09 November 2009

Fear, Flow, and Focus

Are your client attraction efforts propelled by fear? How many of these fears can you relate to:
  • Fear of not being visible enough to prospective clients?
  • Fear of being too visible and drawing people who are wrong for your practice?
  • Fear of not doing enough marketing, so you do a little of everything?
  • Fear of not doing the right marketing, so you feel paralyzed or overwhelmed?
  • Fear of losing traction, so you get caught up in frantically searching for more ways to promote your business?
  • Fear of marketing taking over your life, so resistance comes up and prevents doing any at all?
  • Fear of looking or sounding unprofessional, silly, stupid, or sleazy?
Having to combat such fears makes it all the more difficult to produce an effective, compelling, client attracting marketing message. A confident mindset with a good amount of belief in yourself is absolutely essential to the success of any self-promotion strategy.

I highly recommend having some strong techniques for feeling the fear and promoting your business anyway. That should include confident self-talk, an accountability partner, and a step by step system to persistently follow.

Many of us by nature or training value being in a "flow" state of mind, where we've heard that high creativity exists. There's nothing wrong with that when we need to generate new ideas or produce a specific product. How that often plays out for marketing a private practice, though, can look like this:
  • dabbling at many marketing actions, mastering and following through on few
  • interacting with your business as if it were a hobby
  • scattering your energies with disconnected approaches to spreading the word about your services
  • starting the business day waiting for inspiration, energy, or motivation to strike
  • flitting from one strategy to the next without giving each enough time to produce results
  • constantly reinventing the wheel, or being terminally "unique" in promoting your practice
Approaching marketing with this kind of scatteredness is exhausting and expensive for us, and confusing for potential clients. Worse, it sends a subtle message that we don't quite know what we're doing if we aren't consistent with how we market to prospective clients.

I recommend making the best use of the flow state when needing to brainstorm, when wanting to immerse yourself in a creative process, and in visualizing success everyday.

If I could make just one point about client attraction it would be that FOCUS is the big secret. What focus looks like is:
  • making the health of your business a priority on your schedule everyday
  • a well defined understanding of your ideal client
  • an emotionally compelling marketing message
  • a limited number of effective ways to fill your pipeline, get referrals, present yourself and get hired
  • a small set of easy, fun, productive action steps taken every day
Focus includes defining, detailing, planning, following through, evaluating, and adjusting. It often sounds like a lot of work, but getting systematic about it makes it very easy, efficient, and really produces client attraction results.

I recommend setting aside time everyday to tend your business in a focused way with clear, measurable action steps that lead to achievable goals.

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