Remember the movie Field of Dreams?

Many entrepreneurs are guilty of what I call Kevin Costner Syndrome--a reference to the film's leading actor. Costner played a farmer who responded to a mysterious voice's admonition to build a baseball field among his crops. "If you build it, he will come" was sufficient motivation for Costner's character.

Perhaps you behave in a similar fashion, believing that merely being a skilled business leader is all it takes to maintain success.

If so, you're wrong. Lots of talented business folks start off well but later struggle to make a living--for the simple reason that most potential consumers of their products or services aren't aware that these entrepreneurs are actually talented. Thus, simply being good isn't good enough.

How, then, do you ensure that plenty of people hear about you and your abilities?

The only way is to engage in marketing. If that seems distasteful to you, get over it. Well-deployed marketing techniques will generate more business for you than you ever believed.

How to get started? The first and most obvious step is to identify your target market. If you aren't sure of that, invest the time and resources to find out--even if that involves spending some dollars on research.

You might think of your target consumer in demographic terms, such as education, age and income. But consider psychographics as well. Are those who see your message the ones you really want to see it? Is there anything about their typical behavior that makes them unsuitable or unlikely to be receptive to your product or service? Automakers, for instance, make sure that their ads are placed to be seen mainly by potential buyers--repeatedly. You must do the same.

There are other facets to successful marketing, of course, and I'll address them later.

Meanwhile, if you build it, will they come? Sorry, but that happens only in the movies. In the real world, you not only must build it--you must tell people that you built it.

Published on: Aug 18, 2015
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