If a tree falls in a forest

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. (wikipedia)

Can something exist without being perceived?

This can also be very true in you business adventures.

Many people fall for the “if we build it they will come” cliche. in reality there is nothing further from the truth. You may indeed be good at what you do. You may be the best there ever was. But like the tree in the forest, if you sit in your room and nobody knows you’re there, well… nobody is going to enter through the door.

Many professionals i’ve met are reluctant to do any marketing activities. they pressive it as cheap and undignified. While I would not recomend “used cars salesperson” tactics there is plenty of things you can do, even if you’re “not good at selling stuff”.

“Inbound marketing” is a term coined for activities aimed at bring potential customers to you, rather than you having to fight for their attention with your product or service. It is also very efficient and time saving method to people who work on their own, and have limited time for marketing, as this is not their primary occupation.

At the heart of it, it is primarily about getting yourself be known and valued as an expert rather than bluntly selling yourself and blowing your own horn, which most nice people don’t really like to do. The right way to go is by sharing information you think your customers would find interesting. Think of celebrity chefs. They do TV shows, write book and teach you how to cook. In return they get your attention and respect. They build their name as a brand, so maybe someday when you’ll need a new knife or skillet, you’ll buy the brand they endorse or when visiting NYC you’ll come to their new hot restaurant.

At our digital age it is even easier than ever. Think of how you get your information when buying something. do you open the yellow-pages or google ? drive to every store in town or order it at amazon ?

Of course you can sit down for a few months, write a book and self publish it. But even better and cheaper, you can open a blog or a youtube channel and publish a post every other week. You might even get along with participating in newsgroups, forums or facebook group if it applies. Just don’t forget to add some contact information in your signature (website or email address are very subtle and common).

again, writing a blog that nobody reads is a frustrating experience. So you’ll need to pay a few bucks to google and facebook to promote your materials. To do it effectively you’ll also need to be thinking on who your target audience is and where they get their information. You might not get it right the first time, but don’t despair, it’s not that difficult.

But most important, get rid of the guilt. you’re sending out useful information that they will read if they will want to and find it usefull, you’re not pushing yourself through the window.

And then, hopefully, they will come to you.