Want to Feel Calmer?

Learn to be calm about your marketing, like the duck, pictured above.

Marketing vs. Sales

But first, let’s define what I mean by marketing. Marketing is not sales. If someone engages you in conversation (or emails you) asking specific questions about your business to help them learn if what they think might be a good fit is a good fit, that’s sales. In this article, we’re talking about marketing which is the phase before it. Marketing is the awareness building and reminders that you exist, that lead people to consider if what you’re offering could help them. Marketing is typically directed at groups of people and it’s less common that marketing operates on an individual basis. Marketing is an active process, i.e. it doesn’t work to throw up a web page, then cross your fingers and hope. Yet, marketing does come with an inertia all it’s own and that’s what I want to discuss today.

Inertia and Ducks

Marketing has inertia which I liken to a duck on a stream. In this analogy you are the duck, your business is the stream. Before you started your business, you were eyeing the stream. When you committed to launching your business you alighted on the stream. Every marketing effort you make is a kick of your webbed foot propelling you down the stream a bit further, a bit faster.

The Stream’s Current

Often people don’t realize the stream (their business) has its own current. It’s not a very fast current, and it’s a very difficult current to analyze or measure. This current is caused by all the subtle things you do (usually without realizing it) to orient your world around this new business. From the moment you commit to launching your business your energy shifts. You’ve probably already told someone in your life about it. You carry yourself differently. It might come up in conversation. These are impossible to measure and don’t cause a ton of movement, but it is something. It does contribute to your movement and that’s why I describe it as the stream’s current.

Kicking Your Webbed Ducky Feet

As a duck, you can get downstream faster if you kick your feet. Let’s think of the left foot as regular marketing practices and the right foot as singular bigger-effort or experimental marketing projects. A balance between both feet makes moving forward pretty easy. If one foot gets a cramp, you can still keep paddling with the other even though it gets a little awkward. Between kicks, you keep moving forward because you have the inertia of the past kicks, but also the subtle flow of the stream.

The Limits of Ducky Feet

At the other end of the spectrum, if you kick frantically that will propel you down the stream faster which would mean you build your business faster. But, this is a short term solution since kicking makes you tired (and so does gobs of marketing.) So you may want to decide if you’re a ducky sprinter who rests between sprints, or if you’re a ducky marathoner who finds a slow but steady pace and keeps at it. It won’t work to sprint constantly.

Becoming a Zen Duck

The point in this analogy is to know what the limits of your situation are. You can’t push yourself so hard that you defy the laws of physics. You also don’t need to beat yourself up with thoughts that you’re killing your business just because you’re not doing a lot at the moment. The stream will keep flowing. Let’s stop wasting energy on worrying and put that towards clear “kicks” of marketing instead!

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Maggie Karshner

Maggie Karshner

Maggie is a business coach who helps launch and grow self-employed businesses. Learn how she could help you at https://www.maggiekarshner.com/