When I first start working with clients — many of them life coaches and independent holistic professionals — they get a little annoyed with me when I tell them that their real job title (now that they are business owners) is “marketer.”
That is usually followed by “But I just want to serve my clients, I don’t want to be a marketer.”
Soul Proprietors must be focused on marketing at all times. There’s no way around that. Even if you have a full book of clients, or you think you have enough customers, you must keep marketing.
If you’re stuck with the same old ideas about marketing, take a look at how you can make your marketing better with these strategies.
1) Develop Your Elevator Pitch
When people ask you what you do — whether you’re in an elevator, in line at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office with the kids or at a business event — it’s important for you to be able to explain to the person asking what it is that you do in a succinct way that invites more questions.
An elevator pitch isn’t just a 60-second monologue that you’ve memorized and can rattle off at will; it’s more like having different ways to answer the same questions based on the audience to whom you’re speaking. Often, you’ll get more mileage from your “pitch” if you simply tell a story. Be sure to weave in who your perfect-fit client is, too.
2) Get Involved Offline (as well as online)
Get out from behind your computer and get involved in events happening away from your computer. Go to meetings, networking events, business events, and conferences.
Be the speaker whenever you can. The speaker is always seen as the expert and people will respond to you in ways that they will never do online where you remain faceless and fleshless as they will when they get to interact with you face-to-face in person.
Yes, it is also great to participate in telesummits, webinars, and social media, and to comment on blogs, and done in a proactive way will advance your business goals.
Before doing any event — online or off — ask yourself which of your goals this particular activity helps you achieve. Then, base your participation, and how you communicate with people at the event, on reaching that goal.
3) Develop Relationships
Finding a person or a group to collaborate with is a great way to grow and improve your business and find new ways to market. Creating short- and long-term joint ventures with individuals and organizations who market complementary products and services to the same audience as you, can expand your reach exponentially.
Don’t form these alliances willy-nilly or without great thought. Make sure your values match. This is a great time to exercise your “no” muscle because not every venture will be a good match for you. Each venture and each relationship needs to be evaluated on its own merits and have its own goals and promised outcomes that align with your overall marketing goals.
4) Write a Book
You’re smart and you know probably know more about your niche than even your competitors. You either know how you became successful, or you know a lot about a particular subject that you can share with others. Writing a book, and getting it published today, is a simple process.
Be sure that your book has an ultimate goal aside from just making money from sales. It’s not likely book sales alone are going to make you that much, but a book used as a marketing tool to sell your other products and services can help increase your net worth substantially. A book makes a great “giant business card.”
5) Speak in Public
Once you’ve written your book, you can leverage it to engage in public speaking events. Folks who book speakers love if the speaker is also an author. Find events that are attracting your perfect-fit audience and simply go tell them your story. Create a “one sheet” flyer to market your speaking and subject matter to event leaders.
At first you may need to do some events for free (get permission to record it) and later you could actually make quite a nice living from public speaking if you desire to go in that direction. If becoming a professional paid speaker is not your aim, just getting out and speaking is a great marketing strategy.
6) Give Your Opinion
Find ways to get your name associated with your expert status. One way is to use the service, Help a Reporter Out to find writers who will pitch your articles, speaking, and answers to questions about the problems your perfect-fit audience faces, and who will use your quotes in stories they write.
The more often you’re quoted, the more you will become known as an expert in your field. You can do the same thing with targeted and focused guest blogging, expert panels, interviews and more.
7) Ask for Creative Testimonials
Go straight to your current customers and clients and simply ask them to write, record or make a testimonial for you. Or, you may want to simply write the testimonial for them and ask them to edit, or approve as-is. Some folks would love to give you a testimonial, they just don’t know what to say.
I personally don’t like offering something in exchange for a testimonial other than a link to their website, as it just feels a little unethical to me to “buy” testimonials.
Always ask permission before using someone’s testimonial. Be sure to ask if you can use their whole name as real names of real people carry far more weight than just initials or anonymous testimonials, and if you can get their picture to go with it, that’s even better.
8) Break the Mold
If you really want to differentiate yourself from the crowd, find a way to break some rules. You don’t have to be unethical to push boundaries and break rules. Many people believe they have no right to take a leadership role without having first been a follower. If you are good at what you do, there is no reason you have to punch any cards or push any particular buttons in any particular order to be at the top.
Being creative in marketing means stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something different than what you are currently doing. Try something new every quarter and monitor your efforts closely to see what happens. Doing effective marketing means paying attention and testing; changing what you’re doing only when the results are not what you expect them to be.
Remember, I’m always here to help you figure out your best marketing strategies and help you implement them. Let’s have a CoffeeTalk Chat in my no-selling zone.