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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

In the mid-eighties when I started my business, I literally had no clue about how to market my services. I had heard of a number of things I should do, but very little idea of how to actually do those things. 

"How-to" became a central word in my vocabulary. And since there was no Internet back then, I read a lot of books. By my count, about 300 of them over several years. 

I steeped myself in marketing how-tos and was insatiable about learning them. And, of course, I tried them out to the best of my ability, and before too long I was getting good results with my marketing. 

In the More Clients Club that I'm promoting this week, I keep coming back to the importance of learning the specific how-tos of marketing. 

These days, detailed, in-depth marketing how-tos are everywhere on the Internet. 

We have it a lot easier now. Or do we? 

Many how-to articles on the Internet present problems. How do you know that particular "how-to" will work for you? Is that article or blog post based on real experience or just complied information? And which how-tos should you focus on? There's so much information out there that it can be overwhelming. 

But first, what are the most important marketing how-tos for an Independent Professional – information in articles or posts that will actually lead to enrolling new clients in your business?

First, there are the foundational marketing how-tos:

- how to develop a powerful marketing message and brand

- how to talk and write about your business so that it gets attention

- how to develop a website with the right content

- how to implement marketing strategies that get response

- how to do keep-in-touch marketing to stay top-of-mind

- how to get prospects to actually respond to your marketing

- how to get appointments with qualified prospects

- how to turn meetings with prospects into new clients

These marketing how-to's are necessary now and were necessary 100 years ago (with the exception of websites). They are based on timeless marketing principles.

Next, there are the newer, Internet-based marketing how-tos:

- how to earn high rankings on Google search engine results

- how to build a large email list of prospective clients

- how to use social media to gain a loyal following

- how to use teleclasses and webinars as a promotional tool

- how to use podcasts and videos to increase your credibility

- how to use LinkedIn to find qualified prospects

- how to write persuasive emails that get response

These marketing how-tos are simply online marketing tactics. They continue to change frequently and can be hard to keep up with. 

In the materials in my More Clients Club and in my coaching with clients we get into ALL of these (on both lists) in great depth, with very specific how-to information.

But something almost nobody notices:

Almost everyone wants to know how to do the things on list #2 before the things on list #1. And, as they say, this is putting the cart before the horse.

I attribute most of my online marketing success to understanding and mastering the items on list #1. And everything on that list is about how to communicate effectively with your audience so that they will respond. 

No response = failed marketing. 

So my recommendation is, before you put a lot of work into a new webinar, podcasting technology or Google algorithm, that you make it a priority to learn how to communicate more effectively through whatever marketing medium you use. 

These simple, but powerful how-tos yield consistent results: 

- how to get interest vs. disinterest in your message

- how to focus on challenges before focusing on solutions

- how to use articles to establish immediate credibility

- how to collect dozens of business cards after you give a talk

- how to network your way to big clients

- how to get prospects to say "yes" to a meeting

- how to close big sales with a structured selling conversation

You can find answers to most of these online. And if you want to save time, the More Clients Club is a shortcut. It includes in-depth step-by-step tutorials on all of these how-tos. 

Check out the Club today and take advantage of our offer of the first month of membership for only $1. 

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.