How much marketing do you REALLY need to do?

How much marketing do I really need to do?
And how do I know when I’ve done enough?

These juicy Qs popped into my DMs recently, and they really really got me thinking.

  • My first thought was ‘shite — that’s a biggie, how do I unpack that?
  • My second thought was ‘a bigger brain than mine has probably already answered this — I’ll just see what they think’
  • My third thought was….’dang, no one else has covered this, it’s over to you Rach’

So, here it is.

Now, these two Qs are pretty straightforward, but alas, there ain’t no straightforward answer.
So I’ve answered these in a way that works for me and my brain of two halves:

My left-sided curious, wandering, philosophical but why? brain
And
My right — ‘just give the flipping steps’, Action Jackson brain.

Like so much of my work, this article is a mix of shifting mindset and practical to-do’s

(So, if you’re the kind of guy/gal that likes practicable action steps, skip past the higher-minded bit and scroll down to part two)

OK. Part One — shifting that ‘marketing sucks’ mindset

My first thought was, what’s really going on behind these questions?

(Remember the questions: How much marketing do I really need to do? And how do I know when I’ve done enough?)

Is it something like this…

I don’t really like this marketing lark, it feels like too much of a treadmill to show up all the time, I don’t want to try TikTok or learn Pinterest, cross my fingers for a like or a comment.
Sales funnels freak me out and how do you even know if it’s working. Marketing sucks.

I’d much rather be coaching my arse off, to feel the joy that comes from supporting another human, to help those I really like to grow, and evolve.

If this sounds like the loop that runs through your head when you think about marketing your biz, I reckon it’s time to change the tape.

Marketing is not tactics, webinars, social, SEO, list building, FOMO, short-term hits
Marketing is simply about starting conversations and building relationships.

(Now I get that you know this intellectually — but every time you sit down to ‘market’, are you thinking about connection and service? Or are you worrying about whether your post is good enough, if someone new will see it, or what’s the flipping point?)

If so, let’s try this reframe.
Instead of asking how much marketing do I need to do, ask:

  • How much supporting do I need to do?
  • How much answering of Qs do I need to do?
  • How much challenging of norms do I need to do?
  • How much sharing how I help do I need to do?

It’s time to disconnect marketing from the stilted, awkward, too heavy, tick-box activity and reconnect it to humanity, generosity and creativity.

And how do you do that?

Well, it’s a biggie (we’re been conditioned to think about marketing as ‘getting clients’) and one wee missive from me may not shift your view.

But consider, how would you approach your marketing if you treated your audience the same way as you do your clients?

  • You’d market with a smile on your face, ready to be of service.
  • You’d be excited, full of joy & willing to be vulnerable
  • You’d be totally yourself, eager to connect and give value
  • You’d be fearless, uncensored, and trusting that you know what to say or do

So my friends, if you’re a coach or a healer, don’t just keep your healing or coaching skills to paying clients.
Think about those who pay you in other ways — with their time, attention, and support, and treat them the same as someone who has paid you cash.

If you treated all the people in your audience as clients, then the answer to When have I done enough marketing? would be simple.

Never.

So, marketing reframe, tick.

Onto part 2 — what do you need to do to grow ya biz?

If you’ve skipped over part one it’s prob because you want the meat and potatoes answer to How much marketing do I need to do?

But, sorry to say this straightforward Q doesn’t really have a straightforward answer.
It depends on how long you’ve been in business, what your goals are, what results you’re looking for etc

HOWEVER, I can tell you that fundamentally your marketing activities should cover three objectives:

  1. Connection
  2. Nurturing
  3. Invitation

But, where do you focus your time and energy day-to-day?

To work this out, think about your current marketing activities and ask yourself these three questions: (Thank you, Tara McMullin)

What are you doing to get your business and the value you create in front of people regularly?
(ie Connection)
What are you doing to build a stronger relationship with the people who are already paying attention?
(Nurturing)
What are you doing to share what you have to offer with people who are ready to buy?
(Invitation)

Which of the three (Connection, Nurturing, Invitation) comes naturally to you, and which area are you neglecting?

If like me you naturally lean toward Nurturing, then you’ll have to make more of an effort to Connect (ie grow your audience) and Invite (ie talk about your offers and services)

Can you see how answering this 3 Qs can help you cut out the noise and the crap, and get more strategic with your marketing activities? And frankly, wouldn’t a bit of strategy make you feel a whole lot better about your marketing?

And if you’re thinking, heck, what on earth do I actually do to Connect, Nurture or Invite, then I got ya!

If you’re new to business your marketing focus should probably be on Connecting and growing an audience:

  • This could look like creating high-value content (aka content that addresses a client issue), ie
  • writing and uploading a new blog
  • posting on Medium, or writing a LinkedIn article
  • posting on FB, Pinterest, TikTok or IG (tip: pick the platform that you feel most comfy on, and that you think your audience are also on)
  • Tightening up the SEO on your blogs (check out Love At First Search’s fab SEO starter kit)
  • Running some ads on FB or IG (George Kao is your man here)
  • Pitch yourself to a podcast, or publication (this YT video is sooo helpful)
  • Teach a free class in your community or online
  • Outreach — email people in your network and share what you’re up to (Read Caroline Leon’s piece on how to do Authentic Outreach)
  • Create a freebie or a small, low-cost offer, add it to your website and share it in the places you hang out

For those who already have an audience, your daily marketing tasks should be Nurturing and building stronger relationships with your community:

  • Create quality content and share it in your email newsletter
  • DM those who comment on your posts, or open your newsletter — and just say thanks
  • Offer free coaching to your followers
  • Join facebook groups or other communities where your ideal clients hang out and be generous with your thoughts and support
  • Get in touch with previous clients and say hi, ask how they’re doing.
  • Share Testimonials/Case studies on your website and socials
  • Talk about your philosophy or the why behind your business
  • Be anti or advocate — talk about the things you love or hate in your industry and how you’re different or have been inspired
  • Connect with fellow business owners who share similar audiences and offer to share their work or write on their blog/be on their podcast
  • Ask past clients if they know anyone who needs your help
  • Talk about your framework, the steps you take people through when they work with you.

Once you have an audience, you can share lightly your calls to actions, ie put your offers in front of people who are ready to buy, (Invitation)

  • Include your offers in your email newsletter
  • Run ads to promote your offer
  • Invite your audience onto a Working Together call
  • Sell in your social posts (make sure you take on the 80/20 rule here — 80% high-value content, 20% direct selling)
  • DM those who have expressed interest and invite them to work with you
  • Message past clients and tell them about your new offers/services
  • Run a birthday sale

Now, this list ain’t exhaustive by any means, but it’s a bloody good start.
Figure out where your marketing focus should be and pick 2/3 activities you can do daily that feel good to you!

If you’ve been a good student and read this carefully you would have learned to…

  • Reframe your marketing from a joyless, soul sucky shitefest to an expression of generosity, joy and humanity
  • Focus on where you need to put your marketing time based on your business goals and where your natural marketing tendencies lie
  • Pick which activities that bring you the most joy (for me outreach everytime!)

And finally.
The Q I hear again and again.

How many hours should I actually spend marketing my business?

Again it depends on where you are in business (Just started? Your marketing should take up most of your time)
But for those more established folk, I subscribe to the 50/25/25 rule:

  • 50% of the time you spend working with clients
  • 25% of the time you spend marketing
  • 25% of the time you spend on business development or developing yourself. (Naps, meditation, exercise, Netflix)

Hope this massive missive was of use to you dear readers.

And to the wonderful lady that posed this Q and prompted this outpouring, I thank you. (Hope it wasn’t crap!)

P.S. — Loved this email? This is only a tiny fraction of the kind of mind explosions, new thinking, and marketing magic that business owners like you get to experience when you work 121 with me. Check it out here x

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Rachael Cumberland-Dodd

Rachael Cumberland-Dodd

Marketing is Medicine folks. Brand-builder & messaging guide, plus evolving human being. feedmarketing.gg