Give a man a fish... or teach a man to fish?
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Today, I sent out the first official mass email marketing my new business. Well, it's not really a new business. I've been working as an independent contractor for over two years, providing marketing services to health and wellness businesses. What's new for me is that I just formed my LLC and am now offering some new products and services. It's exciting and has been a long time coming!
I'm a marketer by trade and until this month, I've never marketed myself. In fact, I didn't even have a functioning website until about 6 months ago. Basically, all of the things I've been coaching my clients to do over the last two years, I've completely ignored in my own business.
About three months ago, while on an extended vacation in Bali, I took a little bit of time to reflect and revisit my original business model: To give small businesses the tools to build their own professional, successful marketing campaigns.
I decided it was time to start applying the same strategic planning tactics I use for others to my own business and life.
I've been successful at organizing and marketing other businesses. I've designed websites, created marketing plans, managed social media campaigns, organized weekly eNewsletters and more. Usually juggling 3-6 clients at a time, I had become a marketing producer and instead of the teacher I'd hope to be.
I am still offering full-service marketing (cause that's what a lot of folks want and need - I and I love doing it), I'm also launching some smaller, less expensive services and products that get more to the heart of my business goals: Providing tools and support for others to create amazing, successful marketing strategies and campaigns at a cost that works for them.
MindBody Online, the leading software for online bookings and client management used by yoga studios, salons, spas, gyms, and Pilates studios, just released a white paper on the '3 Common Mistakes New Business Owners Make (And How to Avoid Them)' and #2 on the list is "Marketing too little (or not at all)".
You may have built it, but that doesn’t mean they will come. When you’re getting off the ground (i.e., the first year or so), about 20–30% of your spending should go to marketing efforts. And if you’re facing competitors, do your research! You’ll need comparable pricing to be relevant, and an enticing introductory offer to set you apart.
And “word of mouth,” while important, doesn’t count as marketing. Building a website is a must, but beyond that, consider advertising on search engines. You can begin by bidding on a few keywords that your prospects are likely to type in. If you need help getting started, make sure you enlist someone who is Google AdWords certified.
Full-service marketing can be costly and while some businesses can afford that at the onset, there are many that are not yet ready to make that financial commitment. My goal is to be a guide. To offer some insights and lessons in my blog in simple easily digested articles, to offer low-cost DIY marketing products and assistance when needed.
I'm so blessed to live in Sacramento, CA right now. Yoga studios are popping up all over, we are in the midst of a cold-press juice craze, and we are America's Farm-to-Fork Capitol. There are new health and wellness businesses opening their doors every day, offering a vast variety of alternatives to exercise, food and recreation - something for everyone in Sacramento.
Love & Light,
Jennifer "Skondasana" Skondin
Jennifer Skondin has 15 years of experience specializing in marketing, communications and PR. In 2008 she discovered yoga and turned her attention and energy to teaching yoga and helping yoga studios and teachers find success through marketing and outreach. She loves to take her work on the road, with computer in tow and clients connected via Skype, she often finds herself working next to the ocean, whether it's the coast of Carmel, CA or the white sand beaches of the Gilies in Indonesia. Learn more.