If you’re a business owner right now, chances are you’re dealing with uncertainty. Whether it’s a lot or a little, uncertainty can be disconcerting!
While doing business during uncertain times is a bit like chasing an ever-changing landscape, there are things you can do to make things easier.
Responding to an inquiry, placing a follow-up call, or having a sales conversation are all situations where you can expect your prospects to ask questions. Preparation is the key to a confident response, but unfortunately, sometimes we prepare only for the questions we want to hear, and not for the tougher ones clients often ask.
If you’re a self-employed professional who wants to get the attention of prospective clients by writing blog posts, magazine and journal articles, case studies, or an ebook, you already know this problem. Writing material like this takes up time and brain capacity. There’s nothing worse than sweating over a piece for hours and then having only a handful of people read it.
With a bit of care and attention, you can turn that situation around, and start attracting the readers you want. Here are six steps to get your desired audience reading what you write.
Is your marketing plan producing the results you need? When was the last time you evaluated your plan to see if it is leading you toward success? Are you even using a marketing plan at all? Here are four questions to help you determine whether it’s time to reset your plan.
1. Are you getting in touch every month with at least three times as many new clients as you need? Not every prospective client will say yes. You need to have a marketing pipeline filled with prospects, contacts, leads, and referrals that you can draw from.
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.
- 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.
Unless you’re literally hiding under a rock, if you’re in business and have any clients at all, you’re doing something that qualifies as marketing. People tend to fall into two camps: those who are doing more marketing than they realize, and those who are doing less than they think.
Which camp do you fall into?
As an aside, for our purposes we’re defining marketing as getting the word out about your business, it’s services and benefits, to potential customers so that you can have a sales conversation with them and hopefully close the sale. Marketing creates opportunities to have sales conversations.
You can learn a lot about marketing by listening to broadcast radio or streaming audio. You can learn even more by noticing when you’re not listening. A clear signal and music or talk you like to hear will keep you tuned in to a particular station or channel. But too much static, a connection that keeps dropping, too many ads, or programming not to your taste will overwhelm the signal, and all you’ll hear is noise. That’s when you’ll tune out. Which is pretty much the same way that our prospective clients react to our marketing messages.
I frequently tell my clients and students that the real secret to getting clients is choosing a set of simple, effective marketing activities, and engaging in them consistently. “Okay,” folks often reply, “but how do I know that I’ve chosen the right marketing activities?” Here’s what you need to explore.
What Kind of Marketing Is Best?
The best marketing methods — the ones that really belong on your list of things to do every day or every week — are the ones that put you into direct contact with your target market. You speak with prospective clients in person, you talk to them on the phone, you write personal, not mass produced, letters or emails. You network; you build referral relationships; you speak in public.
What if marketing was a game? Something you can play at, play with. A game without winners or losers, just different outcomes.
Would that make marketing feel easier? More fun?
I see many business owners treat marketing as something serious, saying things to themselves such as, “There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it,” “It must be done correctly, or it won’t work,” “I’ll look foolish if I make a mistake, and I’d hate to have it look like I don’t know what I’m doing — it’ll be embarrassing in front of my peers and my clients.” The idea of doing marketing the correct way can be a hurdle that feels hard to overcome.
There are days when you wake up ready to go, eager to get the word out about your offerings, and then there are other days when, well… you’re just not feeling as eager, or clear, or motivated, or… *sigh*
Is there anything you can you do on those days when it feels harder to do the marketing you really — truly! — want to (and need) to do? Yes, of course there is. Enter…