I see business owners make this mistake all the time.
When their calendar is booked with clients, they have no time to put into marketing their services.
It’s great that you’re busy with clients and have money coming in the door. But the problem is, as soon as those clients wrap up, you’re back to square one. No clients and no money.
And that’s when panic sets in.
You scurry to get referrals, send frantic emails, and pray for consults… until your calendar is full and the whole process repeats itself again and again.
This is no way to run a successful business. It’s inefficient, it limits your revenue potential, and it’s downright stressful.
So how do you avoid the feast or famine cycle?
Before I share my answer, take a moment to think about these questions:
- How can you set yourself up for a steady stream of clients and income?
- How can you permanently free yourself from the feast or famine cycle?
(Seriously, think about it for a moment. I’ll wait.)
Did you come up with an answer or two? Awesome. I’ll dive into mine, and we’ll compare notes at the end.
A More Advanced View of Marketing
Marketing is about communicating the value of what you offer to your customers. For online business owners, this usually means sharing ideas and helpful tips on a regular basis through a blog or newsletter. It can also include social media and leaving helpful, thoughtful comments on others’ blogs.
This probably sounds familiar to you, and it should. But there’s an even more nuanced way to look at marketing, and it’s important to know if you want enough clients to fill your roster and your waiting list.
Here’s what I mean…
A business owner can market reactively or proactively.
Reactive marketing is promoting your business in response to a need, such as needing more clients.
Marketing in response to a need looks like sending emails to your list only when you need new clients. Spending extra time on social media when you’ve got open spots in your calendar. Blogging or sending newsletters only when you need to drum up business.
Reactive marketing isn’t necessarily bad, but it can be stressful to always pitch your list when you need clients. It’s also possible for readers to pick up on your needy energy when you email them, praying for a new client. And people generally don’t respond well to needy energy.
Wouldn’t it feel easier to send emails, write blog posts, and engage in social media without the added pressure of needing something? I think so.
That’s why I prefer proactive marketing.
Unlike reactive marketing, proactive marketing doesn’t stem from a place of need. Proactive marketing is done as a part of normally everyday business operations.
It looks like crafting helpful blog posts every week, no matter what. Sending content-rich newsletters. Consulting with potential clients, even when your calendar is full. Writing thoughtful follow-up emails to prospects. Engaging in social media with the intent to give. Continuing to grow your list.
Personally, I don’t want to have to react every time I have an open client slot. There’s nothing more reassuring than having a full waiting list; it’s clients and income you can count on.
That said, it wasn’t always this way for me. I didn’t always have a long waiting list. Yet even when I needed more clients, I still acted like a proactive marketer, and that has everything to do with how I grew my client roster and my waiting list.
How to Be a Proactive Marketer, Even If You Need More Clients
Whether you have no clients or all the clients you can handle, proactive marketing will get you the clients you need or it will fill up your waiting list.
Here’s your proactive marketer checklist. Do these things regularly, whether you’re looking for more clients or have a full waiting list.
- Send a newsletter
- Engage in social media
- Consult with prospects
- Follow-up with prospects
- Grow your email list
- Guest post
- Host free calls or webinars
- Share your knowledge and ideas as much as possible
Acting like a proactive marketer even when you need clients will bring new clients to you now and fill your waiting list for the future. And you’ll be doing it without the needy, graspy energy people run from. (How sweet is that?!)
What This Means for Your Client Load
Now, I know you’re thinking, “But Jenny, if I’m busy with clients how can I find the time to do all this marketing?”
This is a great question. It shows that you don’t want to spend every waking moment tied to your business. (Neither do I!)
Here’s what to do: Take a realistic look at your calendar and start making decisions.
Do you have time to market your business when you’re full with clients? If not, you need to take on fewer clients at a time and add some marketing hours in.
Marketing your business is just as important as serving your clients. Adjust your calendar and workload so you can be sure that you have time to put yourself out there and tell people about the amazing work you’re doing.Click to TweetMarketing your business is just as important as serving your clients.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Tell me…
What was your initial answer to what you can do to keep a steady flow of clients?
What are your thoughts now? How have they changed from reading this article?
What other insights do you have on this topic?
I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got in the comments below.