The three biggest marketing struggles of every small business owner

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you probably started full of energy and ideas when you launched your venture. And then within a year, reality hit: your audience didn’t grow, and you had no clue how to reach and attract more people. How do you do marketing? It wasn’t as easy as you thought to just sell your services and products. You started to feel deflated and ready to give up. A bit like that sad-faced VW Beetle in the photo above. But you are definitely not alone. What are the three biggest marketing struggles of every small business owner?

Let me start on a positive note, though; you also all have a very positive thing in common: a great passion for what you do! Every single one of you wants to have an impact, and help your clients get to where they want to go. Whether a life coach or a filmmaker, you all want to make the world a better place with your unique skills, and make a difference to the lives of others. (And gosh, don’t we need to make the world a little bit more beautiful right now…❤️)

Your product is great but your communication sucks!

It is not rocket science, but you got to have a plan when you start your creative business. It won’t be the quality of what you do that fails to attract people, it is all about your communication. How are you spreading your message to the right folks?

The three biggest marketing struggles
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on

The three biggest marketing struggles all of my clients experience:

1. Not having a clear idea of your audience and ideal client (or a fear to niche down).

This week I worked with an illustrator who offers graphic recording at conferences and events. She thought her ideal client was the event organiser. I asked her:”But what is the main problem of the event organiser and why would they want to hire you?” She didn’t really know, thought they would be mostly concerned with choice of venue and the catering, and felt that she was just a ‘luxury addition’, and that therefore event organisers were not hiring her if their budget was tight. I made her shift her mindset and see that her ideal client wasn’t the event organiser at all, but instead the CEO of the company who initiated the event. They would want to get their mission or key message shared in the best possible way with attendees, and SHE would be the ideal candidate to help them reach that goal.

2. Not having a powerful elevator speech that captures the essence of the client’s problem and how you help them.

Make sure you have all the key ingredients ready to create a tasty dish:
Who you want to help, what they struggle with, how they want to feel after working with you, and how you get them there.

3. A strategy of how to get that super clear message into the world and start getting clients.

The strategy is the final thing you got to have a think about, and this is the hardest. This means thinking about the tools and tactics you will use to get your message seen by the right people in the right places. Social media? Which platform? SEO? In-person events?

group of multiethnic people gathering around female speaker in studio
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on

Craft that elevator speech to perfection

To come back to the example of my illustrator client, after defining her ideal client, we proceeded to craft a clear and fabulous marketing message. Suddenly she saw her services in a much different and more valuable light. Focusing on the outcome her ideal client (the CEO) would be looking for, she now emphasised the benefits of her services and how they worked hand-in-hand with any keynote speaker delivering a presentation in words. She was now able to make clear who she helped, what she helped them with and why, and how she makes it all happen. Not a ‘luxury add-on’ at all, but instead, an important ingredient of any conference.

This powerful marketing message could now be used it everywhere. At the top of your homepage, to begin with, so visitors immediately understand what it is you do. My client also placed it in the about section of her LinkedIn. Her elevator speech made everything so much to-the-point.

Making your master plan work

How do you get all this done? You can start by downloading my free WORKBOOK ‘3 steps to Clarity’. This is a step-by-step guide to working on these three biggest marketing struggles: audience, message and marketing plan.

If you’d rather do this with me, my one-off 90-minute Power Sessions get people back on track after feeling stuck. No strings attached, we just spend 90 minutes together working on clarifying your client, message and action plan, and you will feel so much better already! Clients who work with me during a Power Session all walk away with light bulbs switched on and a smile on their face. CLARITY.

If you are fed up trying to figure it all out by yourself, these 90 minutes are money well spent. What is it worth to you to finally have a powerful message nailed and ready to send out into the world? It does wonders for your mindset, and magic for your marketing, I tell you. Even easier: You can book directly online.

creative business coach

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