Oh yes siree, it sure is.
Marketing fear can stop you in your tracks from being an effective business owner, selling your artistic talents, and believing that what you have to offer today is beautiful, organic and real. Yes, we need to market ourselves, but time and time again, when I get caught up in the paranoid frenzy that I do not have the ultimate traffic-driving SEO system in place for my web site, or the perfect email chain funnel for my services, I have to take a step back and breathe.
Then I find clients the old fashioned way…. I go to events and network.
If you view any competitor’s sites that have any kind of marketing funnel system in place (which for me is just about everyone), you may feel panic. Their landing pages scroll on and on with calls to action in fancy fonts and trademarked systems. Their programs offer meditations, E books, handouts and webinar series.
I want to just close up my computer and go home.
Then I remember I work at home.
Marketing despair can take the wind out of your sails and create a false belief that your talent, personality and passion are not enough. Sure, being present on social media is important, so throw some witty barbs out there from time to time. Follow fellow artists, re-tweet their tweets. But get your talent out front and center in person. Make the relationships that last a lifetime. Wait on the expensive branding expert until you know who you really are. If you market yourself before you’ve done the real-world research, the game plane will have to be changed in a month or so.
The game plan changes all the time, especially as you develop and evolve in your craft. Enjoy it. That’s the essence of why we do what we do. (I just heard a Salt-n-Pepa riff in there.)
If you market yourself based on fear, it will backfire for sure. We grow all the time as artists and business owners, especially in the first couple years. I have to remind myself that four months ago I didn’t have a web site or a business card, and now I have both of those. I even have a video on my web site of me talking. Is it a glossy branded perfect video? Hell no, but for now, I get across a message and it is one notch up from recording on my laptop in my bedroom.
The best way I find to market is in networking groups. Yes (gulp)… in person. I belong to several networking business groups, and if you want to crawl out of your skin, and expose your core self, get up in front of twenty-five people at 7AM and talk for 60 minutes about what you do.
Then there is the time to get quiet and ask yourself, who am I and what do I need to today to attract clients/jobs/auditions/financing and be successful at my craft?
When I get sucked into the “My marketing is not enough” mindset I don’t plan any more marketing for that moment. That doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be a good day to plan marketing. But today may be a better day to do good old-fashioned phone outreach or book speaking gigs, or take an educational class (where by the way you meet people and they could be your next inroad to a break or a client).
We forget in this world of email and web marketing that we are people and trust is still a huge factor in getting what you need and want in your career.
Sure, one day I want a marketing person on call all the time. At least fifteen times a day I have a small marketing insight, big huge global idea or moderate fantasy of how I can market my business and make millions with my gifts and usually it either overwhelms me, I choose to forget it, or I write it down on a document I will maybe open again but probably not. So a direct line to my marketing guru would be great.
The truth is every day I am guided by a bigger divine energy than my small brain. I know the actions I want to take, but again and again it is proven to me that the timing is divine. I have gotten this far in my business and will continue. I’m coached and in a group that have similar stories. I know people I can call and get vulnerable with. Women I can ask questions to. Ambitious people I can look up to. And if you listen, you hear that they cried their first year of their business. It takes courage to be something special.
Now I don’t even cry every day.
Just every other day.