Why It Took Me 8 Years to Come Up With a Marketing Plan
Hey! Shona here - wanted to share a very honest post on my struggles with marketing.
I've been very fortunate having done the bare minimum of marketing my services over the last 8 years! but I've finally got out of my own way and put together a fun marketing plan for my design agency. I don't even want to call it a marketing plan - let's call it a helpful communication portal schedule!
Here are some of the reasons why it took me until now to get there:
Discomfort with Self-Promotion
One of the biggest obstacles for me was my discomfort with promoting myself and my work. I always felt like it was too showy, too “hey work with me!” or “look what I designed!”, and I didn't want to come across as arrogant or pushy. No one likes to feel like they're being force fed something.
Lack of Clarity
Another issue was that I wasn't exactly sure who I wanted to speak to. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, but I didn't have a clear vision of who my dream customer was, what their needs were and how exactly to speak to them.
Finding the Time
Of course one of the biggest obstacles is to actually put in the time to your own business that you would to anyone else's. I'm always willing to stay late, work hard and be a perfectionist on other people's projects but I've realised it's just as important to work on my own!
Posting Without Purpose
For a while, I was just posting aimlessly without any real purpose or strategy. I would share my work on social media, but I wasn't really thinking about how it fit into a larger marketing plan or again, who I was trying to speak to or reach.
Lastly, I struggled with imposter syndrome, thinking that anything I put out there wasn't good enough. I thought it was better to post nothing at all than to post something that wasn't perfect.
But after lots of trial and error, I finally realised that I was holding myself back. I started to work through these questions, getting clear on my purpose and create a clear marketing plan that aligned with my values and goals. And while it took me a while to get there, I'm excited to continue growing my business.
My Main Realisations
I want my online presence to about more than just promoting myself or my business.
I want to:
Teaching people something valuable
Solve their problems with design
Entertaining them! Having fun is so important to me and for my brand personality
Show my work - in order to spark thought and showcase my style and another way to show I solve problems
“We Solve Problems - we are business designers”
At the end of the day, I want to communicate that I'm here to help!
That might mean helping people learn something new, helping them find a solution to a problem, or simply entertaining them for a few minutes.
As a designer, it can be easy to get caught up in your own work and forget your potential audience. But by creating a clear plan to help, you can ensure that your work is reaching the people who need it most.
By keeping that in mind, I hope to create impactful work that truly resonates with people!