You have a website. You are listed in multiple directories. Your Facebook page and Twitter feeds stay active. You spoke to the Rotary Club and your local Chamber of Commerce. You send an email newsletter once a month to your list of subscribers. And you blog your little fingers off every other week.
A good estimate of your marketing time spent might be 20 hours a month. A good estimate of your marketing costs might be an average of $200 a month.
It’s worth every penny and every minute because you stay busy with new and existing clients…. right?
Maybe not! How do you know?
A few months ago we looked at the FIRST question to ask a prospective client. That first question is actually a self-defense move; making sure you aren’t getting yourself into a problem with someone who has been advocate-hopping and avoiding payment.
Find that First Question to Ask a Prospective Client
The second question to ask them is their first name. Yes. Just their first name at first, so they won’t think you are trying to delve into their personal business, or their situation too far, before they are ready. Should the call progress and you know they’ll be comfortable sharing their last name, too, then it will be time to ask more.
And then – Question #3 – this is a question to help you too! Asking this question, and getting an accurate-as-possible answer can help you save time, money, and frustration.
What’s that question?
Years ago, I wrote on the APHA Blog: Just Can’t Throw the Switch? The Analysis of Paralysis
Wow! What a nerve I touched with the point — that sometimes we spend so much time worrying about what might happen if we attempt something big (like starting a new business) that we are too paralyzed to actually take the leap.
So let’s take a look at that leap…
Yes – it’s a biggie! And while it’s not to be taken lightly, there are some truths that might help you take the leap.
First – let’s define it:
When I first began working for myself, I found lots of “things” that needed to be done.
The phone rang – of course I needed to answer it! Email required immediate replies – or provided a link to something I just had to read, right then. Or, I needed to start dinner. Or I needed to water my plants. or… or… or….
I’m very easily distracted (“squirrel!”) and every little noise or interruption is far more fascinating than the one that came seconds before it!
As a result, I never felt like I was making progress. I had reports to file, marketing to do, web development, articles, and books to write… things that required chunks of uninterrupted time. But the only time that wasn’t interrupted seemed to be late nights or weekends.
I got into terrible habits, because the work – work I got paid for – needed to be done, and I was allowing all those interruptions to get in my way.