If you’re starting to promote your business, you have barriers that stop you from getting the word out. Some of these roadblocks are emotional, some are administrative, and some are just wacky and irrational. But they are all intimidating. Maybe they will be less scary if we shine a light on them.
The emotional reasons you don’t advertise
1. It says you’re serious about this. This isn’t just a hobby anymore.
Holy cow! You’re running an ad and people are going to see it! Just who do you think you are? Aren’t you taking yourself just a bit too seriously?
Advertising what you do shows that you actually care about it. And in some circles, caring isn’t cool.
2. In your head you’ve got everything riding on this ad. What if it doesn’t work?
You fear that you’re going to run an ad and your phone still won’t ring. And then what? When you put off advertising, you can still imagine that you would have been successful if only you had gotten around to promoting your business.
3. You think advertising makes you look like you’re not successful
We’ve all heard of businesses that are a success without ever advertising — right? These companies just have a website, a cool logo, a nifty business card, and they talk up what they do on Twitter. They don’t really advertise at all, do they? Here’s a news flash: websites, logos, business cards, and a social media presence are all advertising.
If anything, promoting your business makes you look more successful.
4. You think you will be swamped with work.
Advertising usually doesn’t work like that. Customers evolve. Most of your current customers have moved from:
- “No, I’m not interested”, to …
- “Maybe I’ll try you”, to …
- “I’ll try you this once,” to …
- “Let’s book the next appointment”.
It takes time to grow a customer. So relax. You’ll have plenty of time to adapt to the happy direction of more customers and more revenue with more staff and more facilities.
The organizational reasons you don’t advertise
5. You don’t have a plan in place to close the deal.
You run an ad and someone contacts you. Then what? Do you have a way to qualify this prospect? Can you talk in an engaging manner about your business? Do you have a free consultation? Do you have a proposal ready to send out with specific prices, terms, and examples of your work?
Vague and wordy responses to someone’s inquiries are a waste of time for both of you.
6. You don’t have a process to do the work.
Not having a process means you’re starting from zero every time someone wants some work done. And that lack of process is killing you and driving your employees crazy. Getting more business would only increase the chaos. Why would you want to do that?
The crazy reasons you don’t advertise
7. It won’t be perfect, so why bother?
If you promote your business and get some customers, you will have to work with them to give them what they want. Not what you want. Or, at best, it will probably be a compromise. In any case, it won’t be perfect, because perfect is only what you want.
8. You imagine people won’t be satisfied with your work — and if someone doesn’t like your work, you’re a total failure.
It’s interesting how silly this sounds when you actually write it down. David D. Burns, a cognitive behavior therapist, would say this reasoning starts with “fortune-telling”, goes through “magnification”, and ends badly with “labeling”.
9. Advertising might lead to success.
And success will make demands on you. But failure has its own demands, too, only they’re less rewarding. I mean, who feels good about not picking up the phone when the collection agency calls? Wouldn’t you rather be moving toward bigger and better rather than smaller and poorer?
“Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
If you want to move toward bigger and better, we can help. We won’t laugh at your fear of advertising. We’re familiar with several of these roadblocks, but we’re more deeply acquainted with website creation, logo design, and copywriting.