The Marketing Hourglass from Duct Tape Marketing is the best practices framework I recommend for creating your marketing strategy and outlining your marketing system.
I’ve used the Marketing Hourglass in my consulting practice to help large technology organizations create complex marketing strategies and systems. And today I use the Marketing Hourglass in my coaching practice to teach new life coaches and entrepreneurs how to create their first simple marketing strategy.
How does the Marketing Hourglass Work?
At a high level, The Marketing Hourglass includes the seven steps that every person goes through when buying any product or service: Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat, and Refer.
Essentially, before your ideal client will buy from you, they need to first:
- KNOW that you exist
- LIKE who you are and what you stand for
- TRUST that you are credible and can deliver on what you promise
- TRY you out in an easy, low-risk way
- But your marketing doesn’t stop there. You then need to give your customers a way to:
- BUY your products & services in a seamless way and be “wowed” in the process
- REPEAT buy from you again and again
- REFER you to others
For traditional marketers, the diagram below demonstrates how the different steps of the Marketing Hourglass correspond to the Lead Generation, Lead Conversion, Sales and Customer Relations stages:
The best part is because the Marketing Hourglass is a framework and not a set system, you can really pick and choose from any number of tactics to fit into each step of the Marketing Hourglass – and as long as you don’t skip any steps – you have a marketing strategy that can work.
And that’s where your unique flow and marketing genius comes in.
Instead of choosing the lead generation (KNOW) and conversion (LIKE, TRUST, TRY) tactics that you think you should be using, why not choose the marketing tactics for each step that are not only effective, that will not only help you reach your ideal clients – but are also the tactics that feel fun and easy – and fall within your unique marketing genius?
You know that a marketing tactic falls within your unique marketing genius when:
- You’re good at it
- It feels natural and easy – like you’re in your element
- It’s something you love to do
- It’s effective
When you fill your Marketing Hourglass with stuff that matches who you are and how you work best, then you will feel more energized and in flow with your business every day.
And that energy and flow will trickle down to everything you do, whether it’s working on your business or in your business.
Best of all, you’ll have more time and energy for other areas in your life. It’s one of the keys to achieving that work-life balance you may have been searching for.
How to Align Your Marketing with Your Unique Flow & Genius
If you’re a new life coach and haven’t really created a marketing strategy yet, then this is a great opportunity to use the Marketing Hourglass to align your marketing strategy with your unique flow and genius right from the start.
If you’ve already been trying some stuff out when it comes to marketing, and feel like you might have a marketing system in place that is sucking the life out of you, it’s not too late.
When I work with clients to help them love their businesses again, one of the first things I do is audit their marketing systems – and you can do that too.
Here’s what I do with my clients. Using a simple grid like the one below:
- First, I help my clients plot out everything they are currently doing in marketing in the Current Marketing
- Next, we discuss where there might be any gaps in their marketing system (for example they may be doing anything in the Try category)
- Then, we rate each tactic in terms of whether it’s Effectiveand in line with their Unique Flow & Genius.
If the tactic is effective, but not in line with their Unique Flow & Genius, then we discuss whether we should bag (get rid of), barter (get someone else to do it) or better it.
Finally, we identify new tactics that are both Effective and in line with their Unique Flow & Genius and put those in the Change column.
At the end of this process, we outline how their new Marketing Hourglass strategy, which is now full of more tactics that are in line with their natural flow and genius (and fewer tactics that take up more of their time and energy), will work in real-life as their marketing system, and make any adjustments from there.
You can use this same process with your marketing strategy and system.
When I transitioned my business from marketing consulting to business & marketing coaching, my initial marketing strategy was a disaster. Why? I think it’s because I forgot my own advice when it comes to marketing and started filling my Marketing Hourglass with all the stuff I thought I “should” be doing.
So I had to go back and audit my own marketing system to figure out what was going wrong, I realized that I had filled my Marketing Hourglass with mostly online marketing tactics such as blogging, article writing, and social media posting. And while writing is a definite strength, it is also something I don’t always love to do, and can take up a lot of time and energy if I’m not in “the zone”.
I also realized that as an extravert and people person, one of my biggest strengths and areas where I felt most in flow and energized was speaking, networking and collaborating in person. But I wasn’t doing any of that.
So I ended up adjusting my marketing strategy to add in regular speaking and networking, and “better” my online marketing by giving myself permission to only write when I felt in the zone, and hire someone to help with the rest of my writing and online marketing.
As a result, I now feel much more energized and in flow with my business.
Gone are the days of spending hours agonizing over a blog post and then being too exhausted to walk the dog or go on a hike. Now, I get more energy during the day by teaching, networking, and collaborating.
So if you’re a new life coach and want to get started with a simple marketing strategy that feels fun and like you – or have been marketing for a while but feel frustrated and exhausted in your marketing – try out the Marketing Hourglass. You may be surprised at what you find. And it may be the answer to feeling more energized and inspired in your business – and your life.
In my new eBook, Love Your Business, I outline the seven steps new life coaches need to take to transition from their 9-5 job and design, market & run a life coaching business you love:
Are you a new life coach struggling with marketing your new business? I can help you really connect with who you are, uncover your marketing genius, and create a super simple marketing strategy that feels fun and easy. Learn more.