The question is not, do you have enough work? The question is, do you have the right work?
As a business owner I know how easy it can be to keep your head down and focus on work in front of you. I spent years doing that until I had a quarter when I got to the end of my to-do list.
Slightly horrified, I lifted my head and had time to reflect on the work I had done; what worked, what didn’t and what I wanted the future of my business to look like.
This process was initiated when I hired a creative marketing professional. Strange as it seems, even a marketing agency needs to hire a marketing strategist for their business. Simply put, it is hard to see the forest for the trees. After a 6 week process of story branding & goal setting with this talented gal, I made a strategy to attract a very specific kind of clientele.
My background as a landscape architect and my talent in photography was a perfect fit for custom home & landscape professionals. Before the economic pause, I was working for anyone who needed a website as fast as I could. Business was brisk, but it wasn’t always satisfying. I was having to learn new skills every time I designed a new site because every discipline requires something different.
This was great in the beginning, but after a while I knew the kind of work I liked best and who I wanted to work with most. With the help of my strategist, I identified my best clients, a process of grading them from A-F. Brilliant! This process made things so clear. Instead of evaluating my clients by the money they brought to my business, I was grading them by my core ideals.
1. A joy to work with.
2. Good with communicators.
3. Pay well and on time.
4. Produce beautiful work.
5. Are passionate about their profession.
This process allowed me to identify a specific niche, a demographic and even, a personality type. Now that I knew very specifically who I was looking for and where they mingled, I could design a brand just for them. This included changing my business name, logo, website, and designing a national campaign focusing on Instagram because that is the best place to reach my ideal national audience.
Now, I’m attracting the clients I love working with the best. No accident.
The reason it’s a good idea to make room for marketing in the budget is to keep you on track. Your zone of genius shines when you do the work you love the most, for the people who most appreciate it.
Marketing is how you make a connection with your ideal clients. That connection says who you are, what you do, and offers the solution your clients are looking for.
Be consistent, analyze results, and fine tune until you are landing the clients and projects you want most.
Yes. This is an ever evolving process. Personally, if I get to a place where I don’t feel like improving my business, then it’s time to do something else. If you’re my ideal client, then I bet you agree.
And that, is marketing.