Recall this story of Ulysses: his ship is passing the Sirens who live along the rocky shore, and he asks his men to tie him to the mast so he won’t succumb to their Siren Song, smashing the ship into the rocks.
Flash forward to your business today and compare this story to your marketing. There are plenty of Sirens calling to you; are you in danger of smashing into the rocks and wrecking your business ship? Below are several Siren Songs, and how you can safely navigate through them.
Me: How about calling the buyers directly?
Client: That’s someone else’s job.
Me: What about meeting a colleague for lunch?
Client: They already know me; not sure how that’ll help.
Me: Maybe you could get in touch with your current clients, and connect with them more deeply?
Client: They already hear from me once a month.
Me: That’s a generic message crafted by someone else, right?
Me: Perhaps something from you personally would help foster greater loyalty; subtly encourage them to stay around longer?
Client: Maybe. I’m not sure…..
This is how a recent conversation went with a client.
True or not true? Asking someone to become your referral partner is scary.
If you said true, you’re not alone.
How scary it is to ask someone to send you referrals depends on your comfort level. The more you practice the better you get, and that’s something you can build on. Even if asking for referrals doesn’t seem to come naturally, you can train yourself to do it comfortably enough — and it might even become fun!
Working with clients over the years, I’ve seen the impact a work schedule can make. Creating the right schedule can sometimes be a tricky thing; the good news is, when you find a schedule that works for you, it can make a big difference in being productive, getting your marketing done regularly, and feeling on top of things. While there is no empirically “right” way to schedule yourself, there are a few things to consider.
If you’ve read my book Get Clients Now!, you’ve seen my personal definition of marketing: telling people what you do, over and over. The book also spills the beans about the secret to successful marketing: choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently. Following these two pieces of advice will make your marketing both simpler and easier. You design a marketing plan, refine it, and then repeat it. Voila – clients! But there’s a problem.
Why do you need a marketing plan?
Because -– it makes your life easier.
In this video, I share many other reasons you may want to consider making a marketing plan, including that having a plan sets you up to be more successful.
Effective marketing of your business requires commitment. No matter what marketing approach you choose, you must be consistent and persistent with it, if you want to see results. You’ve probably heard that advice. But this sort of commitment doesn’t always happen in practice.
Do any of these phrases sound like something you may have said about marketing at some point?
“I tried that a couple of times, but I didn’t see results right away, so I stopped.”
“I was using X to market my business, but then a friend suggested Y, so I started doing that instead.”
“I don’t know if this is the best way to market myself, so I don’t want to risk doing it.”
“So that’s what I have to offer you, Mr. Prospect. What do you think?”
“Well, Ms. Professional, I’d like to think about it.”
“Okay, may I call you next week?”
Does this dialogue sound at all familiar? Yet another sales conversation is ending with a stall from the prospective client. Is he actually interested in hiring you, or was that just a polite way to say no? What exactly is it that he wants to think about?
What can I say — 2020 turned out to not be the year most of us were looking forward to. Which begs the question, what does success look like when things have changed so much?
It’s the time of year when we self-employed professionals often begin to look back at what we’ve accomplished in our business over the last twelve months, and judge our progress and results against what we intended back in January. What frequently results from a process like this is a catalog of everything you haven’t done, or have done wrong. But I believe it’s even more important to consider what you’ve done right this year.
My new client “Rhoda” had looked over her past year’s results and was feeling discouraged when we had our first coaching session. She’d hoped to get 10 new graphic design clients this year.