• Lauren Perna

Marketing Your Business: 3 Lessons and 3 Goals

This week I complete another trip around the sun. Anytime I celebrate a birthday, a new year, a new journey, I always take a few minutes to reflect.

I like to think about the lessons learned from the closing chapter and identify my goals for the new chapter. Yea, I’m a self-help nerd like that. What can I say?🤓

This year, for obvious reasons, a lot of my reflection has been around the business. I thought I would divulge a few of the lessons I have learned and the goals I made, as it relates to growing and marketing my business.

My hope is that this exercise will help inspire you in your business, whether you’re turning a new page or simply just looking for encouragement.

3 Lessons Learned

1. Sometimes the journey chooses you, instead of you choosing it.

This year took quite a few unexpected turns, for me personally and for the world. One thing I learned is that no matter how much you prepare and create a plan, sometimes the universe has an alternate plan in mind.

While you may have to fumble through the unexpected changes, just know that it is all part of the story. And it’s OK to tell that story to your audience.

In fact, those are the stories that make you more relatable. When you’re more relatable, people are more likely to trust you and like you.

2. Take chances.

I began this year in a contract role that ended abruptly thanks to COVID. I could’ve gone back to contract work, but instead, I decided to take a chance and formally open my business….in a pandemic, no less!

It was a big risk, but it has been worth it.

When it comes to your messaging and sharing your story, it’s OK to take risks. Think about all the companies that have been bold in their messaging. Those are the brands you remember. If you stick to the same old story, you run the risk of not standing out and that's not the type of risk I’m encouraging.

Be brave and take bold risks. Just make sure you are calculated and thoughtful about it.

3. Go at a pace that you feel good about.

Yes, take risks but also don’t rush things. I kept reading stories about entrepreneurs that built their business up so quickly, and I began to question myself if I should be moving faster.

However, I decided to stay my course and take my time. That rapid pace didn’t feel right to me. I didn’t launch until a few months after I officially signed the LLC paperwork and that worked out great for me.

When it comes to a launch or really any marketing plan, I encourage you to do it at a pace that feels right to you. That’s not to say you should draw out a launch for a year or leave your audience hanging on social media for months at a time. Just don’t feel like you have to rush things for the sake of being speedy.

Whatever the timeline is, just make sure you have a good plan in place and are prepared to pivot.

3 Goals

1. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.

For me, one of the hardest parts of starting a business has been treating myself as my own client. Funny that I love sharing other people’s stories, but when it comes to my own, for some reason it’s not so easy.

I guess I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of gal, so videos, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Lives are the most challenging for me. But I need to practice what I preach and put myself out there, so, I’m pushing myself to do more this year.

I encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, too. If social media in general is not in your wheelhouse, start by taking some quick classes to learn the ropes. Or if you’re not confident in your blogging in skills, try writing a few and getting them edited by a professional writer (hey, I can help you with that!).

2. Make big plans.

For me, brainstorming can be a bit like a snowball, especially when I’m thinking about either marketing or event planning. I’ll start with one tiny idea and then once the ball gets rolling, it can be hard to stop.

I'm a few months into this venture and I have quite a few big ideas for growing and marketing my business. Logistically, I’m not sure I’ll be able to execute them all right away. So, I’m starting with a few and I’m keeping the other ideas top of mind for inspiration.

My advice is don’t ever stop the brainstorming, planning, and dreaming big. Write down all the ideas. Pick a few to execute and keep the rest on the back burner to motivate you.

3. Ask for help.

Asking for help is hard for me, as I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient. I think it’s hard for a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders to ask for help. They feel like they have to do it on their own; that they should know the answers or at least figure it out themselves.

I’ve quickly learned it’s better to ask for help than waste your time on a never-ending internet hunt for the answers. 😬

My goal this year is to identify where I need help and bring the right people on to help me.

When it comes to telling your story, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Bring someone on to help you navigate the digital waters or manage your social media platforms.

If you do go that route, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to see if we’re a good match, but if not, there are tons of great marketing and communications firms out there that can help.

There you have it. Three lessons learned. Three goals for the year ahead.

What are your lessons learned from this past year? What about your goals?

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