Managing for Success

How to Prioritize Your Marketing
By Ilise Benun

If you don’t prioritize your own marketing, if you keep putting it on the back burner, you won’t get the projects you want.

Yes, you’re being paid to do the client work, but that doesn’t necessarily make it more important than your own marketing. Your marketing must come before you do the work your clients are paying you to do, literally.

Think about it this way: Your client work represents your “present.” It’s feeding you right now and that’s important. And what you do today will certainly impact what you will have an opportunity to do tomorrow.

But your marketing is the investment you make in your “future.” And if you don’t carve out time to take care of your future, no one else will. If you don’t make it a priority, your future will be at the mercy of whoever happens to find you, which may be fine, until those slow periods, when no one is finding you. That’s when you panic because you don’t have a present or a future. And that’s a bad position to be in.

The 3 Marketing Mindsets will help you change your priorities … Cultivate them with care!
If you don’t have the right mindset, you’ll undermine your own efforts, even if you’re doing all the right things.

  1. Curiosity: asking questions of your prospects so you can understand them better and tailor your marketing to them.
  2. Generosity: offering your suggestions and your services to help them solve a problem or reach their goals.
  3. Gratitude: thanking people for sharing their information or responding to your inquiry or trusting you with you a project. Here’s how it works in real life:

All of these require contact with other people, some of whom may be in a position to give you work. This is marketing! It’s through this contact that you “market” your services. But it won’t feel like marketing because it’s simply a natural back and forth with people you want to work with — it’s just that they may not know that yet.

This article was written by Ilise Benun, the founder of, the go-to online resource for creative professionals who want better projects with bigger budgets. She is a national speaker, author, business coach, a Program Partner for HOW Design Live and adjunct faculty at Pratt Institute and MICA. Follow her @ilisebenun and sign up for her Quick Tips here:

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