Let’s be real…
Everyone and their mother want to sell you their ✨flashy new method✨ of getting clients.
So-and-so wants you to buy their course on Instagram. That other person wants you to buy their masterclass on automated funnels. Then there’s webinars, Facebook ads, LinkedIn…
And we’re just left here taking notes like crazy, trying to implement all the techniques at once.
Do it all! Do it now! Or else you won’t get any cliiiienntttsss!
Honestly, though? They’re all just distractions.
Don’t get me wrong—there’s a lot of great advice out there. And the techniques they’re teaching might actually work really well. But when it comes to your business, here’s a secret:
You can succeed with just about any marketing tactic.
Seriously. Assuming someone else has gotten results with it (recently), chances are, you can too. The problem is, most people try to do so many different marketing activities that they never really do any of them successfully.
So today, I want to guide you through a series of questions to help you pare down your own efforts. Cut out what’s not working, so you can double down on what is.
We’re about to go all Marie Kondo on your marketing plan.
And the result? More effective marketing, completed in less time, with less stress.
Step 1: Make a list of your current marketing efforts
Open a Word doc or grab a sheet of paper. Then, list out every single thing you’ve done in that past 6 months to try to market your business.
Get detailed here. “Facebook” is too broad. But “Posting on my Facebook page” might be one, and “Starting conversations in Facebook groups” would be a separate one.
And don’t forget any in-person efforts, too! Going to networking events, passing your card out at meetups—that all counts.
Once you have your list, set it aside. We’ll refer back to it later.
Step 2: Make a list of all the marketing tactics you’ve been wanting to try
Now, you’re going to make a second list.
As we just talked about, the online business world is full of new marketing ideas for you to try. And chances are, you’ve had a mental (or physical) to-do list of things you’ve been meaning to implement.
Maybe you have a friend who’s been killing it with cold emails, or you watched a webinar about doing giveaways that sounded kinda cool. Or maybe you had this one idea in the shower the other day…
Write down anything that’s been camping out on your mental to-do list for way too long.
Step 3: Uncover what’s actually gotten results
This is where things get interesting.
Make a third list using the following questions:
Where did your last 10 clients come from?
Go back into your emails, or payment processor, and trace back where each person first found you. Were there some referrals? Did they reach out randomly after they saw you in a Facebook group?
Add each source to your new list.
If you don’t know how they found you, consider reaching out to them and asking directly. This is important data.
Where did your favorite clients come from?
Next, think back to the BEST clients you’ve ever had. The ones that you’d gladly work with over and over again for the rest of your career. How did they find you?
(At this point, you might notice that your clients are probably coming to you in totally different ways from the marketing techniques you listed in List #1. Good! That means there’s room to tidy up your marketing habits. But before we get to that, let’s keep analyzing.)
What social media platforms perform the best for you?
If you haven’t been posting on social media much in the last three months or so, skip this question.
But if you do post at least semi-regularly to one or several platforms, it’s time to do some digging.
Social media insights give us a lot of data. But we’re not going to pay attention to view or likes. Instead, we care about just two things: Comments and traffic.
First, comments. Are people replying? Are they asking questions and engaging on a thoughtful level? Are they real people? Those are all good signs!
Second, traffic. If you use your social media to send readers to your blog or other content, then naturally the most important metric is how many people are actually making it over.
If you have Google Analytics set up, you can see this by clicking “Acquisition” on the left sidebar, then “All Traffic,” and then “Source/Medium.”
From there, you can type in the search bar above the table the name of each platform (“Facebook” “Instagram” etc.). Set the viewable dates to look at at least the past 3 months (or more) to get a good view of the data.
>> Don’t have Google Analytics? Check out How to Track Your Marketing Efforts
Which social media platforms do you naturally gravitate toward?
When we think about marketing, we often think about it in terms of what’s working, what we should be doing…
But we forget that there’s a human element in the equation.
The fact of the matter is that if you don’t like a certain platform, you’re not going to want to use it as much. And even if you do force yourself to use it, it will feel like a total drag. Which your readers will definitely pick up on.
Instead, ask yourself—if you’ve been trying to use multiple platforms, are there ones that you naturally spend more time on?
Remember, you can get results from anywhere. You can get results from just one social media platform. Or hell, none at all. So pay attention to which one(s) you enjoy the most. Add them to your list.
Step 4: Analyze the data
At this point, you have three lists of incredibly valuable information. Now, it’s time to choose which marketing tactics you actually want to stick with.
Use these questions to guide your decision:
What’s been working for you that you absolutely should continue?
As you look at list #3 of your actual results, which marketing activities do you know you should keep doing? The ones that deliver good results and feel good to you?
How can you make those marketing techniques work even better?
How can you double down on them?
I have a friend who realized that she naturally made a lot of great connections at conferences who later became clients. So she doubled down on that technique, and created a whole follow-up system to ensure she didn’t let any leads slip through the cracks.
If you’ve won most of your clients through referrals, how can you widen your network? Is it time to start offering referral bonuses to people who send clients your way?
If you’re seeing a lot of success from Facebook groups, which groups? Can you go deeper with them—maybe reach out to the group owner and see if they’re open to a Facebook Live collab?
Also consider: How can you make them more enjoyable?
Let’s say you’ve gotten some great results from running Facebook ads to your blog. You analytics show that a lot of them sign up for your email list, and you’re able to eventually turn some of them into clients. But you really hate managing ads. Can you hire an ads manager to take over for you?
What have you been doing that isn’t working?
When you compare list #1 (your current activities) and list #3 (your actual results), what doesn’t line up?
And is it time to drop those things—or is it that they honestly need more time or effort?
For example, techniques like blogging or sending a weekly newsletter are long-term marketing techniques. You probably won’t see results for at least 6 months. But the results are absolutely worth it if you want to build authority and eventually offer group programs or courses.
Or maybe you’ve been trying to engage on Instagram, and you’re not seeing results… but then again, you haven’t actually been posting regularly. It could also mean you just haven’t been giving it the attention it needs to get a clear sense if it’s a good fit for you or not.
Which brings us to the next question…
Which techniques make you most excited?
Look at your lists overall. Which marketing activities get you fired up?
Even if a given techniques hasn’t given you great results yet (or you haven’t tried it), there’s a lot to be said for the marketing activities that get you pumped. The ones that make you think, “Yeah, I’d love to show up in that way.”
Which social media platforms are you willing to go all-in with?
Okay, decision time.
For most solopreneurs, social media is either a huge time suck as you try to post consistently… or it’s a huge source of guilt because you’re not posting consistently.
The truth is, it’s really hard to do multiple platforms well. I say this as someone who’s fought this fact for years.
So when you look at your options…
- Which ones do you want to commit to?
- Which ones might be secondary—where you only post your content, but don’t really engage?
- Which ones are you ready to drop altogether?
My Facebook page, Pinterest, and Medium are secondary. They don’t get original content—just updates when a new blog post goes out.
And I chose to drop Twitter and LinkedIn. Sort of! Twitter I still post on for fun, but it’s not something I’m committed to. And while I used to create original content for LinkedIn, I now have a note in my profile description that directs people to my other social platforms. My profile exists for anyone who searches it, but it’s totally off my plate.
Remember: You can succeed with any platform. You might decide LinkedIn is actually your favorite place to be, and you want to get rid of anything tied to Facebook. Totally fine. The point is to choose what you can realistically commit to.
And I’ll tell you now, as a former social media specialist—you can’t choose them all.
(And it’s not a good idea to try.)
Which marketing techniques do you want to test out for the next 3 months?
When you look at list #2, which techniques do you realistically want to try?
And which are just “shoulds” that aren’t worth the time right now?
Whatever you choose (if any), aim to try it whole-heartedly for at least 3 months. This is a good amount of time to see if it’s a good fit for you and your business.
Step 5: List out your final chosen marketing activities
Finally, write out your final list of marketing techniques you’ve chosen to commit too.
Put it on your wall.
This is your marketing strategy. This is what you do. All the other stuff? It might be working for other people. But this is what you do—at least for the next 3-6 months.
Then watch as your efforts start to pay off. I’ve seen it over and over again—when you double down and commit to consistency, your results start to compound.
(You’ll be amazed how much time you’ll save on education, too. Are you constantly teased by new webinars that promise to teach you a new sales technique? You know now that it’s only valuable if it helps you enhance something you’re already doing!)
And if you are tempted to jump into a different marketing technique that’s not on your final list? Just add it to a new “to try” list. Every 3 months (put it in your calendar!), you can evaluate what you’re doing and decide if you’re going to add it in. But make the decision intentionally. Because results come from consistency, not from constantly trying to find the next silver bullet.
Here’s what the pros know:
There’s no single marketing technique that’ll solve all your sales woes. You just need a few things that you can do really well. Then you commit to them, and do them over and over again.
The most successful business owners aren’t on every platform, doing every single thing. They focus.
It’s time for you to do the same. ?