What's in YOUR pipe?

Let’s talk real life for a minute.

I’m a small business. You know, like…my business is me. I prospect, I sell, and then I do all the work. I know tons of people who do this. Some are one-man (or girl) shows like me, and some have a small team working for them. But it seems we all run into the same type of problem. We ebb and flow through the abundant times…where we get all this business, dive into it, then once the project is complete, we’re like, “Oh crap, where’s my pipeline and is there anyone in it?” We get so involved with client work that we forget that it WILL eventually come to an end…because we’re contractual. Some are a year. Some longer…some shorter. But again, project-based.

I love how I’m the queen of marketing but don’t always follow the same rules I tell my clients to follow. Marketing for me, quite frankly sucks. I have this thing with self-promotion. I mean, it’s easy for me to promote my band…because that’s a team…a unit. It’s easy for me to promote my non-profit, Girls Rock Indy, because that’s a cause that’s way bigger than me. What I’m finding out…yet again…after having my own business for a year and a half…is that I constantly have to network, talk to, and work with other people. We ALL do. It’s a business fundamental. We can’t just shack up in our little social media corner. (Don’t front, you know how easy it is to do that!)

Not to mention, my business coach says to me yesterday, “I had someone come up to me the other day and ask, ‘So, is Lindsay still doing Linzstar or is she just doing Neon Love Life?’” That, to me, means I’m not doing a very good job marketing Linzstar. So…lessoned learned.

YES, of course, I’m still doing ghost blogging, social media and all kinds of other written stuff. I love it. It’s my thing. So what now? It’s time to get really intentional on making sure I’ve got a pipe. All small businesses must.

What are some of the ways YOU do this? Have you struggled with the same type of thing?

6 Responses to “ What's in YOUR pipe? ”

  1. I struggle with this daily. I made the mistake by not building a recurring revenue model from day one. For those who don’t know, I own a web design company, so many of our projects are 1 and done. We are now working on ways to continue the relationship with internet marketing services.

    It’s a tough battle to win. Most hired sales professionals won’t turn up the results you’re looking for, so the idea of hiring a sales rep goes out the window. It’s expensive to hire someone to actually do the physical work while the owner goes out and sells, so that is also a tough pill to swallow. Really, the only conclusion I’ve come up with is to outsource a few projects to trusted partners, that way you don’t get overloaded and you can continue to balance out sales and doing the work.

    Nice article!

  2. I utilize several platforms to keep my communications separate. While @KLFLegal is my primary social media identity, I can talk art from @IDADA, literature from @VonnegutLibrary, soccer from @IndyBlues, etc. That way people who just follow @KLFLegal won’t be inundated with all of my side projects. Downside…a large percentage of the folks I communicate with don’t follow @KLFLegal, the one that actually pays the bills in the end.

    I cross-reference the accounts every once in awhile so that people who are interested in something else I do can make the connection.

    Maybe more work-specific comments from @Linzstar?

  3. Chuck Gose says:

    Often times the most important product we offer is the one we forget to sell – ourselves.

  4. Kenan, I’m the same way. I’ve got @LindsayManfredi which is personal and business…in a sense. Then @girlsrockindy and @neonlovelife. When you have your hands in all different sorts of cool projects, that’s awesome. But we ultimately come back to where we make our money. Linzstar is my biggest money maker. We’ve yet to take anything personally for running Girls Rock and all the band money goes right into recording, merch, and band stuff. We’ve never paid each other out of that at this point. I think it’s good to use @klflegal to represent your other interests. Especially if that’s your bigger following. I think you should blog about these other things you’re into and ask people to follow you. Perhaps they’re not aware of who you are.

  5. Tom Rubin says:

    Great post, Lindsay.
    I just opened up my own company on 10/1 so I definitely feel what you are going through. It’s a hard problem to solve, for me, mainly because of money. If I’m out selling, I can’t be here doing the work and vice versa. Luckily, I get a lot of word of mouth business. I have my @El_Chorizo account & my @ERComputingInc account. I’m seriously thinking of abandoning the ER account because I’m not sure if I have time to work on growing it. Still, I’d never change what I’ve done to this point. Good luck to you!!

  6. Tom, good luck. Business ownership is one of the best decisions I ever made. But as I said, it’s hard to promote me me me, all the time, ya know. I guess the best thing is balance, yes?
    Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment.

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