What do you think you need more than anything else to attract more of your ideal clients?
Many people will say “better information to show me how to do what works.”
Others will say, “more motivation and drive to implement what I already know.”
Another common answer is“More time to fit marketing activities into my schedule.”
And many people will say, “I need better goals and more clarity about what I want to achieve.”
In writing this ezine/blog for the past 20 years, I have talked about the importance of all of them.
But I am finally understanding a much more important factor: good habits.
Over the last year, I have been a great supporter of the writings of James Clear. Write a blog about success and habits. And he just published his first book, Atomic Habits, which is fantastic.
Although James is not a marketing expert, I am convinced that he is correct when he says that the ultimate determinant of success is developing positive habits.
This idea is simple but true: Freelancers who establish regular marketing habits have a much better chance of success than those who don’t.
And the crazy thing is that the four elements (information, motivation, time, and goals) that I mentioned above don’t really make a huge difference.
Information. These days, we have access to more marketing information than ever before in history. And much of it is free and instantly available through a Google or YouTube search.
The problem is that most of us haven’t established the regular habit of studying what we need to know to become better salespeople. The information is useless unless we are experts in implementing it.
And even if we pay good money for courses and programs, much of it goes to waste. I recently learned online that 97% of people who buy a course online never complete it.
Motivation. If we measure motivation by intention, we are all motivated. Don’t we all want and need to grow our businesses? But we keep getting distracted and we don’t follow through with our intentions. Once again, the problem is bad habits.
Hour. If only we had more. But unsuccessful sellers have just as much as the most successful. The key is that they spend more time implementing regular marketing habits.
Goals. There is nothing wrong with goals, except that they are just a starting point for success. And they can leave us stuck in the future, instead of doing what needs to be done today: the routine marketing habits we perform every day or week.
“A habit or system exceeds a goal every time.” -James of course
The investigation is done and the conclusion is clear.
Establishing consistent, positive marketing habits has a bigger impact on marketing success than anything else.
We may have great information, high motivation, lots of time, and clear goals, but unless marketing activities are done on a regular and regular basis, the chances of success are slim to none.
The question you should ask yourself is, “How do I start to establish better marketing habits?”
James’s Atomic Habits goes to great lengths to share a multitude of ways to become an expert habit practitioner. So I suggest you get the book from him. It could be the most valuable ‘marketing’ book you will ever read.
But let me also give you my perspective on what it takes to establish new marketing habits.
The C-SPAT model
This is a template I came up with for one of my marketing programs.
Coaching or Context. A coach declares the game, how it is played, and how to win. And this creates the context in which you play. It helps if he has an outside source who can hold him accountable for playing by the rules necessary to succeed.
This principle is why when you work with a coach or in a program and suddenly find that it’s easier to take action and form positive habits. The context of the game helps shape your behaviors.
Keep in mind that all professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants, go through rigorous training in the form of professional school and internships. And in this context, professional habits and protocols are established.
As freelancers, we would all prefer to do things on our own, charting our own direction. That’s nice, except it doesn’t always work very well, right?
Study. A large part of the game is studying and learning the body of knowledge necessary to perform effectively. Once again, the information required to be an effective marketer is readily available, but you need help separating the wheat from the chaff and studying what is most useful.
Calendar. All successful marketing needs a plan. The alternative is to implement random marketing activities with little structure and direction. So it’s not about how much you know, it’s about how you put what you know into practice.
Values. Success doesn’t come from being busy or doing too many things, but from doing the right things at the right time. This is where establishing regular marketing habits comes into play.
For some, it might be writing an article once or twice a week. For others, it may mean organizing more meetings with networking contacts. Or it could be booking regular speaking engagements.
The secret to making this work is to leverage the first three steps of the model—train, study, and plan—into marketing actions that you do as consistently as possible.
Tracing. What gets measured gets done. And when we fail to measure, the clothes don’t tend to stick. When we measure and track habits, the chances of them being performed consistently increase dramatically.
It can take some time to establish positive habits. You know that happened when you don’t even have to think about it anymore; Just sit down and write that article every Monday or make five prospect calls every week.
And when you’re in action like this, you create a feedback loop, learning what works best and what doesn’t. This allows you to fine tune and adjust over time until your marketing habits are more established.
So stop paying so much attention to finding the “perfect” marketing strategy, get motivated, find more time and set goals.
Instead, use the C – SPAT approach to establish positive marketing habits.