I get emails every day from people telling me their biggest challenges when it comes to their online business. Here’s part of one I recently got:
I am paralyzed when it comes to marketing, It puts me in a bad mood, and I am trying to avoid it. I made mailing lists of *****, and I sit on them instead of emailing them introducing my training and my classes, because I am afraid of rejection, of not being appreciated and liked, of bothering them, of not being good enough or articulate enough (English is my second language). I tell myself that I hate marketing, and I just want to create the content – I know I am good! I know I have a lot to give and teach, I can inspire, I can motivate…
I need baby steps or a plan of how to get out there and find my buyers and clients. I can focus on steps and follow them, but the mere thought of ‘marketing’ is freaking me out.
I bring this up because this person (who shall remain nameless) is not alone. Not by a long shot.
In my line of work, I come across this same basic fear many times. Bloggers LOVE creating content, but they “hate” the marketing.
But, here’s the thing…
Do you REALLY hate the marketing? Or is that just a cop out?
What Is Marketing, Really?
Some people get into this knee-jerk free association between the word “marketing” and the yellow-highlighter hypey crowd. And while there will always be that type of marketer, don’t make the mistake of assuming that that’s what marketing is.
In reality, people often confuse marketing and promotion.
So anything you to do let people know about you is promotion. Your social media activity is promotion, for instance. Letting your email subscribers know about your latest post is promotion.
Now, if you’ve ever tried to convince anybody anywhere to do anything, you’re a marketer. If you worked to convince somebody to hire you for a job, that’s marketing. When you were trying to convince your significant other to marry you, that’s marketing.
The world RUNS on marketing.
If you want anybody to ever visit your website, you need to think promotion. If you ever want them to subscribe to your list, post a comment, follow you on Twitter – essentially, to do ANYTHING – that’s marketing.
Don’t Be Hatin’!
So, if that’s the case and we clearly see that the world runs on promotion and marketing, why would anybody be in a position where they “hate” that?
The lady above wrote a very nice email going into a lot of detail about what she did. I clearly could see she was an expert at what she did. The people who have worked with her agree that she is an expert. She wants to help and make an impact. And yet, she is hampering herself by a personal belief that she “hates marketing”.
Where does this come from?
Well, I would like to submit something to you today to consider… and that is…
The problem isn’t marketing. The problem is self-limiting beliefs – and those beliefs come from a moment of decision that you’ve likely forgotten about.
Let me explain…
When Did You Decide That Marketing Was Bad?
The lady above received this reply from me:
So, where is this fear of marketing coming from? It isn’t you since you said yourself you know you’re good at what you do and can help people. So, logic tells us that fear is coming from somewhere else. Did you decide somewhere along the line, in your past, that marketing was a bad thing? Was there some incident in the past which you are allowing to illogically shape your decisions today?
Our thoughts are shaped by our own decisions – since we are the only people capable of changing our own minds. Problem is, we make these decisions and then we forget about them.
These decisions often boil down to a single moment. There is always a unique moment in time where these things occur. It isn’t some big, general thing.
As an example of the power of this, have you ever seen an adult who simply REFUSES to eat a certain food? They say they don’t like it. In almost all cases, there is a moment in their lives when something bad happened which involved that food. Often, in childhood. From that moment on, it was decided that they didn’t like that food.
To this day, I hate buttermilk. To me, it is just nasty stuff. But, there was a moment a long time ago where I was tricked into drinking it when I didn’t want any. From then on, buttermilk was always nasty to me.
Human beings do this all the time – whether it be about something as small as foods we like… or something about people we like, or things we simply won’t do.
People who are afraid to swim will find the root of that based on a moment of perceived threatened survival associated with swimming. At that point, a decision was made that swimming was bad, dangerous and scary. From then on, no matter how calm or shallow the pool is, you’ll be afraid of it.
We underestimate the power of our own decisions. And these decisions hold weight even after we’ve forgotten about them, sometimes.
Now, the way to make it stop is to shed light on the moment of decision. If you clearly see the exact moment that you made a particular decision which affects you in the present, then you are then free to re-evaluate and see if it is indeed true.
Which brings me back to marketing…
When was the exact moment you decided that marketing was something you wouldn’t do?
It could potentially be a moment you failed to convince somebody of something – and you then did what we all like to do in a moment of failure. We want to avoid it. At all costs.
It could be a moment where you did something to convince another that you weren’t proud of or you thought may have been a little unethical – and you decided right then and there to never do it again.
It could be a moment where you decided marketing was too complicated, so you avoid it because you don’t want to confront something which makes you feel confused.
What is it for you?
Marketing Is What Makes the World Go Round
As a blogger or entrepreneur, you’re interested in making an impact. In helping others. And, yes, ideally, you’d be able to make a living doing it so that you can keep doing it.
In order to fulfill that mission, marketing is a necessity. Promotion is a necessity.
Even if you aren’t even blogging for business – maybe you’re doing it as a hobby – you are STILL in the business of marketing. Because you need to convince people to read your blog, to comment, to interact with you.
Don’t allow yourself to be artificially held back by your own past decisions now forgotten.