Being a master of your craft, skill, or talent doesn't ensure the success of your business. You can be the greatest at what you do, and if nobody knows about you, you're quickly out of business. Yes, it's important that you deliver a quality service. But it's even more important that you consistently and appropriately promote your business.
For many independent professionals, operating in this framework requires a massive mental shift. This is especially true for those who have recently moved from being someone else's employee to running their own business. One of the most important criteria used by corporate managers to assess your performance as an employee was mastery of your job requirements. As an employee, therefore, your pay raises, status, and job responsibilities were tied to your level of mastery. If you wanted to "move up the corporate ladder," you worked hard to increase your mastery of the tasks and knowledge appropriate for your job. And your self-esteem and self-respect increased with each new level of expertise you attained. Expertise is, as an employee, very much a key to success and self-worth.
But now you're running your own business. However, you can't be successful at running your business by continuing to think and operate like an employee. You must shift fully and immediately into the business framework that "Marketing is More Important than Expertise."
Of course, your professional skills are still important to the success of your business. In fact, they are foundational. But they are no longer the most important aspect of your success. Now, as an independent, you must come from the perspective that promoting your business is more important. That means taking this framework into your business strategies and tactics on a daily basis. You can never let up on implementing this framework in your business.
I reiterate: You can be the greatest at what you do, and if nobody knows about you, you're quickly out of business.
To shift solidly into the center of operating from "Marketing is More Important than Mastery," begin by creating a high-level annual marketing plan. Your marketing plan can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. I suggest that your marketing plan includes:
Your Business Mission ?- which states what your business does. Your Services? - which lists each of your service offerings. Your Ideal Client Profile? - which describes who your ideal client is and why they would hire you. Your Competitive Analysis? - which lists your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses. Your Market Analysis? - which describes how you know if your market is growning, shrinking, or stagnating and what effect this might have on your business. Your Business SWOT Analysis? - which details the strengths, weaknesses, oppotunities, and threats your business is facing. Your Marketing Messages ?- which lists your 10 Most Important Business Principles?. Your Marketing Activities and Materials - ?including both traditional and on-line activities and materials. Your Marketing Budget? - which details how much you'll spend on your marketing activities and materials. Your Implementation Schedule? - which gives timeframes to all marketing activities.
- Your Marketing Summary? - which is a top-level summary of your marketing plan.
That might look daunting to you. In actuality, once created the first time, you'll then just update it on a annual basis with the information that has changed.
NOTE: Although there are very many excellent professionals you can hire to help you create your Marketing Plan, I recommend you do it yourself. Creating your Marketing Plan really forces you to define what your business is and will be?from top to bottom. And nobody can make those decisions but you. Bounce your ideas off your Business Coach and other members of your business support team, but make all the decisions yourself!
Once you have your annual Marketing Plan, it's pretty easy to create your monthly marketing plans showing what needs to be accomplished each and every day in order to complete your Marketing Plan. If you aren't doing at least one task each workday that contributes to the implementation of your Marketing Plan, you haven't shifted fully out of the belief that mastery is more important than marketing...and you are jeopardizing the long-term success of your business.
Copyright 2004, Rose Hill, Inc
Rose Hill, Founder and Owner,of Biz Whiz Expert (http://www.SoloBizVille.com) and Team Member of Solo-E.Com (http://www.Solo-E.Com) has been self-employed since 1990. Knowing how to run corporate departments and how to market corporate entities, products, and services did nothing to prepare her for successfully running and marketing a one-person business. That is why Rose created the SoloBizVille and SoloBizU community - to specifically to help solo entrepreneurs jumpstart their business success without all the trial-and-error learning.
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