Most solopreneurs fail to put the same level of daily commitment into building their business that they put into getting their education. The harsh fact is that you cannot develop a thriving, self-sustaining, self-employed business if you don't ruthlessly focus 50 - 70% of your time in the beginning on marketing.
Any successful business coach will tell you that spending 4 hours A DAY on marketing is absolutely necessary in the first year if you want to be breaking even or doing better than that. Sounds like a lot? Don't worry, there's plenty to do to keep busy -- it may not even be enough!
And, you want those 4 hours to be spent on the most client-attracting tasks possible. Those include:
- creating a sticky, value-providing website, and continually updating it
- blogging, Tweeting, and other traffic-driving activities
- listing yourself in online locator services and/or doing Google Adwords
- monitoring your web-presence and search engine rankings
- writing articles for local, hard copy publications
- outreach to referral sources with personal visits, and follow up materials that give valued info
- networking interactions where your ideal clients are
- scheduling, preparing, giving signature talks and / or workshops
- developing and tracking email marketing campaigns
- writing auto-responder series and special reports
- evaluating your efforts, eliminating what doesn't work, maximizing what does
The trick to making all this easy is to be methodical in getting your foundational pieces in place first, because they will then work for you on auto-pilot while your attention is on more advanced marketing tasks. In the beginning, or when struggling, if you want your business to survive and thrive, it's crucial to spend the needed 4 hours a day and be laser focused with self-discipline, commitment to success, and accountability to the health of your business.
I can't emphasize this enough -- being methodical means to have a marketing map and work on one or two things at a time until they are running smoothly, then move on to the next.
The scattered, unfocused, headless chicken approach is a successful, guaranteed method for business failure.