Patience for Entrepreneurs
Its summer and so for that reason Ill break from my insistence on pragmatic advice and write on a topic you might consider fluff. Yet its the biggest mistake I see small business owners make, including me. We have no patience. I think that its a given that a requirement for being an entrepreneur is to have a low grade case of ADD, or in my case, ADHD with an emphasis on the H. And in marketing, that will kill you.
I cant tell you how many times a client tries something and when there are no immediate results says “Well that doesnt work.” Its like lifting weights one day and expecting that tricep cut to develop overnight. Im not suggesting that we all go out and spend a bajillion dollars on advertising during American Idol. But I do think that in order for your PR and marketing tactics to work you have to learn to wait a bit. Here are a few tips to use to figure out if youre too impatient.
1. Are you measuring your campaign results by the number of orders youre getting off each initiative? In a word, DONT. Look at your website hits instead, or the traffic in your store. Whats the first step toward buying your product or service? Do they request a brochure? Do they visit the website? Measure by those “first steps” in the short term.
2. Are you changing your marketing strategy on a weekly or monthly basis? WRONG. You had better have confidence in your strategy (or your consultant) from the start. Nothing works if you dont believe in it 100% from the beginning. Switching around what youre doing on a constant basis and youll end up running circles.
3. Are you relying on only one outreach method? It may work now, but it will stop working eventually. Or youll end up trying one thing after another. BLEND your messaging channels. If youre doing radio, connect it to an online promotion as well. Trying guerilla marketing? Make sure youve got some PR working in conjunction with those “on the ground” techniques.
Particularly in the online world, patience is the key to success. Jay Conrad Levinson, the founder of Guerilla Marketing, believes that patience is the most important characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. Be confident in your approach. Measure it wisely. And then, like that old farmer in the field, be patient and watch the seeds of your marketing work grow.