Lessons from a not so great runner and passionate marketer on pushing and pacing for greater results
This, my friends, is a hill at the preserve where I like to run. Today, as I approached the point where the incline begins, I thought, “this hill has many parallels to embarking on a new marketing and promotional endeavor.” It may even incite the same trepidation and apprehension.
This hill appears about 2/3 of the way into the trail. I’ve been running a while when I approach. Things have been going smoothly, I’m working hard, but I can still breathe… then there it is. I’m sure many of you CEOs, marketing directors and business development pros know the feeling. Things are going well, status quo, you’re doing what you do. The thought of doing more, pushing to have not
just good results, but great ones, can feel a little…. daunting. Here’s my advice:
Pace yourself. If you’re running as fast as you can uphill, get exhausted and have to stop half way up, where are you? Neither up nor down. Same with your marketing. Keep on chugging to get to the top. I’ll always suggest a longer range view and pacing yourself. Whether you have a $5000 budget or a $500,000 budget, if you put all of your money and energy into the first month, your results will not be better than if you spread out expenditures and resources over time. Increasing frequency is a proven tactic to improving results for many reasons, including delivering your message when your buyer is (finally) ready to buy, being seen (eventually) among the other distractions and noise surrounding them, and (sometimes slowly) building trust with your audience.
Use your view and surroundings as a tool. When running uphill, it helps to look around and appreciate the beauty of nature… mainly to take your mind off the pain! In marketing, think about what else is going on that you can leverage to most effectively reach your goal. Are there national or international events you can leverage, like Earth Week, American Heart Month, International Women’s Day? Are there trending topics that you can lend your expertise to? Think beyond your business and about what others may have top-of-mind at the moment to gain the attention of influencers, media and your prospects.
Establish little goals along the way. If the hill is long, it can feel unrelenting and insurmountable. Tell yourself you’ll run to that next tree, then that next patch of tall grass, then the frog in the trail. Then cheer a little each time you accomplish your mini-goals. Sometimes you get a big win early in a new marketing program- when this happens, celebrate! More often at first, however, the wins are smaller: increased web traffic, clicks on your newsletter links, more followers on social media. That’s normal, and you should still celebrate those small wins, because those will fuel your big wins.
Sometimes in business, as in life, we get comfortable with the status quo. It’s when the hill appears, though, that the opportunity presents itself to do more, push harder, work smarter and get stronger.
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The Hill: Lessons from a not so great runner and passionate marketer on pushing and pacing for greater results
Nature doesn't keep doing things that don't work... do you?