fast- guest blogger Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua

03.03.2008

Leslie writes a regular column in Picture magazine and is very active in many creative/creative-business groups and forums, both online and in the real world, including AIGA, Adlist/Adland, APAnet, APA, ASMP, and Editorial Photographers (EP).

Leslie Burns-Dell’Acqua lives in San Diego, California with her architect husband and two very spoiled cats. For more information please visit her website here and her blog here.

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Far more often that I wish were the case, I have potential clients contacting me saying they need marketing help because they need work NOW. I usually do not end up working with these folks, because I can’t help them in the way they want. Marketing will not get you work fast. If you think that working with a consultant or changing your marketing will get you work tomorrow (or in a short time period), you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

When you change your marketing, whether launching a new advertising campaign or a complete re-branding, you are laying the foundation of a new story. The first tool you use is the first telling of that story, and you are telling it to a skeptical lot. You need to tell that very same story over and over again, with consistency, to reach your targets and build the trust that the story is true. Then and only then will those targets become clients.

If you need work now, you don’t need to market, you need to sell. And that’s a very different animal. You can only sell to 1) previous (satisfied or better) clients, or 2) targets that have been marketed to consistently for a long time and who are on the verge already of becoming clients (and it’s hard to figure out who those folks are).

Now, is it possible that you could send a postcard and get a new client? Sure, it’s possible, but so is winning the lottery. It’s just about as likely, too.

Marketing is about telling your big story–who your business is, what it promises–and re-telling and keeping those promises. It’s an offering. Selling is asking for something. You can sell fast, but you can’t market fast.

The other thing about fast–it is easy to screw up. “Marry in haste, repent in leisure” is a very old saying and it applies here to. You can easily do something to sell now that will violate the promises you have been making in your marketing and that, in the long run, will be very bad for your business. Compromise your marketing with your selling and you might get a few gigs today, but you will struggle in the future.

So, I suggest keeping the long view when it comes to your business. Slow down. Market consistently, expect no immediate results. Make sure your selling keeps your marketing promises. Stay on the path you plan for the long term, and your business should be successful for the long term.

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