I have run The Marketing Girl for nearly four years and learned many valuable entrepreneur lessons along the way. Some are no-brainers, but some were learned the hard way. I’m going to share a few of them here, so you can learn from my mistakes!
1. Never Take Your Clients for Granted
If you were an employee, would you disrespect your boss or take your job for granted? Not if you value your job! So why would you take your clients for granted – they pay your bills as an employer would. They are there to do business with you, so never take that trust and relationship for granted unless you are prepared to lose your business. Be sure to go the extra mile when possible – send thank you for doing business notes, regularly communicate with them to demonstrate your commitment to them or pick up the phone for a conversation rather than emailing when appropriate. Above all – always strive to improve and better your services and offerings so you are always providing exactly what they need.
2. Never Stop Selling or Marketing Your Business
There is not a magic fairy selling you or providing you with an infinite stream of work and clients. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and live in a reactive mode to business coming in thinking it is all you need, but it is important to always keep one eye forward. No matter what your current sales are, always have a healthy stream of prospects in your pipeline. It is impossible to know what the future holds, and should you lose a client or revenue stream, you can be comforted knowing you have other sales opportunities on the horizon. Do not, however, take this to mean that you can neglect any of your current clients simply because you have others to replace them…refer to #1 if you need this reminder.
3. Build Strategic Partnerships, Not Competition
There are many other marketers out there, some who offer the exact same services as I do, but they are not me. I offer a specific value proposition to my clients that is uniquely my own, despite parallels between myself and other marketers. I have a combination of experience, personality and skill that is uniquely my own, and that is why my clients work with me. These other marketers offer their own specific spin on things that attracts certain clients to them which is great for me! Not every person who approaches me is the right fit, but if they are a good fit for one of my talented marketing colleagues, I refer them to ensure my client is happy. I know my strengths and weaknesses in my field, and I make a point to connect with key people who have complementing services to my own or who can fill a gap I see in my own service offerings. I build partnerships so we can work together and deliver superior services to our clients together – we all win in the end.
4. Stay Positive & Believe in YOURSELF
When you have a big cloud over your business, it is very easy to fall into the trap of self-doubt, but this is an entrepreneur’s worst enemy! When you start doubting yourself, your motivation for your business wavers. Internal drive is an entrepreneur’s secret weapon that helps them weather any storm. If you find your internal drive faltering, it is so easy to start questioning why you are doing your business, and you may feel tempted to shut things down. Avoid setting this pattern in motion, but surround yourself with positive images and thoughts that keep your eye on the prize. Put up anything that inspires you – your first cheque from a client, positive testimonials, written reasons you started your business, anything that inspires you! Also, focus on working with positive clients and colleagues who legitimately support you and believe in your business. These types of people are lifelong clients and friends so as long as you believe in yourself and give them a reason to continue to support you, they will be around for a long time.
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