Well, it's only evil if you look at it a certain way. If the word "marketing" scares you off, it might help you to know that my definition of marketing is any kind of communication and connection you make with your people... anything.

See, it doesn't have to be evil. Or what some people call a "necessary evil."

You're just letting people know who you are and what you do. Simple. And if you can look at marketing like that, then perhaps it doesn't feel evil or like such a big, hairy monster.

So, what counts as marketing? (You want this list because then you'll probably feel much better about your existing activities!)

Sending out your newsletter
Posting updates in social media
Creating infographics
Sharing your blog, newsletter, updates, infographics among several social media outlets
Sending out solo emails to your list (and this covers a gamut of activities: launches, joint ventures, speaking events, news)
Press releases
YouTube video
Contributing to discussion groups, like LinkedIn or Facebook groups
Having a blurb about your services in a publication, like your local chamber of commerce newsletter
Sending a personal email to friends and close colleagues
Making personal phone calls
Having lunch with a colleague

To market successfully - which means you actually do it and that it doesn't feel like pulling teeth or slogging through mud in order to do so - it's about taking action.

Do you have a regular schedule for your ezine publishing?
Do you blog regularly?
How often do you post on social media?
Have you picked one main social media outlet to rock?
Do you consistently put offers out to your community?
Do you regularly show up in front of your peeps?

Note the words I used above... "regular" and "consistently."

The key to marketing successfully is consistency.

In addition, you need a few other ingredients...

Know where your people are. (If most of them are on LinkedIn, for example, it makes no sense for you to be spending your marketing efforts on Pinterest.)

Focus on one tightly identified group. Your ideal target market cannot be everyone. That's too hard to market to... You need to home in on your target market as much as you can. That actually makes marketing easier!

Figure out your sweet spot of social media efforts. I always recommend picking one or two to rock and then fold in others as they make sense and as you have time. But don't try to do them all. (And only do the ones you actually like!)

Implementation of your marketing plan. As Eisenhower stated, "Plans are nothing; planning is everything." Planning is important, and IMPLEMENTATION of the plan is the next crucial step. But know that plans change and evolve. That's why Eisenhower said that plans are nothing. It's the planning and implementation (with necessary adjustments) that are everything.

Delegate what you can. You have a ton to do as it is, and if you can delegate out as much as possible, that frees you up to do the stuff YOU can only do. (It also means your plan needs to be clear enough to hand off the marketing activities you can.)

Be clear about your message. What is it you stand for? What is your purpose? What results do you help people achieve? The clearer you are about your message, the easier it is to convey it. And, honestly, planning helps that. If you can plan your promotions, and then possible ezine articles that complement your promotion, and blog posts that feed in... isn't that easier than just trying to come up with random, disconnected elements of your marketing?

The key to getting things done in your marketing is planning... And the key to successful planning is focusing your attention, time, and energy on a few ideas/programs/products, not all 72 of them.

Spend some time with your ideas, goals, and dreams. Then, pick a few activities that lead you to those ideas, goals, and dreams and do those... foundational marketing things (like blogging and newsletter) and then your promotional marketing, where you're launching a new or existing program or product. And embrace that hairy monster of marketing as a friend.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, helps entrepreneurs and authors convey their deep message into compelling words, whether it's marketing material or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Her soul purpose is to help entrepreneurs unleash their authentic selves into their businesses through their content. She created the Writing From Your Soul system to help business owners connect more powerfully, reach more people, and make a difference. Download the free, 13-step system at www.WritingFromYourSoul.com.