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This one is for my fellow creatives, freelancers, and business owners. I have a reality check for you today: I’m going to tell you why your business is struggling. 

What’s stopping you from being successful and making sales? Chances are, it’s because you’re falling short on marketing. So without further ado, let’s roll into it!

Marketing Matters

Today’s topic is very exciting for me because it’s something that I’ve struggled with in my own career. 

I do great things for my clients, like I’m sure some of you do. I’ve made clients millions of dollars. But because I put so much of myself into my clients, I didn’t take the time to market my own brand and my own name.

Thankfully, I’ve built some great relationships through the years and was able to stay busy through that. But that kind of marketing is like a roller coaster: sometimes you have an influx of business, and sometimes you don’t have any work at all. If you don’t spend any of your time marketing or generating any sales momentum, you have to go out there and build it all again from scratch.

Sometimes those down cycles in your career can be really devastating. The problem that you’re experiencing is you don’t have other channels of marketing to drive inbound traffic. That’s something I’ve been working on for the last couple of years. I’ve built an amazing team and am using different resources, so now I have a lot of diversified channels of traffic coming in.

You can (and should) do those things for your business, too, but many of you don’t even have a plan. So, the first reality check I want to give you is you are your best client.

You Are Your Number-One Client

Let me say that one more time: you are your number-one client. You need to put yourself in the hot seat. If you are a marketing company and driving business is your specialty, then why aren’t you doing that for yourself? You should be getting the best results out of anybody. 

As I’ve said, this is where I’ve struggled. I’ve put myself on the back burner. I know many of you can relate to that. You put your own priorities last, and then you have no time to market your own business. Well, you need to take yourself out of the business and focus on generating revenue, generating traffic back to your company, and doing things that are scalable.

That way, you can continue to increase your revenue. But if you don’t have a marketing plan in place, you’re never going to have a set path. A lot of people get stuck in a trap, like I did, of making their business all about price to get the most out of those busy cycles.

But when you make your business about price instead of value, the quality declines. And when the quality declines, you start getting nightmare clients and other problems that will make you hate your job. That’s because you’re attracting low-hanging fruit with the cheapest price. Those are not the people you want to attract.

Take the time to plan out campaigns for yourself that are based around building value and building relationships with people. Nurturing campaigns, email automation, lead generation campaigns, networking groups, speaking events, etc. There are so many different ways to do it.

I’m not here to tell you how to plan out your campaigns, but just to help you change your mindset. Make sure you make yourself your number-one client, because if your business is not successful, how are you going to help anybody else? You’re only going to lose clients.

What Makes You Unique?

Next, you have to differentiate yourself from the marketplace. It’s important to have a hook, a story, and an action. Those are three unique things that nobody else will have. Nobody has the experience that you’ve had, nobody can tell the stories that you can tell, and no one should have the same hook that you have. 

You need to have a unique offer to solve problems in the marketplace. Focus on what makes you different from everybody else; write it down. If you’re a graphic designer, what kind of graphic design do you do? Why do you do it? What makes you unique?

Then there’s your action. What is the offer? What is the opportunity that you’re providing people? You need to have an irresistible offer. It could be a consulting package, a design, or anything else.

That’s what’s called the lead magnet. It’s the low-ticket offer that will help you bring people in and start building a relationship. You just want to start a conversation. So, make an irresistable offer that will let you get your foot in the door.

I have a lead generation website that is focused on printing, and I use that as one of my lead magnets. It drives conversation and brings people into my graphic design business. We’ve been able to branch out and create other lead channels, partnerships, and relationships that are going to bring business back to us.

You Have To Change Your Mindset

I want you to change your mindset and start marketing your business. Just like you market for your clients, you need to market your own business. Care about your own business just as much as you care about your clients. It’s really, really important to do that. 

I know this is going to be a big mindset shift for you. Many of you are spending a lot of time focusing on your clients — you need to dedicate some of that time to marketing and advertising.

If you’re a marketing person and you’re not advertising your business, you’re really not doing your clients justice, and you’re not really owning what you do. That shows that you don’t truly believe in what you’re doing.

So, that’s my encouragement for you today. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me. I hope you have a great week, and as always, keep looking up!

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