You’re working hard to build your business, and you’ve experienced firsthand just how tough it can be to market yourself, find your perfect prospects, fill your roster, and keep the whole thing going.
Even so, you wonder…
Is it normal to have to spend this much time marketing myself? I would much rather focus on doing the work I love.
I hear you!
If you’re a coach, nutritionist, designer, copywriter, therapist, or other service provider, you didn’t start your business to become a marketing expert. You started your business to coach, design, write, and serve your clients.
But nobody really talks about how much time you really need to spend on marketing to create the full-time income you’re shooting for, and you wish someone would give it to you straight.
Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do today.Click to TweetIs it normal to spend THIS much time on marketing? @jennyshih gives it to you straight.
Getting clients vs. serving clients
When I first started my business, I had no clue how much time and effort marketing takes. I thought, “Because I’m a good coach, people will rush to hire me.”
I know better now!
But it still confounds me, how much time goes into getting clients as compared to serving them.
That’s why I want you to hear this:
If you’re building a business and find that your marketing time is skewed way higher than your client-serving time, you’re not necessarily doing anything wrong. You’re just climbing up a growth curve.
There is so much to learn at this stage of building your business:
- What you really love to do and who you love to serve
- Your ideal client’s language
- Which copywriting and marketing techniques work best for your right people
- How to schedule your time and set realistic goals
So yes, you’ll be spending way more time marketing yourself in the beginning. That’s how it should be! But it won’t be that way forever.
Learn marketing now, and it will pay off later
Most business owners worry that if they have to spend a lot of time on marketing right now, they’ll always have to.
But here’s the surprising truth: If you set a solid marketing foundation now, you won’t have to put so much effort in later.
That’s because, when you build a one-on-one business, you can get to the point where you’re bringing in a consistent income and clients are showing up regularly.
It’s sweet! And that’s mostly because your marketing efforts can shift to be more minimal (maintenance level).
Imagine have a successful business serving high-end, one-on-one clients longer packages (like 6 months or more). At this stage, you don’t need an avalanche of clients to make a great living.
You can do minimal marketing—like a regular blog and newsletter, daily social media posts, and a guest post or podcast interview every other month—and you’ll keep your pipeline full. (Woohoo!)
And if you offer retainers for writing or design, you could easily sustain yourself for quite some time with even less marketing effort on your part.
Now you can see why I’m such a huge fan of building one-on-one, service-based businesses!
When you set a solid business and marketing foundation, your one-on-one business will continue to grow even as you pull back on your marketing efforts.
“That’s all great, Jenny,” you might be thinking, “But what if I want to sell group programs, courses, or evergreen products?”
The truth about marketing group programs, courses, and evergreen products
There’s a common misconception that it’s easier to make money from group programs, courses, and evergreen products because they run on “autopilot.”
Sure, when you offer courses and group programs you don’t have to spend as much time on the phone with clients or doing client work.
Instead, you’ll be spending all your time marketing. Hundreds of hours on marketing.
That’s because you’ll need a steady flow of clients to buy from you. So you’ll have to be thinking about Facebook ads and other paid sources of traffic, SEO, guest posts or podcast interviews more regularly.
Of course, maybe you’ll get to a point where that’s what you prefer. Maybe you’ll feel the pull to sell digital products and courses, and the time you spend marketing will be what you enjoy more than time spent serving clients.
Marketing is the hard part
If you’re stuck on any of those things, I have some resources that will help:
No matter what business path you choose—whether it’s one-on-one services or courses, products, and programs—marketing yourself, hands down, is the hardest part.
It’s just a matter of deciding whether you want to focus on serving clients or always working on marketing. The good news is, since it’s your business, you get to choose!