Overcoming The Fear Of Marketing

Overcoming the Fear of MarketingI’d say we generally understand “fear” to be a dirty, little, four-letter word.  As mompreneurs, it tends to present in our businesses looking something like this:  “I am scared I’ll look stupid” or “I don’t know how to do that” or “I’m not good enough at that yet to get paid what I want.”  These are all fears that we have.  They typically show up as a little voice inside our heads that we may not even realize we’re listening to.  It’s really sneaky sometimes.  And even though we probably feel like we’re ignoring them a lot of the time, these fears have a loud way of showing up in our lives because they keep us from doing the things that we really want to do.  Marketing is one of those things that we know we need to do, and we know we want the results, but oftentimes are just too afraid to do it, at least in a powerful way.  If you’re someone who struggles with this, I’m hoping I can give you some tools to help.

 

Here are three solutions to overcoming the fear of marketing:

 

1.  Know your target market.  Underneath it all, if you understand your target market—their top priorities, challenges, and what keeps them up at night—then you can become an expert at what your prospective clients need.  If you become an expert on what your prospective clients need, then you’ll gain some confidence in providing solutions that add value to their lives.  When you feel that confidence, it will be so much easier for you to market yourself—to share who you are in this world and what you have to offer.

 

2.  Create your 10-second elevator pitch.  This unique business statement (around ten seconds, hence the name) tells your niche market who you are, what you do, and why they should care.  You’re going to practice this statement again and again and again so that there is absolutely no doubt, even in your most panicked situations, who your target market is, what value you bring to that market, and how to describe yourself in a way that makes that value evident.  This is a practical tool to help you get out of your own way and overcome some of the fears you may have around marketing yourself.

 

3.  See yourself as valuable.  Yes, you are a mom, and a good one at that!  And any time we put the word “mom” in front of “entrepreneur,” that says something about our priorities.  But just because your first priority is being an awesome mom does not mean that you can’t contribute to the world in other ways.  You can do it.  You are smart enough.  You deserve it.  Those fears inside us that talk to us about “But what if…?” and “But I’m not…”—they’re just fears!  Fears are not the truth about who we are and what we’re capable of, and if we’re going to be successful and if we want to share the wonderful work that we’re up to in the world, we’re going to have to stop them in their tracks.

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Do you have a 10-second elevator pitch?  Share it with us!

 

In what ways can you speak truth to yourself instead of fear? 

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What Are You Afraid Of?

What Are You Afraid Of“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

Cliché?  Maybe.  But I think there is something to be said for fearing the fears that frighten us into self-limiting beliefs, indecision, or inaction.  Today I want to talk to you just a little bit about our fears of marketing ourselves—selling ourselves—especially in casual or social situations.  This is a common fear for mompreneurs and one that can be absolutely paralyzing, so we’ve got to take an honest look at ourselves and head this stuff off at the pass, in order to really overcome these obstacles and do what we want to do.

 

So let’s take a look at some of the most common issues we, as mompreneurs, face when it comes to the fear of marketing ourselves:

 

1.  We tend to downplay ourselves and our businesses in casual conversation.  Am I hitting a nerve yet, girls?  It goes like this:  You’re at the park and a fellow mommy asks, “Hi, so nice to meet you.  Oh, me?  I’m just a stay-at-home mom.  What do you do?” and you answer, “Oh, I stay at home too.  That and I have this little business thing I do on the side, but you know…” See how we just downplayed that?  Your little “business thing” doesn’t sound very significant, does it?

 

2.  We are scared of what people think.  Let’s face it; we all know somebody who is just in nonstop used car sales mode, don’t we?  You know the one.  She is constantly promoting herself and generally annoys everyone around her.  We don’t want to be that person!  And so we are afraid that if we are open and expressive about our passions and what it is we do, we will be perceived as pushy—so instead, we keep our mouths shut.

 

3.  We are afraid we won’t say the right thing because we don’t have a unique business statement, a.k.a. the “10-second elevator pitch.”  Because we don’t have a clear and concise way to communicate what it is that we do, we are left with the anxiety of not knowing what will come out of our mouths when asked, and the very real possibility of stumbling over our words.

 

4.  We don’t know what message to deliver if we don’t know for absolute certain who we are delivering it to and what they need.  This is the question of “Why would they care anyway?”  Who are we targeting and what are that niche market’s top pain points.  Once we know that, we can speak confidently about what we do and why it’s important.

 

5.  We have a mindset of insignificance.  Sometimes we moms just forget that we are very valuable humans in and of ourselves, not just as mothers, and not just compared to what we did before we had children.

 

Do you recognize yourself in some of these common fears?  Are you letting limits you’ve placed on yourself keep you from pursuing what it is that you really want and have worked so hard for?  It’s critical that we recognize these beliefs in ourselves so we know what it is that we’re overcoming!

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Which of these issues do you identify with most?

 

What can you start doing today to move away from fear and toward success? 

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Get People To Listen To You

get people to listen to youIf you’ve been around the MomBiz community at all, you probably know that I’m a huge fan of building relationships that in turn build your business.  Now a fundamental piece of relationship building is communication, which involves both clearly articulating your thoughts and the art of listening.  Being skilled in one doesn’t necessarily insure strength in the other, and of course there is always room for improvement in both.  So today I’m going to share with you five tips to becoming a better communicator and therefore, empower you to bring about the results you want.

 

1.  LISTEN.  You may have noticed that we have one mouth and two ears.  It stands to reason that ideally, we should spend twice the amount of time listening to others as we spend talking to them.  So instead of succumbing to human nature and while you’re waiting for your turn to talk, formulating your answer, rebuttal or witty comeback, try to practice active listening.  Active listening, simply put, is listening carefully enough that you can repeat back or paraphrase some of the things that the speaker says to you.  There is a psychological agreement that takes place when we listen in this way—“You’re listening to me; therefore, I will listen to you,” which is, after all, what we were hoping for in the first place.

 

2.  CALL THEM NAMES.  No, I’m joking.  But using a person’s name in the course of conversation is a useful tool for holding their attention.  This is also a great little trick for remembering names if that’s something you have trouble with.

 

3.  GIVE THEM PROPS.  We all need a little acknowledgment.  In today’s world of social media, “virtually” patting someone on the back or expressing thanks is as easy as retweeting something someone says that we see as valuable, “liking” an inspiring post on Facebook, sharing a status.  Expand this idea to real life.  If you want people to listen to you and help you get what you want, look for opportunities to honor them.  It’s good karma and it’s good business.

 

4.  ASK QUESTIONS.  Now we’re not talking interrogation here, but more of a genuine curiosity about what the other person has to offer.  By asking relevant questions and thereby proving that you care, you actually gain greater control over the direction of the conversation and earn the right to be heard in the process.

 

5.  TAKE A BREATH.  Let’s face it.  In all reality, the person you’re talking with is probably only half listening.  So when you’re at that critical place in the conversation where you really need to drive that point home, it’s time for a change of pace.  Slowing down and building in pauses causes the other person to take notice, and also gives them time to really digest the important things you have to say.

 

These are some really simple but effective tools that you can apply to make yourself a better communicator, whether it’s with your kids, with your spouse, or with your clients and your team.  In business or in life, communication is the key to being heard and ultimately, getting the results you want.

 

I love to hear from you, so send me a comment!

 

Are you a better speaker than you are a listener? 

 

Which of these strategies do you plan to implement to become a more effective communicator? 

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How To Build Customer Loyalty Without Losing Yourself

Customer-satisfaction-is

 

The value of customer loyalty is indeed priceless.  And it’s not so much that customer satisfaction in and of itself is worthless but that the difference between the two is HUGE.  For mompreneurs, shifting our focus from one to the other can be the deciding factor in whether we are perceived as a kind of Girl Friday, “everything to everybody” type of person or smart, skilled, professionals offering valuable products and services.  There is a delicate balance in satisfying our customers and meeting the needs of our business.  How do we serve our clients and stay aligned with our strengths, our skills and our style?  How do we build customer loyalty without losing ourselves in the process?

 

Today I want to help you find some ways to build customer satisfaction and customer loyalty by going that extra mile, by delighting your clients but without compromising yourself because I don’t want you to be everything to everybody and I bet you don’t want to be that either.  Let’s take a look at how we can do that.

 

  1. Are you a people pleaser?  You know what I mean by that.  I think as moms, this is something we’re pretty used to.  We’re used to taking care of everybody in our lives and it can cross over very easily to our business and become kind of a detrimental habit.  That’s not your job.  You don’t need to do that.  There is a difference between providing great customer satisfaction and going the extra mile and actually kind of sacrificing your own wants and needs when it comes to pleasing someone else.

 

  1. Just say “no.”  I have had countless MomBiz owners admit to me that their first time saying “no” to a client who asked them to do something they didn’t want to do was awkward and scary.  Remember when you were first learning how to ride a bicycle?  Remember how wobbly and crazy and sometimes painful it was at first?  But remember that amazing feeling of freedom that came with the hard work of practice?  You will have that feeling of freedom in saying “no” too!  I promise!  You don’t have to please everyone. You don’t have to do everything your clients ask.  Stay true to you.

 

  1. Stick to your guns.  Your job as a business owner is to plan a business that is successful on your terms and sustainable by your decisions.  Your choices drive this business—not your clients.  You know those business plans and product funnels we talk about so often?  It’s really important for you to create these invaluable tools and then keep them posted in front of you to remind yourself when a client asks you if you can do something else, whether or not an opportunity fits into your plan.

 

All things considered, your customers know you care about them by how well you stay connected, you listen to them, and you offer amazing products and services.  You are building that loyalty that is so critical and you don’t have to lose yourself to please them.

 

 

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