Elephants, Tomatoes... 7 Insanely Honest Admissions from a Marketing "Expert"

Marketing can seem like a never-ending, sometimes overwhelming task, especially for small business people who wear a lot of hats. I include myself in this description. You see, although I often know exactly what to do (and have consulted others on how to market their business for 25+ years), I do not always get my own marketing done. 

I recently spoke to members of my marketing mastermind group about an article one of the members shared with the group titled "7 Ways to Be Insanely Honest in Your Marketing", published by Hubspot. (I'm a big Hubspot fan and got certified with them for their Inbound Marketing program, great free online training, by the way.)

I'm going to address their 7 points here, looking at them through the CoThrive Community lens:

  1. Say Who You're Not For

    CoThrive Community is not for anyone with 100% self-discipline who can log onto Facebook and not be tempted by chatting with friends, playing games or watching adorable kitten videos. If you've got that kind of willpower, you may not need coaching. Kudos to you! CoThrive is also not for divas who "have people to take care of that stuff for me." We are a community of do-it-yourselfers. We are creative, curious and enjoy connecting, but also need to be reined in a little bit and maybe could use some help setting goals and objectives for your social media marketing. If that's you, then we should talk.

  2.  Admit to a Weak Product Feature

    Oh, where to begin...? Right now, I'd say the weakest feature is the over-reliance on my own talents and coaching as the primary benefit I'm offering to member. I charge $100+/hour to consulting clients for the same brain I give members, current membership rate is $30/month. It's a good value, but the dates and times aren't going to work for everyone, especially members in time zones on the other side of the world. We got our first member from Australia recently! Yay, Australia! Yay, diversity! Booh, time zone challenges for live training offerings.

  3. Elephant_Tomato.pngEmbrace the elephant in the room.

    This one's pretty easy. If I take a look at some of the social media profiles I've set up over the years, some of them look like pretty lonely, forlorn places. They need some attention or they need to be jettisoned. I have a system to keep them all running smoothly; the problem is there's no one to hold me accountable if I don't use aforementioned system. When you don't get feedback and don't have accountability built in, it can feel like no one cares and it's tempting to move onto other things. Sometimes, maybe that's the right thing to do, but other times it's not. Working together in CoThrive provides structure and accountability, not just for members, but for me too. One of my favorite things about it, actually. I feel like we put the social back in social media because we're not working on it in individual silos, but rather it becomes more like a group activity with built in support and a cheering section.

  4. Praise Your Competitors

    There are many competitors who appear uber-focused on one thing and they get very well known for that one thing. Mari Smith comes to mind. She is Mrs. Facebook in my mind, and she's someone I turn to periodically to keep up to date with the latest and greatest changes on that platform. Me, I'm more of a generalist. In fact, I frequently hear, "You do so many things", "I can't believe how many things you're into," or "You're really a Renaissance woman, aren't you?" Yes, I like to do a little bit of everything and help members who are like that too. Some may see that as lacking focus, but the good news is that I'm self aware enough to know that I can invite some highly-focused experts to offer training that offsets my style.

  5. Laugh at yourself.

    This one is easy for me. I do it a lot. I'm doing it now! I'm a funny person, at least I think I am.

  6. Replace lame excuses with the truth.

    Yep, this is a good one. We can all sit around and explain why our blogs are languishing or why we're not sending out an email blast or whatever, or we can do something about it. Let's change the playing field. Let's make it fun. Let's give a hoot about one another's marketing. Let's encourage one another, offer feedback, set and share goals. Who thinks that would make a difference in your approach. I do. Who's in?

  7. Share disappointments instead of hiding them. 

    I wish every idea I thought of was brilliantly executed, but they're not. I need other pairs of eyes and ears to look and listen. My preference is to work very interactively and yet, I am a solopreneur, so that doesn't always happen for me. It's so important to share the bad news as well as the good. When I share with people who are in my corner and want the best for me, it helps me to get back on track more quickly and to remember I am not unique because every now and then I fail. 

How's that? Too honest for you? Just exposing all this truth doesn't necessarily help, but I've got a plan -- for myself, and for community members -- that I think will help all of us with these truths. While we may not be able to tackle all 7 at once, I believe in the old adage about "How to eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

Breaking down tasks helps. Watch for a new spin on virtual office hours coming next week. We'll be exploring how to use the Pomodoro Method to improve efficiency, and maybe even have more fun.

Pomodoro means tomato in Italian, by the way. Do you think eating that elephant in the living room, one bite at a time, with a side of tomatoes will make it a tastier task?

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