Do you learn and follow rules? Or do you prefer to throw away the rule book and do your own thing?
As part of this blogging challenge – led by the wonderful Sarah & Kevin Arrow – we receive daily emails talking everything blogging.
We learn about structure, content, engagement, visibility, SEO and a whole lot more to make our blog posts more engaging and to have people act upon them.
I love blogging and for years I’ve dreamed about writing blog posts and sharing such great content that people read it and think “wow, I want to work with you”.
Yet having tried I can confirm that just delivering great content does not lead to hundreds of new clients. We need more to have a profitable and successful business.
When I did this blogging challenge in December 2018 – I paid no attention to rules or best practice. I rebelled, believing that “rules are meant to be broken!”
Yet over the years I’ve started to see that rules – instead of being something to rebel against – are there to support us. They serve a purpose – they’re not simply something made up because someone feels like exercising power (although I’m sure some are).
It’s taken me a long time to discover this. To recognise that rules make our life easier, our journey quicker – and most importantly enable us to live in harmony with each other.
Rules serve us – we’re not a slave to them.
If we look back to the opening line of this post it looks like there’s a choice to make. Either/Or:
- Learn and follow the rules?
- Ditch them and do your own thing?
When I started my business – I followed the rules. I was taught a system, I followed it, I got clients. I then taught this system to my clients and if they followed it, they too got clients.
Then when I burnt out / had a midlife crisis / an awakening / whatever you want to call it – I decided to ditch all the rules. I questioned EVERYTHING. I fought against anyone and everything who tried to tell me what to do. I was like this child flailing around – kicking and screaming. It was neither pretty nor peaceful.
But it was necessary. I needed to navigate through this minefield of should’s and all the messages and gurus screaming:
“Follow-me and you too can have a super-successful business”
“This is the missing piece”
“I did it – so can you”
I now know when it comes to rules – or anything for that matter – it’s rarely an either/or situation.
It’s actually an AND situation:
Learn and follow the rules AND ditch them and do your own thing
When we do anything new, following rules helps us. Think about baking a cake – you mix flour, eggs, butter and sugar together, put them in a tin and bake it in the oven. However only when you have a specific ratio of each ingredient and bake it at the right temperature for the correct amount of time will you be greeted by a delicious cake someone wants to eat.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, then you can experiment by adding chocolate chips, lemon, orange, or even raspberry syrup as my son once tried. You can be as creative and flamboyant as you want.
Of course someone had to discover this whole cake baking phenomenon to come up those rules – but that’s a whole different topic – one that isn’t helpful when it comes to sales!
When it comes to marketing and sales there are only 2 essential rules:
- Attract our dream clients
- Invite them to take the next step
There are of course hundreds of different ways we can go about this – this is what all the blueprints and sales programmes out there teach. Yet they all draw upon these two key elements.
As a transformational leader – it’s up to us to choose what flavour we want for our business.
We choose the how.
We can do speaking, writing, blogging, videos, networking, pamper parties, exhibiting, SEO, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, PR….
We can choose what we love the most. And we can choose more than one.
And that’s what makes it exciting.
We take the basic rules and create something magical with it. A marketing and sales system that fits us beautifully.
With just 2 rules it’s easy to do it our way – in our own authentic voice. There’s no need for struggle or trying to squish ourselves into a blueprint that’s not us.
I love writing and blogging – but I’ll also dabble in videos and speaking.
I love Facebook so I focus on that to promote my writing. But if Facebook were to vanish overnight I know I’d find another platform to attract clients. Years ago, I used Twitter and generated a following of over 50,000 and got lots of new clients from it. Twitter has changed and that particular strategy no longer works – but the process of attracting dream clients and inviting them to take the next step hasn’t.
Because I’ve mastered the basics, when something shifts with whatever strategy or tactic – I know I’ll be fine – I’ll simply transfer these skills elsewhere. It might get bumpy but it won’t stop me in my tracks.
When I did the blogging challenge last time I didn’t invite people to take the next step. In fact, I didn’t have a next step!
Now I do – it’s my Sacred Sales Audit. It can be found by anyone reading this blog.
And whenever I’m coaching a client who is struggling to generate sales – I always start by looking at the basics.
It could be a simple practical piece – like adding a Buy Now/Book Now button on your website.
Or it could be an inner piece – you’ve evolved but your business hasn’t which means the clients you’re working with no longer light you up.
If this resonates and you want more sales then do check out my Sacred Sales Audit.