Monday, August 29, 2011

Why marketing is like exercise

Let me just start off saying this: I like marketing.  I find advertising to be pretty cool.  I love watching clever commercials, following long-running ad campaigns (GEICO, anyone?), and analyzing copy in direct mail pieces to see what emotions the writer is trying to trigger.  Fascinating stuff.

Marketing is great.  Self-promotion, however, sucks.

Why is that?  Why is it fun to promote something or someone else, but sheer torture to promote myself?

I think most people were raised to be humble.  I know I was.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing.  After all, who wants to be around someone who is constantly bragging about their achievements?

But now that I'm a freelance writer, if I want to get paid, I have to tell the world what a wonderful writer I am.  And it's tough.  Because part of me still thinks it's wrong to brag.  Even though I know that self-promotion is vital to my new business, Kismet Copywriting, I still find myself coming up with ways to avoid it.

To be successful, I had to find a way to consistently stick to my marketing schedule, and make sure I got it done every day.  I'm not sure how it happened, but one day it dawned on me: just suck it up and do it!

Okay, the tough love approach isn't for everyone.  But if you have everything in place for your marketing program but are still having some mental resistance, try this:  Think of marketing like exercise. Set aside a regular time, make a list of your tasks, and just do them.  No excuses.

Here's what I do:  Every morning, after my first cup of coffee, I set aside an hour for my marketing activities.  Right now it's a lot of researching companies to contact, finding their contact information, and shooting off personalized emails to them.  An hour gives me enough time to get through my marketing list, put it behind me, and go about the rest of my day. 

Having a set schedule takes the thought process out of the equation.  I just do the tasks I need to and move on with my day.  And if I start procrastinating or thinking I'll just skip a day, I tell myself to suck it up, stop being a weenie, it's only an hour, I gotta do the work if I want the results...basically the same things I say to myself when I'm tempted to skip a workout.

The next time you want to blow off your marketing plan, try approaching it like you would exercise, paying bills, or any other task that you know you have to do but don't necessarily want to.  It just might work.

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