What is Marketing?
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is a lot like horse training. If you talk to ten different experts, you’ll get ten bits of advice. Each one of those pieces of advice probably works for someone somewhere, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all right for you.
While most marketing advice has some value, some of it is busy work – business owners trying to make you feel obligated to do this or that, so you’ll hire them to do it for you.
You don’t have to be a marketing expert. You can hire people in your business to help with that, but you do have to be aware of your goals and what you are doing to accomplish them if you want to avoid the trap of marketing busywork.
Finding Your Definition of Marketing
Always think of your marketing as a service. You have to get super intentional before you ever implement a strategy or create content.
Back up to that 900 ft view and ask yourself, what do you want people to get out of your marketing? How will your marketing change their lives? This makes many people think, oh my gosh, I’m not in the business of changing lives, but these are tiny changes.
For example, helping someone realize that they are their horse’s primary trainer. They are the one who interacts with their horse 365 days a year, you, as the trainer only get them for 30-90 days. The horse owner is much more of a trainer than you are for that individual horse.
Helping a client realize that it’s okay to go out there and make mistakes and figure it out. That their horse will forgive them, and you will help them when they get stuck and that they won’t ruin their horse changes that client’s life.
It’s one tiny mindset change, but the impact of it is huge. What small mindset change can you help your audience achieve, changing their lives and getting them one step closer to working with you?
Good Marketing is Different for Everyone
We have crazy different marketing strategies, both given to us by our business coach (we work with the same one), Janelle Lara, the Part-time CEO. She has a quiz called the four marketing personalities that helps you discover a marketing strategy that works for your personality type.
The quiz made both of us realize that when a strategy doesn’t work, it’s not because there is something wrong with us or that we are bad at marketing. That particular thing doesn’t align and isn’t right for us, and that’s okay! Realizing this, and finding your own version of marketing that does work, is such a massive relief.
April’s marketing is heavily based on referrals and 1:1 relationships. She spends her marketing efforts nurturing her client relationships and making sure her clients know she is open to referrals.
Laura’s marketing is all about nurturing an online community. She uses Instagram and Pinterest to grow her Facebook Group and Email list and converts people to clients from there. The goal of Laura’s marketing content is to give people permission to share their truth, relief that they have a community of like-minded business owners supporting them as they step into the unknown.
Good Marketing Advice vs. Bad Marketing Advice
Weeding out the good from the bad marketing advice can take a little practice. You have to be discerning, is this person just repeating what they’ve heard from other people, or are they sharing what they’ve learned from experience? Check out their social media. Are they using their own advice? Are they getting good engagement from it? Go to their website, read reviews, check out their sales funnel. Grab their opt-in and see if you like it.
Make sure the advice they give is relevant today. Some horse industry marketers are giving advice that worked GREAT in 2015 but doesn’t apply at all now. The people you learn from should be actively growing in today’s environment, not just riding it out with a community they built back when it was super easy.
Listen to your gut. If you are getting an “I think this is BS vibe, listen to that!” Even if you know a million people who love the person you are looking into, they may not be suitable for you.
Your Marketing Isn’t About You
Your marketing isn’t about you. It’s about your ideal client, their struggles, and the transformation you can help them achieve. This can be hard to accept, especially if you’ve been making it about yourself for years. BUT if you have been making it about yourself for years, it’s likely that a lot of people aren’t paying attention. So it’s okay! You can make a change now—no need to beat yourself up about what you didn’t know.
Whenever you post a video, a blog post, post on social media, send an email, ask yourself, what is my ideal client getting out of this? They don’t want to show and tell. They want to smile, laugh, cry, learn something, or feel something. You don’t have to give away the farm. Just give them one tiny piece of advice that will make their day easier.
To Batch or Not to Batch?
Batching content is when you schedule out a week or a month’s worth of posts in advance so you can stay consistent and post often. You can batch your content, but you have to be careful. Content calendars are a no-go unless they are made for your niche, and the person you purchase them from is updating that thing in real-time.
If something like a pandemic, or a world event that impacts your business occurs, you must get in there and make sure none of your upcoming posts will be insensitive or tone-deaf.
Batching content often puts us in the mindset of “I gotta get 30 posts done tonight!” Instead of showing up with powerful energy, excited to serve your audience with excellent content, and that’s why a lot of people are advising against it right now.
Laura uses a hybrid model with her clients. They batch out a few posts a week and leave space for inspiration to strike so they can share in the moment. She’s always ready to shuffle posts around or change them up as world events occur.
If you’re someone who religiously batches your content because you don’t have time to show up and create content every day, this doesn’t mean you have to stop. It just means you need to be intentional and be aware of what posts are coming out and when.
We know you’re putting in a ton of effort into your content, emails, and nurturing your online audience. We want to make sure that you get the most out of showing up for these people, and the best way to do that is to ensure your content impacts their lives. Marketing is a lifelong process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Be intentional and keep serving your people.
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