What’s the longest you’ve ever waited for something to pay off?
If you've ever felt like what you're doing isn't working, or questioned whether you should keep going - read on...
Marketing is really all about planting seeds and ideas.
Like seeds, some marketing activities grow instantly, rapidly sprouting and growing, capturing attention like a tall showy sunflower.
Others take a while to get established, perhaps growing slowly and only flowering when the circumstances are exactly right.
We don’t always know which seeds – or marketing activities - will flourish but if you plant them well in the right place, you’ll increase the chances of success. Each seed or marketing activity adds an extra layer and dimension so there's always something blooming.
Sometimes you just have to be patient. It will pay off...
Yesterday, a TV producer called me to talk about ideas for a possible TV series after he’d read an article I wrote. I assumed it was something I wrote last month, or the month. He quickly corrected me. It was in 2016. We talked about making an award-winning documentary together (everyone needs a dream…). That conversation wouldn’t have happened without that article.
It reminded me of a call I received a while ago, from someone who acted as if I knew them well. “Hello Susan, it’s Andy.” I answered in a bright jolly voice, and asked Andy how he was, while I played for time, trying to remember his voice and how I knew him.
It eventually turned out that Andy came to one of my marketing workshops fifteen years earlier. At the time he was a young inexperienced office junior and I wasn’t even sure what I’d taught on the workshop was relevant to him. Something must have struck a chord with him because when he took on a senior job at the BBC and wanted to promote their studio tours, he called to ask me to do some work for the BBC. Whatever you do today, could have a massive impact on your future - you just don't know which action will reap the best returns!
Seth Godin has written a lot about the 'Dip', the time when you just feel like you're in a deep dip and are not sure whether to continue doing what you're doing. Many people do give in at that point.
Yet this could be the very moment just before you start to be really successful, If you can keep going beyond the dip, maintain your enthusiasm, learn as much as you can, apply all the lessons, you'll forge ahead.
There'll be less competition because others fail at that point. You'll have faced challenges head-on and hopefully come up with some new ideas and different ways of doing things.
Businesses that go through the dip are stronger for it. They're no longer relying on the initial enthusiasm of establishing a business, they're taking what they do seriously. They're considering what works and what doesn't, what they really need to do to positively affect the future. Of course some businesses do need to change or are not viable, but if you can face the challenges and adapt, you're set for greater success.
I’m ending this year in a more positive frame of work because I have a very concrete (££!) example of the power of patience and plodding on.
During lockdown my paid projects were paused and I wasn’t eligible for any of the government support. It was really frustrating to see that businesses needed support, advice and encouragement, but there was no funding for me to provide that help. I decided to just keep offering it, together with the free marketing recovery programme and was buoyed along by my very supportive online communities and really positive business feedback (thank you if you were part of this).
During this time a man called Darren noticed what I was doing (through social media) and got in touch. He worked for NFU Mutual and we talked about how they attract new tourism & hospitality clients by providing support and advice rather than doing the usual hard sell. He asked me to write an article for distribution to their clients. Something told me not to charge for that first article, to just let the advice in it prove its worth. Darren told me later that they'd gained business from it, which led to more conversations when we realised that we both value relationship building and share similar business ethics. Fast forward a few very enjoyable discussions and NFU Mutual announced that they would like to sponsor some of the work I do to support businesses like yours! This means that in 2021 I’ll be able to offer some additional services, effectively subsidised by NFU Mutual.
Patience has been a bit of a theme for 2020.
For much of the time we’ve had to be patient, to just keep going and looking forward to better times. Hopefully 2021 will be a different, better year. But whatever happens, we all need to just keep planting those marketing seeds, making sure they’re in the right place at the right time and nurture them so they can grow and your business can flourish.
If you want to be certain you're starting 2021 in the most effective way possible, do join my free Profit Programme Challenge
Please note: all articles are copyright Susan Briggs 2021
Build your business, using my tourism expertise, energy & enthusiasm
All articles on this site are copyright Susan Briggs, The Tourism Network Ltd 2021
Email Susan Briggs
The Tourism Network Ltd, The Old Mill, Millgate, Masham, HG4 4EZ
Tel: 07768 365591