In the introductory session of my new course, Marketing Mastery for Creative Entrepreneurs, I review the three essential resolutions that are necessary for any successful marketing program. Like a three legged stool, if any one of these resolutions are lacking the other two stop working, and your marketing efforts will fall flat. In fact, as I’ve listened to creative entrepreneurs describe their frustrations with marketing, I can always connect their past failures to missing one or more of these three essential marketing resolutions.
Marketing is hard work. And there’s nothing more frustrating than exerting concerted effort and seeing no results. The definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different outcomes—so any sane creative entrepreneur naturally gives up on their marketing when they don’t see any results from their efforts.
But these failures are not because marketing doesn’t work, but rather because their past efforts lacked at least one of the three vital resolutions.
The three resolutions are focus, muscle, and perseverance. If you lack any one of these three your marketing will fail, and you will eventually give up.
The first resolution, focus, has to do with PinPoint Positioning. Abraham Lincoln once said that if he had eight hours to chop down a tree he’d spend the first hour sharpening his axe. If you lack a sharp edge to your positioning, then no matter how much muscle you use, and no matter how long you have at it, you’ll wear yourself out well before reaching your goal.
So before you start reaching out to prospects, make sure your positioning is crystal clear and concrete. Your positioning statement needs to clearly articulate what you do, who you do it for, and how your work benefits them—and you must use specific, concrete, and focused terms as you answer all three questions.
A well-formed PinPoint Positioning statement is an essential prerequisite, but you fail to put muscle behind that positioning, well that’s like having a sharp axe but then just leaning against the tree. After you’ve sharpened your axe you have to start swinging if you want to reach your goal.
So swinging a dull axe is futile, that’ll just wear you out. And having a sharp axe that you don’t actually use is also pointless. But so is using a sharp axe, but not swinging long enough. Even the sharpest axes don’t fell a tree in one swing. You have to keep at it until that tree falls—and so seeing results from any marketing program is going to take time and perseverance.
Steadily swinging a sharp axe, and not giving up, will get the job done. Stopping too soon results in failure, using a dull axe results in failure, and keeping it up without a sharp focus also results in failure.
But suppose you do fulfill all three resolutions. You have a clear and focused positioning statement, you engage regularly in reaching out to prospects, and you stay steady, spending 30-45 minutes each day on your marketing. Exactly how long will it take to bring that tree down?
Well, in next week’s episode I’ll sketch out the timeline for initiating a new marketing program. And while there is a startup time table keep in mind that you’ll never really be done with your marketing. There’s a whole forest full of trees out in front of you. That’s why marketing has to become a steady and permanent habit. But once you get there, and you continue to invest in your marketing, you’ll begin to establish a steady stream of strong leads that will result in control over your entire creative practice.
Taking my course, Marketing Mastery for Creative Entrepreneurs, will speed you along the path to establishing a dependable marketing program. And as a podcast listener use the code 5mce at checkout for a $50 discount.
Until next week: don’t let the business of creativity overwhelm your creative business.