Independent Professionals: Why you must be a better marketer of your professional services
Note: If you would like to skip this letter completely, you can cut to the chase and get free access to our "More Clients Marketing Sampler" with a sample of programs, recordings and resources from the Club. Click here to get your access now. Or, if you'd like to know more about the Marketing Club first, please keep reading...
You’re a self-employed Independent Professional. And as much as you love doing the work you do, there’s an ongoing challenge that keeps you up at night.
You need to, no you must, attract more clients. And there are really only two ways to do that.
The first is by word-of-mouth and right now you’re probably getting some business that way. This is good because it means that your clients value your work and talk about you to their friends and associates. But this approach simply won't bring you a solid flow of new clients - especially if you're just starting your business.
The second is by marketing your services. Marketing is simply getting the word out about what you do so that more people know how you can help them, become interested in knowing more and contact you to find out how you can work together. But if you don't know how to market yourself, you're stuck, aren't you?
So even though these two ways can work, we need to understand how to make them work.
Why marketing might not be working for you:
Marketing isn’t as easy as it looks; in fact it’s a big challenge for several reasons. Do these sound familiar?
1. There are a lot of other people competing for the same clients. The marketplace for Independent Professionals such as business coaches, management consultants and corporate trainers, is more crowded than ever before. It’s hard to stand out and get noticed.
2. Marketing takes skills you may not have. Perhaps you didn't get any training in marketing and selling when your learned your profession. These are skills you have to learn, not skills you're born with. Now you're starting to see how important these skills are.
3. You are confused by all the options for marketing. What exactly do you need to do and where do you start? What’s going to work and what’s a complete waste of time? Where should you invest your marketing time and money? And will any of it work anyway? These are all very valid questions and they may stop you cold.
4. You may have resistance to marketing and selling. As a professional you don’t want to come across as “hypey” or “salesey.” You may have issues that run the gamut from fear of rejection to worrying that your prospects will see you as pushy and unprofessional.
These challenges are very real. And they stop a whole lot of Independent Professionals from marketing effectively and attracting more clients. Perhaps they stop you as well.
You’re not alone – all Independent Professionals have these challenges!
My name is Robert Middleton and I’ve worked with self-employed professional for almost 30 years. And in all that time the clients who came to me were challenged by some or all of the above. They knew they needed to market their services some way or the other, but they didn't understand why their marketing wasn't working or why they were so resistant to it.
Can you imagine being expected to practice law when you knew nothing about law? Now, the good news is that marketing isn't nearly as complex as the law, but still, if you don't know what you're doing it's going to be extremely hard to succeed at it.
How would things be different if…
…you knew how to deal with the competition and stand out as a unique and valuable professional service provider?
…you learned and mastered the most important marketing skills and implemented them consistently and with confidence?
…you were clear about what marketing activities to employ and had a plan that worked to attract your ideal clients?
…you overcame your biggest resistances to marketing and selling and started to actually have fun communicating the value of your services to your prospects?
Wouldn’t that change everything?
Of course it would. If your knowledge, expertise and confidence about marketing and selling changed, it would be like anything else you did well. You’d make plans, put together the necessary resources and you’d implement the step-by-step marketing strategies that worked best to get the interest, attention and response from your ideal clients.
Remember: anything you do well now wasn’t a skill you were born with. You learned it. Nobody is a born marketer. Nobody. It’s a specific set of learned principles, practices and skills. And the good news is that it’s simpler than you may think.
But is this something you can do?
The answer is yes, but only if you have the following:
1. You offer a professional service that you are well-qualified to deliver to your clients. You know what it takes to produce a result and you do it consistently.
2. You are passionate about working with your clients. If you’re in business only to make money, you’re in the wrong place. Your first priority is to make a difference.
3. You are a lifelong learner. You realize that there is always something more to learn, and if you are to make progress in this arena you know it will take some work and persistence.
4. You really want to grow your business. You are motivated by the challenge and want to master marketing so that it doesn't stop you from working with great clients and earning a solid income.
If you don’t have these four, well, I can’t help you. In fact, I’m not sure anyone can help you be a better marketer if you don’t possess these fundamental characteristics and drivers. But if you do, well, the sky's the limit!
You can learn the hard way or the easy way
I’m rather embarrassed to tell you that I learned the hard way. You see, I’m pretty much self-taught. I had to forge my own path. So in the early years of my business I didn’t find a mentor or coach to help me.
What I did instead was read a lot of books. I counted all of them recently and it worked out to about 300 books on business, marketing and selling.
And from those books I learned a whole lot of marketing principles, strategies and techniques. And I tested more of them than I can possibly remember.
What I do know is that I kept noticing repeating themes in these books. Certain time-tested principles emerged. And those are the ones I paid the most attention to and tried out in my own business.
By the way, the smart way is to learn from someone who has tried everything, made all the mistakes and learned what really works and what doesn't work and ultimately mastered the whole process of marketing.
Keep reading and I'll explain how you can benefit from what I learned.
A Seven-Step Marketing System that emerged from all my research
Over a period of years I discovered seven “absolute principles” that were essential to marketing success. Whenever I applied them as a system they consistently attracted more of my ideal clients.
I ended up attracting more clients and making more money than I ever thought possible. I bought a house in the country (in a redwood forest with a river in my backyard), a condo in Mexico and saved a ton for my retirement. This was a very exciting time for me, as only a few years before I could barely pay my rent.
Then I taught these principles to my clients and they got similar (or better) results. If they left out one or more of these principles, the results were not so consistent. So I worked to turn these principles into a simple, repeatable system that any Independent Professional (who had the above-mentioned characteristics) could succeed with.
I also want to emphasize that an underlying principle of marketing is authenticity. That is, you don't need to be someone else to market yourself effectively. You can (and must) market yourself with dignity and integrity. I often think of marketing my services this way:
"My aim is to inform and educate my prospective clients
and customers in a way that accurately represents
the true value of what I offer."
I can take pride in this because I know how many people have benefited from my work over the years." No hype required.
What happens when you learn these 7 Marketing Principles?
Of course, the ultimate outcome is that you attract more of your ideal clients. But let me be more specific. I’ve worked with a whole lot of clients who have learned, implemented and perfected this marketing system.
Here are some of the things they’ve told me over the years:
“I’m more confident about marketing myself. I know what to do and how to do it, and I know that my actions will lead to results instead of dead-ends.”
“Marketing is more fun and exciting for me. It used to be a dreaded activity, but not anymore. I know that when I implement my marketing that I’m going to get more of the great clients I love to work with.”
“Now I see marketing as a game I can win. I don’t see it as a series of random activities leading to uncertain results. I know where each of my prospects is in the game and I know how to move them forward in the game.”
"I have a whole new attitude about marketing myself. I used to resist doing certain marketing activities such as follow-up or writing. But now that I know how to do these successfully, the resistance is gone and I get much better results."
“I’ve dramatically increased my income. When I started this process I didn’t believe it was possible for me, but now I expect to make more money because I know I will sell larger projects that make more of a difference.”
“I finally feel I have a future in my business. Before learning the principles of effective marketing, I felt aimless, not sure I could ever succeed in my business. Now I’m succeeding every day with a lot less struggle.”
By the way, none of this is miraculous or amazing or shocking. I hate all that hype, don't you? It's just that when you study a system that's been field-tested and you implement what you learn, it's predictable that you'll get results. Of course, the more you work the system, the better results you'll get.
How can I help you get these kind of results?
Over the years I’ve helped my clients in many different ways, through one-on-one consulting and coaching, through group programs and through manuals and audio programs as I mentioned above. And I've gotten good results with all of these approaches.
But at the end of 2008 I decided to find a new way to reach more people and teach these ideas in a way that would be both accessible and affordable. I wanted to include most of the programs and materials that I had developed up to that point and also add more. I wanted these materials to be comprehensive, yet still easy to learn and apply.
I also wanted to add a support component. I’ve discovered that it’s not just what you know that makes a difference, but what you implement. And often things don’t get implemented because you get stuck. You don’t know what to do next or you get caught in some fear or resistance and your progress stops cold. So helping people get unstuck and stay on track is key.
I called this new online program The More Clients Club. I created it as an online tutorial-based website that containted everything Independent Professionals could need to market themselves successfully.
You get these two main components of the More Clients Club:
1. The Virtual Online Training Programs
These programs teach you the 7 Key Principles of my Marketing System for Independent Professionals.
The Fast Track to More Clients – This is like a workshop online. It contains my complete 7-Step Marketing System. It consists of written and recorded materials and also hands-on exercises.
The WebSite ToolKit – This is an in-depth tutorial that helps you build all the content of your website. You go through one page at a time until you have a complete, client-attracting site. It includes all the resources you need to build a quality website.
Expert Interviews – These are interviews with top marketing experts that go into the 7 marketing principles and strategies in even more depth. I started with 12 interviews and now there are more than 60 available.
Manual and Book – I also include pdf copies of my original "InfoGuru Marketing Manual" and my newest book, "Marketing Ball - Lessons on Attracting More Clients form the Marketing Coach." Each are packed with even more hands-on marketing ideas based on my system.
All of this material gives you everything you need to know to market your professional services successfully.
2. The Club Support Systems
These Support Systems are designed to assist you in moving forward in your marketing when you have a specific question or if you get stuck. I'm actively engaged in the Club and with the participants every single week.
Marketing Forum – I also wanted a place where people could ask questions and get answers to their most pressing marketing issues. It took us a while to get this right, but now the Forum is very active and I answer several questions every single day.
Live Coaching Calls – I wanted to make myself available for live support and to answer questions of those who used the system. So we hold two Live Coaching Calls a Month and also record them if people can’t attend live.
Mastermind Groups – Because discussing these ideas with peers is so powerful, I set up a "mastermind matchmaking service" that puts people together to explore these ideas and support each other in implementing them.
Prospect Tracking Software – I also felt that if people had a simple way to track their prospects while playing the game of marketing, it would make marketing easier and prevent prospects from slipping through the cracks. The system is simple to use and includes a lot of great features that track the progress of your prospects.
The Club was launched in early 2009 and it was an immediate success. Over the past almost 5 years thousands have taken advantage of the Club and the 7-Step Marketing System. We have about 800 members right now.
How is the More Clients Club different than other marketing training systems?
When I published the InfoGuru Marketing Manual in 2000 nobody else was teaching this information. Since then a whole lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and there are dozens, if not hundreds of courses and programs teaching Independent Professionals how to market. But this is how my approach and the Club are different:
1. My system is exclusively for Independent Professionals and small professional firms such as business and personal coaches, management consultants, corporate trainers, marketing and financial professionals and any other professional service business that works with clients and needs to be a better marketer of their services.
2. This system is tested and proven to work. Whenever I launch a marketing action plan, these are the exact principles I adhere to. For instance, for the past four years, I launched a plan for my "Marketing Mastery Program." Each time I generated $250K in new business in just 6 weeks. And my clients have used this system to double and triple their businesses.
3. I am totally involved with this program every single day. I write the materials, I interview the experts, I host the live coaching calls and I answer the questions on the forum. So when you join the More Clients Club, you get me and my almost 30 years of experience as a successful self-employed marketing coach.
4. I am responsive. If you have a question, either I or my assistant, Jayne, will answer you directly, usually the same day. We actually respond to and take action suggestions you make. Since the Club launched in 2009 we've done two complete redesigns of the Club and added materials or fine-tuned existing programs and services in the Club.
5. I am committed to your success. This is not a hobby to me! I live, eat, breath and sleep marketing! Well, yes I do have a personal life, but I'm always thinking of ways to make the Club better and serve you in such a way that you gain huge value with every single interaction in the Club.
Here’s all you need to do to make the Club work for you:
It doesn't get simpler than these three steps:
1. Read and listen to each of the step-by-step modules in the Fast Track Program. Each module has an audio file and transcribed text. This means that you engage two learning modes (listening and reading) that help you retain and understand this information better.
2. Do the exercises for each of the Modules. Next, you fill out simple online forms or worksheets to start building your own marketing messages, materials and marketing plans. As you do the exercises, your confidence increases.
3. Get support and feedback as you progress. Our support system includes a Club Forum where you’ll get your questions answered and two monthly live (and recorded) Coaching Calls where we answer your questions and give you specific step-by-step directions. You can even join a Mastermind Group. When you get support, you're emboldened to take action.
The Club is structured for ease-of-use. All you need to do is jump online and study the next part of the system. After you’ve completed the Core Marketing Modules you can go even deeper with our Advanced Materials and Support Systems.
There are two ways to check out the Club
1. Join the Club (two options)
1. Pay a one-time fee of $497, which gives you permanent access to all the Club Materials and Support Systems. You never pay anything again ever. And when we add new materials to the Club (such as Expert Interviews) you get complete access to all of it.
When you join as a lifetime member, we'll also send you a hard copy of my recent book, "Marketing Ball - Lessons on Attracting More Clients from the Marketing Coach." You'll find this book useful as you go though the material in the Fast Track Program.
2. Pay as you go and get access monthly for $29 or quarterly for $79. As long as you’re a paying member you have access to everything in the Club, including an additions as they are added. You can upgrade your membership to lifetime at anytime.
With the monthly or quarterly membership our policy is simple: Stay as long as you're getting value, leave when you want, no questions asked.
3. Join at this link. Click here to start your Club Membership - We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.
2. Get Free Access to our More Clients Marketing Sampler
I've set up a free page called the "Marketing Sampler" that gives you access to actual samples of all the information in the Club.
It includes the following:
1. The first Module of the Fast Track to More Clients Program - Recorded and written marketing tutorial with exercise.
2. A Tutorial from the Website ToolKit - Recorded tutorial, written instructions, web page examples, and action plan.
3. A Recording of a Live Coaching Call - An 83 minute call that covers 6 key marketing topics in depth.
4. Recordings and Transcripts of two Expert Interviews - One with Alan Weiss on "Secrets of Value Pricing" and one with Patrick Summar on "Growing a $250K Coaching Practice"
5. A Video of the the Marketing Ball ScoreKeeper - An overview of how this prospect tracking software works.
6. A listing of all the Resources and Bonuses in the Club - Includes Pdf chapters from the InfoGuru Marketing Manual and the Marketing Ball Book.
Everything in the Marketing Sampler is organized much like the Club itself. It's easy to access and navigate. It's designed to give you a real taste of the programs and marketing resources in the Club.
I want to give you permanent access to the Marketing Sampler today! Just fill out the form below to get access.
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We won't rent or sell your name to anyone else, ever!
You are under no obligation to join the Club when you try out the Marketing Sampler. We will not ask for your credit card. And of course, I'm hoping that if you like the sampler it may whet your appetite for the full Club.
All the best for great marketing results,
Action Plan Marketing