Suddenly Marketing

Brand Messaging | Content Strategy | Writing

Overwhelmed by marketing? Start marketing.

Are you feeling so overwhelmed by the marketing you think you should be doing that you don’t do any marketing at all?

Do you start to gear up to tackle one marketing task and then realize that it’s connected to something else that’s connected to something else that’s connected to something else, and then you give up?

Does the very word “marketing” give you a case of vertigo?

 

You’re not alone.

I hear these kinds of things all the time from people who want to take charge of their marketing, but just don’t know where to start. I don’t blame them. I’ve been at this gig for a decade now, and even I feel overwhelmed now and again. There is just so much to take in – new strategies, new technology, new tactics. I subscribe to over a hundred marketing blogs just to try and keep up with what’s happening in this crazy marketing landscape.

 

So, how do you get unstuck?

I am a big believer in strategy. When you put together a strong, sensible strategy, all that gooey stuff that was confusing the heck out of you suddenly becomes clear. When you have a plan that’s built on goals, resources, and ability, you can stop stressing about what to do and just get on with doing it. Yep – I really like a good strategy. In fact I’m very excited that I’ll soon be unveiling a whole new Suddenly Marketing that delivers a unique way to think about and approach your marketing strategy, BUT…

I totally understand that for some people (especially solopreneurs who are wearing six different hats and working eighteen hours a day), it’s not feasible to carve out the time (or budget) to dedicate to brand development and marketing strategy. Believe me – I get that. The “new” Suddenly Marketing has been in the works for THREE YEARS. (No, I’m not kidding.)

SO … I’d like to offer you a get out of jail free card:

 

Just. Start. Marketing.

I know, I know – sounds like empty advice, right? It’s not.

In a perfect world, each of us would have the luxury of time and money to spend developing a seriously well thought out and buttoned up plan. However, the world I live in is anything but perfect. I’m guessing your address isn’t in Perfectsville either.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Stop beating yourself up.
  2. Step back and take a deep breath.
  3. Know that a plan is a good thing.
  4. Start to cultivate a geeky love for a good plan.
  5. But, while you’re waiting for time to sit down and craft that plan, pick a marketing task and do it.

Don’t overthink. Don’t overanalyze. For the sake of all that’s holy to you, don’t compare your marketing to anyone else’s marketing. There will be plenty of time for that later. For now, you just want to get your “marketing legs” under you, so to speak.

 

Your goal is not marketing brilliance, it’s marketing momentum.

You know that if you want to read a book, you have to read one page at a time.

You know that if you want to have six-pack abs, you have to do one crunch at a time.

You know that if you want to amass million dollars, you have save one dollar at a time.

 

Marketing is no different.

Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Just start.

The best thing about this non-strategy strategy is that it gets you doing something. It gets you experimenting. You’ll be learning a lot: what works, what doesn’t, what you’re good at, what you never want to do again. The more you talk about your business, the more you’ll understand how to talk about your business. The more you talk to your customers, the more you’ll understand your customers and their needs.

 

Pick one thing.

Start today. What one thing can you do to kick start your marketing momentum?

Each of these is a valid and valuable marketing task. Don’t worry about whether you’re picking the “right” thing or the “smartest” thing or the “most important” thing. Just pick something and do it. Read that first page. Do that first crunch. Save that first dollar. Before you know it, you’ll be building up your marketing momentum and then the sky’s the limit.

 

What keeps you from tackling your marketing monsters? Which tasks do you fear most? Which do you kinda-sorta-almost enjoy? What are your marketing goals between now and the end of the year? 

 

Image Credit: Angela Cirrone Smith

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10 Comments

  1. You know I agree with all of this Jamie! The overwhelm kicks in because people are often too reactive, too impatient and lack the clarity of what they really want to achieve.

    And YES to NOT comparing yourself to others – that is a seriously dangerous place to go – just get started!

    • Jamie Lee

      Lack of clarity is like a paralysis drug, isn’t it? 😉

      And I agree – we could each write a whole post on the danger of comparing yourself to others … it’s just not healthy and also not usually profitable. I believe in market research, but not in trying to be a carbon copy of someone else’s success. It never works.

      Forge your own path, right?
      :)

      TKS for coming by!

  2. I love the idea of a ‘non strategy strategy’!!!

    And yes, one action, one step at a time is the best way to do most anything in life, including marketing :)

    • Jamie Lee

      … with a positive attitude and no internal backtalk, right? :)

      We do get SO caught up in the Big Picture, that sometimes we forget that the Big Picture is made up of all the small steps and tasks that we do on a daily basis.

      I’ve recently returned to reading fiction for pleasure (imagine!) after years of telling myself I didn’t have time. I looked at a book and thought, “Oh – that’s much too much to fit into my life.” But then – I’d read a few pages here and a few pages there, and – lo & behold – before I knew it, I was halfway through and then done! One darn page at a time.

      Same thing with marketing. Same thing with almost anything in life.

      Thanks for visiting. Always nice to see you.

  3. Hey Jamie,

    You have been on my hit list for a few days now and you beat me to the punch over at my house (I stole that from Ms Soulati).

    There are a few gems in your post that I just love.

    Analysis paralysis is a very real issue that many of us deal with coupled with the overwhelming pile of stuff to do can stop any train. An action plan is a good thing as long as it serves as a guideline to reaching actionable goals.

    So many project managers make that critical mistake and it’s why I despise the PMP process. Old school PM teaches you critical path and then to drill down into every possible risk profile until you are left doing nothing but planning. Forget the results we have to plan. Ridiculous. Of course it’s not always that extreme but I have seen numerous times.

    Nike became famous by saying Just Do It because that’s the way to learn and if you don’t you are still in the same place as you were yesterday. Nowhere.

    So, I am going to take a vacation (literally) and work on my plan. Thanks for the great thoughts and happy hunting, er, marketing.

  4. Love your A to E, love your momentum, love your pick one thing then DO one thing. Will be sharing this gem! Cheers! Kaarina

  5. Laura

    I read this upon receipt and thought, “This woman is psychic.” This couldn’t be truer in my case. I re-read this today and since I first received it, I’ve signed up for an Intro to WordPress class, attended an online webinar (for free) that discussed the perfect blog post, and rough-drafted two posts and outlined a half-dozen more for the blog I want to start. I even went to Best Buy to compare smart phone plans to turn in my five year old flip phone for something I can tweet and access FB on.
    Still nervous about that last one. Not my favorite, just sayin’…
    But I’m moving!
    Thanks for the push, Jamie! You’re terrific.

    • Jamie Lee

      Hello, Laura!
      I have no doubt that once you find your groove, you are going to be a naturally dynamic marketer. So excited to hear that your taking ACTION – that’s what it’s all about, baby. Half of marketing is experimentation. Start “playing” and you’ll find your feet sooner than later.

      Congrats!

      Oh – and, btw – you will LOVE your smartphone once you get one. Trust me. I wavered at first, too; but now I don’t know how I lived without it! :)

  6. Speaking of smartphones, they are the newest source of eyes to marketers too!

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