Lately I’ve noticed a trend among entrepreneurs slightly bragging about how they’re successful without marketing.
And, every time I read one of those blog posts or hear someone say it in an interview, it makes me really uncomfortable.
Because it isn’t true. (At least 99% of the time it isn’t true.)
Most of these entrepreneurs who are telling you that you shouldn’t have to promote your business in order to be successful do the exact opposite of the advice they’re giving you.
They are writing and publishing blog posts every week. They are emailing their lists. They are growing their lists through interviews and speaking engagements. They are updating their social media accounts regularly.
That’s marketing, people.
Just because you don’t have to spend lots of time promoting every single product or service you offer doesn’t negate all of the time you’ve spent blogging, emailing your list and updating social media. Those people who are following you and reading your blog didn’t just appear out of thin air.
It’s extremely frustrating to see successful (or at least seemingly successful) entrepreneurs pretend that you can sit back, produce good products and earn a full-time or six figure income without marketing.
As if they didn’t spend a lot of time, at least in the beginning, spreading the word about their businesses and products.
When I sat down to write today’s blog post, I wasn’t planning to write about this.
But I got sidetracked, like we all tend to do online, and stumbled across more than one post on more than one blog in which marketing was bashed.
Normally when I see something that I don’t agree with, I just move on to another blog that I gel with more but I couldn’t this time. Especially since I’d heard more than one entrepreneur gloating about their lack of marketing in interviews in the past couple months and this trend is irking me to no end.
I feel like I have to clarify that I’m not at all into the “look at me, look at me” marketing where it feels like the person is yelling at you to buy their stuff.
You know the kind of marketing where you can imagine the person standing on the curb with a poster screaming to come and get your $5 pizza?
That’s what my mind conjures up when I see those blogs where post after post is a picture of a product with a link to buy it online and not much else. Or those Facebook walls that are filled with the same thing: here’s my product—go buy it.
That type of marketing doesn’t work and it gives marketing a bad name.
Good marketing makes you feel excited to buy a product. And, great marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all.
But for entrepreneurs to claim that they’re successful without spending a good chunk of time promoting their businesses is confusing and deceptive to new entrepreneurs looking to them for advice and guidance.
It encourages the “if your products and services are really good, you shouldn’t have to spend time on marketing” fallacy.
One such blog post I recently read was written by someone that spends a great deal of time on marketing: writing and publishing blog posts that sell products, emailing one’s list regularly, using social media to connect with one’s target market, etc.
So, the next time someone says that you can succeed without marketing, take a look at how much marketing that person does.
Once you get to a certain stage in your business, marketing should become easier.
At least, it has for me and many entrepreneurs that I’ve worked with.
Instead of having to pitch interviews and speaking engagements, people come to you asking to interview you and requesting you to speak at their events.
Instead of crossing your fingers and wishing upon a star that twenty people will sign up for your next online course, your course sells out within two weeks due to the amazing testimonials on your sales page and the three well-written blog posts you wrote to get your readers excited about it.
Instead of having to tweet about your latest blog post ten different times, you tweet about it once or twice and twenty-four of your followers retweet it, helping you gain lots of new readers.
Sometimes, something big will happen that completely changes the game for you.
You get featured on a blog with hundreds of thousands of readers and make more money in a week than you did all of last year. Or, you land a speaking engagement that gets you in front of the right market and helps you fill up your consulting spots for the entire year.
It doesn’t mean that you never have to work on marketing again, but it does make things easier.
However, for most of us, the beginning looks like this: one comment on the blog post you spent six hours writing and editing, twelve likes on your business Facebook page, and one sale within the first week of your product launch (that may or may not be from a friend who felt bad when you told her how upset you were that your launch didn’t go as expected).
And if we pretend that it isn’t and that you don’t have to work hard to get your products in front of the right people, especially in the beginning, we’re doing a disservice to all those passionate entrepreneurs who are just getting started or have been at it for six months and are still struggling.
Most of the time, success doesn’t fall at your fingertips.