‘Build it and they will come’ is a mantra that’s played subconsciously through so many people’s mind since the release of ‘Field of Dreams’ almost 30 years ago. (God, that makes me feel old.)
As a student of the law of attraction and a person who spent many years averse to marketing, I’ve always found this idea very appealing. What if I could just focus on creating something and then rely on the quality and value of my work to attract the audience?
Some variation of this thought occupies the mind of many creatives. It’s rampant in the arts where your value is measured by the quality of your work rather than the commercial success of it. In fact, in some artistic communities, commercial success is taken as proof that you’re not a quality artist.
(By the by, what a load of crap that is. When I find myself falling into that particular quagmire of money and visibility blocks, I remind myself of my favourite author, Jane Austen. To this day, Austen is one of the greatest writers in English literature. And guess what? She’s also still selling books 200 hundred years after her death. (RIP Jane. We love you.) So talent and commercial success can absolutely walk hand in hand.)
The same thought also shows up in spiritual and healing circles. It sounds like this; ‘The right people will find you’.
Guess what? The right people WILL find you. IF they know about you. If they don’t, you’re making it very difficult for them.
Why on earth would you do that? Why would you create such hurdles for them?
Usually we do it for reasons such as;
- you’re too proud to market yourself (having placed yourself above marketing in some way)
- you don’t sufficiently value your work and so don’t feel great about showing it to other people, or
- you’ve decided to prioritise your own fears over the needs of your potential clients and customers. People who are actually looking for the solution you have to offer them.
Either way, you need to get out of your own way. Your pride or insecurities or willingness to be limited by your own fears is blocking your ability to be really useful in this life.
The consequences of this inner resistance is that you end up spending all of your time creating and no time promoting your work. And this, my friend, causes massive financial strain in a business and/or leads you to conclude that you just aren’t good at running a business or you’re not ‘supposed to’ run a business.
Here’s the antidote to that BS; understanding that promotion is as important as creation.
Let’s look at 6 steps you can take to really embed that understanding in your own business operations:
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO MAKE PROMOTION A PRIORITY IN YOUR BUSINESS
- Turn the advice, ‘promotion is as important as creation’ into your own personal business mantra.
Write it on a post it note, stick it on your computer, and repeat it enough times until you realise the truth of this.
- Reframe promotion as communication.
If we stopped talking about promotion and asked you simply to focus on communicating with people who don’t know about your work, how would that feel? At the end of the day, marketing and promotion is simply communication. You don’t need to put on your ‘promotion hat’ when you sit down to promote, instead simply ask yourself, ‘What do I want people to know? What’s important to understand? How can I communicate that in a way that will connect with the right people?’
- Divide work time into ‘creation time’, ‘promotion or communication time’ (depending on what you decide in relation to point #2) and ‘administration time’.
Schedule as much time into your diary for promoting/communication as you do for creation (and if that feels like too much to begin, start with a third or half of the time).
- Insert your creative self into the process of promotion.
What if communication, promotion, marketing were a creative process in and of itself? How might you use your amazing creative brain to making promotion as interesting and unique and fun as you can?
- Automate your promotional efforts as much as possible (there’s loads of good software available to help you promote you work on social media for example).
- Delegate your promotional work to a VA and stay focused on content creation.
Promotion is an essential element of running a business and every business owner needs to find the approach that works for them. So choose one option and then come on over to The School of Visibility facebook page and let us know; which action are you going to take to make promotion a priority in your business?