The Ground Game

Seeking out work (marketing) is my responsibility in our small business.

Truthfully, I enjoy creating emails and fliers, writing copy and using tools like Canva, Robly and other software to create pieces to send to our potential and existing clients. I call this part of marketing “the aerial assault” and I wish that it was all that I had to do to get jobs.

Unfortunately, I’m bound to go one step further and engage in “the ground game”. Like war or football, the ground game is messy, full of hits and it takes a lot of effort to gain a yard (or, in this case, a fruitful discussion with a client). I don’t like being hit (rejected or ignored), so I come to this part of marketing with some resistance.

This time around, I’ve got a plan to do both. I’ve identified the schools and libraries in the four states where we’re camping using a researcher from Bangaladesh and narrowing down the search using maps. Next, I composed my aerial assault and started it in earnest two weeks ago, noting in a spreadsheet everything I’ve done for each client. Now, it falls upon me to make phone calls – to seek out library directors or branch managers, school principals and chat with a lot of secretaries. Typically, I’ll spend an hour or two banging out phone calls. Finally, I repeat the process hoping that some of my efforts turn into actual jobs.

I’m writing this today so that I can affirm my belief that this plan has worked in the past and can again if I put in the effort. Furthermore, it’s not up to me to convince a client to hire me, but to offer my services to help students. That keeps me away from the false belief that a person saying no is a rejection of me, personally. I can hear a “no” as that person saying, “not now, but thank you.” I can live and thrive with that and I can try and take the next hill in the battle.

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