumphantly
mailed off 15 press releases. Fully expecting a cavalcade of
phone calls, I charged down to my office the following morning.
Nothing. In fact, for the next thirty days there was nothing.
At this point I had a talk with myself. I said "Jay, you can
either believe this was a waste of time and nothing will come
from it, or you can truly believe that something good will
happen…it's your choice". Being an eternal optimist, I chose the
The very next day I was reading a business journal on the
treadmill and noticed a profile article on a local businessman.
What caught my eye though was that the writer's name, listed at
the end of the article, was not one I had sent a packet to
earlier that month. It was a new name. So the following day, I
sent off a packet to this writer and, long story short, ended up
being featured in the paper 2 weeks later.
Then, the president of a billion-dollar travel company saw the
story and hired me to develop a marketing plan for one division.
Nine years later, that client is still our largest client. And to
think, none of this would have ever happened if I'd allowed my
self-confidence to fade.
The moral here is that you must believe to succeed. But are there
other methods of building confidence into your marketing? Sure,
and here are just a few:
Who's been down this road? I'm always a little surprised at the
number of business owners who don't seek out others' opinions. To
me, these people-I call them gray hairs-have already been down
the road you're approaching. They have boatloads of expertise and
inspiration that will help you gain confidence.
Before launching into a new campaign, whether it's developing a
marketing plan, building a website, or just redoing your store
sign, ask yourself "Who do I know that's done this before?" Then,
seek them out. Chances are, they'll be glad to help.
Be a graduate student of your audience One of our clients sells
educational games to schools. When I asked him where he drew
confidence from, he answered "I'm most confident when I know my
target audience inside and out. If I can paint a detailed
picture-down to what she's feeling, or even what car she drives-
that's when I'm most confident."
So, commit to really knowing your target audience. Ask them
questions like "What do you look for in a product/service like
mine?" After doing this with enough prospects, I suspect you'll
no longer feel like you're selling something, but instead like
you're helping solve problems.
Success breeds confidence It seems so obvious, but it bears
repeating. The more you practice something, the better you get.
So, think of your marketing effort as one big laboratory. Some
marketing experiments will succeed, while others will fail. But
from all of them, you'll gain valuable knowledge that improves
your success rate. And as your success rate jumps, so will your
'Fess up… How many of you cooked the perfect casserole, your very
first time? Were you an instant Fred Astaire the first time you
hit the boards? Who out there belted a home run, your first at-
bat? Marketing, like anything else in life, takes practice. But
diligent practice, with the right attitude, will bring you
success and confidence you've never dreamed of.
Jay B. Lipe, is a renowned expert on small
business marketing. He is the author of
The Marketing Toolkit for Growing Businesses and
the CEO of Emerge Marketing
a firm that helps small business leaders develop a new marketing
momentum for their companies.
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