3 reasons Entrepreneurs struggle to market themselves effectively (and what you can do about it!)
Whether you’re a one man band or a huge organisation, a strong marketing strategy and plan is key to your success. Since joining the world of Entrepreneurship at the start of 2018 as a Personal Branding Specialist I have realised that despite most people knowing that growing and marketing their own personal brand is not only beneficial but crucial to the success of their business, most people struggle to do this. The online marketing landscape is changing at such a fast speed that eventually, according to Gary Vaynerchuk, organic reach will one day be a thing of the past. So if you’re keen to grow your personal brand be known online, now is the time. From talking to and working with a variety of Entrepreneurs I believe there are 3 key reasons that cause a struggle with marketing themselves be that under their own personal name, or their business name. This blog aims to explain these 3 reasons and give some solutions along the way, as always, I’m very keen for comments so if you have any thoughts or things you’d like to add, please add them into the comments box below.
If you’re keen to grow your personal brand and would like some support, to meet others doing the same thing, stepping outside of their comfort zone to share their message, then come and join me in my personal branding facebook group.
Before I move into the 3 key reasons, I want to mention 1 overarching reason, which impacts every single person, every single day, in every single aspect of our lives. It’s an evil that lives among us, trying to control us, limit us and keep us in our box, it’s the 1 thing which separates he go getters from the settlers, the winners from the losers, the monster which is: fear.
Fear manifests itself in our lives in a ton of different ways, but the key output and aim of fear is to stop you from doing something you want to do. Once you’ve got a little light inside of you which makes you want to do something, it’s hard to put it out. You know the feeling, it’s like an excited fizz, sort of like a mixture of adrenaline and panic. It motivates you, it drives you but it also scares you, because that little light is asking you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Let me tell you one thing, that little light is NOT going to go out. It’s powerful and it’s now a part of you, until you listen to it and get started on whatever it is it’s telling you to do. So, you have 2 reasons. Choose to see your light through the eyes of fear, and ignore it, dampen it down, and eventually become unfullfilled with your life because you’ve ignored it. OR, see it through eyes of excitement, love and potential and use it as the driving force for you deciding that one day, is today. We can all combat fear, the first step is deciding you no longer are going to let fear dampen your light, because you know that you’re worth more. I highly recommend 2 books here, I’d read both if you can however it’s likely one will resonate more with you, Think and Grow Rich and The Universe has your back. These 2 books changed my life by showing me the power of the mind and showing me that we can combat fear, once we know how.
Reason #1 lack of clarity on your target audience and on your niche
Spending time completing an ‘ideal customer’ persona document and the validating it with research may not sound like it’s that important, but actually, it’s probably one of the best things you could possibly do for your brand and your business. So many people fail to properly think about WHO they’re communicating to, claiming that their audience is ‘everyone’. No ones audience is everyone, it is literally impossible. Think about someone you follow and admire, now think about someone you’ve spoken to about that person who has said something like ‘really, I’m not a fan’ or ‘god, I can’t stand him!’. Before you spend anytime and more importantly, any money, on marketing yourself or your business, you have got to have a really good idea of your ideal customer (or target audience). Where are they? What do they like? Who do they follow? What are their pain points which you’re going to solve? Spending 30 minutes on filling out a persona template, then validating it with people you know, or on Facebook groups, or the Facebook audience insights tool will save you HOURS when creating your marketing plan and content. It’s very common that you’re ideal customer is actually you. Who you once were you who you are now. So, for me for example, my target customer is me at the beginning of 2017. Passionate, driven and keen to grow my brand but completely unclear about where to start, what I wanted to be known for and who my audience were. I was also struggling with knowing what I wanted in terms of my career and lifestyle and was keen to become a ‘digital nomad’ and move to Bali and work remotely. I can now build my persona template with me in mind, and then validate it with other people who are similar, remember, you want to understand PAIN points. If you aren’t solving a pain point with your content, then take a step back and think properly about WHY you’re creating content.
After you’ve understood your target customer and the problem you’re solving, it helps you to have clarity of your niche, which will then help you clearly communicate what you do and why you do it. If you don’t have clarity, how will those who follow you have it?
To help you out here I’ve put together a one page document to help you understand your ideal customer. Click here to download it and get started!
Reason #2 Lack of marketing skills and overwhelm of where to start
The online marketing world is a pretty mental place to be, there are SO many different ways to grow and market yourself that it can be difficult to know where to start and what to focus on. Once you know your target audience and where they’re spending their time and what type of content they consume, you’ve got the first steps to building your marketing strategy, however the delivery of this can be a little more complex. Once you’ve decided on your content, you then have 4 main places you need to invest time and money into to share and grow: social media, paid advertising, email marketing and SEO (search engine optimisation). There are very few people who have enough skills across all of those areas, alongside actually running their business, having sales calls and living their lives to do these effectively. 10 years ago you could have a basic website, create some social media posts and a record a video every now and then and have a following strong enough that people buy your products. Now, it’s a different ball game, optimised websites, sales funnels, email marketing campaigns, stories, Youtube channels, Facebook ads, adwords, there is just SO much. The overwhelm and the lack of skills causes a lot of entrepreneurs to decide not to bother or even worse, keep doing what’s not working in the hope it will eventually work. Growing a strong brand online takes time, money, energy and persistence as well as skill and a willingness and interest in learning the systems.
If you’re keen to learn and do things yourself, then I will absolutely do my best to help you, and invite you to join my Facebook group as I mentioned above https://www.facebook.com/groups/hannahpowerfulbranding/. I also recommend following ONE online marketing expert, and replicating the system they’ve learned and applied to their own brand. Choose your expert wisely and for the first 3 months, listen to them and them only. I recommend Neil Patel, Amy Porterfield, Sunny Lennarduzzi and of course, Gary Vaynerchuk.
You have another option though, take the Tim Ferris (and Hannah Power) route and delegate to those who have the skills you don’t. If you aren’t interested in learning how to set up and optimise a sales funnel, or an email marketing campaign, then don’t bother trying, you won’t do it well enough for it to have any impact or success. In 2018 I set up an agency, POWERnomads, because of this exact reason. I knew that I had strong skills in Personal Branding, but when it came to graphic design, website development, email marketing, SEO etc there were people who were FAR better than me who could do the work to a higher standard, freeing up my time to focus on what my skill set is. I often delegate tasks that I can actually do myself (and actually most of the time I have done them at some point in my life) so that my time is free to do tasks which others can’t do for me (like speaking, running workshops, delivering coaching sessions and attending sales calls/meetings). If you’re keen to delegate on a budget, have a look at Fiverr or Upwork or join some of the many Freelancer Facebook groups. Make sure you are 100% sure what you’re looking to delegate, clarity is key, and get going on marketing yourself!
Reason #3 you aren’t 100% sold on what you’re doing and the value it brings
In 2018 I realised that I needed to cultivate a skill I didn’t have: the skill of selling. I’ve sold on eBay before, I’ve sold services before, but never have I truly understood or appreciated the power of being skilled in selling. The world ‘sales’ makes many people shudder, it makes people uncomfortable, many people say they aren’t ‘salesy’. However, we are all sellers, we are all sales people. Everyone is selling something, whether it’s themselves into a job, whether it’s a product, or whether it’s just where they want to go on holiday with their partner. We all sell regularly, but only a select few do it well. I decided 2019 was going to be the year I learned to sell, to learn the process, the mindset, the words to use. There are 2 skills we should be taught in school, and my kids will be learning young: sales and project management. I learned project management young, because I realised at about 10 that the more organised I was and the more efficiently I did things, the less time I had to spend doing the boring stuff and the more time I could spend having funL this is literally the way I have lived my life since then, ask anyone who’s ever worked with me and they’ll agree. Anyway, back to sales. I spent time deciding who I was going to learn from and invest it and, despite some opinion, picked one of my experts to be Grant Cardone. I’m not going to enter into a debate about Grant, because I think he’s awesome and this isn’t about him, it’s about one of the key principles he speaks about in his book ‘sell or be sold’ and that is the principle of being 100% sold on the thing you’re selling, before you sell it. Let me explain..
Think of something you’ve bought in the last year which you ABSOLUTELY love, it may be a phone, it may be a holiday, it may be a meal it may be a new gadget which helps you clean your house. How many times have you passionately told someone about that item? Have you sent them links? Have you brought it up over dinner? Have you defended it against it’s competitors for no reason at all? That is because you are 100% sold on that item, you are SO sold on it, that you actually feel bad if people don’t buy it, in fact, you almost want to buy it for them! That’s how sold you need to be on yourself, your brand, the value you bring or the service/product you deliver. You need to have the unwavering confidence that this item is the BEST solution to your target customers needs. So sold that you feel a duty to them to buy or follow your EXACT service, product or brand because there is NOONE or NOTHING better. It took me a year as an Entrepreneur to get to this point, to be SO sold on my product that I knew it was the best thing for my customer without a shadow of a doubt. The product I’m referring to is my 6 week personal branding programme ‘Powerful Branding’. In Powerful Branding I work with passionate people, with a message and an unwavering desire to become known for that message and bring that to life. I am 100% sold on that my programme that it is the best option for my customers to reach their goals and that I am the best person to deliver it. Until you are this sold on your brand, don’t start, keep working until you are.
I hope you’ve found some value in this article, I’ve really spent a lot of energy and time writing it in the hope it will help you on your journey. Don’t forget, my group is there, ready for you, https://www.facebook.com/groups/hannahpowerfulbranding/. I look forward to seeing you there!