My clients often ask me to help figure out what’s wrong with their marketing. The first question I ask is how much marketing they’ve been doing, since many failures have more to do with quantity than quality. But assuming you’ve been sufficiently active at promoting yourself, here are some other ways in which your marketing might need fixing.
There are three areas you should examine — the package of services you are offering, your marketing strategies, and your sales methods. In order to market and sell effectively, your package of services should meet the following requirements:read more
Never say die!
This familiar battle cry speaks to what’s required if you are in business for any length of time. Having a business requires persistence: persistence in showing up to do your work every day, persistence in delivering the value your company offers, and persistence in your marketing.
How persistent are you, marketing-wise?read more
Every self-employed professional has at some point found his or her marketing stopped in its tracks. Maybe you hear an internal voice, telling you things like, “This is too hard,” or “I don’t like selling,” or “I don’t want to bug people.”
Or perhaps you’ve gotten a rejection from a prospective client. A prospect has told you, “Not now,” “I need to think about it,” or “I don’t have the budget.” Instead of moving on to your next prospect, you find yourself questioning whether there is anyone at all who is ready to hire you and able to pay.read more
The longer I do this work, the more I come to realize that we self-employed professionals can be our own worst enemies when it comes to getting clients. We know what we should be doing to market ourselves better, and then we don’t do it. Or we don’t know what’s the right thing to do, so we throw a dart and pick something randomly, or respond to the latest email we got, instead of considering our options and making a well-reasoned choice.
Or we make a valid choice, then second-guess ourselves, dropping one marketing strategy and picking up another, without putting enough effort into any one approach to produce results. Or we spend too much time talking to ourselves and not enough talking to prospective clients, worrying about why the last prospect never got back to us, whether the blog post we just wrote is good enough to publish, or if the latest version of our tag line finally gets across our message.read more
One of my coaching clients complained, “I’m really good at what I do. I shouldn’t have to market myself.” In fact, he is quite good at his profession, but the problem is that not enough prospective clients know about him. Like many professionals, he is reluctant to talk about his capabilities and accomplishments. “It feels like bragging,” he says. “Doesn’t it make me seem unprofessional?”
If thoughts like these often cross your mind, ask yourself this — who are the biggest names in your profession? In your line of work, who might be considered unquestioned experts, those with maximum credibility? Now, how did you get to know about those people’s work?read more
When I started my business, “everyone” told me I needed to know who my ideal client was. The pressure of figuring out the answer was intimidating; in those early days, my ideal client was anyone who had a pulse and would pay me. Needless to say, that turned out not to be a great answer.
Do you know who your ideal client is-that perfect person or entity you enjoy doing business with? Below are some questions to help you sort out who that is, and why it matters. Knowing the answer to these questions will help your business be more successful and help you sleep better at night, both desirable goals. Let’s dive in.read more
Congratulations, you’re a business owner! You know your craft and are filling your days doing what you love, giving value to your customers, and putting well-earned cash in the bank as a result. Everything is as it should be.
There’s a voice you keep hearing that says something like:
You aren’t nuts & boltsy enough, how can you be successful in business? You can’t even understand a profit and loss statement – how do you expect to make it?
I’ll bet you do great work with your clients. But if your clients are the only ones who know what you can do, you won’t stay in business. We all hope that satisfied clients will refer us to their friends and colleagues, but clients aren’t always your best source of referrals. So, we need to let more people know how terrific our work is.
There are many ways to let prospective clients know about your work, But for most self-employed professionals, there are only four categories that make sense: networking, speaking, writing, and media. These are the best avenues for people to become familiar with not only you, but with how your work creates tangible benefits.read more
It’s easy to get caught up in how to find clients. And while picking marketing strategies that are right for you and your target market, and doing them consistently, is important (very important!), there’s another aspect to getting clients that’s not talked about as often.
Loving-up those you serve.
When you work with people you truly enjoy, some miraculous things happen:
* Your current clients feel your love and love you back.
* You’re energized by your work.
* You’re more attractive to potential clients.
* You become a client magnet.
As the year begins, it’s easy to get caught up in the hubbub of developing better business habits, being more proactive, earning more money, being more profitable…the list goes on with well-meaning ideas about how to make you, and your business, better. These well-meaning articles can induce a state of FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – that is ultimately unproductive. Looking ahead at the year, anything seems possible; here are 10 tips to consider, to help you stay inspired. These are serving suggestions, not have-to’s; no FOMO necessary.read more