Are you afraid of marketing?

I see this a lot when I network with business owners and ask them what their biggest issue is at the moment.

“No one is interested in what I have to offer” is a common response. “no one engages with my website and social media” is another.

My reply? “What are you doing in terms of marketing and promotion?”

“…I’m scared of looking silly or being told I’m an imposter, so I’m not doing much, really”.

Does that sound familiar?

Sure, I get it. You’re a new business owner, lots of other people are out there and getting noticed for doing the same thing, you’re never going to reach the same levels so why bother?

So how are you going to generate new leads for your business?

Putting yourself out there is a scary thing, I know, but you can only achieve so much by word of mouth and natural website traffic alone. When 8 out of 10 website visitors leave without making contact, numbers count – so you need to be making a splash and getting yourself noticed.

The problem is imposter syndrome.

The feeling that people might ‘find you out’ as not good enough, not able to deliver the goods, literally an imposter. It’s actually a remarkably common problem among business owners, even those of us who have been established for years and you might perceive as successful.

You’re not a fraud.

You’re an individual with something to offer that other people are desperately looking for, putting yourself out there for those people to find you is the key to your own success as a business owner, and there are some simple ways of achieving this.

Be sure of your why

Why are you offering your particular products or services?

Usually, it’s because you know they can help your target audience who might be short of time, experience, knowledge or being kept awake at night by a problem you can solve.

Your target audience are looking for you, your products, your services right now to help them, so by not getting yourself out there you’re preventing people from finding the help they need.

That’s a new perspective for you, right?

Be confident that what you’re saying will be heard by the right people at the right time, the trick is finding the right way of achieving that.

Use your natural qualities to benefit your business

We’re all good at something.

Whether it’s being creative, giving advice or making introductions, and these can all be used to benefit you as a small business owner promoting what you do.

If you’re a creative person head over to Canva or Photoshop and create some stunning social media graphics that will grab attention and raise engagement with your brand.

One of the best ways to make this work for you is by blogging and sharing your knowledge and services through the written word and re-purposing that content into memes, quotes and even videos (check out Lumen5).

It’s a gentle approach of consistent promotion that introduces you and what you do into the subconscious of your audience so when you do reach out with stronger forms of marketing, they’re already engaged and ready to listen.

Use Facebook groups to connect with people

Facebook groups give you the benefit of connecting with new people and sharing what you do without having to get heavy handed with the marketing or leaving the comfort of your own home.

Engagement is important here – if there’s a post or discussion you can contribute to, do so. I’m not talking about ‘to find the answer to your question you need to invest in my latest coaching programme’ kind of response you’ve probably seen plastered around Facebook.

Quite simply, I’m telling you to be helpful and share your knowledge and expertise without expecting anything back in return.

It might sound counterproductive, but we’re developing trust and rapport here.

Demonstrating that you’re good at what you do, have the knowledge and expertise others are looking for, and that you’re willing to be helpful are all ways of getting brownie points early on. So when your products or services are needed, it’s you that’s at the top of their list.

It really does work.

After just one conversation with a lady on a Facebook group, she contacted me a year later to work with me, remembering our conversation and feeling that I was the person she was looking for.

Outsource your marketing to professionals that know how to promote you effectively

Few of us are good at selling ourselves and promoting what we do.

There are marketing consultants, copywriters, social media managers and virtual assistants out there who do know the best ways to get you noticed for the right reasons, present you in the best light possible and know the tricks of the trade for sending web visitors your way.

While it might seem an expense you can’t afford, can you really afford not to be marketing and getting people interested in what you have to offer?

Marketing is an investment, and you will get a return on it when you outsource to the right person rather than struggling to get to grips with things yourself.

It’s something I wish I’d done much earlier on in my business.

Grow your tribe of people who are happy to support you and spread the word

Word of mouth referrals are worth their weight in gold.

So, having a tribe of business owners behind you that understand you, what you do and can introduce you to people looking for what you have to offer is a great form of marketing that you don’t even have to think about.

Joining Facebook groups (LinkedIn and Twitter hours too) and getting yourself acquainted with other people, being social and supportive, and referring them to your contacts is a good way to get started in finding the right people for your tribe.

Not being afraid to outsource and invest in other people is a sure way of them trusting you with their contacts and clients too.

Finding your voice and the best way to make it heard, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re willing to get yourself out there and make a few mistakes along the way. We’ve all made them, it’s part and parcel of growing as a business owner and proving that inner voice calling you an imposter wrong.

Go ahead and brainstorm three ways you can market your business today and implement them, you’ll wonder why you waited so long!