I’m a runner. I have been for 20+ years. I run in the rain, in the snow, through injuries, on vacations, when I’m sick, to celebrate, when I’m frustrated. You get the picture. I’m not fast, but I put in the miles, day after day. Even when major injuries have sidelined me, I’ve found other ways to be intense with workouts. It’s who I am.
So when I found out that I can’t run—or do anything that will elevate my heart rate or make me sweat—for two whole weeks, you can imagine my reaction (don’t worry friends and family, I’m healthy as ever). Sure, I was worried about what not being intense would do for me, but, more importantly, I wondered what it would do to my work and my relationships. I’ve been told before to, “Go for a run,” when I seem off or a bit too, um, intense, in other areas. But this break from running has really thrown me for a loop. Why? Because I think I like it. I’m calmer than ever. I’m happy. I’m enjoying the moment. And, I’m producing some of my best work.
What does my running hiatus have to do with your marketing? Everything!
Running, like marketing, can become way too intense. With social media and networking events begging for your attention, it’s easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal. For most businesses, the end goal is more customers. If your packed lineup of marketing tactics is delivering that for you, then keep up the good work (and chug that coffee or Red Bull…whatever keeps you going). But more likely than not, your intense agenda is leaving you wiped out and your potential customers annoyed or confused (too much of anything is never good).
One of my business mentors happens to be my father-in-law. Granted, I’m a little biased as he’s an incredible person, but friends and foes alike will tell you I’m a harsh critic (so maybe that makes me a neutral observer). The point is that his business, Lawn Treatment By Ken Grawe, is one of the best-marketed businesses I know. And it’s all because of one thing: REPUTATION. Yep, you read that right. It’s not because he spends hundreds of dollars a year on fancy advertising or stays up until all hours of the night revamping his website (neither of which he does). It’s a flourishing business because my father-in-law has built a solid reputation throughout the community—one that his customers can count on year after year. (He also works his tail off day and night, weekend after weekend, to deliver services and products that exceed his customers’ expectations, but that’s a topic for another post.)
So the next time you lose your breath trying to juggle an intense marketing routine, take a step back. Go for a walk or turn off your phone and really think about what your business represents. At the end of the day, all the tweeting, networking, and advertising in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have a solid reputation.