You’ll often hear me say that the secret to finding clients is to make effective choices about what to do to market your business, then do those things over and over. While that advice is absolutely true, implementing it sometimes runs into some roadblocks.


What happens when you deliver what you think is a dynamite 10-second introduction, but your prospective clients don’t seem impressed? Or you have several lunches with potential referral partners that seem to go well, but no business results from them? Or, you think you’ve come up with an excellent plan overall for persistently employing appropriate marketing tactics, but you don’t seem to be executing the plan as diligently as you’d hoped?

In each one of these scenarios, the missing element may be inspiration. In order for your smart, consistent marketing plan to work, you must be able to inspire clients, referral partners, and yourself.

1. Inspire prospective clients. When you introduce yourself to a potential client by saying, “I do tax preparation,” do you think you’ve inspired them? How about if instead you were to say, “I save my average new client 25% on their taxes the first year we work together?” Sounds a bit more compelling, doesn’t it?

Look for ways you can talk about the benefits and results of your work when you meet new prospects. That’s a much more inspiring introduction than simply labeling yourself as a tax preparer or web designer.

2. Inspire potential referral partners. Picture yourself, a graphic designer, sitting down to lunch with a photographer. Your dining companion kicks off the conversation by talking about how slow business has been lately. “Yes,” you think, “exactly why I’m having a lunch like this,” and dive right into familiar topics like contracts that fall through at the last minute and clients who don’t want to hire you unless you can turn around their project overnight.

It’s only after the lunch is over that you realize perhaps you haven’t given the photographer the best impression. Rather than have the photographer remember you as the graphic designer who hasn’t been getting much work lately, consider talking instead about the most inspiring project you worked on this year, or what excites you about doing graphic design work. Those are the sorts of takeaways you’d like a potential referral partner to remember and share about you with a possible client.

3. Inspire yourself. It’s easy to get discouraged about marketing when you’re not seeing a lot of results right away, or if many of the marketing activities you’ve chosen make you feel uncomfortable or resistant. Allow yourself to admit that maybe you’re not feeling all that inspired right now, and seek out some solutions. Take some time to re-inspire yourself with How to Keep Your Marketing Going Even When You Hear Stop or Five Steps to Replace Your Resistance with Persistence.

Inspiration can be a powerful marketing tool. Don’t let yourself forget to rummage through your toolbox now and then to see if it’s just what you need to refresh and empower your marketing.

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