I was in the garden this morning thinking of how marketing and gardening are so similar. This year my plants have taken a while to grow and flower. At first nothing was growing. Then they took off, but no fruit. I’ve been learning what is missing from my soil, making adjustments to nutrients and watering and patiently navigating the process. Like growing vegetables, marketing is not an event, it’s a process. It’s not just the seeds you plant, but the sun, nutrients in the soil, the water and the attention you give to it. Your marketing isn’t just a Google ad. It’s your customer service, your reputation, how you present yourself, the quality of product you provide, your website, etc. These things all work together to create the successful marketing of your business.
Along the way you try new methods, hang back on things that aren’t working and move forward with those that do. In gardening sometimes you miss the mark and rip the whole plant out to make room for something new. Same with marketing. It’s not one-size fits all for all businesses. It’s trial and hopefully more success than error to find what works for you. The real challenge is patience. Watching the growth begin slow, the harvest starts small (like my tiniest cantaloupe ever) and you’ve just got to have faith to stick with it through the process.
If you read the news or went grocery shopping lately maybe you feel a little panicked. If your phone isn’t ringing or your shop is quiet, you’re definitely feeling some pressure. But panic and kneejerk reactions are no way to run a business. Gimmicks are just that—there are dozens of ads out selling you on how “they” can bring you leads, make you a millionaire with one simple step, etc. Be leery of “get rich quick” promises. It is definitely not time to take your foot off the marketing accelerator.
Building your business with consistent integrity and intention has a much better return if you’re looking to survive the long haul. I talk about this in my new book, Marketing Basics for Your Small Business, out in October 2022. This is the time to be the tortoise, not the hare.