Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Confident Marketing

Yesterday a lot of consumers and investors lost some of their confidence in the economy. Yet, they want feel confident that they will be okay. So let me ask you, what are you doing in your marketing to project confidence?

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Are You Marketing Confidently?

confident marketer
How confident is your marketing? Are you the enterprising person that boldly tells people you have something they need? Do you jump up and tell the world your business is great?

Probably not. Most people have a genuine dislike of blowing their own horn or crowing about their accomplishments and self-worth. No one likes arrogance, after all, and no one enjoys listening to someone go on about how wonderful they are. We don’t want to be seen as that person, so we play it safe. We try to be quiet and modest, doing unto others as we would have done to ourselves.

Or maybe you’re just not that type of person. We’re all unique, each in our own way, with different personalities, behaviors and fears. One person might be bold and able to socialize easily; another person might be the wallflower, quietly enjoying the party from the sidelines; yet another person might be very humble and never speak up much at all.

Self-worth comes into play too. Many people feel they aren’t good enough or that others are better or even more, that they don’t deserve to succeed.

The closed-mouth wallflower, the modest marketer, and the quiet promoter all have a real challenge to face: Being quiet doesn’t do much for increasing business.

A Story of The Well-Kept Secret

There’s a bed and breakfast in my hometown. It’s a beautiful, historical, 16-room, three-story mansion set on a 46-acre wooded estate. The acreage has a sprawling lawn with apple trees and the rest is deer-filled woods with a path that leads to a large beaver lake.

The service at this place is excellent and personal, the rooms are clean and comfortable, and the owner is friendly and kind. The business is located in a region offering strong tourist attractions like horseback riding, river rafting and golf courses, all just a 20-minute drive away.
It’s a beautiful bed and breakfast, but it doesn’t have much clientele and income is lacking. There’s really no reason for these issues either, but they’re created by – you guessed it – quiet marketing.

The business owner doesn’t promote much. She doesn’t want to be seen as a blowhard. She leaves a few business cards and some pamphlets at likely locations, and she sometimes puts a very small ad in the local newspaper. She never talks about her business unless someone asks, either, and she would die of mortification before telling someone she thinks her business is great. People shouldn’t brag, after all!

In effect, the bed-and-breakfast owner has this magnificent opportunity for success, and she’s created such a well-kept secret that her business will likely struggle and eventually fail – all because she was too quiet with her marketing.

You and Your Business Confidence

Unfortunately, the bed-and-breakfast owner isn’t alone in her behaviors. Feeling shy, being modest and having fears are three common problems people share. It’s important to have the confidence to know that what you sell is a good thing. You might know it, deep down, but you have to be able to show it, too.

Confident marketing means that you actively do what you need to promote your business and attract clients – even if you’re shaking in your shoes. Even if you feel silly. Even if you want to run and hide.

You don’t need to grab a megaphone and shout out boastful comments for all the world to hear (though that’s not a bad idea). But if you want your business to do well, you do need to become comfortable speaking up, promoting your value and stepping into the spotlight from time to time.

So think about your behaviors and fears. Try to see whether you can work on conveying more confidence. Do you feel shy around strangers? What can you do to become more comfortable around people? How can you work on sharing your business secret with potential clients?

Because if you don’t, you’re only keeping secrets to yourself.

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