Most of the small business owners and consultants we work with have, at some point, worked with other marketers before. And they’ll often come with some preconceived ideas about what they feel they should be doing.
When we tell them to focus on what they like doing and to make slow and steady progress instead of going all-in on some aggressive outreach campaign, we’ll hear things like:
“But I thought I needed to post three times a day on LinkedIn.”
Or, “Don’t I need to be on Twitter all day?”
Or “I was told I need to send a dozen cold emails every week.”
Or, “Shouldn’t I be doing more direct message outreach on LinkedIn?”
And we’ll almost always say the same thing, which is, “That could definitely work, if you did it. But are you?”
It’s not that intense social media outreach is wrong.
Or that cold emails don’t work.
Or that sending DMs on LinkedIn is an inherently bad idea.
The problem isn’t necessarily with the tactic, the problem is that you’re probably not doing it.
Because you don’t want to.
Some people love the sales process. They love reaching out to cold prospects. They love getting together for coffee with potential clients. They love interacting on Twitter with their community.
And, because they love it, they do it, and it often works. And because it works, they love it even more, and do even more of it.
But some people absolutely hate it.
Frankly, it’s not for me. I haven’t posted on Twitter regularly for more than a year, and I don’t send cold outreach messages to anyone.
I don’t particularly care for impromptu coffee meetings with people I don’t know, and I only post on LinkedIn a few times a week.
Instead, I write this newsletter, I ask for referrals from clients and partners that know and appreciate me, and I host webinars and workshops to expand awareness of what I do.
Is that because those are the objectively best tactics out there? No, it’s because they’re my favourite ones. And so I do them, and so they work.
Because it all comes back to this simple but critical fact:
The things you do are infinitely more effective than the things you don’t do.
The people who are great at cold outreach, sales calls, and coffee meetings don’t have to push themselves to do it. They don’t force themselves to send the email, or get out their front door.
They do it because they like to do it. And that’s why it works for them.
When Dr. Paul Conti, the famed trauma psychiatrist, was asked how people should choose the ideal therapeutic modality to get the best outcomes, do you know what he said?
He said, “If you want to look at the top ten important factors to find in a therapist, just repeat ‘rapport’ ten times. That’s the key.”
Is that because all therapies are identically effective? No, of course not.
It’s because if you don’t like it, you won’t stick with it, and if you don’t stick with it, it can’t work.
But almost any therapy, if handled correctly and consistently, will work well enough for you to figure out what can work even better.
And, frankly, the same is true for marketing.
If you work with a marketer who doesn’t get you, your preferences, or your unique set of skills and interests, you can’t succeed. No matter how wise, experienced, or knowledgeable the marketer.
Because you simply won’t do what you don’t like doing.
But if you work with someone who will take the time to understand what you’re best at, what you like most, and where you can be uniquely you, you can’t help but succeed.
Because you’ll enjoy it enough to do it, and you’ll be motivated to monitor, adjust, and improve upon it until you find the ideal approach.
You’ll work at it until it works.
And that’s the only thing that ever does.