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6 ‘Marketing’ Activities Coaches and Consultants May Be Wasting Time On (And What To Do Instead)

What IS Marketing Anyway?

I could start this blog with the cut and dried definition from my professional organisation – the Chartered Institute of Marketing aka CIM. But that is a little dull.

So let me take you down the path into my mind.

For what it is worth, here are a list of what marketing is NOT (but we think it is) and they may surprise you!

Things We Do In The Name Of Marketing, But Which Are NOT Marketing

  • Marketing is NOT getting 10,000 views on your reels…
  • Marketing is NOT scheduling a month’s worth of socials…
  • Marketing is NOT telling stories…
  • Marketing is NOT having a website or perfect sales landing page…
  • Marketing is NOT insta’ble pro photography…
  • Marketing is not faffing for hours each week – on ‘marketing’ (!)

So, What IS Marketing?

OK then, I relent – the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) definition of marketing is:

“Management process for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably”. 

Or put in Rachel Faff Free Terms:

Marketing IS getting the RIGHT thing to the RIGHT person at the RIGHT time in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT price.

Or how about this: marketing is how you go about matching your fab service/product with perfect clients who’d love to work with you.

That’s it.

So why are you spending hours each week posting, trying to run a blog, a podcast, appear as a guest in groups, posting all over social media, buying solutions left, right and centre when you get burnt out or so busy you meet yourself coming back?

This does not allow you to consider what are the RIGHT bits of marketing – as much a science as a creative art – for you, your business and your clients.

Wouldn't it be better to think about who truly you want to work with (even in so far as naming those people to yourself). Then the natural and comfortable way to progress is to build a relationship.

With actual people.

This is Marketing at its Simplest

  1. Setting out your (market) stall.
  2. Seeking out relationships.
  3. Finding out about people's REAL pressures and finding ways you can serve.

It is REALLY important that if you are a small coaching or consultancy business you don't overkill your marketing as though you are filling a vast funnel of prospects – there is a whole factory of automations needed to support that, and/or a team.

Be realistic

  1. How many clients do you need to provide the least (survival) income (be businesslike and make sure you take ALL your costs of running your business into account too)?
  2. How many clients can you COPE with?

An example: If you need two new or returning coaching clients a month to make ends meet right now, you need money coming in and time to support your new clients as well as making sure you KEEP existing clients so they RENEW their contract, package or program.

  • NB – if you are only ever chasing NEW, one-off clients – you need to speak to me about that!

This means that you need conversations about what you do to a FEW people each month – people who you have identified you can help and with a building of a relationship they see you as being the person to work with when the time is right, they can AFFORD you (or have access to suitable and attainable funding – not in several months) and are READY/have time themselves to put in the work with you.

You don’t need to fret about your content or website or socials or blogging or podcast or book or pay someone to do that for you. Yes, there are GREAT reasons to keep it going, but PLEASE, don't make it an industry for yourself!

What to do Instead?

  • You have a product/service, talk to people about it.
  • Using your voice.


If you are starting out or finding everything a bit overwhelming, get through that by simplifying your ‘marketing'; build your business and WHEN you have a firmer base, YES…then it is the time to build the promotional marketing collateral, the websites, the campaigns, the team.


If you are struggling with marketing and getting it right – it really is not your fault. There are ways someone like me can help.

If you are ready to invest in yourself, give yourself a break and free up valuable time to work with you clients, and see your loved ones, whilst growing your business profitably with ease and flow, you would benefit from Marketing Coaching. A really great Professional Marketing Coach will help you find clarity, focus and drive – all capitalising on your own Unique Personal Strengths and Passions (USPs) rather than following a formula that just does not work for everybody.

A Challenge

Who can you talk to today (instead of hiding behind the ‘NOTs’ of marketing)?


Do you agree with me?

Or have a different view?

Share your thoughts with me below and be part of the discussion. She

I am Rachel Bentley is the Small Business Marketing Coach. I help purpose driven small business owners to grow ethically, organically and profitably and am an award winning small business marketing coach and mentor for business leaders who give a damn. For bespoke strategy help and how to make marketing simple please contact me.

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