How to Tell a Client Success Story

How to Tell a Client Success Story

When interacting with potential clients and referral sources, a helpful self-promotion tool is a collection of client success stories. Everyone loves to hear stories — we find them entertaining, educational, or evocative of deeper emotions. We identify with people through the stories they tell.

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How Self-Employed Professionals Can – and Should – Market During the COVID-19 Crisis: Part 2

How Self-Employed Professionals Can – and Should – Market During the COVID-19 Crisis: Part 2

What Kind of Marketing is Possible Right Now?
In Part 1 of this series, I shared my thoughts on Appropriate Marketing in a Time of Crisis, like the crisis we are all experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’ve determined that it does make sense for you to be marketing yourself as a self-employed professional at this time, how can you go about it?

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Advertising Doesn’t Equal Marketing

Advertising Doesn’t Equal Marketing

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.”

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Increasing Your Signal to Noise Ratio in Marketing

Increasing Your Signal to Noise Ratio in Marketing

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.

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In Marketing, an Action Step Is Worth a Thousand Words

In Marketing, an Action Step Is Worth a Thousand Words

We self-employed professionals spend a great deal of our marketing effort on searching for the right words. We read books, take classes, and hire consultants to help us write copy for our marketing materials. Composing web pages, writing sales emails, and drafting ad copy consumes hours or days of precious marketing time.

It appears, though, that many professionals have mistaken all this wordsmithing for productive action.

Don’t get me wrong; the words you use to market yourself are important and deserve your attention. But crafting the message, and effectively delivering the message, are not at all the same thing.

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How to Show Off What You Can Do without Bragging

How to Show Off What You Can Do without Bragging

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?

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Do You Know Who Your Ideal Client Is?

Do You Know Who Your Ideal Client Is?

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.

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Did You Ask for the Sale?

Did You Ask for the Sale?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was on the organizing committee for a huge event. We rented out a venue that could hold 1500 people and hoped to fill it as full as possible. We engaged a well-known author and speaker. We had multiple teams of volunteers handling the event promotion, venue logistics, lunches, back of the room book sales, travel and other arrangements for the speaker. In short, we were on it.

As event day drew closer, we noticed ticket sales were lower than hoped. Not to worry, we thought; we know that many people wait until the week or two before an event to buy their tickets. Nonetheless, the promotion team redoubled their efforts to get the word out. One week before the event, ticket sales still lagging, we realized we had a serious problem and were not likely to meet our goal. Again, the promotion team made one last effort to get the word out.

When the big day arrived, we had fewer than 100 people in attendance. We barely broke even on the event and our efforts to fill the organization’s coffers — and bring a message of hope and transformation to a big audience — were, well… failing.

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Seven Ways to Get Clients to See You as an Expert

Seven Ways to Get Clients to See You as an Expert

As a self-employed professional, the view that prospective clients hold of you is crucial. What you want is for clients to see you as an expert. How clients perceive your level of expertise will influence not only whether or not they hire you, but also how much they’re willing to pay, how easy it is for you to close the sale, and whether clients award you big projects or small ones.

It may feel like you, the person to be hired, don’t have much power over clients’ perceptions. You may believe that clients will make their own decisions about how — or whether — to work with you, regardless of what you do. But that’s not true. There is much you can do to influence how potential clients view you before you ever have your first conversation with them. Here are seven ways you can influence clients to perceive you as an expert.

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