Feast versus famine – which do you prefer?


Do you recognise this scenario? You start your business and you’re not very busy, so you do lots of marketing – going networking, sending newsletters and mail shots and all the rest – and it works! The business starts coming in and soon you’ve got plenty to keep you busy. So busy in fact that you’d rather do the paid client work than worry about doing any marketing. Surely it’s better to spend your time doing work that gets you paid? Enjoy the feast of work and money!

But then the work you’ve been doing finishes. The projects end or the clients decide that you’ve done such a great job that they can manage without you. All of a sudden you find you’ve got time on your hands and no money with which to enjoy it! Welcome to the famine.

Never mind – you’ve got all this spare time, so how better to fill it than with some marketing?! Plenty of time to resurrect your newsletter, send out another mail shot, go to a couple more networking meetings. Gradually, the work starts coming in again. What a relief – you can pay the bills after all. More work comes in and more and more. What a lovely feast. Except that of course there’s no more time to carry on with the marketing again – too much client work to be done. And then the worst thing happens – you actually have to turn work away because you’re just too busy. You tell that potential client that you can’t help right now, so they go somewhere else. Which is a shame, because, after a while, you find that the work is slowing down again and soon you’re slipping back down the slope into famine again.

I have lost count of the number of coaches, consultants and trainers I meet who tell me that they go through the feast and famine of work on a regular basis. From too much work and ridiculously long hours, to no work and no money.

It’s a shame that I see this so often, because there is one simple solution. It’s called Marketing. Nothing new there, you say, because you’ve heard of marketing. What you need is a special kind of marketing – the sort that you keep doing! Posting one blog in six months or going to one networking meeting is not going to work. You have to keep doing it. Even if it’s one networking event each month, or a newsletter every two months, or two tweets a day – you have to keep doing it! Try it and see what happens!


2 Responses

  1. Chantal:

    I was trying like crazy to get our office to start a Twitter-led social media campaign. So much so that I volunteered to keep it up. It hasn’t worked. My leadership will insist on approving every update, and they simply won’t have the time or interest; much like having neither to accomplish it on their own. I think it would benefit our recruiting efforts at the very least, but I might be the only one. Oh well.



  2. Hi Tony

    It sounds like your ‘leadership’ needs to learn to let go! If they spend all their time looking at every tweet you write, how do they get any work done?

    Keep working on them, because social media really does work – and it’s good for recruitment too.


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