Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Promotion is Essential to Business

by Karen D. Swim

dreamstime_2901387

This week we've been stirring up a pot of business success. We've added a heaping serving of passion to keep the flames burning and a cup full of purpose to keep things under control. Today we're working with that tricky ingredient, promotion.

Without customers you're just twiddling your thumbs or spending all day on Twitter (but that's a post for another day). To gain customers you have to promote your business. However, we are not talking about marketing brochures, ad words campaigns or direct mailers. All of those things generate leads but at some point you have to sell your business.

According to my friend and Business Coach, Paula Crutchley, most entrepreneurs struggle with the sales process. "I have discovered a common thread throughout my coaching business and that is many entrepreneurs dislike the art of selling – and it is an art." Paula coaches business owners helping them to develop a natural style of selling so that they can sell their vision and ideas to customers,investors and future employees.

I was in Sales Management for a great part of my career. I loved developing business, making presentations and closing deals. I still love selling. If a customer agrees to meet with me by phone or in person, I'm confident that I can close the deal.

However, I am very uncomfortable when the promotion is a little more personal. I am very shy about asking people to read my blog or promoting myself to speak or host workshops for which I am perfectly qualified to do. Does this sound like you?

So how do you overcome a fear of self promotion? The first step is to realize that promotion is not pushy. We often equate self promotion with aggressive, self centered behavior. We've all encountered someone who mistook pushiness for promotion. It is time to change your perception.

Close your eyes and think of something that you want or need? Now, imagine that someone you encounter today (at the dry cleaners, office or even a friend) has what you want or need and they don't say a word. Would you be upset to learn that they withheld the information? Now imagine your potential customers feeling the same way.

Promotion may feel a little uncomfortable at first but with practice you will become a top notch promoter. Of course if you need help or support, give me a call. I've got pom-poms and I'm not afraid to use them!

Did you ever struggle with promotion? How did you overcome it? Are you a master at promotion? If so, what tips and tricks can you pass along?


Photo Credit: © Brunoil | Dreamstime.com

4 comments:

Yvonne Russell (Grow Your Writing Business) said...

Great post, Karen. This is such an important topic and one I'm really interested in myself.

Many wonderful writers hate marketing.

I've heard travel writers say that the most published writers and the ones that get the best gigs aren't always the best writers.

It's the ones who are average or good writers who are savvy marketers. They work hard at getting the word out.

Shannon Paul said...

This is a great topic. I find that with so many creative people, they feel the job is done when the project is completed... when that's just not the case.

One piece of advice that I have taken to heart and do my best to remember is that people are rarely ever out to get me or sabotage me -- everybody is simply out for themselves and that means that I need to be out for myself, too.

Words For Hire said...

@ Yvonne, I didn't even think of this but you're absolutely right! There are many who have written books or e-books that are not well written but they soared to the top because they knew how to market.

@Shannon, this is such great advice! People assume that of course you're taking care of yourself so they don't worry about your needs. It is up to us to price appropriately and promote ourselves. What an empowering insight Shannon, thank you for sharing it!

Karen

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