You know what you need to do to market your business. You may have even run a successful businesses before or have a backlog of amazing blog posts ready to go. But for some reason, right now, with this business, the idea of pushing that publish button is terrifying. And you don’t know why.
It might be because this time you’re a solopreneur. This time you’re marketing yourself. And this time you’re marketing a business you actually love and means something to you.
I know from personal experience that marketing a business you DON’T love isn’t nearly so scary. I was a marketing executive for 16 years and then ran my own marketing consulting firm for four years. In that time, I never had a fear of marketing.
I didn’t hesitate or feel any anxiety when it came to launching an eBook, publishing a blog post or sharing on social media. If people didn’t respond, I never took it personally. I just analyzed what wasn’t working, and changed it. No big deal.
But I didn’t love my marketing career, and I didn’t love my marketing business. I may have liked what I was doing to a certain extent, but it definitely wasn’t my soul’s work.
So when I finished the Martha Beck coach training program and went to launch my new coaching business, I was in for a big surprise. I had my website done, my packages ready, an eBook written and lots of blog posts ready to go. And I kept it all to myself for months.
I came up with excuse after excuse not to launch. It wasn’t the right time. I was too busy with other things. My programs/website copy/whatever just wasn’t quite perfect enough.
I woke up one day and realized something was different. This wasn’t me. I knew how to market. I knew what I had ready to go was at the very least “good enough”. So something else must be going on.
Every time I went to launch my website, all of these thoughts went through my head that stopped me:
- I’m a business professional. What will people think of me now? My friends? Family? My past marketing and business clients?
- What if no one wants what I’m offering?
- What if no one likes what I have to say?
- What if no one reads anything?
- What if people think I’m crazy/floofy/stupid/you name it.
- What if this new business direction that I love doesn’t work out.
- What if I’m a failure.
The reality is that marketing yourself as a solopreneur is hard enough. But marketing a business you love as a solopreneur can be downright terrifying.
You’re laying your heart and soul on the line. Your sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings. Your being your authentic, genuine self.
So if no one replies to your blog posts, you can make it mean that what you have to say doesn’t matter. If someone doesn’t like what you say, it’s more easy to take it personally.
And the truth is, that as long as you’re not telling people what you do, you don’t have to worry about whether or not anyone’s going to sign up for your programs – and ultimately whether your business will succeed or fail.
But by not doing anything, you’re pretty much ensuring failure before launch.
So here’s the great news. Once I realized what was going on, and once I realized that yes – marketing a business you love IS terrifying, I was able to move forward. Just that understanding was enough for me to take some small steps.
Notice that I said SMALL steps.
Launching a business I loved made me feel vulnerable.
So instead of launching my website to the whole world, I first shared it with my small group of life coaches. And then a couple of other groups I was a part of. Then my friends and family.
And instead of sharing my most vulnerable and personal blog posts, I started by sharing posts that were genuine and authentic, but didn’t have as much charge for me.
While I suspect that marketing this business I love will continue to be scary, I know that I can feel the fear and do it anyways.
Right now pushing publish on this blog post is making me feel uncomfortable – but I am going to sit with the fear – and push that publish button…. NOW!
Ready to Move Past Fear & Start Loving What You Do?
Grab my new eBook, Love Your Business, where I outline the seven steps new life coaches (and passionate solopreneurs!) need to take to transition from their 9-5 job and design, market & run a business you love: