Marketing Momentum – 1 Reason Most Small Businesses Fail in Marketing
When I think about building momentum in a business, I think back to college. I think back to my first major, Computer Science. Weird, right?
I remember that I was going to start building all these cool computers and super cool computer programs. I remember taking a few coding courses and thought this was really cool. I also remember taking a few “required” courses as well.
If you know about the computer science major, you might know what I am referring to. Yes, the dreaded Physics 101 and 102. These words still bring me to tears and make me want to curl up in the corner of the room. Not really, but they were the two hardest courses I ever took, and do not wish this upon anyone.
These are also the classes that set me along a new journey in life. So, I look back and thank physics for the incredible marketing journey I have been on for the last 10 years. These courses actually made me the person I am today.
OK, I know what you are thinking. What does physics have to do with business and more importantly marketing?
Well, I am glad you asked.
There is one lesson from these two dreaded classes that I remember. That is right, out of the hundreds of formulas and calculations, there is one thing that I remember.
It is the theory of inertia.
The theory is pretty simple. It is simply the resistance on an object to change its velocity. This includes things like speed or direction.
Furthermore, Newton’s first law of motion – sometimes referred to as the law of inertia – states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Like gravity.
Ok, sorry to geek out on you like that. Let’s get back to something we can actually use. So, what does all this have to do with business or marketing?
Here is what I know from the years of consulting and working on marketing teams. Once the marketing machine starts, it is hard to stop. It is also equally as hard to get the marketing machine moving.
Here is a real-world example.
A friend of mine owns a small business. He wants to market his business so he can grow his little shop. He wants to hire a few employees to help out. Nothing wrong with that and it is a great goal to have in place. So, I try to help where I can knowing his marketing budget is tiny.
For about 2 years he has been asking me what he needs to do to get his marketing going. I have tried to help, but let’s be realistic, marketing is not free. You either pay for labor or pay for advertising. But there are some things you can DIY.
I give him a task list of items to do, but it always comes back to needing help.
Inertia has set his business at rest and until a force changes the direction, it will stay at rest. It is really that simple.
I finally have him on a schedule to produce a few items per month. He posts to social media on Tuesday and Thursday and sends an email newsletter out to his list on the 1st of every month.
Now, this is a tiny portion of marketing, but it is building his marketing momentum. It is creating the force to get moving.
When he looks back in a year, he will have posted to social media 104 times and sent 12 email newsletters.
Again, this is not earth-shattering stuff, but it is enough force to get things moving. It is going to pay off over time. Maybe not right away, but it will generate new leads and business.
This is all great, but how do we start to build momentum in our marketing?
How to build momentum in your marketing
Ok, I hope that helped you understand a little bit about my first belief in marketing. You need to build momentum. This is where I have seen the most marketing failure.
Let me make it clear that the earlier you get started in marketing, the faster you will see results. There is no short cut or magic tactic. Marketing only works when you get started and start to move the immovable force of standing still.
Here is my advice to help you build marketing momentum.
Just get started
100% transparency here because that is what I am all about. I am just like thousands of other marketers and business owners out there; this is my numeral Uno biggest problem.
Getting started sometimes is the hardest part. If you are like me, you will find any distraction to keep you from getting going.
Well, I need to watch this YouTube video, so I know what type of t-shirt I want to print on. I need to find the perfect email marketing platform for my company newsletter. I need to work on a t-shirt design versus writing that blog post to generate traffic. We are all guilty of putting off the work for just about any reason possible.
However, we cannot use the marketing inertia laws (yes, I just coined that) if we are not willing to get started.
Pick a marketing tactic and get going.
Remember my friend, this was his problem. This is why we decided to start with a monthly newsletter as his very first marketing tactic. It is 2-3 paragraphs about what he is doing and explaining one FAQ that he gets regularly. It is monthly so the momentum never stops.
Here is the beauty of this, his content can now be used as a blog post, social media update, and in his newsletter. Boom, one tactic is now providing marketing momentum or, you guessed it, marketing inertia (last time, I promise) for his business.
Begin with small habits
To get the marketing momentum started I try to start with small habits.
Let me explain. I set a very low goal for the day to get me going. For example, my goal might be to write one paragraph for my next blog post.
Super small, super easy. Right?
Here is the beauty of creating a small habit like this. I set down to write the introduction to this post, I am now just about done with draft 1.
Once you get started with your small habit or a small goal, you keep going. It is building marketing momentum.
I try to start each day with a small habit. This typically is enough to get me going and finishing a marketing task that will build the marketing machine or keep the momentum going.
I would love for you to give this a try, I find it to be super powerful.
Pro tip: I write down in my calendar the one small habit that I am looking to get done for each day of the week. These are the catalyst for getting more done. On Sunday night, make a new small habit to write down the small habits for Monday through Friday. Make this the very first thing to get done in the day, before email, social media, or meetings. I typically start my first small habit with a cup of coffee. It actually helps me wake up earlier and get more done.
The saying goes, if I had a nickel for every time I stopped, I would be retired by now or something like that. I have a tendency to stop and start something new. Call me a starter, not a finisher.
If you are going to build marketing momentum, you have to keep going. Now, I know there is a lot of insecurities in your business. Trust me, I know.
I struggle with Hawaiian Island Clothing all the time. I question myself about my designs, my website, my message, and I worry that people are going to call me out for not being Hawaiian.
I always try to get back to the reason I started the brand. To help people. This keeps me moving forward. I know if I stop, I will never achieve the ultimate goal.
Say screw it and get back to work.
So, when you are feeling insecure about your business or marketing, keep going. Do not lose the momentum that you have built over the month or years. You will regret it in the long run.
Never stop! Please, keep going.
Measure your results
Here is the most important thing you can do to build marketing momentum. I am going to keep it simple. Measure your results and know what is working. Remember, you might not measure revenue right off the bat. You might start with something like an increase in website traffic or social media reach. Pick something and measure it. This is the only way to know if you are working in the right direction. It will also build on your marketing momentum because you are scaling the right tactic and efforts.
Marketing momentum conclusion
As you can see, I never became the computer scientist that I thought I was going to be, and I am thankful for this. I have had a great run thus far and hope to be able to help others build something they love.
So, if you are going to give it a go, good luck. Just make sure to build your momentum and get started.
What do you struggle with? I would love to hear from you. Who knows, maybe I can help you out by answering a question.