How do I market our business?
I want people to know about us and what we do. And hire us to do what we’re best at.
(Plug: it’s helping service-oriented small businesses, non-profits, and solo entrepreneurs communicate effectively on the web, and you can check out our old site that needs to be blown up and then recreated at evanwebdesign.com.)
But I’ve done little-to-no marketing or self-promotion for myself over the past 10 years running a solo business. I’m lucky. I haven’t really needed to. Most of my business has come by way of personal referrals. I’ve always concentrated on doing the best job possible and making my clients happy. That seemed easier, better, and more important than hustling and coming up with a marketing strategy.
And fortunately, it has worked well enough for a 1-person business. But now we’re a 2-person business, and by our rough calculations we need to increase gross business revenue by at least 30% to stay in the black. It seems totally possible, but also scary because we don’t know how we’re going to do it.
I’m pretty sure it means we need to start actually marketing ourselves, but here’s where it gets weird.
Because I actually help my clients come up with marketing strategies uniquely tailored to their own resources and business goals. So it’s like, I know how to do this stuff, and yet I just don’t do it when it comes to myself.
I know exactly why. It’s because I’ve never been comfortable with marketing myself. It seems self-centered, and it seems like a lot of work for something that may not actually pan out. I’d rather help someone else solve a real problem. That’s what I’m truly best at, and that kind of work leads to real, tangible results.
Talking about myself has always been hard, and doing with with the motive of getting other people to hire me seemed to always carry with it a bit of sleaze. I even look at this blog and cringe a little bit sometimes. I wonder if we’re coming across as a couple of self-centered dumb asses. Maybe we are.
But right now we have no choice.
We need to ramp up our business and the logical side of my brain is telling me that we do it by networking, marketing, and getting ourselves out there.
So how do we do it in a way that feels right?
I’m not so sure yet. Above all, I want our brand (if you can even call it that) to be honest, ethical, and genuine. But I feel like everyone says that though, so it’s not like that makes us unique.
I’m hoping that by typing words into this blog I will come up with a plan, but right now I’m left with more questions than answers. For the time being I’m ok with that, because confronting these difficult questions is better than ignoring them. It’s the first step in our long journey ahead.