How to Calm the Techie Chaos for Non-Techie Entrepreneurs and Coaches
I have to write this post for two reasons…
1. It’s been on my mind frequently and often comes up when I’m working with clients.
2. Walking with a friend today, she told me that the hardest part of her Life Coaching practice is feeling overwhelmed by her website, so much so that she hates it and ignores it. Not a great plan for someone who needs to market her business.
Owning a small or solo entrepreneurial business is an interesting journey, because your business is not just your area of expertise and passion – it is also the marketing and selling of the thing that is your expertise and passion. It’s a challenge on so many fronts.
Why would you want to be a good marketer, when your love is landscaping?
How can you get comfortable with marketing when you dislike computers and have a strength in deep emotional coaching?
It is a bit crazy making I know. Yet solo or tiny businesses do not have a marketing budget to hire someone – and when they try to out of shear desperation, often get taken for a very expensive ride, like a friend who had a lifelong corporate job, experienced when he hired out his blog creation and maintenance for his new consulting business. For over a year he paid $300 per month for nothing – because he didn’t know better.
So what’s the answer to the techie and marketing dilemma for non-techie , non-marketers?
Look at your business in layers. I like to picture concentric circles. In the middle is what you REALLY do in your business. It’s the unique essential solution that you bring to a customer’s or client’s problem. That in and of itself it so crucial to define because it’s the bulls-eye of your target. Your audience will understand how you can help them only if you can state it clearly and with a focus not on you, but on them.
Surrounding the center circle are the other things that you must do in your business and like to do as well. Going back to the landscaper, it could be ordering and organizing supplies, seeds, materials. For the coach it could be researching books to recommend, or writing articles. This circle is not your main “What do you do”, but rather the supporting cast of activities that enhances and supplements what you do. Importantly for this circle, you must LIKE to do it!
You might find you have a few circles like this one – emanating out from the bulls eye center of what you do in your business – related and necessary, but less so and less enjoyable as you more outward from the center.
Finally you arrive at the marketing circle . Or the techie circle. Or both. For some, marketing and technology is FUN!! If this is you, then it’s not the outer edge of your bulls eye. But given that this article about techie for non-techie’s, we are going to assume that it’s a crucial but not enjoyable (yet) part of your business.
There are ways of integrating activities you don’t enjoy that are a necessity, and ways of outsourcing them. We are going to talk about both.
When I began learning how to marketing on the internet in 2005/06, I was my own teacher. I spent hours burning the midnight oil to understand everything from HTML to SEO to Rank, Autoresponder, Conversion ratios, WYSIWYG and more. It was very much like learning Greek – while being taught in Greek!!
I built websites that took me days and days. I FTP’d over and over again, and to this day still don’t understand how the website ended up being connected to the URL on the server of my hosting company.
I can choose a theme and create a brand new WordPress blog and use the C-Panel to have it live at my URL. It’s takes me at least two days to get all set up- complete with a lot of four letter words and bit of table thumping too. Instead, I hire my web person for a few hundred dollars and she does it for me. I think it takes a her just a few hours and except for graphic design questions she has for me, it’s all done and beautiful by the time I see it. I even call her when I get a warning, or an upgrade necessity.
My specialty is business coaching for entrepreneurs. It is not blog development. If I paid myself my hourly rate to work on the technical aspects of my blog deep in the set up and code, I would have to pay myself a few thousand dollars. What takes me days, take someone who does this kind of thing easily, hours. My time spent on this is just not worth it. I literally save money by outsourcing these tasks. And I’m so much less frustrated.
An interesting piece here is that for me – a bit Type-A – I first had to learn how to do it myself before could hire and trust someone else to do it for me. But that’s just me. The caveat though, is to choose who you hire based on referrals, not by marketing. Use a web designer or WordPress technician that others rave about. That is when you can truly hand it over and relax!
There is another way to deal with your outer layers – the marketing or techie parts of your business that are far from your center. Learn to love them!”
I know that is what you are thinking. “HUH?” It’s a professional phrase!
Here’s a story. Many years ago I trained to be a competitive body builder. (Many, many years ago). In my workouts, which I did twice per day, I just hated doing shoulders. There was nothing about shoulder work that I liked, from shoulder presses, to lateral raises to rear deltoid work – I hated it all. But it was part of the routine and came around again every 4th workout.
Over time I got really good and shoulder workouts. Not only that, I absolutely loved how my shoulders looked in tank tops and halters. As my shoulders got stronger and I got more skilled at the exercises I began to like my shoulder work more and more. Two years later, shoulder day was my favorite!! Imagine that!
Part of human nature is to feel more enjoyment doing things that come easily and that we love, than things that are hard or frustrating. We tend to be good and love our main profession -be it coaching, landscaping, yoga teaching. We don’t love marketing and techie when our avocation is otherwise, because we tend not to be good at it initially. We find it frustrating, confusing, overwhelming.
We look at our blog we hate, like my life coach friend, and feel paralyzed so we do nothing. But guess what?
You can learn enough about marketing and some technology to actually begin to enjoy the creative process of working on your own blog and doing your own marketing. Just like I learned to love shoulder workouts. Rather than stew in your own frustration, follow a few of these baby steps and see what happens.
1. List the techie and/or marketing things that confuse you and make you feel paralyzed with fear or dislike every time you think of them.
2. Start asking questions in your communities until you find someone who Loves and Understands the things you listed in number one.
3. Hire that person, or work out a trade . Ask them to TEACH you.
4. Take it one step at a time so as not to trigger that emotional fight or flight reaction.
5. Learn one thing and practice it. May it’s as simple as putting a photo into a blog post or understanding how to put a new graphic in your blog header. Maybe it’s getting a lesson on how autoresponders actually work and creating an opt in box.
6. Do the one thing enough times that you no longer feel aversion to it. Do it until it becomes easy. Do it until it becomes almost Fun!
7. Go back to number 2 and start again with a different area.
It’s one thing to feel proud of what you accomplish within your real profession. I challenge you to experience what it’s like to do something you’ve always shied away from, and conquer it! The feeling is freedom!!
Tell me in the comments below, a time you did this. Share your story and the emotions you experienced!
I’d be honored if you’d share this post on your favorite social media site. I know many could benefit from approaching their tech and marketing demons in a new way.
Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure”by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.
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