Should Your Marketing Plan Include Creating Content?

Does content marketing have any relevance to you as a self-employed professional? When you hear or read conversations about using free content to attract and persuade clients, the type of marketing being discussed may often seem out of your league. After all, you don’t have a marketing department down the hall that you can ask to produce a video documentary or customer magazine.

But creating content for prospective clients that is useful and relevant to them doesn’t have to be out of reach for a solo professional or small partnership. Much of the best content for professionals to use in their marketing is based on the written word. Consider these forms of content that you may already be producing, and that others like you frequently create:

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What’s the Missing Ingredient in Your Marketing?

“How can I improve my marketing?” one of my students asked me. “I’ve spent hours and hours trying to get clients, and none of my efforts seem to pay off.”

I asked my self-employed student just one question: “What would you say is the missing ingredient in your marketing?”

He thought about it for a moment. “Well,” he said, “I don’t think I’m networking in the right places. I seem to meet a lot of jobseekers and salespeople, but I’m not connecting with corporate decision-makers or meeting other consultants like myself who might be able to give me referrals. That’s who I really need to be meeting. Say, I’d better find some new groups to network with!”

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Success Ingredients and Daily Actions: What’s the Difference?

In the Get Clients Now! program, the 28-day marketing plan you design for yourself should include two different types of action-oriented elements: Success Ingredients and Daily Actions. During the course of the 28 days, you’ll work on projects and you’ll take action steps. With projects, you’ll acquire tools or skills you need for your marketing. With actions, you’ll take steps that lead directly to achieving your 28-day marketing goal.

Even if you’re a veteran of the 28-day program, it’s possible to get tangled up when designing your projects, which are called Success Ingredients, and the tasks necessary to achieve your marketing goal, which are called Daily Actions.

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Three Elements You Need for a Successful Marketing Foundation

To lay a good foundation for your marketing and your business, you need essential tools and skills. In the Get Clients Now! program, we call these elements Success Ingredients. These are fundamentals that will make your marketing easier, and ensure your business is around for the long run.

Below are three different types of Success Ingredients. Having these elements in place will make your marketing activities more effective, leading to more clients and more overall business success.

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40 Ways to Build Your Professional Credibility

It’s harder than ever for a self-employed professional to land clients unless you appear credible. Once upon a time, you could get clients based on not much more than a business card, decent clothes, and your ability to present yourself well in a conversation.

Now what happens is that prospective clients check you out online before they decide to do business with you. Even when prospects are referred to you by someone they trust, they will typically visit your website, search online for your name, or look for you on social media. If what they learn doesn’t shout “credibility” to them, you’ll have a tough time getting their business.

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Why You Shouldn’t Do What the Gurus Do

It’s only natural to emulate successful people. You’d like to copy their success, so it seems it would make sense to copy their approach to sales and marketing. But modeling your marketing after the gurus in your field may not get you where they are.

Simply put, the present situation of these highly successful people may be entirely different from your own. Gurus typically have plenty of money to spend, staff to help, a large in-house mailing list, many followers on social media, widespread name recognition, a suite of products and services to offer, and many years of completed work to draw from. If you don’t have all this in your business, trying to copy their marketing and sales approach may be a recipe for failure rather than success.

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When Is It Time to Stop Marketing?

When should a self-employed professional stop marketing his or her business? Here are a few possible scenarios where you might be tempted to put marketing on hold:

o When your pipeline is full.
o When you don’t need or want any more clients.
o When your schedule is so full you don’t know where you’d fit in another client.
o When you have five proposals pending and you’re afraid they’ll all come through.
o When the holidays / vacation / summer are approaching.
o When you’re so busy fulfilling your current client obligations you don’t have the time or bandwidth for marketing.

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10 Ways to Know Your Marketing is Working

It can be challenging at times to know if your marketing is working. You’re putting yourself out there, yet how can you tell if you’re succeeding? Read on for 10 ways to know if your marketing is working.

 

  1. You’re attracting clients who are a fit for you.
    If you’ve done a good job of identifying your ideal client, and the marketing you do speaks directly to them, you will disproportionately attract people who are in alignment with you, what you do, and who see the value in what you’re offering. This begs the question that you know who your ideal client is, and if you don’t, you can read more about how to discover them here.
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What Are the Most Effective Marketing Strategies for Self-Employed Professionals?

I recently ran across a 2017 study by FreshBooks Cloud Accounting asking 1,700 self-employed professionals, independent professionals, and small business owners what they found to be the most effective marketing strategies. All the participants had fewer than 10 employees, and 77% of them were solopreneurs, making this group a close match to the readers of this blog.

I was pleased to see how closely their answers aligned with the list of Effective Marketing Strategies in Get Clients Now! and the advice Kris Carey and I give our clients, students, and readers. Here’s what these self-employed professionals named as “highly effective” marketing strategies:

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How Much Do You Love Your Prospective Clients?

Does it seem strange to use the word love when referring to a business relationship? Substitute another word if you prefer — “like,” for example, or “respect.” However you want to express it, the point is to consider how much you care about the people you sell to — their needs, goals, desires, concerns — all the elements of their lives that might be involved in their decision about whether to buy from you.

If you don’t love your prospects, they will know it. We’ve all been sold to by someone who didn’t care about us. The salesperson who pressures us to buy a car with options we don’t need.

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Business Building Writer Program starts Feb 7, 2019

Join C.J. Hayden for a six-session live webinar series! Business Building Writer: Learn to Build Your Business by Writing… Learn to Write So It Builds Your Business.

C.J. will teach you how to use quality writing as a business-building tool, how to write your stuff so that your desired audience will want what your business offers, and how to put those elements together into a business-building plan. You’ll take away a new set of tools and skills, an action plan, and an inspired new direction for using your writing for business-building.

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