We Still Forget the Fundamentals on a Daily Basis
There’s one thing I know after spending thousands and thousands of dollars and hours on a marketing degree, marketing books, business coaches, working in corporate sales, and marketing my own company –
There is no magic bullet for successful marketing.
Every industry is different. Every entrepreneur is unique, too.
Yet there are some marketing fundamentals they we all know and still continue to forget everyday when we show up to connect, engage, and create.
As I reflect on my time marketing my business as an entrepreneur, it’s easy to see where I got disconnected from my intention and forgot these fundamentals.
Most people become entrepreneurs to solve problems, not to spend 90% of their time marketing their solutions.
The good news is that you shouldn’t have to be spending more time marketing than problem solving.
The bad news is that the temptation to follow all of the ‘marketing shoulds for a successful business’ is very high, leading to that imbalance.
Here are my top lessons to help you avoid some of the mistakes I have made in my own journey –
1. You do not need to be everywhere.
In fact, you do not need to be anywhere at all. Think about where you get most of your clients from. Is it actually Instagram? Most entrepreneurs get support from their friends and family when they first get going. There is no shame in that! The first retreat I ever ran was 90% filled with friends, family, and co-workers. Only 10% were people I had never met before.
This is normal, and trust me when I say that people do love supporting you. There’s no need to be embarrassed or ashamed by this. Most entrepreneurs start this way, even if we don’t talk about it. Keep it simple when starting your business, especially if you’re not a capital-intensive and venture-backed project.
Pick 1–3 platforms — a social media, email, podcast, blog, offline, affiliate, display, etc. — to focus on that make you feel excited about the idea of consistent content creation. Hate writing? Don’t do a blog right away. Have no idea how to film a video? TikTok and YouTube are probably a no go for now.
2. Stop creating “small” content.
The creator economy is booming, to the tune of $104.2 B (The Influencer Marketing Survey), and more people than ever are sharing online. I see posts in Facebook groups I’m in of entrepreneurs sharing that they aren’t growing on social no matter how many reels they post or how consistent they are.
Often when I go look at their content, it’s clear to see why this is the case. I hate to say it, but look — nobody needs another post reminding them to meditate or practice self-care, unless you have a new way to say it. Share your experience. Share how you meditate. Share the science. The point is to make it come from you and your unique POV.
Pretty pictures are no longer enough to stand out when everyone has access to free Canva accounts and uses the same templates. Everyone has something unique to share, and if you’re a business owner, it’s likely because you have a unique solution to a problem. Share the uniqueness.
3. The best pieces of content I have ever created usually make me the most nervous to share.
My best reel was one where I had a man filter on my face and the audio used the word p*ssy. I was terrified to post it, even though I thought it was hilarious, because I thought people would judge me for being out of line with what my image of a good holistic healer was.
Yet, that one reel exploded our reach to thousands of people who weren’t even following the account. And the people I was afraid would judge me? They shared it to their own stories and commented on how funny they thought it was.
4. When you’re the authentic you, you attract better clients.
This advice goes for large companies, as well. I see so many brands trying to be in the ‘right’ conversation or be shown in the ‘correct’ light. You have likely seen this too, and the energy of these ads feels off when you experience them.
Authenticity does not mean sharing every secret or detail about your life or business to the world. It does mean creating content according to the values of the business and staying in integrity with that, even when it feels easier to jump onto trends.
When I was open about the things that made me feel ashamed as a holistic nutritionist — drinking coffee and still enjoying cocktails — it allowed people to resonate with me and realize that they didn’t have to be perfect to get started.
5. Create the thing you want to create AND test its market value.
I used to get so confused by conflicting advice when it came to launching a new product. I often heard successful authors talking about “writing the book they needed for themselves”, while hearing business coaches preach that you must test an idea on the ideal consumer before launching.
I now understand that you need both. Authors are not writing the book for the person they are now. They are writing the book for the person they used to be, the version of themselves that needed to hear those words. Through that process, they are testing their idea on their ideal customer, which is them XX years ago.
What they are NOT doing is — writing the book to call themselves an author, prove their superiority, etc. (Authors do that, but I don’t think they find much sustainable success).
I see a lot of new coaches referring to themselves as self-love or self-care coaches, and many of them share that they can’t find clients. Here’s why. People don’t pay for self-love. They pay for what self-love gives them. They pay for the transformation.
These coaches found self-love when they were looking for something else and realized they weren’t going to find it. They initially wanted a relationship, a fulfilling career, weight loss, etc. On that journey they realized those things start from within with self-love. So, they should still create the self-love program. But, they should also test its market value and get clear on what the consumer thinks they want versus what you know they need.
The main thing I have learned in all of my marketing paths is that the ‘why’, the intention, needs to be present.
Without it, marketers get scattered, they create from scarcity, and they enter a frustrated cycle of marketing that falls flat.
xo, Rachel Jeffries Murphy