by Jaco Grobbelaar, owner of BroadVision Marketing and Robert Middleton, owner of Action Plan Marketing
If marketing is a struggle for professionals, it's not only because they don't understand the game of marketing, but also because they have a poor attitude about it. And this attitude, or what we prefer to call mindset, colors our approach to marketing and tends to result in our avoiding most marketing activities.
A marketing mindset is how we think about marketing. It's our attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, expectations, fears, fixed positions, assumptions, and limitations. You could say that our marketing mindset is the "water that we swim in."
The mindset affects us profoundly, but we don't see it because it's so close to us. Our actions are shaped by what we focus on, what we believe, what we think and what we assume. And if these beliefs, thoughts and assumptions are negative, we see marketing as something bad, something to be avoided.
Do you operate from any of these as if they were the gospel truth?
Here are a few of the beliefs, thoughts and assumptions we've heard from independent professionals over the years. Do any of them sound familiar to you?
- Marketing leads to rejection
- If I ask for referrals it will sound like I'm begging
- Marketing doesn't work for this kind of service
- I don't have the time to market myself
- Only people with sub-standard services need marketing
- I can't start until I know exactly what to do
- I'm not qualified (educated, experienced, etc.) enough yet
- Marketing is a bother and an interruption to people
And these are only the tip of the iceberg! In working with clients, we've discovered that most are attached to literally dozens of thoughts and beliefs that lead to marketing avoidance.
How marketing mindsets work
The response most of us have to negative marketing mindsets is to resist them. For instance, you've heard that networking could be useful to your business. But you don't enjoy it due to your belief that "nobody who attends networking events needs my service." Still you resist that, put on a happy face and try your best, struggling through every event that you attend. Ultimately your experiences verify your beliefs and you give up networking as a waste of time.
When you're stuck in a negative marketing mindset, everything that happens lines up with that mindset. People want reality to be consistent with their beliefs, and this makes it hard to change a mindset.
Sometimes something will happen that challenges your belief, and things can change very rapidly. For instance, you may go to a networking event and connect with someone who turns into your best client. You then start to question your belief about networking because the new evidence is that it worked for you.
Start questioning your mindsets
What has occurred to very few of us, however, is to start questioning our mindset even before we have any observable evidence that it just may not be true. This is a simple but extraordinarily powerful approach, as it undermines our attachment to the beliefs that may be holding us back.
When we don't question our limiting beliefs, we automatically become subject to them. When we start to sincerely question them, we may discover that what we were so certain was true may be the exact opposite.
Is it really true that all marketing leads to rejection, that asking for referrals is begging, that you don't have time to market yourself, that you can't start until you know exactly what to do? Perhaps not.
Once you start to inquire into your mindset, with the intention of discovering the truth, you may surprise yourself and actually realize that the opposite of these beliefs are just as true or truer. In our personal experience, we've discovered that marketing leads to acceptance, that asking for referrals is a contribution, that there is time to do marketing and that you can even start without knowing exactly what to do.
Jaco Grobbelaar is the owner of BroadVision Marketing. BroadVision Marketing works with business owners to put in place inbound and outbound marketing strategies that consistently secure new clients. The BroadVision Marketing Training Center is located in Petaluma, CA and primarily serves companies in the San Francisco Bay area.
Jaco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.766.9778 or connect with Jaco on Facebook - www.facebook.com/broadvisionmarketing - and LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/JacoGrobbelaar.
Robert Middleton has been the owner of Action Plan Marketing since 1984. He specializes in helping Independent Professionals be better marketers and attract more clients. He has two main services - the Fast Track to More Clients Program and the Marketing Mastery Group. He lives and runs his business from Northern California in the redwoods near Santa Cruz. You can reach Robert through his website: http://actionplan.com, by email at apm @ actionplan.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=731554912, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/robertmiddleton
For more information:
Step 1 - Marketing Ball - The Game of Marketing for Marketing Plan Workbook