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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

I don’t know many independent professionals who wouldn’t like to make more money.

It seems so simple. Ultimately there are only four ways to make more money in your business:

1. Get more new clients or customers

2. Sell more services to each client

3. Raise your rates or fees

4. Get more repeat business from existing clients.

Yes, but how do you actually accomplish those three things?

For the next several weeks, I’m going to write a series of articles on how to make more money in your business.

And I’m going to do my best to give you practical, actionable ideas that work. I know they work because I’ve used them and so have many of my clients over the years.

But before I start, there’s an important thing to understand about money.

Money. Is. An. Emotional. Issue.

Money isn’t dollar bills in our pocket or numbers in our bank account.

No, in our minds, money is about our self-worth, about how we compare ourselves to others, about how we feel about ourselves, about our success, and ultimately about our survival.

I have a favorite story about money that makes this very clear.

A few years ago, I worked with a husband and wife team who were executive coaches.

Because of our work together, they started to attract more clients on a consistent basis.

However, like many independent professionals, they were undercharging for their professional services.

But when I suggested they raise their fees, they became very uncomfortable.

And when I dug in, I discovered why.

It turns out that both had been raised in relatively poor families and they continually got the message that “rich people are dishonest.”

Because they believed that to be true, of course they didn’t want to raise their fees. That would make them, in their minds, dishonest.

And, if they felt they were dishonest, that would be a moral failure. That wouldn’t feel good. It actually felt better to make less money!

After we explored this belief in depth, they realized that it was both emotional and illogical. It clearly wasn’t true that all rich people were dishonest.

Their belief started to transform to: “We offer an honest service that makes a difference to our clients and it’s OK to charge what that service is really worth.”

This new belief felt a lot better than the old one.   

And realizing this, they finally clearly saw that the fees they then charged were virtually nothing compared to the value their clients received.

And before too long they had doubled their fees with almost no pushback from their clients.

And no angst on their part.

So, the very first thing to examine if you are not making the money you want, are your beliefs about money.

Sounds simple, but it’s trickier than it seems.

Why? Because we believe what we believe to protect us from any kind of harm – even if this harm is imaginary.

My clients believed they’d become dishonest if they raised their fees. So, in their minds, not raising their fees prevented that from happening.

What shifted this belief was clearly seeing that it was essentially nonsense. They could raise their fees and still be honest people.

With this powerful insight, their belief was forever changed.

And now, as a business owner, I challenge you to question your beliefs about money. First, identify the ones that are holding you back.

Here are a few very popular ones:

• Money is scarce

• My clients can’t pay higher fees

• People will think I’m greedy

• More money will lead to problems

• It feels wrong to make money doing what I love

• Money will corrupt me

• Being wealthy will make me arrogant

• I don’t deserve a lot of money

• Money leads to bad things

• More money just means more taxes

• Wanting more money is selfish and shallow

• List yours here: ______________________

I don’t know which of these beliefs is running you, but if you aren’t making the money you want it’s almost certain that one or more of these beliefs is holding you back.  

What are the fears behind the beliefs?

Honestly ask if those beliefs are true and if they are serving you or limiting you.

Then ask how things might change without those beliefs.

You just might find that it’s not so hard to raise your fees after all.

So, the first thing you must do to earn more money is to question your beliefs about money. Unless you do that, you’re unlikely to take the practical steps that will help you earn more money.

Do this honest questioning about your money beliefs and you’ll be ready to learn a number of step-by-step approaches to earning more money that I’ll cover in the following weeks.

Cheers, Robert

Next Week: Discovering Your True Value 

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

This article is the seventh and final in an eight-article series on the Seven Laws of attracting Clients. See the first article at this link.

My seventh law of attracting clients states that “you must make a difference.”  

One day, many years ago, I was introduced to an interesting product called “Health Soles.” These were gel-filled shoe inserts, designed to ease tired feet.

I bought a pair and really liked how they felt. The person who introduced them to me had started a business distributing them and asked me if I’d like to help him sell them.

I saw dollar signs! These things were great! I’d be rich!

Several months later, after many attempts of selling at natural products expos, I was broke. The dream of riches was dashed, once again. Yes, this wasn’t the first time I’d chased dollar signs.

This business lesson was one of the most valuable I’ve learned.

Over the course of my career as a self-employed person, I’ve come up with a lot of ideas to make money.

But when making money was the prime focus, that idea always seemed to flop.

However, when making a difference was my prime mover and making money was the secondary consideration, I was almost always successful.

When I create a new program or service, I ask myself, “How can I make this the most valuable program possible? How will this service help the most people?”

And then I work at how to make it viable and profitable.

I’ve developed several programs and services over the past 33 years that have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars each.

Here are a few of the things I’ve done to increase the chances that each service made a real difference.

1. I write the sales letter first before developing the actual program/service. This way, I think through all the benefits, features and structure of a particular service, with an eye on making a difference by providing a ton of value.

2. I add bonuses and extras to each service. For instance, with my individual marketing coaching, I offer a free lifetime membership in the More Clients Club. This makes it easy to point clients to various marketing instructions and resources.

3. I include support systems and forums. When I offered the InfoGuru Marketing Manual, I added an interactive forum that was very active for several years. This built loyalty and referrals and made people return to the manual to get even more value.

4. Make things fun by building relationships. With the interactive nature of Zoom videoconferencing, the people in my Marketing Action Group get to know each other better and enjoy getting together every week.

5. Price my services for value. I ask, “If I were to buy this service, what would I be willing to pay?” And then I work to add even more value so that I not only meet but exceed expectations.

Use these guidelines and your focus will be more on making a difference than on making a killing. The wonderful thing is, you’ll also develop a more loyal following and ultimately make a lot more money.

Cheers, Robert 

P.S. I have a free service you may want to take advantage of. It's the Action Plan Marketing Facebook Group where you can ask questions and interact with others about growing your professional service business. You can even promote your own services. Go here to join

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing 

This article is the seventh in an eight-article series on the Seven Laws of attracting Clients. See the first article at this link.

My sixth law of attracting clients states that “you must be able to tell a story.”  

On Sunday, my wife and I attended a party with about 30 family members and close friends.

We ate and mixed and mingled… and told stories. Nobody struggled to tell stories; they came naturally to all of us.

And not because any of us were expert storytellers, it’s because, when people gather, that’s the communication style they feel most comfortable with.  

My niece’s husband told a dramatic “true crime story” about his sister, a policewoman, who witnessed a shooting where a suspect was killed. We were all riveted.

A friend told me a story about how he had almost 300 digital books he’d downloaded and cued to read on his Kindle.

My granddaughter told me a funny story about playing with one of her new classmates in kindergarten.

And I told a few retirees that I didn’t plan on retiring anytime soon because when I’m not working I find myself bored to tears, listening to jazz or watching Netflix for hours on end!

We’re telling stories all the time.

Why? Because, to most people, storytelling is a whole lot more interesting than talking about concepts. 

And this is true in business as well. But for some reason, we think that if we’re explaining our business to someone, we should use concepts instead of stories.

Perhaps it’s because we think talking about concepts makes us look smarter. But does it really?

One of the smartest consultants I know, Alan Weiss (the Million Dollar Consultant), understands the power of stories.

I recently listened to the recording of a keynote speech he gave and was really impressed, so impressed that I listened a second time.

Here was his format: He told a story from his life that was both interesting and funny, often poking fun at himself. Then he wrapped it up with an important business lesson.

That’s all he did, with several stories, for 45 minutes straight. It was fun, involving, and instructive.

It was also pretty obvious that he was brilliant at choosing and telling these stories, and had the timing of a seasoned stand-up comedian.

But this is why people love Alan’s programs and part of the reason why he’s a multi-millionaire.

What ideas do you need to get across to your audience?

Find a story (ideally from your own experience) that makes a powerful point, yet is entertaining at the same time.

Over time, develop a repertoire of good stories and practice them until they come across spontaneously.

When someone asks what you do, tell a story.

When you need to write an article, start with a story.

When you want to improve your website, add client stories.

When you’re tired of people not getting what you do, start telling stories and they’ll get it in a way they never have before.

Cheers, Robert

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

This article is the sixth in an eight-article series on the Seven Laws of Attracting Clients. See the first article at this link.

My fifth law of attracting clients states that “you must communicate like a human being.”  

Since attracting clients is 100% about communication, it really helps if you communicate like a human that prospective clients can actually relate to.

Have you ever noticed that when people are talking about day-to-day things in their life and business, they mostly talk like human beings?

But when it comes to talking to someone about your professional services, you may come across like an alien who doesn’t really know the English language.

First, there’s “jargon-speak”

“We can optimize your SEO and Prioritize your CMS to integrate top-of-mind strategies with authentic imaging and capture market share that’s outside the box!”

Vs.

“We can get your more visibility in the right market with quality content and help you attract more of your ideal clients.”

Then, there’s “process-speak”

“How our services work is we have a 10-step proprietary methodology that starts with an in-depth assessment and continues with a multi-part analysis that shows all the factors that increase optimal employment selection.”

Vs.

“We’ll help your company find more of the right employees who are a great fit and who make a lasting contribution to your organization.”

When someone asks you what you do, how do you answer?

It can be almost comedic how some business owners seem to be trying to confuse or annoy people into doing business with them.

Why is this communication problem so common? Why do we often fail to speak in a language that makes sense to the prospect?

We’ve all seen bad communication on websites—where we really have no clue what the company is offering. And we’ve seen it face-to-face when someone is making a convoluted effort to explain their services.

I’ve worked with clients who had struggled for months to come up with a marketing message that communicates powerfully. And they’d failed miserably.

The thing few business owners realize is that it’s a problem of perspective.

It starts with an innocent question:

“What do you do?”

So you answer that question and it only bores or annoys people because it’s all about you, your business and the process of what you do. 

Do you see the problem here?

You think that’s what people want to hear: “You’re interested in my business, so I’ll tell you all about it and all the great stuff I do and how I do it.”

How far is that getting you?

If only people more often asked, “What results do your clients get from your services?”

If we heard that question, the answer would almost always be interesting and relevant—because that answer is about them.  

What if we heard the first question, yet answered as if we heard the second one:

“What do you do?”

“Oh, I work with companies to hire great people who help their organizations thrive.”

“Hmm, that sounds interesting.”

This is a quantum leap from jargon-speak and process-speak, or even label-speak (I’m an HR consultant), to results-speak.  

The gap from “this is what I do,” to “this is what my clients get,” is as wide as the Grand Canyon. But it's also very subtle; most people miss this distinction entirely. 

When you shift perspective from your own to that of the other, a transformation in your communication can happen instantaneously.

You used to talk like an alien; now you’re communicating like a human being.

Welcome to planet earth, independent professional!

Cheers, Robert

Next week: You must be able to tell a story.  

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by Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

My Fourth Law of Attracting Clients states that you must be visible.

Imagine that you woke up one morning and discovered you were completely invisible. And nobody could hear you either. If you sent an email, nobody would even see it.

Not such a great circumstance if you wanted to attract clients to your business!

But as absurd as this situation might seem, it’s pretty close to reality for many independent professionals. They are rarely seen or noticed by their prospective clients.

If your business is not growing and you need to attract more clients, the very first thing you need to do is gain more visibility.

In my business, my efforts to become visible followed this progression: networking – speaking – keep-in-touch marketing – publishing.

I joined my local Chamber of Commerce, professional groups, and networking clubs and I started to meet a lot of new people, including many prospective clients.

Then I contacted organizations and started to give talks on marketing for professionals. I met even more people and added them to my mailing list.

I then mailed a newsletter every other month to those on this list, and I sent postcard mailings inviting people to various introductory marketing events.

In 1997, I transitioned to an email list that reached 50,000 people at its peak. These people received this eZine once a week and I also promoted various products and services to those on the list. Twenty years later the eZine still goes out weekly.

Finally, I published my InfoGuru Marketing Manual that developed more credibility and led to more clients and participants in my marketing groups.  

I may be a lot of things, but one is not being invisible!

The hard truth you have to face is that very few people wake up in the morning with your name on their lips. You cannot remain relatively invisible and expect your business to grow magically.

You need to remedy this with a “Visibility Plan.”  Here are nine ways to do it:

1. Start slow, with patience. You can’t get in front of 50,000 people overnight. Get clear on who your ideal clients are and where you can connect with them.

2. Focus on as many in-person meetings as possible through professional organizations. Really get to know people and their needs.

3. Reach out to make connections with those you’ve met who could be possible clients or refer you to clients. Real connections are more powerful than virtual connections.

4. With permission, add people to your e-list and send some valuable information at least monthly. This kind of keep-in-touch marketing is essential to stay visible.

5. Set up your website to get opt-ins in return for a report or article. Make it a practice to give away lots of value and demonstrate your expertise.  

6. Establish a presence on social media such as Facebook and Linked In. But don’t make this your primary visibility method, as it can be hard to stand out in this crowded arena.

7. Submit articles to online publications that your ideal clients visit and read. This is a great way to build credibility to a very targeted audience.  

8. Seek out opportunities to give presentations – everything from speaking at professional groups to giving a TED talk. Nothing is more powerful than highlighting your expertise on stage.

9. Publish a book or e-book that establishes your expertise. A book is a powerful door-opener that provides a platform for the services and programs you offer. 

I’ve done all of these things to one degree or another and I’ve also helped my clients do them as well, with great success.

These are all opportunities to communicate the value of your business and build credibility and trust over the long haul.  

Remember, nobody is going to do business with someone who is invisible!

Next Week: Combining visibility with proactive communication.

Cheers, Robert

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

A couple days ago our refrigerator conked out.

A repairman showed up today to take a look. The verdict? We’d need a new freezer coil. The cost was close to $1,000 and would take almost a week to get the parts.

A new refrigerator was about $2K. And that’s the option I chose. It will arrive tomorrow.

Logically, I could have saved more than $1K if I’d chosen to get it fixed.

But emotionally, I didn’t want to be without a fridge for a week, perhaps longer. The discomfort of that was worth avoiding even if it meant paying $1,000 more.

All buying decisions are emotional, not logical.

When a client decides to work with you, they may justify it logically, but ultimately, they chose to get your help because of how they feel about you and their situation.

They will choose the option that feels the best to them.

In most cases, people buy your professional services because something isn’t working for them.

And that decision is always emotional.

And they also want things to work better for them or their companies.

And that decision is emotional as well.

Since marketing is 100% communication, your first job is to remind your prospective clients of the problems, issues, and challenges they are experiencing.

And your second job is to inform them how much better things will be after you help them by using your professional services.   

Nevertheless, this emotional content needs to be presented in a logical, understandable way.

That’s why the third law of attracting clients says you must balance logic and emotion in your marketing.

This is the art of marketing.

Learning how to communicate this way can be tricky, but I like to break it down into these 6 logical steps:

1. Write a list of all the problems, issues and challenges your prospective clients are facing.

2. Write a list of how things could be if their problems, issues, and challenges were resolved (the mirror image of #1).

3. Prove to them that you have the experience and know-how to help them achieve #2.

4. Write a list of all the other benefits and advantage they’ll gain if they hire you to help them.

5. Explain what you’ll actually do and what it will look like (but not in too much detail).

6. Let them know what they need to do to get started with you (including your fee).

Now, of course, this can be written or spoken in an infinite number of ways, but these steps are the building blocks of marketing communication that turns prospective clients into paying clients.

Next week: The law of visibility.

Cheers, Robert

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

More than 29 Million people have watched this Youtube video about the Purple Mattress Protector pitched by a female Sasquatch.

You can see it here.

The creators of this video understand that you can’t be boring if you want to get attention for your product or service.

You can see their “making of” video here.

But it’s more than a visual gimmick. The script for the video is a straight pitch from a mom extolling the virtues and benefits of the Purple Mattress Protector.

Most TV commercials are 30 seconds long but this video is 3:43. You can’t take your eyes off it, and I admit I’ve watched it several times.

So, as an independent professional wanting to attract more clients, what does this mean to you? Am I suggesting that you hire a Sasquatch to pitch your professional services?

No, but I am suggesting your marketing could be a little more creative, eye-catching and benefit-oriented.

The second law of attracting more clients is: “You must not be boring.”

But I’ve noticed that this is the prime feature of most promotion and marketing for independent professionals:

It’s mind-numbingly boring.

Why? Because it’s all about you or about your process. And nobody really cares about that. They care about how you can help them.

The Purple Sasquatch video gets this. And in the opening of the video she addresses the problems with other mattress protectors:  

“Did you know that the wrong mattress protector can ruin the feel of your mattress?

“Hi, I’m a mom, one of the hardest jobs out there.

“This is Junior. Junior’s a sweetheart but he can wreak havoc on our mattresses. Which is why I got the Purple Mattress Protector.

“Nobody likes sleeping on a plastic bag! Other protectors turn your bed crinkly or stiff and they make your mattress noisy, hot and uncomfortable – like a Nickleback concert – or the first year of my marriage!

“A mattress protector that ruins the feel of your mattress makes about as much sense as my husband’s conspiracy theories.”

Now that our Sasquatch mom has established the problem with other mattress protectors, she extolls the virtues of the Purple Mattress Protector:

“The Purple Protector is stretchy so it can let your bed do what it was designed to do.

“The Purple Protector enhances your Purple bed or any other bed. It’s soft and flexible so it doesn’t take away from the supporting power your mattress.

“It cradles your pressure points when you lay down instead of making your mattress hard and uncomfortable – like watching Transformers IV through the window of an RV.

“And the stretchiness means it’s super durable, which is nice because Junior has vivid night terrors about deforestation.”

The pitch about the protector’s benefits incorporate some sly humor that fits with the visuals of the video.

Could you do something similar with your marketing copy? Of course! (Without going over the top.)

The first part of your copy should address the problems or issues your prospective clients are currently experiencing. This is what one of my clients wrote:

As a top executive or leader in your organization, you’re often faced with leaders and managers who are not performing at the level you need them to.

I am often called into a company when they are experiencing people issues and challenges such as the following:

Someone in your organization is not communicating effectively. It’s hurting productivity, spoiling relationships and impacting morale. You wonder what you can possibly do to help them get along and interact more successfully.

No sly humor here, but it directly addresses a very real issue experienced by leaders and managers. Then you can explain the benefits of your solution:

My executive coaching services help leaders improve their communication skills and enhance productivity.

Executive coaching gets to the heart of the matter, addressing behaviors that don’t work and offering new ways to interact effectively.

When we work with leaders, we help them tap into their strengths, leverage their relationships, and communicate authentically and powerfully.

And that translates to a more productive, profitable company.

Notice that none of this copy talks about your process (that’s boring), but addresses the results the leader can expect if they get executive coaching.

So, don’t be boring. Take a page from our Sasquatch mom and talk about what your clients care about: value, benefits, and results.

Cheers, Robert Middleton

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

Today I was going to write my third installment of the 7 Laws of Attracting Clients.

However…

Over the past five weeks, more disasters have happened in the U.S. than in living memory. And I’m feeling a little shell-shocked.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have affected the lives of millions of people. Many of those people’s lives will never be the same again.

The earthquake in Mexico City killed 360 people. 

And last night, a lone shooter in Las Vegas murdered almost 60 people in a senseless attack on attendees of a country music festival.

There is nothing I, you or anybody else could have done to prevent any of these tragedies.  

I don’t live in hurricane country, but an earthquake could strike Northern California at any time. I tend not to hang around large crowds, but I’m not immune to something as random as being struck by a drunk driver.

These thoughts can trigger fear and depression. The fact that nobody is truly safe is not paranoia, but reality.

Of course, we try to put these thoughts out of our minds and hope for the best.

Life is fleeting.

Life is precious.

Life is uncertain.  

Yes, we can try to live as safely as we can, but we ultimately have no control. I remember a story of a woman who was killed by a falling redwood tree that she had planted in her yard years earlier!

All of this reminds me that all we have is this moment.

Live life in the now and enjoy it for what it is.

Express gratitude and count your blessings.

Love those in your lives and be more generous and less petty.

Do the best work you possibly can and make a difference.

Serve the greater good for as many people as possible.

I wish you success, love, and joy in this crazy, random world.

Cheers, Robert

P.S. You might consider donating for hurricane relief

UNICEFRed CrossGoogle

 

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

This article is the second in an eight-article series on the Seven Laws of Marketing. See the first article at this link.

Law #1 – You must be very good at what you do.

Once there was a consultant who was the top expert in his field. And he traveled around the country giving talks at management conferences. He also brought an assistant to each of his talks who helped him with logistics, set up his slide projector, made his hotel arrangements, and sold his books at the back of the room at the end of the talk. 

One day the assistant remarked to the consultant, "You know I've been in the back of the room for dozens of your talks and since you give the same talk every time, I'll bet I could deliver it verbatim." 

The consultant, being the adventuresome type, took up his assistant's bet and told him, "Since nobody knows me at this talk I'm giving next week, why don't you give the talk and I'll sit in the back of the room?"

They agreed and the assistant gave the next talk. And he was right; he did a great job. He not only gave the talk verbatim, he used the consultant's same tone of voice and gestures and got a standing ovation at the end. 

Then he opened it up for questions. He was asked a very complex question and this is how he answered: "Ha, that is such a simple question. Anybody knows the answer to that question. In fact, it's such a simple question, even my assistant could answer it for you!" And then gesturing to the consultant at the back of the room he said, "Go ahead and give us the answer to this simple question!"

Being good at what you do is not just being in command of a certain set of facts. It's understanding all the things beyond those facts. Someone once taught me that a consultant or speaker should know thirty times more than what he consulted or spoke about. 

Is your expertise beyond your knowledge and do you have the ability to effectively apply that knowledge? Can you walk your talk? Can you answer the difficult questions and then demonstrate how to apply your ideas in a wide variety of circumstances? 

Of course, you will never know everything, even if your expertise is rather narrow. Are you consistently expanding your expertise through reading, workshops, seminars, and conferences? And are you refining your expertise through writing and speaking?

More than any other factor, being genuinely knowledgeable and being very good at what you do will determine your success in attracting more of your ideal clients.

A final note about the title of this article.

I’ve talked to hundreds of people about their business and marketing. And many of them believe there’s a hidden secret to attracting clients and growing a business.

If only they had the perfect message, a bigger list, more connections or a “killer app” that generated a non-stop flow of qualified leads.

But there’s really only one killer app. And that’s YOU.

Sure, there are some great tools and resources out there today. A past client of mine recently discovered some online tools that are helping her generate more qualified leads than ever before.

But it’s her hard work, dedication, and trial-and-error efforts that have enabled her to get such great results from using these tools. It’s her commitment to making them work that’s made all the difference.

Want to be great at what you do? Realize that ultimately YOU are the killer app.

Cheers, Robert   

P.S. After writing this article the thought occurred to me. I wonder if anyone else has written an article with this title? I looked on Google and someone had. In fact, Jonathan Fields wrote a great article that says essentially the same thing. I recommend you read it here.

If you enjoyed this article about attracting more clients, don't miss an issue. Opt-in and get a new article every Tuesday morning (since 1997). And you'll also get a copy of my world-famous, 41-page Marketing Plan Workbook.
 

 

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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

Recently I asked myself what was really important in attracting clients and growing a professional service business. 

And what I realized is that it had nothing to do with marketing strategies and techniques. Sure, those are important but they're a moving target. They are always changing.

The question is, what things are important no matter what strategies and tactics you use? You may or may not do speaking and networking and have a website or use social media. 

But when you do use those strategies you need to remember and apply these laws or your marketing will fall flat on its face. So ignore them at your peril!

Today I’m going to give you an overview of those seven laws. Then over the following seven weeks, I’ll go into each law in depth.

First of all, the laws of marketing a professional service business are very different from marketing a product or a company. In those cases, the focus is on branding and differentiation.

To market a professional service business, the focus needs to be on clearly communicating your value proposition.  

Law #1 – You must be very good at what you do

In working with clients over the years I’ve seen that those who had the most expertise and overall confidence in what they offered, did better than others.

And, not so coincidentally, they also learned and implemented the other laws of marketing much better than average.

Becoming very good at what you do takes hard work, ongoing learning, and dedication to your business and to your clients. Nothing else can substitute for this. 

Law #2 – You must not be boring

The great advertising executive, David Ogilvy, said what I think is the most astute thing anyone ever said about marketing and advertising: "You can't bore someone into doing business with you." 

But what is the secret to being interesting, not boring? Does it mean razzle-dazzle and excitement, fancy graphics and knock-em-dead presentations?

Not at all. It means putting the focus on your clients and communicating clearly about the value and benefits they receive from working for you. It’s that simple – and that difficult.

Law #3 – You must have a balance of logic and emotion in your marketing communication

This is an extension of Law #2 and is about how you communicate the value of what you offer to your clients – through any and every communication medium.

So, let me demonstrate this: "If you learn how to balance emotion and logic in your marketing, many more people will be interested in your service and will want to work with you." 

That sentence was written in a logical matter. "If you do X you will get Y." But the content is emotional because it promises to give you something you want. Logical communication without an emotional appeal falls flat.

Law #4 – You must be visible to your ideal clients

In other words, you need to get both yourself and your message out there. This sounds simple in theory, but is actually the most challenging part of marketing yourself.

You only have so much time, energy and money to invest in marketing activities. This is why I put an emphasis on the three most effective marketing strategies for professional service businesses:

Networking (live and virtual) to build connections and relationships. Speaking (from keynotes to webinars) to position yourself as a top expert. Writing (from articles to books) to build long-term credibility.

Law #5 – You must communicate like a human being

Nobody likes “being marketed to.” But everyone likes to have conversations about how to solve their problems. We are not looking for a pitch, but for understanding.

Understanding starts by asking great questions of your prospective clients. What are their situations, goals, and challenges? Only when you know these can you legitimately offer your services.

And when it comes time to explain your services, remember Laws #2 and #3. Dwell less on your process (what you do) than on your value (what the client gets if they work with you).

Law #6 – You must be able to tell a story

Stories should permeate your marketing. A good story helps a client understand your value. Stories bypass the conceptual mind and speak directly to the emotional mind.

A good story has three parts: 1. The original situation of the client, 2. What you did to help them, 3. The results the client realized from working with you.

Build a repertoire of good stories to use whenever speaking to a prospective client, in talks and presentations, and when writing articles.

Law #7 – You must believe you make a difference

I’m willing to bet you didn’t go into business just to make money. You went out on your own as a self-employed professional because you wanted to help people.

But, as you probably know, growing a business can be challenging. Attracting clients who want to work with you and pay you well takes the consistent application of all these laws.

Remembering why you went into business in the first place will fuel your motivation. I’ve discovered that asking the question, “What service can I offer that will really help my clients?” inspires me a lot more than, “What can I do to make more money?”

In the coming seven weeks I’ll be going into all these laws in much more depth. So stay tuned!

Cheers, Robert

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Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has for 30 years, been helping Self-Employed Professionals attract more of their ideal clients.  He offers the online membership site, The More Clients Club, and individual coaching and consulting through his Marketing Action Coaching. If this is your first visit to the More Clients blog, make sure to get a copy of the Marketing Plan Workbook and join the Marketing Club Forum for free.