I am a sucker for quotable quotes. And there is no better quote to exemplify the topic of this post than this one attributed to Eddie Cantor: “It takes 20 years to become an overnight success”. The third key element to a successful marketing strategy is managing expectations. Overnight success is the result of years of sleepless nights and hard work.
After you have come up with your plan and started deploying your marketing strategy you have to arm yourself with a lot of patience. Very rarely you see immediate results and even if you do you have to try to build a sustainable business. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
I see a lot of my peers who get discouraged at the very beginning because they don’t see enough business to make it worth their whiles. And maybe it is true, in the end we all need to pay our bills. That is why we need to plan ahead and take all these things into consideration when we are building our business. Sometimes we need to keep our day jobs for a while until we can go full time freelancing. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Having clear expectations will help us keep calm as we are navigating the ups and downs of building our business. It will be the only way to keep ourselves motivated on those first few years when we see that we are putting a lot of effort into our promotion but the results are far from great. I know, easier said than done. Here are a few pointers to help you manage your expectations:
- when you are putting together your plan, it has to be realistic, reachable and adapted to your reality. Don’t copy someone else’s plan because their lives are different than yours. You can get inspired by them but you have to adapt it to your current situation.
- define short, medium and long term goals to be able to keep track of your progress. For instace, lets say that your goal is to be able to open your own studio in three years. That would be your long term goal. What do you need to do to get there? Have enough clients and big enough projects to be able to afford it. So this would be your medium term goal. And how do you get those clients and projects? By reaching out to that target via your marketing strategy. There you have your short term goal!
- think of yourself as a business. And like a business, you can’t expect to have profit on your first year. You may have income, but it will most likely go to pay expenses or to reinvest it on the business again. So plan ahead for the following 3-5 years.
So there you have them, these are what I feel are the key elements to a successful marketing strategy:
At which stage of your marketing strategy are you? Is there anything in particular that you have done for your business that can complete my key elements list? Share your comments with us below!
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