If you're like most of my clients, it's likely that marketing falls somewhere on a spectrum for you from uncomfortable to downright sleazy. That's how I felt about it too when I started out in business. Things shifted for me when I realised that marketing is just about making a connection with someone based on finding out how you can best help them to do something they already know that they want to do.
If you're doing it right, marketing isn't about persuasion, it's about finding the right fit between what you do best and the people who are looking for the kind of help you provide. You don't have to broadcast to the masses, and depending upon your business model, you may only need to find a couple of new clients a month.
If you can hold a one to one conversation with someone about what you do, then you are already 'doing' marketing. By fitting your marketing strategy to your overall business strategy and understanding how many people you need to reach, you can work out whether you even need to be doing any of the online marketing stuff you may currently be struggling with - or whether you can restructure what you're doing so that it feels authentic, natural and entirely un-pushy.
If all you were trying to do was to find the people who are the best fit for the service you offer, how would that change your marketing plan? What conversations would you need to be having, and who would you need to be talking to? How can you listen better to your clients and potential clients?
If your business is based on one-to-one packages, you may be able to completely fill your client roster by means of client referrals and partner referrals, maybe backed up with the occasional in-person introductory workshop. That would be it - you could work out the systems you need to have in place to make sure that you generate enough referrals and after that, your entire focus could be on providing a sufficiently stellar service for your clients that they would be delighted to refer you on to others.
If the idea of relationship-based conversational marketing appeals to you, you might like to find out more about working with me, which you can do right here.