Aw, c'mon, take a guess. Do a website? Network like crazy? Build a referral system with allied providers? Get on insurance panels?
Useful as all of those strategies are, they are not THE essential first step. So what is?, I hear you ask.
That's right, time. As in, carving out time -- daily -- for taking strategic action steps, and then giving those actions time to work.
Something so simple seems to be enormously difficult to accomplish. And I'll confess right now that I don't always manage it either, what with actually working with clients, creating new resources (my "artistic" passion), keeping up with bookkeeping and other non-marketing business demands, and striving for balance in the rest of my life.
But I can testify to the fact that when I work an action plan daily, I get more new clients, or returning clients, than when I goof off in my marketing discipline.
I have clients with success stories who are living proof that daily discipline in working an action plan does pay off, and faster than expected.
So why is this a habit that is so hard to adopt? Three reasons come to mind:
- the thought of daily marketing feels overwhelming
- we aren't really sure what to do or how to do it
- we give ourselves legitimate excuses (but those just sabotage our business)
- Take on one project at a time
- Make the action steps small and easy
- Track your accountability on paper (or in Excel)
- Use an accountability partner (colleague, friend, coach) to keep you focused
- Get just-in-time help for only one immediate project or one action step at a time
- Set your action plan work time into your business schedule as an appointment with Success
- Identify your time wasters and energy vampires, and eliminate them
- Sacrifice a little leisure, social or volunteer time for a month & devote it to your business
What are your personal time wasters and energy vampires? What will you do today to eliminate them from your attention for the next 30 days?
Look at a project or marketing strategy you know you should be tending to. How can you break it into small, easy action steps?
What specific time block each day will you commit to making your business a success?