Strip away all the jargon, technology, and fancy tactics and marketing is just you telling stories about the thing you do. Hopefully, you’re so passionate and excited about what you do that you are animated and engaging when you share your work. Best case, your enthusiasm is catching, inspiring people to join your conversation, get involved with your project, or buy something.
But, what happens when you’re feeling a little burnt out?
Even if you love your work and your business, there will be times when you just can’t muster your usual zeal. Sometimes it’s just a day, but other times that day stretches into a week, or a month, or a quarter. The day-to-day grind gets to you, or business is so good that you’re totally overwhelmed with putting out fires, or maybe you’re up against a new (and daunting) competitor and the fight is taking the wind out of your sails (and your sales).
Whatever the case, we all hit the marketing wall now and again. The honeymoon is over and there’s nothing left to say. Ideas for blog posts dry up. Tweets lack wit. The sales pitch feels hollow. It’s times like these when you might start to doubt yourself. You might start to question your skills, your purpose, even your right to be here.
Don’t worry. This isn’t the end.
You put a lot of energy into your business and your work. You invest your time, your creativity, and your patience. It’s no wonder that every once in a while you’re going to run out of steam. Give yourself a break. Ditch the guilt of “should,” and instead find a way to rekindle the romance:
Step 1: Plan for rainy days with a highlight reel.
Whenever someone sends you a thank you note, gushes about something you did on Twitter, or gives you any other kind of moral support or accolade, save it! Whenever you have a particularly good day – you nailed a presentation or wrote a winning proposal or hit a homerun on the first try – make a note in a special “rock star moments” document. Then, when you feel like you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, read through your “fan mail” and relive your professional “highs.” I promise you’ll feel better.
Step 2: Look from the outside in to gain perspective.
If you’re lacking inspiration, try reaching out to friends and colleagues for a pep talk. They can see your strengths and gifts more easily than you can. I bet they will be more than happy to point them out to you and remind you about just how fabulous you are.
Step 3: Revisit your “why.”
Finally, take a trip down memory lane. Think back and remember why you started doing what you do in the first place. There was passion there, right? You had purpose? You felt inspired? Go back to that point in time and recall exactly what motivated you. Explore your “origin story” – the story of how you began this journey.
All of this is just to help you stop taking yourself – and your work – for granted. What you do is important. It matters. Though it may seem old hat to you, though it may seem like something “anyone could do” or something that’s been done before, it’s not.
A marketing rut is nothing more than a loss of faith in your own value and uniqueness. To get out of it, all you need to do is recapture your enthusiasm and excitement. Once you do that, you’ll find you have plenty to share … and that’s really what marketing is all about.
So, stop taking yourself for granted and get out there and have some fun with your marketing.
The world is waiting to hear your story, go tell it.