Marketing tips for sole traders who feel lonely

marketing mistakes

Here’s the truth: marketing your small business is tougher than a chewy energy bar. You’ve read so many marketing tips, and you’ve been told you need a marketing budget, even as a sole trader.

Somehow you need to know how to spend every cent of that budget.

Every cent counts.

It’s hard to tell what to focus on right now…

What can wait… and what to do without.

Some people miss opportunities, because they wait too long to spend their money.

A lot of the time, those who spend money early choose the easiest route. They copy what the competitor is doing, which means they never get to stand out.

Know what I mean?

Let’s say you hear your competitor say videos work for them… and you think “I should try that”.

The problem is, now you’re both doing the same thing. Now you’re making customers think you’re copying the other guys.

Plus, what works for your competitor may not work for you.

Or… or… some people just continue to do the same ol’ thing, like spend money reprinting last year’s brochures, paying for the same classified ads in the very back of the newspaper, or paying for links “because we get tons more traffic when we do” instead of trying to naturally build organic traffic.

This sounds a little raw, but you know it’s true.

There are too many choices for marketing…

Should I start an email list?

Should I pay for Facebook ads?

Should I join Twitter? What about Pinterest?

Should I start a business blog?

Should I switch to advertorials to get people to notice my business?

Should I hire a copywriter? Maybe I should  write the copy myself.

Should I pitch to journalists? Or is free publicity a waste of time?

It’s a drag, I know.

But here’s another problem, perhaps the mother of all problems: too often people want to do everything, because maybe they want to appear “active”.

So rather than focus on one idea, understanding and testing it long enough to see whether it’s really worth it, they waste time trying everything.

Next thing you know, they give up before they can even measure its success. They’ll never know whether waiting another week would have helped them reap more rewards.

So now they revert to the same ol’ strategies that were not working.

Why? Why are humans so weird?

It happens all the time.

One day, we woke up and everyone was raving on Facebook about how important such and such marketing strategy or tool was to them. Like a newsletter, for example.

So what happened? People jumped on that newsletter bandwagon, signed up for MailChimp, Zoho, AWeber and so on, only to leave their accounts dormant or full of drafts that never got sent.

Then Google Plus became more popular. The SEO-savvy players, the early adopters of everything Google, reaped the rewards sooner than everyone else.

Then Periscope came along, and with Periscope soon my social media feeds were full of “Look at me, look at me, I’m on Periscope”. I’ve only ever clicked through to watch one, and it was a lady in the US offering tips about… don’t ask, I don’t even remember!

I’ve just realised… I haven’t seen a Periscope post for a while. Is it dead? I tried to ask on Facebook, I’m still waiting for an answer.

Anyway… what I’m trying to say is new marketing opportunities come and go, we get excited when we sign up… and then we become frustrated, because it’s not working or because we get bored.

The thing we forget is this: most of us work solo.

We don’t have anyone with whom to brainstorm and discuss our marketing ideas.

We don’t have a marketing strategist constantly looking over our shoulder to tell us, “Stop! Don’t pay for AdWords! There’s another way.”

Or “Maybe you should have a Facebook page”.

So we’re stuck. There’s no one to turn to for ideas. So we keep guessing.

And I hear it all the time, “I tried to start a newsletter, now I’m trying to send plain emails. It’s killing me! How do (so and so) do it?”

Me: “They pay someone else to do it.”

Or, I’m told, “I’ve wasted so much time trying to come up with ideas for my blog. I no longer think blogging is for me.”

But you know what? It doesn’t have to be like this…

Every day that goes by that you don’t ask for help, marketing becomes more and more difficult. And the more you miss out to capture new leads.

When you don’t ask for help, you’re on your own. Alone. Like that sad doggy up there in the photo.

(Finally! I found a blog post for that photo!)

So yes, it doesn’t have to be just you.

Imagine never having to think on your own.

Imagine being able to “call a friend” – a marketing consultant you hire to discuss your next marketing idea with before you try it.

Imagine receiving honest feedback and constructive criticism about what you’re writing or doing for your promotions.

Is this just a fantasy? Is it a dream that could never become a reality for a sole trader like you?


So what’s the big secret?

It’s simple… you hire consultants who can help. By “consultants”, I don’t mean an entire army from a marketing agency. Especially not when you’re a one-man show – you don’t have a fortune to spend on marketing.

I mean find the people who have been helping their clients achieve their marketing and business goals. They’re in abundance, you can find them through your online networks. Or you can ask your friends who are in business and who have worked with consultants.

Ask. And it doesn’t have to be me.

But if you need a copywriter, blogger or ghostwriter… 

I can help you improve what you’re writing for your business. And I may have many marketing tips, too. Ask me how I can help you.


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