IMG_1109It’s not uncommon to run across business owners who feel sick to their stomachs about marketing their businesses.

They get queasy, their palms get sweaty, or they suddenly have a headache they can’t get rid of. They are just plain freaked out by the word- let alone the action- of doing anything related to it.

When asked why the idea of marketing their business makes them break a sweat, clients say it has to do with not knowing which steps to take to begin or what order to do them it in. Let alone begin to do them.

They get caught up in the “What if’s”- “What if I do the wrong thing? Or “What if it doesn’t work?” Either way, once their brains start spinning, marketing paralysis sets in and takes over.

They don’t do anything.

Doing nothing gets you nothing

This is not the way to get new customers or increase sales.

It’s often said, if you want to grow your business, you have to market your business. This is true. However, in my work with clients, I always ask them to look beyond the word, “marketing”, and think more about ways they can engage with their customers (and their prospects).

When you say the word, “engage”, you are indicating a proactive and potentially mutually beneficial action. When you engage someone, the pressure is off to sell them something. What you get is more about focusing on interests and developing a conversation around that.

What you get is the beginning of a relationship.

Then what happens?

When you take the idea of “marketing” to a target audience out of the equation, the queasiness subsides and a feeling of relief comes over you.

Because marketing is critical to increasing sales, I recommend this to my clients: Don’t worry about putting anything in any order today. Don’t stress over whether or not it’s “right”… Just take one small step to reach out to your prospects and customers.

Whether it’s sending an email to some of your favorite customers to check-in and see how they’re doing and if you can be of any help (note- it’s not about pitching them your products), or sharing an article on Facebook and commenting on it (again, not pitching), you are engaging with them and fostering a relationship. Just be yourself and infuse your personality and care into that communication.

Trust building 101

Relationships take time to build certainly, but when you have the trust built from that, you just might have a loyal and repeat…and referring customer when the time comes. You will be front of mind when the time comes for them to buy- and buy they will again and again because you are engaged with them.

The next time you’re worried you aren’t marketing in the right way, think of engaging them instead. You’ll be less stressed and definitely less queasy.