And the last couple of blogs, we’ve spoken about high-touch marketing. We introduced some concepts around what high-touch marketing is. And then, in last week’s blog, we discussed ways that you can implement this in your own practice. But one problem that I’ve seen over and over again is finding the marketing ideas, which work for who you are as a person and for the situation that you’re in.
So here is a blog about how to get unstuck when you’re stuck on figuring out the right marketing approach.
And the last blog we talked about determining what you need, who your actual client avatar is, and rehearsing your elevator pitch. So now you’re ready to go out and meet new people to share this.
The idea is that what you read in the blog was okay, but they didn’t resonate with who you are. So what do you actually do to get more ideas?
You are not alone.
One of the biggest stumbling boxes that a lot of entrepreneurs and freelancers face is thinking that they have to figure it out all on their own.
This is simply not true.
Your biggest advantage of being an entrepreneur is your specific skillset and the strengths that you bring to the table. But what you need to do is cultivate your support systems so that you don’t have to figure it out all on your own.
Get a Coach
Some shame of self-promotion here. I am a social impact coach and I help other social entrepreneurs get unstuck and get the momentum that they need to succeed.
Recently a friend shared an article with me call it the coach in the operating room, published in the New Yorker. It’s by a surgeon named Atul Gawande.
In the article, he shared his own story of getting a tennis coach to help him in his tennis game. And how much that improved it.
But his realization came after watching Rafael Nadal play a tournament and noticing that even Rafael Nadal had a coach and noticing that every elite tennis player in the world does this.
Here are players that are at the top of their game number one in their field. And they have a coach at every step of the way, but surgeons typically don’t. Atul explained to him the article, how he got a coach to help him in his own surgery practice, and how that significantly improved his outcomes.
The same is true for most business endeavors. Having a coach who can help you walk through what’s blocking you can give you insight and reflection on the things about yourself that you don’t see.
Mastermind groups come in a variety of formats. The concept of a mastermind group was coined by Napoleon Hill in his book, the law of success, and then further detailed in his famous book think and grow rich. But the principle is pretty simple involving bringing two or more people together to solve problems in harmony.
If you take a look at corporate America today, a large number of CEOs are part of a group called Vistage, which is basically a peer support group for CEOs and top executives. They come together on a regular basis and we’ll take turns sharing the issues that they’re facing and getting feedback from the group.
It’s very important to have a diverse set of groups where you can get different ideas and different viewpoints because quite often we see the world through our own two eyes and miss a lot of information that we might otherwise have gotten.
If successful CEOs are doing this, maybe you should too. One reason it works so well is that when you come together with people who have gone through the same problems as you have, they have different ideas of how to approach it than the ones that you might think of. This can save you valuable time testing and trying out different ideas so that you get to a working solution more quickly.
Sometimes it’s too much work to get an established mastermind group together and maintain it. But what if you just went out and got a group of diverse people of different age groups, both the younger than you and much older.
A group that has different ethnic backgrounds, different upbringings, and basically different life experiences. So perhaps different careers or different jobs, but as much diversity as you can.
When brainstorming, it is very important to get this diverse group of people. You don’t want to be brainstorming with a set of people that think exactly as you do, but you want to get as many different ideas as possible.
If you’re fortunate enough to bring this group together in person, it can be a really powerful opportunity to be able to ask questions and brainstorm up on different dimensions of your problem.
The Improv Rule: Yes, and…
If you’re doing this, make sure that you apply the improv rule ‘Yes, and…’ that you don’t reject or judge any ideas upfront, but you just say yes to what is presented and get it all down but the ideas build on each other.
5Ws and 1H
Also make sure you capture ideas along the six basic questions, which are the different dimensions of your problem: the who, what, when, where, and why. And of course, how.
Break these up into separate categories and use them to brainstorm in each category different approaches that you might take.
When brainstorming, you want to get all the ideas together and down and put some effort into them. Yes, it’s okay to have crazy, wacky ideas, but you should put effort into making them as relevant to your problem as possible.
When you’re done with the brainstorming, you can later take all those ideas, come back, comb through them and pull out the nuggets to help you move forward.
A group brainstorm is a great way to get unstuck.
Now, if you can’t bring people together, you can even do this virtually pretty easily. You can put together a Google form or another form asking simple questions of how can I do this and break it down into those six sections and send it out to as many different people as you can.
If they’re helping you build your social enterprise or social impact, most likely people will respond heartedly and even share the survey with more people.
Get New Ideas
This could be as simple as logging on to YouTube, searching for relevant podcasts, or going to local events in your community where you can interact with people and get new ideas.
In 2017, when I realized I was stuck trying to figure out how I can make a social impact on the world, I started the People Helping People, the podcast to inspire greater social change in the world.
I quickly realized how valuable it was to have conversations with new people, doing interesting things. It taught me more about what was possible and filled me up with ideas, which I would’ve never come up with on my own.
The idea of getting new information is to get outside yourself and get some new input that can point you in the right direction. There are billions of people on this planet and billions of people who are sharing their ideas and thoughts.
And some of those are really something new, which you probably haven’t thought of, which can help you in whatever endeavor you’re going through. Whatever problem you’re facing, somebody has probably solved it one way or another. You just have to go out and find it.
Tap into Your Own Subconscious
I love to stress going out and getting information outside of yourself so that you’re not responsible for solving all of the problems that you face.
But there is something very special about your subconscious, which often has all the answers you need to the things that you’re struggling with during the day. And it’s a good question of how can you tap into that to pull out the natural answers and wisdom that you have inside of you.
This can feel like a mind-blowing, magical technique, but what you do is create some space before you go to bed to reflect on the problem where you’re feeling stuck and what you’re struggling with. Find a notebook and write it down. Physically, write down, “here is what I would like to figure out. I am struggling with X, and I want a solution that does and fill in the blank.”
Close the journal, put it next to your bed, and put your pen on it.
Let the words flow naturally. Write them down.
When you wake up in the morning, open the notebook and write down as many of the dreams that you had that you can remember. If you can’t remember any of your dreams, just write non-stop for three pages and fill it up with whatever words come out, not stopping or pausing, but just letting the words flow naturally.
If you do this regularly every day, after a while, you’ll find that there’s some really cool inspiration that’s coming from inside of you.
If you can start to remember your dreams, you will start realizing how much your inner subconscious is communicating with you about the things you struggle with or are blocked with.
Recall your dreams and write them down
The first step to any dream work is to hone your ability to actually recall your dreams. This means writing down your dreams when you first wake up, not letting yourself do anything else before doing this, but making it the very first activity you do when you wake up.
Once you can recall your dreams in some level of detail, you’ll start to notice that the dream itself gives you an idea of what is unresolved in your mind.
Write down your dream symbols
The next step is what’s fun. Start writing down the details that were out of place in your dream. The things that totally would not have made sense if they had occurred while you’re awake. Those differences are your dream symbols.
The next thing is to. Ask yourself. What do those symbols mean to you? What could they suggest? How could those symbols be an indication of how to get unstuck? I find that our dream symbols are really personal. And while there are some guides to interpreting your dreams, quite often, it’s a very personal experience what these dream symbols mean to you.
The best way is to just ask yourself what this symbol means to me and ponder that, and then see if it relates anything to the problem statement you put down in your dreams. This can be a super powerful way to tap into the power of your subconscious and gets really cool insight from the part of your brain, which actually knows a lot more than your thinking part of the brain thinks it knows.
So there you have it when you’re stuck, trying to figure out how to come up with new ideas to move your business forward, whether that’s for marketing or something else, there are ways to reach out to the community, get for more information is through coaching, through mastermind groups, through brainstorming sessions, through exposing yourself to new information, or even into tapping into your own subconscious.
I hope these ideas give you a place to start and help you get unstuck. And if you’re curious about what it’s like working with a social impact coach, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a complimentary coaching session to see how powerful this can be for you.