An essential tactic many solopreneurs (maybe you) are missing is to use deadlines in their marketing. Do you clearly announce a reasonable expiration time/date when you are selling something or enrolling people into a program?
While I don’t recommend the use of FOMO in marketing, I advocate for using authentic deadlines.
Let me explain the reasons for deadlines and what kinds I would consider to be honest and reasonable.
- Because the world runs on a consistent rhythm. Our businesses and lives have a schedule of deadlines: to pay the rent and other bills. Expenses are predictable, so we need our income to be predictable too. We need a business model that has a predictable approximate range of sales, in a consistent rhythm (i.e. deadlines!), so the business can sustain and hopefully, thrive.
- In our world of information overwhelm, our audience needs a bit of help from us to make a decision. This can be done in an authentic, community-based way, such as asking our audience to help us fill our client slots for the month (or the quarter), or to decide whether they will join our course because it is starting soon.
What are authentic deadlines in marketing?
These are due dates to buy your product/service at a special price, or to get a special bonus, that are connected to dates that truly mean something to you.
- A holiday with special meaning for you, e.g. Thanksgiving sale, Solstice sale, etc.
- Your birthday
- Business anniversary day
Another type: any special time of the year when your audience will naturally want to reflect on life or to work on themselves. Examples:
- Start of year
- Start of quarter
- Midyear Pause
- Completing the year well
As mentioned before, one of the reasons for deadlines is to help your business maintain a predictable level of income. Therefore, you should create a consistent rhythm of offerings in your business, and have a reasonable deadline each time you announce an offering.
For example, every month I lightly launch a simple online course and I have 2 authentic deadlines each time:
- Pre-launch sale deadline: for one week, my audience can buy my online course at a discount. The reason is that I need to know whether a course is worth teaching, so I give people a discount as a “thank you” for signing up before I go through the significant effort of creating the course content and additional marketing. If there aren’t enough sales during the prelaunch period, I change my course topic to something more popular, and try the pre-launch again. (For the few who tried to buy the canceled topic, I ask whether they want a refund, or to join the new course.)
- Course-starting deadline: because the course starts on a specific day, this is a natural deadline. People who join by the start of the course will have the opportunity to participate on the live calls.
I encourage you to start using authentic deadlines in your marketing. Do it for the legitimate reasons I’ve listed above, and try out the ways I’ve suggested that feel meaningful to you.
Your audience will learn your rhythm of offerings, and they will come to expect (and respect) your authentic deadlines. You’ll find that it gets easier and easier to market your offerings over time.