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.
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.
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.
I asked a new client recently what he had been doing to market his professional services. “Everything,” he said. “I’ve been running pay-per-click ads online, I hired someone to write a sales letter and mailed it to a list of local companies, I have a banner ad in my professional association’s directory, I’ve even been posting flyers around town… and I still have almost no business.”
“Ah hah,” I replied, “I think we’ve uncovered your problem. You actually haven’t been marketing your business. What you have been doing is advertising.”
Is there really a secret formula for marketing? Yes.
The secret formula is this:
Find a marketing strategy that you like, that you’ll use, that’s enjoyable for you, that you know how to do, that reaches your ideal client, and that produces results. Then do it over and over until you have the amount of business you want.
Pretty simple when you look at it that way.
Fear may start to creep in, though, when you break that sentence down.
What if I don’t like any marketing strategies?
What if I don’t know how to “do” marketing?
What if I don’t like doing any kind of marketing?
What if what I do doesn’t reach my ideal client?
What if what I like doesn’t produce results?
We self-employed professionals are graced by a mixed blessing. No one is looking over our shoulder making us do the things we know we should. Hooray, there’s no boss breathing down our necks! But also… Uh oh, that means we’ve got only ourselves to answer to! Nowhere is this dilemma more obvious than in the area of marketing and sales.
Remember back in grade school when the teacher asked you to hold hands with a friend on field trips? The idea behind the buddy system is that it’s much harder to get lost if there are two of you traveling together. When you get into trouble, your buddy can help you out, or find someone else who can.
Maybe you could use a buddy in your marketing. The constant challenges you encounter while promoting yourself and your services make sales and marketing a difficult road to travel all alone, and it’s easy to get lost. Working with a marketing buddy can give you:
Does it seem like you can never find the time to market for more clients? It’s hard to find open hours in the middle of a busy week. But not every marketing task requires big chunks of time. Here are ten productive things you can do to get more clients when you have just ten minutes.
1. Place a call. Which of your past clients have been totally happy with your work over the past couple of years? Think of one you haven’t been in touch with recently. Call to see how he or she is doing. When your fans are reminded of your good work, new projects and referrals often ensue.
2. Send an email. Who has referred you the best client over the last year? Send an email to express your continuing thanks. Showing your appreciation to referral sources frequently results in more referrals.
You know you need to follow up with prospective clients, but you often find yourself putting it off. “I already called them three times,” you think. Or, “They never answer my emails anyway.” Or, “I hate hearing no.” Or, “I don’t want to bug them.” Or, “What do I say that’s new?”
It’s only natural to resist placing phone calls or sending more emails to prospects who didn’t return your last call, never seem to reply, may not be ready to buy, or might say they’re not interested. But here’s the good news. Calling and emailing prospects and asking them to hire you is not the only way to follow up!
Yes, you can call or email your prospects and ask if they’re ready to work with you, but you can also send a letter or note by postal mail, overnight them a package, send a text message, tweet them, tag them on social media, or instant message them online. And those are just different communication channels you might use. The type of messages you deliver can be much more varied than simply asking prospects to do business.
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.