Is marketing one of those things that you know you should do, but you just never get to do it properly because there are so many other things taking up your time?

As a self-employed person, you have to wear a number of different hats. You’re the one doing all the client work and managing your clients. You’re the one doing your own admin and keeping your back-office in order. You’re the one managing your finances and trying to build your business. Because of all these different roles, marketing and getting clients can often be put on the back burner.

The problem is, when you put marketing on the back burner and you only focus on it once in a while (when all the other fires are put out), you never really get to do it properly.

People often don’t realize that if you don’t market your business consistently you won’t have clients consistently.  Thus, marketing should be a priority in your business because attracting prospects and converting them into paying clients is the lifeblood keeping you in business.

Make marketing a priority in your business this year by using the following 5 tips….

1. Plan your marketing activities. A marketing plan, like any other plan, is a roadmap, enabling your business to define its current situation (where you are), its goals (where you want to go) and the path to get there (the action steps you need to take). The thing is: even a rough plan is better than no plan.

2. Pick marketing strategies that fit the goals of your business. Don’t do marketing just for the sake of marketing. To make your efforts hit the mark, pick marketing strategies that will reach your ideal clients effectively. In other words:  go where your clients are! If you for example know your ideal clients are international speakers, it won’t help much putting an advertisement of your services in your local newspaper.

3. Create a frequent and regular communications campaign. A simple rule of marketing success is that it’s necessary to stay in touch with clients and prospects on a regular basis or else they’re going to forget who you are and what makes your services so wonderful. So stay in touch with regular communications: create an email newsletter filled with helpful info and send it out regularly; send unexpected greeting cards for birthdays, valentine’s day, Easter or Christmas; send a gift;  pick up the phone and call clients to ask how they’re doing. Staying in touch does not need to be expensive. A little bit of effort and creativity, can take you a long way.

4. Make time for marketing daily. Block out chunks of time in your calendar daily where you do nothing else but marketing.  It will take a bit of self-discipline to stick to these time-slots in the beginning, but in the end it will bear fruit. Here are some things you can do every day, to market and grow your business: Follow up with a potential client who showed interest in working with you; send an introduction email to potential clients; attend a networking event (online or offline); create a blog and write a new blog post; post a comment on Facebook; call a past client and ask for a referral. Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make a commitment and do it.

5. Persevere and be consistent in your marketing efforts. It never help much to crank out a few marketing activities only when the appointment book looks a bit empty. Marketing is a process – it rarely creates instant results. The marketing activities you do today will only bring in clients in a few months’ time. So start today. Persevere and consistently market your services to ensure you can fill your business with clients in future.

Remember, your clients need your help. They’re stuck and are searching for someone to help them solve their administrative problems and frustrations. That someone is you!

It is your duty to help them take the first step to get unstuck.  That’s what your marketing is all about.

So, make marketing a priority in your business this year….