by Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
Derek and Nicol are both small business coaches. They both have similar training and background and even serve the same kind of clients. They work at improving the results their clients achieve in their businesses.
However Derek has had little marketing and sales training and Nicol has studied marketing and selling extensively. The question is, what difference will the application of marketing and selling practices make to her business?
Let's walk through the complete process of marketing their services over a two-month period.
Derek engages in marketing activities but tends to be random and less consistent. He attends networking activities regularly and depends on referrals from satisfied clients. As a result of this activity he generated a total of 16 prospective clients over two months.
Nicol is more strategic in her marketing and is more organized and focused. Although she spends some time networking, she puts most of her efforts into speaking engagements which she does once or twice monthly. She puts less time into this activity yet, yields better leads. In two months she generates 18 leads, a 12.5% increase over Derek.
Derek follows up with his 16 leads and is ultimately successful in turning four of them, or 25% into meetings or selling conversations.
Nicol does somewhat better follow-up and because her leads are more qualified, she converts one third or 6 into sales meetings.
Derek meets with his four prospects and although he doesn't have a very structured process, is able to convert 50% of them into paying clients, two new clients total.
Nicol has a more structured selling process, so her close rate is higher, 75%. That nets her 4 new clients.
Derek charges his clients $500 per month. He feels that he's undercharging, but he's found that this is the highest his average clients are able to pay. So his two new clients net him $1,000 per month.
Nicol charges 50% more than Derek, or $750 per month. She doesn't get too much resistance to that price, because, as mentioned before, her marketing generates more qualified prospects. So her four clients net her $3,000 per month.
One final thing.
Derek has packaged his services as a 6-month contract. So in the course of 6 months, Derek will earn a total of $6,000 from his two clients.
Nicol, however asks her clients to work with her for at least 9 months because that's what it takes to produce better results for her clients. So, ultimately, Nicol earns a total of $27,000 from her four clients.
If you're doing the math, that's 4.5 times what Derek earns, or 450% more income.
I want to assure you that these figures are not a fantasy, but taken from actual client case studies. In fact, these results are very conservative. Those Independent Professionals who learn and apply marketing and selling skills to their client acquisition efforts often outstrip their counterparts by five or ten times.
If we look at those numbers as a whole, it seems impossible. We think that someone earning so much more would need to work a whole lot harder, but that's not always the case.
The key is to work smarter by learning the specific skills and practices and applying them consistently to every single aspect of one's marketing and selling. Let's take a closer look at exactly what Nicol actually did.
1. Her outreach marketing efforts were more focused and higher leverage. Speaking will typically generate better prospects than networking. She had to learn the skills of getting speaking engagements and giving a good talk.
2. Her follow-up was more successful. What she did better was not just her persistence in follow-up, but her ability to conduct "marketing conversations" that persuaded her prospects to explore how she could help them.
3. The way she conducted the selling conversations resulted in a higher closing ratio because she had a better process to follow. She know what to ask, what to say, and how to close. Two out of three who met with her became new clients.
4. She charged more. The thing to understand is that you can't just raise your rates and expect that all your prospects will be able to pay higher fees. By generating better prospects, plus having marketing materials in place such as a quality website, case studies, and a proven track record, you can charge more.
5. And finally, she worked with her clients for a longer period because she knew what it took to really produce exceptional client results. She had packaged her services to produce these results, not just to "go through the motions."
I hope I've built a strong case for the value of building marketing and selling skills. This is something that anyone can do, if they have the right information, make a commitment and persist until they see better results.
Are you ready to increase your income by 450% or more? If so, check out the information on the Marketing Club. For the crazy low fee of $29 per month, we teach all of the skills mentioned in today's Action Blog article.
What improvements in your marketing process have made the biggest difference in growing your business and your income? Please comment on the Action Blog by clicking on the Comments link below.
by Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
When one goes out on vacation, one tends to browse around various stores, a common one being a hat store.
My wife and I were doing exactly that in Cambria, on the Central California Cost and wandered into a hat store that said on its sign: "Over 400 hats." Ok, let's check it out.
I always try out hats on my vacations. I never buy one. My wife often does. But this time I was the hat buyer.
I bought my first (and probably last) Tilley hat. Probably last because they are guaranteed to last for a lifetime. It was pretty expensive for a hat: $82, and looks pretty much like the one in the photo with a more photogenic hat wearer.
OK, so what's so great about a Tilley hat and, more to the point, what's so great about Tilley hat marketing? Let me count the ways.
1. They are super durable. They are built like a tank. You can wear them forever. They float! They screen out 98% of UV rays.
2. As I said, they are guaranteed for life. When you buy one they give you a postcard called the "Tilley Hat Insurance Registration Card" to mail in.
3. Every hat comes with a 4-page "Owner's Manual for the Tilley Hat." They also realize that even hats are information-based products.
4. Tilley has a sense of humor. Include with each hat is a perforated page with testimonials from happy owners. On the back of each testimonial is a referral card you can tear off and give to a friend who is not yet fortunate enough to own a Tilley hat.
5. Tilley hats were invented and are manufactured in Canada. No outsourcing for Tilley! Since I'm a Canadian, this is a definite plus, since we are all very smart, have a great sense of humor and make great stuff.
The thing I want to get across is that Tilley does all of this for a friggin' hat! It's not just a hat that sits on a shelf. It's a hat with a history, a story, a manual, a guarantee, and way to turn your friends on to buying one as well.
And of course, they make one very solid, durable, and nice looking hat (even if it looks a little rumpled), that one ultimately realizes one simply can't live without. Perish the thought!
OK, so now lets look at your business.
Do you measure up to Tilley hats? I doubt it very much. Does your business have a history, a story, a manual, a guarantee, and way to get your buyers to tell their friends all about you?
Well, of course not! You have a vague marketing message, a website with boring information, services that come across flat and lifeless, and no referral methodology.
My God, your business isn't even as exciting as a Tilley hat!
So what are you going to do about that? You might start by going out and buying a Tilley hat and getting some inspiration that you can transfer to your business. No, I don't get a referral commission but I've now become a Tilley Evangelist.
So tell me, if your business is more exciting than a Tilley hat, share with us about what you've done to make it that way on the Action Blog in the Comments section below.
By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing
For years I had a very important policy regarding my weight: The policy was that I would keep my weight so that I never had to buy pants with more than a 36" waistline. If my pants got a little snug, I'd cut back on my eating.
I haven't violated that policy for years.
But then I decided I really wanted a 34" waistline, so I got on Weight Watchers, became mostly a raw vegan and reached that new pant size in less than three months (and lost 20 pounds).
You see, a policy is simply a rule you make and follow. It's something that works for you. It's something that you stick to. It's something that's important to you.
So you just do it.
I recently took on two new policies in my life for my health and well being. I now walk for one hour a day in the afternoon and meditate for 30 minutes each morning.
No struggle, no effort, no weeping and wailing. After all, I have a policy and I just follow through with it.
And you can do the same thing with your marketing. I have.
My policy is to write this eZine every Monday and send it out to be delivered by Tuesday morning. In the almost 15 years that I've been writing it, I've only missed a handful of Mondays.
But hardly anybody sets a policy and lives by it. Not even the government. There's always exceptions, reasons why, circumstances, or somebody else to blame.
So we struggle, we try, we "make an honest effort," but rarely do we follow through with something so consistently that others could set their watch by it.
"Sure Robert, but what about spontaneity, creativity, going with the flow, and finding the right mood?"
All of those are very nice, and it's great when they strike us, but they don't hold a candle to a policy that you simply adhere to, come rain or shine, sleet or hail.
So how do you set a policy for your marketing?
Pick a thing that you know you ought to be doing consistently. I don't care what it is, but it should probably be a daily or weekly activity. Talk to your friends, get a coach, figure it out, and then commit.
Don't wait for inspiration. Move into action.
A few things will happen, (not necessarily in this order).
1. Your life will change (usually for the better)
2. You will face inner resistance (big deal)
3. Your capacity to get things done will expand.
4. You'll feel good about yourself.
5. You'll attract more clients.
So what will your policy be? Don't do one more thing until you've set your policy. I'd love to hear about it on the Action Blog. Just post your comments.
Time to go out and walk for an hour!
By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
During a pre- 4th of July party on Sunday, the topic of the famous "Marshmallow Test" came up. Here's the test in a nutshell:
A 4-year old child is put in a room with a desk and a chair and a single marshmallow on a plate. An adult tells the child the following:
"Here's a marshmallow for you. You can eat it now, or you can wait 15 minutes and I'll come back and give you a second marshmallow and you can then eat both of them. If you eat the first one before I return, you don't get a second one."
This test was conducted by a professor of psychology, Walter Mischel, in Stanford in the late 60's.
Essentially the test measured a child's ability to delay gratification. And only about 30% were able to do it. But the interesting part was when they came back and evaluated these children (now adults) years later.
The ones who were able to wait for that second marshmallow before eating the first, showed markedly higher scores than those who ate that first marshmallow. They scored higher in such areas as overall success, sociability, teamwork, even SAT scores (on average 210 points higher) and, of course, self-control.
Do you eat your marshmallows too fast?
The questions I had after this conversation were: Could anything be done to train the children ahead of time to learn the skills of delayed gratification? (According to a New Yorker article on the topic, the answer was, yes). Even if people were predisposed to immediate gratification, could they develop delayed gratification skills later in life? (Also a yes).
Last week I held a teleclass called, "Attracting More High-End Clients." I had 425 people make reservations. However about 150 showed up, only 35%. The other 65% were no shows. Just a little bit better than the marshmallow test!
When the marshmallow test story was brought up at the party I made an immediate correlation with my teleclass no-shows and devised a theory:
"Those who signed up for the teleclass but didn't show were excited at the moment, but a week after signing up, it just wasn't as important anymore." (I even sent reminder emails the day before and two hours before.)
The majority couldn't delay gratification for a week and just gave up. People get excited about something but then talk themselves out of that excitement. They want to eat that first marshmallow now, but if they have to wait a week, it doesn't seem so tasty anymore and they go onto other goodies.
Of course, it also made me wonder if those who attended the telclass would end up as better marketers of their services down the road than those who missed the teleclass. Not to lay a guilt trip on anybody, but my guess is, yes! If you consistently show up for opportunities to learn, you're going to go further than those who don't show up.
But then this raises another qestion, "What can I do to help more people show up?"
Can I keep those who signed up for the teleclass a week before, still interested in those marshmallows, thus delaying gratification for the promise of real value in the teleclass? In fact, wouldn't it be the ethical thing to do to support them in showing up?
I've found that asking this kind of question and trying a lot of different things can be a very profitable pursuit. I'd also certainly like to hear your ideas on this question.
Meanwhile, for my next teleclass here's what I'm going to try. In my follow up emails I'm going to give people small bites of the marshmallow before the teleclass such as:
– Including a few of the key ideas from the teleclass, in follow-up emails.
– Asking them to write down the questions they have about attracting high-end clients.
– Sending a few success stories of those who are now attracting high-end clients.
– Keeping it hype-free while reminding them that the big bag of marshmallows is on the way.
In the meantime, you're welcome to make a reservation for the next teleclass July 26th. But you had better be good at delayed gratification as it's three weeks away!
What ideas do you have to maintain people's interest in a teleclass so that more show up? Please don't email me. Share your ideas in the comments section of the blog below.
There's an old marketing adage that goes something like: "You can't sell to a prospect until you've warmed them up first."
So one way to look at marketing is as a "warming up process."
But most of us aren't interested in that. We want to go from cold to hot in 60 seconds. When someone visits our web site, we don't just want to offer them something for free, we want them to call us for a free session immediately so we can convert them into a client.
But you need to put yourself into the shoes of the prospect.
When you're tooling around the web, looking at various sites, you're not thinking, "I want to buy some professional services today." No, you're thinking, "I wonder if someone has some ideas for this problem I can't seem to solve."
And when you land on a site that has little content, but a whole lot of hype and pressure to respond now, you move on quickly. You keep going until you find a site that has some great content, including articles, podcasts, blog posts, assessments, videos, etc.
You then opt into their list to get their free report and over the next several months you get more valuable content by email. You get some good ideas and keep reading, listening, or watching.
And then one day you get an offer for something. Perhaps it's for a teleclass or webinar or a complimentary session. And now that you're sufficiently warmed up, you take advantage of the offer.
In most cases the offer will lead to another offer and you just might find yourself hiring this person to help you with some area of your life or business.
Now, if this sounds somewhat familiar to you, this is pretty much exactly what I've been doing in my business for 15 years, since I launched the More Clients eZine in 1997.
Look, I know I don't do it perfectly. But I sure do it consistently. So let me share a few things that I know work and a few things that I think will work for you as well if you give it time.
1. Make sure you accomplish three basic things on your web site: a) Good information about your business and services, b) a lot of free, valuable content (as outlined above) and a home page optimized to get as many visitors as possible to get your free report and join your e-list.
I could really stop here, because this is where most Independent Professionals still need to do a lot of work. Most sites get by with only the first, and more times than not, the information, is incomplete, "me centered," and contains very little to let your site visitors understand how your services will really benefit them.
To include a wide variety of valuable content, let alone a way to get your visitor's contact information, is still a large leap for many. It's time to take that site to the next level.
2. Make keep-in-touch marketing one of your highest priority marketing activities. It doesn't do you much good to build your e-list if your subscribers never hear from you, or if the only emails they get are for the latest pitch.
Despite the fact that there are more eZines than ever, and that the marketplace is more completive than it was 15 years ago, it's never a mistake to keep in touch, provide value and make sure your prospective clients never forget you.
3. Build even more strength in your "Content Marketing." This means that you never remain satisfied with the quality or quantity of valuable information available to your prospects. After all, if you don't stay ahead of the curve, your competitors certainly will.
I must say, it's this area that I find most challenging. I've found that writing a weekly eZine is not a big deal anymore, but taking it to the next level with social media, html formatting, and my latest mountain, video, hasn't been so easy.
However, on Sunday evening I loaded a whole series of short videos on my site with a wide variety of marketing insights that are at the core of my approach to attracting ideal clients.
Please take a look: actionplan.com/mkt-videos
For those of you who have only met me through this eZine and perhaps through teleclasses, you'll get a better sense of who I am and what I stand for in these videos.
What will you do this month to warm up your prospects a little more? Feel free to share your ideas on the Action Blog.
By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
When we think of marketing we usually think of the things we do to get the word out about our businesses. We think of promotion, networking, speaking and sending out emails.
And although those activities are key to marketing, what is even more important is the foundation your marketing is built upon.
If you try to build a house without a foundation, then the structure will be very shaky. If you deliver a shaky marketing message through your various marketing activities, they won't be consistent or memorable or get the attention and response you want.
Let's say you're a business coach.
When you are asked what you do, you respond by saying, "I'm a business coach that gets great results for my clients." Other times you might say, "I coach small business owners to help them be more productive," and sometimes you say, "As a coach, my clients count on me to help them produce better results."
All of these say essentially the same thing, but there's nothing about any of them that stands out in any kind of memorable way. And this ultimately weakens your marketing efforts.
So you need to dig a little deeper.
One good place to start is with a promise. You could also be more focused on the kind of results you produce and for what kind of clients. In exploring, these facts about your business emerges:
1. You primarily coach owners of small companies.
2. You improve results in the areas of productivity, profitability and project completion.
3. In almost all cases you realize your clients results have doubled in all three of these areas within a year. (You need to start tracking and measuring to see what results you objectively can deliver to your clients.)
OK, now you have something on which you'll build a solid marketing foundation. You comes up with the following marketing message:
"I help small business owners double their results in the areas of productivity, profitability and project completion in a year or less."
Now this has all the elements of a powerful message: A clear target, specific areas of focus and a killer promise, even a time-frame.
But once you've built the foundation, you're only just starting.
Now you want to integrate this marketing message into every single marketing communication and marketing activity you implement. As a result, your message starts to permeate in a way it couldn't before.
• When you're networking, you use this message as the answer to the question, "What do you do?"
• When asked to tell more, you relate specific stories of clients you've helped double their results in a year or less.
• You write an article to give away on your website called: "The five secrets of doubling your productivity, profits and projects."
• You offer a teleclass or webinar on the same topic.
• Your home page makes this promise in the headline, and the text goes on to support and prove how it's possible to actually double a business owner's results in a year or less.
• Your website has a Case Studies page that gives many credible examples of clients who doubled their businesses in a year or less.
• You develop a video series called: "Double your Productivity, Profits and Projects in a Year or Less."
• Twice a month they get your eZine called, "Double Your Results" which includes specific techniques and strategies.
Now all of this might seem repetitive. But not to business owners in your target market. You've learned that this "double your results"message gets a lot of attention, interest and response. Even if prospects are skeptical, your marketing materials build a solid case.
Now compare this hypothetical you to the actual you.
Don't quite measure up do you? You see, when you don't have that focused, consistent foundational message, all your marketing materials and activities are inconsistent. You might have a web page, case studies, articles, videos, ezine, etc., but they never stick to a recurring theme that makes you memorable.
Do a quick inventory of your marketing and see if what I'm saying is true for you. If not, don't increase your marketing activities, start building that foundational marking message that will make you stand out in a crowd of look-alikes.
Then apply that core marketing message to all your marketingactivities and notice how quickly response increases.
Please share your foundational marketing message in the comments section of the blog.
By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing
As you may have noticed, this issue of More Clients looks a little different than it has for the past 15 years. I finally made the leap to format the eZine in html (this pertains to the email version of More Clients).
Hopefully it's a little more readable and accessible.
I'm not the fastest to adapt to new things, but I always try to keep moving forward. For instance, this year, after many false starts, I'll be adding video to my website to give it more impact.
With change comes a certain amount of discomfort, even pain.
I really admire those who press through that discomfort in order to come up with something different, something more effective, something that will serve their clients better.
The spirit of this was captured by one of my current Marketing Mastery participants, Rajesh Nagjee, in his web materials about a change that he made:
"In 1986, I built and ran a 150 bed critical care hospital (in India). In the second month, an accident patient arrived in a screaming ambulance.
"While we were following the prescribed medico-legal processes, getting all the forms filled out, life was ebbing out of the victim and he died within 9 minutes of arrival.
"I couldn’t sleep for days, feeling so helpless, angry and bottled up trying to figure out how 'to start active life resuscitation within WHO (World Health Organization) standard of 5 minutes for world class hospitals?'
"How to get the elephant to dance was the toughest job I have ever undertaken. How to get 360 employees to work at lightning speed, day in and day out, all across the hospital, as emergencies occur 24/7 anywhere.
"I struggled for over two years to find and eliminate bottlenecks to achieve a maximum response time of 3 minutes, surpassing WHO standards to qualify as amongst the world’s best trauma care hospitals.
"I learned so many tough lessons to accelerate change. On the one hand, it is all about finding the real bottlenecks and on the other hand to work with the people to get them in touch with their own inner source of motivation to unleash boundless energy, focus and drive."
Few of us have the experience of a patient dying to motivate us to make the changes in our business or marketing that will lead to better outcomes for our clients.
And for most of us, marketing our services is not that urgent.
"What does it matter to change an eZine from text to html? What difference will it really make to add video to my website? It is really worth the time to learn how to grow my e-list? Why should I invest the time and effort to improve my marketing?"
When we ask questions like that we end up doing nothing.
What if Rajesh had said: "Well, patients are going to die. That's just the way it is and there's little we can do about that."
With that attitude, the response time probably would have gotten worse and more people would have died. Instead, he made the conscious choice to go in the opposite direction and improve the response time, no doubt saving many lives in the process.
The same is true for your marketing. If you make the commitment to continually improve your marketing, you'll start to get results at a whole new level.
You'll get the attention of more of your ideal clients. People who visit your website will respond more often. When you get a meeting with a prospect you'll be more likely to convert them into a paying client, often at a higher fee.
Perhaps you don't save lives as Rajesh's hospital, but you certainly can make huge, business and life-altering changes when you work with your clients. And the more you can serve the bigger the difference you can make.
What are you going to do this week to move your marketing forward? Remember, there's no hovering.
Please share on the Action Blog what you are doing to move your business forward.
By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
I talk a lot about "Marketing Mindset" in the More Clients eZine.
It's because what I notice that stops people from effectively marketing their services is rarely the technical components of marketing, such as networking, speaking and writing.
No, it's all the thoughts, emotions and attitudes that prevent us from implementing these things.
The greatest illusion is that virtually nobody, including you, dear reader thinks this is the case. Everyone thinks it's one of the following reasons why they are not good at marketing:
1. I don't know what to do or how to do it.
2. I am just not the marketing type.
3. Marketing doesn't work for my kind of business.
4. I don't have the time to do marketing.
5. Most marketing leads to rejection, anyway.
6. Marketing is an interruption that irritates people.
7. If people need what I have, they'll call me.
OK, so I'm willing to bet that if you are not having much marketing success, that you believe at least four out of seven of the above statements.
What nobody realizes is that these are not statements of "fact." Far from it. Every single one of them is a mindset. What I mean by a mindset is an "established and fixed attitude held by someone about something."
And mindsets literally construct your reality. They shape your thoughts, feelings and behavior. And they appear to be true, so true in fact that they are almost never questioned.
A mindset acts much like a hypnotic auto-suggestion.
You say it, think, it believe it, feel it, and act consistently with it and then have evidence to back it up that it's true. You are so identified with your mindsets that to you they are not mindsets at all, they are the unvarnished truth.
And if that's all true, you are in a real pickle, because how can you escape from a mindset that you don't even think it a mindset? How can you wake up from a dream that you are totally convinced is reality?
Well, first of all, you need to accept that maybe, just maybe, what I'm saying might be true. You just might be stuck in mindsets that are holding you back from marketing yourself successfully and that nothing external whatsoever is holding you back.
Tough to accept, I know.
The next thing to notice is that when you identify with a particular mindset, how does it make you feel? Does it make you feel alive and excited, full of opportunity and promise?
I don't think so. These, what I call "constrictive mindsets" feel stressful in some way. They feel like excuses, they feel like cop-outs, they feel that they are opposing your goals to get the word out and make a difference in the lives and businesses of your clients.
Let's just take the somewhat benign mindset: "I don't have time to market my services."
Not too inspiring, right? You may be able to justify it, but it's not fulfilling, is it? No, it feels frustrating. It's a statement of defeat. It certainly isn't motivating you to get out there; it's stopping you in your tracks, often before you even start.
So if expressing a mindset feels that way, you know something you didn't know before: That mindset is a lie. It's not true. It never was and never will be.
It's a lie that you don't have time to market yourself.
And look at what happens when you believe that lie. You make excuses, you avoid doing things, you don't organize your schedule to fit in marketing. In fact you do everything in your power to justify that mindset, despite the fact that it's not helping you one iota.
Can you see that?
Well, what if you could no longer identify with that mindset anymore? I mean, what if you couldn't even think that it was true? Even if you have a lot of other priorities and were very busy, you couldn't believe it was true anymore.
Then who would you be? How would you react? How would you behave?
Wouldn't it be completely different from how you're reacting now? Wouldn't you find a way to fit some marketing activities into your schedule? Wouldn't you stop making lame excuses? Wouldn't you stop looking for "the perfect marketing opportunity" and just do what you could, such as follow up with that prospect you've been avoiding?
The first step in all this is to identify those mindsets that are holding you back. What are you always telling yourself about marketing? And how are you feeling about those thoughts? If you're not feeling great, then they're probably lies.
So take a little time to look at the consequences of those lies. Are they undermining you, holding you back, making you small, preventing you from getting what you want?
If that's the case, the good news is that there's such a thing as expansive mindsets. And in the realm of marketing you may not be so familiar with them.
Expansive mindsets get your creativity flowing, enable you to see opportunities, open up new possibilities and make you take risks that feel fun and exciting.
Let's turnaround that mindset list:
1. I can learn what to do and how to do it.
2. I'm the type who can share the value of my services.
3. I can find a way to market my services appropriately.
4. I can find the time to do marketing.
5. Marketing can lead to people who need my assistance.
6. Marketing can we a welcomed conversation.
7. If people need what I have, I can follow-up with them.
Aren't these possibly just as true, maybe truer than the original list? One thing is for sure, they feel better, don't they? Well, then try them out and see where they take you.
Please share how you work with your marketing mindsets in the comments section of the blog.
By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
WHAT marketing activities should you be doing? And WHEN and HOW much marketing should you be doing? These are the most common questions every Independent Professional has about their marketing.
Well, I have some answers for you.
Here's a way to think of it and a way to organize your marketing activities. You should schedule monthly, weekly and daily marketing activities. Exactly what you do will depend on your particular business, but start with this and then develop your own customized marketing schedule.
A way to make this more manageable is to divide marketing into three basic activities: writing, networking and speaking. These are the most important as they are all about directly communicating to your prospective clients. Communication leads to connections; connections lead to conversations; conversations lead to meetings and meetings lead to new clients and new projects.
Writing - Write and send out an eZine at least monthly. You can send other things to your list, but this should be a new article, freshly written. Find a regular time to do it each month such as the first Tuesday of each month. Make sure to put time on your schedule for this. And always end your eZine with some kind of call-to-action to find out more about your services.
Networking - Attend your chamber of commerce monthly mixer or your monthly professional group meeting (or both). If you belong to an organization for the purpose of networking, don't do it sporadically, and do more than show up. Make it you aim to get to know every single person in your organization, share what you do and learn what they do. Relationships ultimately turn into marketing results.
Speaking - Give a talk, teleclass or webinar once a month. This is going to take more planning and coordination, however, it's the marketing activity that will generally have the biggest impact. Through speaking you'll also grow your network and your list, as well as generate leads to qualified prospects.
Writing - Write a blog post at least once a week. Pick a day to write it, don't wait to be inspired. I'm an advocate of "Marketing Mondays" where you do wide variety of marketing activities on that day, and blogging is perfect for MMs. With practice, you can write a 500-word blog in half and hour or less.
Networking - Make follow-up calls. Again, you could concentrate these on your Marketing Mondays. Call people you met through networking, past clients you haven't worked with in awhile, and those who attended your talk, teleclass or webinar.
Speaking - Again, take some time on Marketing Mondays to plan your speaking, teleclasses or webinars. This might be contacting organizations where you could speak, or working with affiliates to help promote a teleclass or webinar. Just an hour or so a week can be enough to keep your speaking on track.
Writing - Post on Facebook and Twitter. Once you get into the habit, it's not too hard to come up with something to share or to comment on. This could also include making comments on your favorite blogs. Don't overdo it on social media. It's only one part of a bigger plan.
Networking - Instead of responding to all emails by email, once or twice a day pick up the phone and call back instead. Often I'll get an email that a client just sent to me and I'll pick up the phone and reach them in person. Often faster than email and definitely more personal.
Speaking - Add another contact to your speaking plan - a place you could speak, a person who could host you for a teleclass. Also, if you have an extra minute or two between appointments, make another call to an event planner or professional group.
And there you have it. Lots of marketing activities spread over the month, week and every single day. Start one simple step at a time and before you know it, you'll have real marketing momentum which will lead to more of your ideal clients.
Cheers, Robert Middleton
Please comment on the Blog: How do you fit marketing into your schedule? And feel free this to shere with your social media network.
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