This week’s post was written by Cityweaver: Consulting for Community-Minded Businesses.
Clients come to me thinking key to success is to work every moment they can spare.
If you work hard at growing your business – 40 to 50 hours a week – I suggest 12 of those hours should be for marketing. Why? Because you can’t afford to fight for every client. You need clients to come to you and fight for your attention. I’m going to explain why and how twelve hours a week works.
Marketing is a Mass Conversation
If you can’t define marketing, twelve hours sounds like an impossible commitment. Marketing is the mass conversation your business has with the community. This conversation can be organic and authentic, but marketing is the discipline of deliberate and consistent authenticity. So, don’t fake your personality. Be fearless in building a target audience that loves your personality.
This Is Not An Overwhelming Process
In fact, it is the opposite. Start marketing with a twelve-hour commitment, two core products, one explosive sales event and a few networking allies. It’s a simple back-and-forth process that generates “keeping the lights on” money. Once you’ve mastered it, train and trust an employee to make that money for you and move on to a new product.
And you started your business to work on the sexy projects, right? The biggest, most expensive projects for the most interesting and prestigious clients. I bet you’re bored to tears by all this talk of money and marketing over the art, craft, inspiration and joy that made you a business owner. Please don’t lose hope! Just because you’re focusing on one aspect of your business doesn’t mean it will consume you. Master these skills now and your business can grow impossibly larger, but never more complex.
Twelve Hours a Week
The 12-hour schedule includes planning, follow-up and doing time. You may spend that time differently from week to week, but every week is scheduled around preparing for the next event. That’s what keeps your marketing grounded: every conversation should lead back to sales.
- Vision Time: Create, plan and regularly revisit your vision. Why are you doing what you do? Does it bring you joy and does it bring joy to others?
- Venue Time: Visit your networking allies. Learn about their work, partner with them.
- Inbound Time: Create blog posts and promotional materials. Update your website and store.
- Event Time: Running your events make up most the time. Make your life easy – always prepare the stage before events.
- Outbound Time: Even if you only spent 30 minutes a day following up those business card exchanges and curious almost-customers, that translates to thousands of dollars in sales.
Mock Schedule – A Hair Stylist has open house on Monday nights
|Customers, referrals, venues and prospects come together to talk hair.||Follow-up with interested prospects and get them signed up by deadline.||Write a guest blog post for a hair blogger with invitation to next open house.||Attend a local make-up party with invitation to next open house.||Prepare the shop and website, new promotional materials, train staff.||Call invitees to reconfirm attendance. Deadline for last week’s prospects.|
|Vision Ongoing: Can I average 2-4 referrals from my satisfied customers? Is my staff competitive in getting referrals? How can I improve the open house?|
Katherine has a background in community organizing and strategic planning from community-serving-community projects here in Cleveland, OH. She founded Cityweaver so that she could work with businesses to overcome poverty by challenging poverty-creating attitudes and habits present in consumers, employees and business models.
Click here to visit cityweaver.org to learn more about marketing twelve hours a week.