Showing posts sorted by relevance for query marketing. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query marketing. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, April 20, 2015

Not Enough Clients? What's In Your Way? (Guest Post)

C.J. Hayden
By C.J. Hayden

What's stopping you from getting all the clients you want? Do you know? The answer to this one question may be the key to making your marketing more successful.

It would seem from the questions people ask me about marketing that everyone is trying to fix just one type of problem -- how to fill their marketing pipeline with more new prospects.

"What else should I be doing to attract potential clients?" they ask. "Where else can I go to find people who might hire me?" or "How can I be more visible online so people will contact me?" or "Should I be finding prospects by cold calling, using Twitter, running ads, giving talks, writing articles...?"

All their questions -- and it seems all their efforts -- are aimed at finding ways to make contact with new people who might become clients. And every time they identify another activity that might help their pipeline get fuller, they want to add it to their ever-growing to-do list.

But is this really what's stopping them from getting more clients? Is this what's stopping you? If you are already marketing yourself in four or five different ways, will increasing that to seven or eight different ways produce better results? Or alternatively, if you drop everything you're doing now, and start using four or five brand new marketing approaches, will that do the trick?

In my experience, it probably won't. Continuing to try new and different approaches to fill your marketing pipeline will more often result in overwhelm, wasted effort, and failure than it will in new clients.

Instead of trying to fix your marketing by just seeking out more ways to meet people or collect names, email addresses and phone numbers, stop for a moment. What is the problem you're trying to solve? In other words, what's really getting in the way of your marketing success?

Listed below are the five most common marketing problems, and questions to ask yourself to see which ones might be yours. They're presented in order of priority -- problem #1 needs to be fixed before tackling problem #2, and so on. Consider whether making changes in one of these areas might be exactly the fix your marketing needs.

1. HANDS-ON TIME: Are you spending enough time proactively marketing? Not just getting ready to market, or thinking about how to market, or feeling resistant to marketing, but actually taking steps that will lead directly to landing clients?

If you're not spending enough time marketing your business, fixing other problem areas won't help much. Start keeping track of how much time you spend actively marketing each week. Most independent professionals find they need to spend from 4-16 hours weekly -- less when you're busy with paying work; more when you're not.

2. TARGET MARKET: Do you have a clearly defined target market which you can describe in five words or less? Does this market already know they need your services? And are you spending most of your time marketing to exactly that group?

Once you feel confident you are dedicating enough time to marketing, the next hurdle is making sure you're marketing to the right people. Focusing your efforts on a specific target group with a defined need for your services will make everything you do more effective.

3. MARKETING MESSAGE: Do your descriptions of your services name the benefits you offer and results you produce for your target market? And are these benefits and results that this market is looking for? Do you deliver your message every time you make contact?

Letting prospective clients know exactly how you can help them will make the most of the time you spend marketing to a defined audience. Your message needs to be clear, focused on the client's needs, and typically delivered multiple times to the same prospects.

4. FOLLOW-THROUGH: Do you have a system for following up with every prospect until they say either yes or no? Are you able to complete all the steps for each marketing approach you are using to make it pay off?

Without follow-through, much of your marketing effort is wasted. The typical prospect will need to hear from you (or about you) 5-7 times before deciding to work with you. And most marketing approaches need a follow-through element to succeed. For example, attending networking events requires post-event follow-up with the people you meet. Online networking requires regular participation, not just posting when you have something to promote.

5. MARKETING APPROACH: Are the strategies and tactics you are using to reach your market the most effective approaches available to you? Are they appropriate for your target market, and a good match for your skills and personality?

Only after addressing the first four problem areas above should you think about changing how you market. Because in truth, your tactics may not need to change. Whether you've been marketing yourself with cold calling, public speaking, or social networking, once you are spending enough time, marketing to the right people, delivering a targeted message, and following through on all your efforts, your results will improve dramatically.

So finding new or different marketing approaches -- the place where most peoplestart to fix their marketing -- is actually the last area to consider. The most effective approaches are those that include personal contact with your prospects, increase your credibility, and lend themselves to building relationships over time. And, approaches that match your skills and personality are more likely to succeed because you will actually use them instead of resisting them.

Once you know what might be stopping your marketing from being successful, make a commitment to fix what's really wrong. Resist the temptation (and hype) to keep trying new "silver bullet" marketing tactics or overloading yourself with endless possibilities. Finding the best marketing solutions will be much easier when you're trying to solve the right problem.

Copyright © 2013, C.J. Hayden

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. Bridget is a licensed facilitator for Get Clients Now!n Learn more about the Get Clients Now! program here.

Get Clients Now! is a trademark of Wings Business Coaching LLC and is used under license.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Guest Author: Easy Marketing Plans

A Simple Way to Create a
Kick-Butt Marketing Action Plan
by David Frey

Have you ever sat down to write a marketing plan and your mind goes as blank as the white sheet of paper sitting in front of you? In this article you’ll learn how write an effective marketing plan that’s simple to create and that will get you results.

The secret to creating a fast and effective marketing plan is to break it down into bite size chunks by creating what I call mini-marketing plans. By that I mean, brief, action-oriented mini-plans in each of the areas of your marketing. Here’s how to do it…

Get out a blank sheet of paper. Now write down the left side of the paper these categories of activities. Make sure you leave about 10 spaces between each one. Ready? Here goes…

1. Publicity Marketing Plan – In this plan you’re going to write down the activities you’ll do to spread the word about you and your business through the media. This includes pitching stories to the press and writing press releases on a consistent basis.

2. Promotional Event Plan – The promotional event plan includes different promotional activities such as, having sales if you’re a retailer, or sponsoring contests, awards, or events.

3. Joint Venture Marketing Plan- Your joint venture plan includes things you can do with other businesses to promote your business. For instance, I have a good friend that sells burial plans and has teamed up with the VFW to market to their membership. That’s a joint venture.

4. Referral Marketing Plan - Every small business should have a referral marketing plan seeing as how it’s the most popular way for small businesses to get new customers. Your referral marketing plan will include specific referral programs that you plan to roll out this next year.

5. Internet Marketing Plan - Every small business should be on the web and actively engaged in promoting their products and services on the web.

6. Advertising Plan - Not every small business advertises but most do, so you should plan where you’re going to advertise and how much advertising you’ll be doing.

7. Customer Marketing Plan - A customer marketing plan helps you think about how you’re going to keep in touch with your customers and what types of targeted offers you’ll be making to them.

Now, these aren’t the only mini-marketing plans you should be thinking about. Service providers often also have a networking plan, public speaking marketing plan, or a volunteer charity or association involvement plan. The idea I’m trying to get across is to break down your overall marketing plan into bite sized mini-plans that help you to crystallize what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

Now that you have the titles to these mini-plans all you have to do is start filling in the holes. You see, this method helps you think in terms of marketing activities and the goals you need to set for yourself. Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to motivate you to do something. After all, how good is a plan if you don’t put it to use.

© Copyright 2003 David Frey, Marketing Best Practices Inc.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Here It Is At Last: The Secret to Marketing

C.J. Hayden
Guest Post by C.J. Hayden, MCC
Well, that got your attention! Isn't that what every independent professional is really looking for -- that one magic formula that will take the effort out of marketing and bring you all the clients you need, forever?

Searching for this marketing silver bullet, they read articles and books, take seminars and home-study courses, and hire consultants and coaches. And in the process they learn about many, many so-called marketing secrets.

These "secrets" to marketing consist of supposedly surefire approaches like search engine optimization for your website, publishing articles online, social networking, joining a leads group, sending postcards, and running pay-per-click ads. There are of course many more, and each of them is being touted by someone as the ultimate solution for marketing your business.

Trying to sort out the truth in these conflicting claims leaves you with three basic possibilities:
  • All of this is nonsense; there is no secret to marketing.
  • One of these approaches probably really is the secret, but since you have no way of knowing which one, you'd have to try them all.
  • All of these probably are secrets for some people at some times, but none of them may be right for you.

No matter which of these points of view you take, the result is that none of these secrets are ultimately very helpful.

For many years, I've said that the real secret to marketing for independent professionals is choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently.

That word "effective" can make this a bit tricky. You have to know what is effective in order for this secret to work for you. If you were to choose a set of completely ineffective things to do, this approach would fail.

But by "completely ineffective," I mean ideas like running a Yellow Pages ad to market a management consulting business, or networking on Facebook in order to make more contacts with doctors, or sending out direct mail letters to attract psychotherapy patients. When the marketing tactics you pick are that far off base, no amount of consistency will make them work.

If you choose a set of activities that have any level of effectiveness, they will work if you do them consistently. Cold calling will work if you make enough calls. In-person networking will work if you attend events regularly and follow up with the people you meet. Public speaking will work if you speak to audiences of a decent size on a regular basis.

With consistency and persistence, you can make even the most mildly effective marketing approaches pay off in the long run. But that qualifier "in the long run" is the catch. You don't want to wait that long. No one does.

Is there another layer to this secret that will make it all happen faster? Yes. Choose a target market that needs your services and can afford to pay for them, craft a message that market will respond to, choose a set of simple, effective approaches to reach that market, follow through on each approach, and spend enough time on your marketing to produce results.

Notice your emotional reaction to reading those words. They're not very exciting, are they? It sounds like work.

It would be much easier if the secret was something like search engine optimization, where you could pay someone else to do all the work and the clients would simply appear. Or joining a leads group, where you could show up at a weekly meeting and the other members would hand you business. Or running pay-per-click ads, where you would never have to talk to people before they became your clients. But of course none of these approaches really work that way.

Don't blame yourself for wanting to avoid hard work. It's human nature to look for the easy way out. But if you spend all your time searching for the effort-free way to market, you will end up making your job much harder. Every time you try another new way to market but then don't follow through on it, or give up too soon to see results, you waste time and money, and lose momentum. By trying to avoid work, you actually create even more.

So instead of looking for a magic formula to avoid the work of marketing altogether, find ways to make it easier on yourself. Here are four suggestions that will help.
  • Choose a target market you enjoy spending time with, and whose issues and goals you care about.
  • Get help with crafting marketing messages if messaging isn't your strong point.
  • Use role models, recommended advisors, or a trusted system to identify only the best marketing approaches, then do what they advise.
  • Use the support of a buddy, coach, or success team to help you follow through on your plans, market consistently, and break through fear and procrastination.

Note that if the above are ways to make marketing easier, doing the opposite of any of these will make it harder. Refusing to choose a target market, for example. Or spending time and money marketing with an off-target message. Or trying flavor-of-the-week marketing tactics no successful person in your field uses. Or not doing enough marketing because it's scary. Or trying to do everything on your own. Or continuing to chase after silver bullet solutions.

The secret to successful marketing for independent professionals is choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently. The secret behind this secret is finding ways to make the process easier. And the secret behind that secret is to stop looking for another secret and get to work on implementing the first one.

Copyright © 2010, C.J. Hayden

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. You can take the Get Clients Now! program from Bridget (Weide) Brooks. Learn more here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Guest Author: 10 Ways to Get Your Marketing Unstuck

By C.J. Hayden, MCC
Author, Get Clients Now

Have you ever found yourself knowing exactly what you need to do about marketing your business... and then not doing it? You are not alone. Many self-employed professionals find that the hardest part of marketing isn't figuring out what to do. What's hard is actually doing it.

Marketing yourself can be a confronting process. Making phone calls to strangers, writing marketing letters, and talking about yourself and your accomplishments can bring up fear of rejection, harsh commentary from your inner critic, feelings of incompetence, and the discomfort of performing unfamiliar activities. If you let them, these inner saboteurs can stop you dead in your tracks.

The good news is that you don't have to completely eliminate these internal roadblocks in order to move forward in marketing. It is possible to feel afraid or uncomfortable and still take useful action despite the presence of these feelings. Here are ten ways to quickly break through internal barriers and get your marketing unstuck.

1. Recreate your vision. When you're feeling blocked from moving forward, remember why you wanted to go there in the first place. What was your original vision of the business you are trying to build? Who will your work benefit? What fulfillment or satisfaction will it provide you? Write down your vision of a successful business, or if you've written it down before, pull it out and re-read it. Allow your own words to re-inspire you to do the necessary hard work.

2. Design a reward. Sometimes your vision may seem a bit too far off, and you need some more immediate gratification. Choosing to reward yourself for a job well done can provide you with a positive near-term benefit for effort that might not pay off for a while. Promise yourself simple rewards for completing difficult marketing chores like making follow-up calls or writing web site copy.

The prospect of a special dinner, a movie with your significant other, or a new gadget for your favorite hobby can help you to push past the blocks and get things done. Rewards don't even have to cost money. Sometimes the promise of a bubble bath, walk in the park, or an hour reading a good book is all the incentive you need to take on a tough marketing challenge.

3. Tame the inner critic. Often when you're feeling stuck, what's going on in your head is a conversation with your inner critic, who seems to have a lot to say about sales and marketing. It's difficult to work on promoting yourself when you are hearing a constant stream of comments like: "You're not good enough," "They won't like you," or "Who do you think you are?"

It can help to remember that the inner critic often says things that simply aren't true. One way to counter this negative dialogue is to respond with the objective truth. For example: "Clients tell me I'm good at what I do," "Many people say they like me quite a bit," or "I'm a competent professional, thank you very much." When you answer confidently with statements of fact, messages from the inner critic often begin to lose their power.

4. Face your fear. One of the most common obstacles to being successful at marketing is fear. Marketing activities may evoke fears of rejection, disapproval, embarrassment, and a host of other catastrophes. Instead of pretending the fear isn't there, or attempting to ignore it, you may find it more effective to confront the fear directly.

Try to identify exactly what you are afraid of. What do you fear will happen if you make that call or go to that meeting? If you can identify the specific fear that is blocking you, it may be possible to soothe it by providing reassuring information or positive experience. For example, fear of rejection can often be lessened by setting up practice selling sessions where a role-playing partner responds with "yes" to every suggestion you make.

5. Get a pep talk. When you become discouraged, don't be afraid to ask for outside help to cheer up and start feeling positive again. Ask a friend, colleague, networking group member, or your coach to give you some words of encouragement. Sometimes all you need to hear is: "It was tough for me in the beginning too... Eventually my efforts paid off... You're doing all the right things... I know you can do it!"

6. Complain and clear. Feeling frustrated and negative can sometimes immobilize you. One method of clearing negative thoughts is to voice what you are experiencing to a caring person. Spend a full five minutes complaining about everything that's going wrong with your marketing, making sure to say exactly how it makes you feel. Then ask your listener to reflect your feelings back to you. Knowing that someone else hears and understands you may be all you need to let go of a negative attitude and get back to work.

7. Read your fan mail. In the regular course of serving your clients, you've probably received thank-you notes, grateful voice mail messages, and other evidence that you're doing a good job. Make a habit of saving these in a "fan mail" folder, and when you are feeling low, revisit all the nice things people have said about you. Remembering what a good job you do when you are working can encourage you to do the necessary marketing to get more work.

8. Quit; then start fresh. There may be days when you feel discouraged enough to just throw in the towel. Maybe you should do it. The act of quitting can be very cathartic. Proclaim: "I quit!" Perhaps even write yourself a resignation letter. Then take off the rest of the day, and don't even think about work. It's a good bet that after you have a chance to blow off some steam, you'll be ready to come back the following day re-energized.

9. Change the scene. Marketing can feel difficult and lonely when you're always slaving away by yourself in your home office. Try carrying out some of your challenging marketing tasks from a different location or with some company. Make cold calls from the patio, write a marketing letter in a busy coffee shop, or take turns with a colleague helping each other set up a good contact management system. Seeing a different view or enjoying companionship while you work may help you to complete tasks you have been avoiding.

10. Act as if. Whenever you feel incompetent about some area of marketing, you may be able to tackle those activities anyway if you simply try to act as if you were competent. Try playing the role of someone you admire. For example, what if you were Lauren Bacall? How would she make a follow-up call? Or how about if you were Martin Luther King? How would he introduce himself in front of a group? A short time pretending to be someone you think of as confident and capable can make those qualities rub off on you.

The next time your marketing feels stuck, try one of these methods to help you get back into action quickly. Marketing tasks are really only as hard as you think they are, so if you can find an easy way out, why not take it?

Copyright C.J. Hayden.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Viral Marketing and Your Resume Writing Business

You probably know what a viral video is -- like the YouTube video of the skateboarding dog. Infographics are also something that often go viral -- most often on Facebook. This infographic from Hubze, ironically, is on how to get your content to go viral.

Viral marketing tactics can be effective in spreading the word about your business, your product, and your service without offending others or being self-serving.

But, viral marketing is inherently self-serving, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. To be truly effective, viral marketing must include a give-and-take approach. You must engage others, take part in conversation, and give as much as you get. In other words, don’t expect your message to spread itself. Viral marketing takes time, careful planning and well-thought out execution.

It has, for lack of a better word, an incurable need for attention.

While viral marketing can be applied in a number of ways, there are 3 main approaches:

#1 – To Share. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are in fact products of viral marketing themselves. While they’re sole purpose is to allow (and encourage) users to share information, they too must share their service via their users. It’s simple, really. Their users believe in them and enjoy their websites so much, that they share those websites with others. Knowing this and trusting this would take place, these social media powerhouses have become multi-million, some billion dollar businesses thanks to, you guessed it, viral marketing.

#2 – To Add Value. Adding value is not a characteristic unique to viral marketing. It is a common marketing approach across the board. For hundreds of years, business owners have understood the importance of offering their customers “more.” For instance, buy this product and receive this additional product for free. You get the picture. So, this notion of adding value applies to your viral marketing in the same way. However, rather than simply applying added value to your products and services, make value-added offers to those who share your message. For instance, send this message to an additional 10 people, and receive a free product. Incentivize and you will see results!

#3 – To create buzz. Similar to sharing, creating buzz is can be extremely effective. How is it different? While sharing refers to others literally sharing information with friends (i.e. Like my Facebook page? Sign-up for your own Facebook page today and see more of what I’m up to, including photos, favorites and more!) creating buzz is more about spreading the word. Consider how gossip spreads, or the way in which gossip magazines create stories based on hearsay. The idea is to get people “talking” about you and your business in a positive way so that they begin to encourage others to become customers, sign-up or carry on the conversation on their own.

As you can see, viral marketing is about more than inundating your audience with your message. Its about strategic planning and taking an approach that puts your business in a positive light while enticing others to not only become customers, but to spread the word as well. 

Want to learn more about Viral Marketing? Check out the Viral Marketing Stampede special report, available now in the "Paid Member Resources" section of (Bronze member benefit.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Resume Writers: Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing

Not enough resume writers, in my opinion, understand how to integrate affiliate marketing into their businesses.

Affiliate marketing has two major advantages for resume writers. First, it allows you to generate passive income -- you simply recommend products that you think may benefit your resume clients, and if they purchase them, you earn a small commission.

Second, all of us get inquiries from prospective clients who never end up buying from us. Yet, many of them would still be receptive to hearing from us occasionally about information that might help their job search. Integrated with these messages can be affiliate marketing offers, for things like reference checking services, resume distribution, interview coaching training systems (if you don't provide it), salary information services, etc.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is like the online version of a direct sales model. An online business needs advertising and promotion to bring people to their site to make purchases. An affiliate marketing program uses other people (like you!) as sales associates to promote their products. Usually, the affiliate owner provides the tools that an affiliate needs to promote them well. (These can include articles, email copy, ads, links, etc.)

Affiliate marketing presents a win-win situation for the business owner. They can provide their knowledge of marketing to others (you!) who will then do the majority of the legwork for them. The affiliates don't lose out here either. You receive a commission on each click, visitor sign-up, or sale made through their affiliate link. (Each affiliate program has its own way of compensating affiliates -- through traffic or actual sales.)

How to Become an Active, Effective Affiliate

Here are some tips to help you get going with affiliate marketing.

  • Search out reputable affiliate programs. There are tons of affiliate programs out there. All do not offer the same commissions or tools to help you promote their products. At some point in the future, I'm going to be developing a guide to products/services you can represent. (In the meantime, feel free to list your recommendations in the comments below.)
  • Read about affiliate marketing. A good affiliate program will offer help for their affiliates, including education on tools and marketing strategies for their success. Be sure to read the training emails provided by the business too, as they'll often have ideas and tools to help you roll out your affiliate marketing program.
  • Choose a product that you believe in. Don't base your choice of programs on money. Yes, there will be many lucrative programs out there, but that is not the only way to go. When you promote a product that you can get behind, then your customers will learn to trust you and be more likely to buy or click on your site.
  • Promote a variety of products. You don't have to just join one program at a time. As an affiliate, you can earn money promoting several products at once. (But I generally recommend only promoting only one of each type of service -- like one resume distribution company.)
  • Be honest with your customers. Let them know that you are an affiliate. (Disclosure is required by law!) You can do it with something as simple as a statement that says, "I am an affiliate for [name of company.) This won't turn them off if they see that you use the products yourself and believe in them.

You can be an active, effective affiliate for career-related services. You can even start today. Use these tips to help you choose the right place to begin.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Guest Author: Five Myths of Internet Marketing

By C.J. Hayden
Author, Get Clients Now

There's more marketing hype published on the Internet in one day than P.T. Barnum generated in his lifetime. Like a worm swallowing its tail, the Internet marketing beast feeds mostly on itself. The vast majority of what appears on the Internet about marketing is designed to help you market products and services sold and delivered exclusively on the Internet.

So what does that mean for the independent professional whose web presence is primarily aimed at selling his or her own personal services? You know, services delivered the old-fashioned way, by humans interacting face-to-face or at least voice-to-voice. At best, the average professional is likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of Internet marketing advice available. At worst, he or she is being seriously misled by it.

The problem is that marketing your own professional services is simply not the same as marketing a retail product or an anonymous business service. You can't sell corporate consulting like you do web hosting; nor can you sell life coaching the same way you do an e-book. If you try to market yourself by following advice designed for marketing Internet products and services, you're likely to make some serious mistakes.

Here are five Internet marketing myths that may be hazardous to the health of your business.

Myth #1 – It all starts with a great web site.

Actually, the place where it starts is with a well-defined service. If you don't have a crystal clear picture of who you are marketing to and exactly what you're selling them, the best web site in the world won't get you clients. Before you even think about building a web site, you should know who your target market is, how to describe your professional specialty, and what specific benefits your work provides for your clients.

The content of your site is much more important than the design. Yes, you should have a professional-looking site, but a brilliant design and dazzling graphics won't pay off anywhere near as well as a clear explanation of why a client should work with you. Useful material such as articles, assessments, and other samples of your expertise will go much further to persuade prospective clients than flash intros and interactive menus.

Myth #2 – More traffic translates to increased profits.

The only result that more traffic to your web site guarantees you is increased bandwidth use by your web host. Before spending money on banner ads, web directories, or pay-per-click listings to drive more visitors to your site, you need to be sure that they'll want to do business with you once they get there.

Ask your colleagues and current clients to critique your site. Do they understand what you are offering? Can they see concrete benefits to your target audience? Revise your site based on their feedback. Then personally invite some prospective clients to visit and touch base afterward. Do your prospects seem more inclined to do business with you after seeing your site? If so, you're on the right track. If not, you still have more work to do.

Myth #3 – Do whatever it takes to build your list.

There's no question that a substantial opt-in mailing list is a valuable marketing asset, but the quality of names on your list is much more important than the quantity. Acquiring names through giveaways of other people's material, trading lists with joint venture partners, or purchasing them from a vendor rarely provides qualified buyers truly interested in your services.

Absolutely, ask your site visitors and people you meet to join your mailing list and offer them something of value in return. A well-written ezine, helpful report, or informative audio are all effective premiums. But, your premium should be directly related to the services you provide and also serve to increase your professional credibility. Names acquired from promotional gimmicks or unknown sources seldom turn into paying clients.

Myth #4 – Killer copy is the secret to sales.

Hype-laden web copy may be effective in selling certain info-products or courses, but it hardly inspires trust. You're not going to convince anyone to hire you individually as a consultant, coach, trainer, designer, or financial advisor by offering "not one, not two, but three valuable bonuses" as if you were selling steak knives on late-night TV.

Your Internet marketing persona should reflect the same professionalism as the work you do with your clients. If writing marketing materials isn't your forte, by all means hire a professional copywriter. But be sure you hire one with experience writing for professionals like yourself. The copy on your web site should inspire feelings of confidence about your abilities, and communicate your reliability and solid qualifications.

Myth #5 – Just follow the winning formula and you will get rich.

There's only one surefire recipe for Internet wealth I know of, and that's the business of selling surefire recipes. There seems to be an infinite number of buyers for every new get-rich-on-the-net scheme that is invented, but paradoxically, a precious few people actually making money on the web.

The Internet may be a different medium for marketing professional services than making calls, writing letters, or speaking to people in person, but the same time-honored principles still apply. There is no new winning formula. The secret to landing clients is what it always has been -- build relationships and get people to know, like, and trust you.

If your web site, ezine, and other Internet-based activities contribute to building long-term, trusting relationships with prospective clients and referral sources, you'll get business on the web. But if you blast your message out to anyone who will listen, aiming for a quick profit, the Internet won't bring you any more business than standing on a street corner with a megaphone.
Copyright C.J. Hayden.
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visit http://www.getclientsnow

Monday, June 8, 2015

Q&A: Starting an Email List

I like to answer questions from my tribe! In today's blog post, I respond to a reader who has a question about starting an email list.


I've been doing some Internet research regarding email marketing. MailChimp says I have to ask permission before I send email marketing. How do I do that? (I'm not using them - I'm going to do it myself) Do I send a first email saying in the subject line: "Asking permission to email monthly newsletter - NO email marketing service used"?

Another question: It has been suggested that I put a privacy policy right up front. Is the following enough? 

Privacy policy: I am not using an email marketing service - I am distributing the monthly email newsletter myself. There will be complete confidentiality. Your email will not be given to anyone. Please let me know if you're interested in receiving it. Below is what you will see.

I'm thrilled you want to start using email to market/communicate! It's one of the most valuable tools you can use to generate repeat business, referrals and even new clients!

You want to get people to opt-in to your email. I believe you actually SHOULD be using an email marketing service -- doing it yourself (i.e., copy-and-pasting email addresses into a BCC list) has two major disadvantages: 

  1. lower deliverability of email messages (some email systems associate the BCC method with spam and will block messages from you -- not just the bulk ones, but they'll "blacklist" your email address and when you try to individually email these clients later, the message may not get through. 
  2. You won't know who opened your email messages. All email marketing systems track "open rates" -- and while they're not infallible (people have to either click a link in the email or click "load images" to be registered as an "open,"), knowing which of your messages are enticing people to read them is valuable information. (Imagine if our clients could send their resumes this way, and they'd know if their resumes were actually being "opened" and read! I'm sure that day is coming! *smile*)

Okay, back to opting in. The best way to do this is to invite people to JOIN your email list. But it's not like the old days (5-10 years ago), when you could say, "Sign up to get my email newsletter!" and people would join it. No, people want valuable information in exchange for giving up their email address, and a "monthly newsletter" isn't enough of a draw. The easiest way to get them to sign up is by giving them a valuable special report. A lot of my Bronze members adapt their Pass-Along Materials for this purpose. Another advantage of using an email service is that it automates the opt-in and delivery of the freebie. 

YES, you can send an email to each of your current clients, but I wouldn't use the subject line "Asking permission to email monthly newsletter." Instead, I'd tailor it to your bonus. For example: "Follow-up to resume services: Making more in your next job." This one-to-one email can be sent to each of your clients you've worked with (and, on an ongoing basis, to each client you work with in the future, after you send their resume documents). The email would have a link to opt-in to the email list AND when they sign up, it AUTOMATICALLY sends them the link to download the special report. (And they're added to your email list.) That's the basis of permission-based marketing.

If you want to use your email list to generate prospects (not just communicate with existing clients), you can also add the opt-in box to your website and social media profiles. You use it the same way -- you offer a valuable opt-in incentive (it can even be a DIFFERENT one for prospective clients vs. existing clients!) and you put an opt-in box on your website, blog, Facebook business page, etc. to get people to opt-in to receive it (and thus be on your email list). Most of the email marketing services will also include tools that allow you to spread the word about getting on your list (including "forward this email" buttons and links to your social media profile tools).

Many of the services also allow you to upload lists but ONLY do this if you have the permission of the people to add them! For example, if you have a booth at a job fair, you can offer to send them your salary negotiation guide if they put their name/email on your sign-up sheet. Then, you can enter those names into your email service database manually and it will both send them the guide AND add them to your email list.

As for WHAT to send to folks once they're on your list, make sure you follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your content should be valuable career-related information (without sales tactics) and 20% can be promotions/advertising -- whether that's for your own services or affiliate products/services. You want people to STAY on your list, so make sure you're communicating with them REGULARLY (at least once a month) and giving them valuable information.

But that brings me to reason #3 to use an email marketing service: automatic unsubscribes. The #1 rule you need to follow in email marketing is actually a LAW -- the CAN-SPAM Act defines email marketing. If someone asks to be taken off your list, you need to do that. And it's easier to allow them to unsubscribe themselves (ALL email marketing programs have this option built-in to each message you send) than to manage getting the replies to you one by one by one. Here's the CAN-SPAM Act guidelines:

The #4 reason to use an email marketing service is they offer you pretty templates you can customize when sending the information. Instead of a plain email message, you can incorporate a "theme" template -- customizing the colors and fonts to match your business logo/colors. Once you set up this template, you can use it over and over again, making it easy to send your monthly messages. 

All in all, email marketing services offer some major advantages over sending messages yourself. And frankly, most people don't actually MIND that you're using an email marketing service to manage your list. The messages look more professional, getting on and off the list are easy, and they still can be personalized (you can set up your messages so they drop in the recipient's first name in the subject line or in the body of the message itself).

And they're not too expensive. (EVERY resume writer I've worked with on this has said their list pays for itself in terms of repeat business, referrals, affiliate products/services sold, and new business generated, if they follow the guidelines I've outlined here). The cost can be as little as $5/month, but the average is $20/month. I personally pay about $50/month for mine, and it's TOTALLY worth it.

I use (and recommend) these three email marketing services -- I've included pluses and minuses, and my affiliate links for each:

VerticalResponse. Offers a pay-as-you-go option (you can pay for email "credits" to start out, instead of a flat monthly rate -- although you can change to a monthly subscription at any time), so it's very affordable to get started. VR offers some basic templates; but does not include free graphics. It can host your sign-up form for you too. Setup difficulty level: Medium

Constant Contact. One of the most popular services. A little more pricey than other options, but offers a TON of templates and lots of free graphics (plus access to paid stock photography services). Good sign-up tools for getting people on your list -- integrates with your Facebook page easily to provide a sign-up form. Also offers other services: survey tool, event management/sign-up tool, and a Groupon-like service. Offers a free trial for new customers. Setup difficulty level: Easy

AWeber. This one requires more technical proficiency than the other two, but offers a way for you to provide both single email messages AND email "courses" to prospective clients or current/past clients using autoresponders. I use it to deliver both free AND paid programs -- you can set up a series of email messages that are delivered automatically -- for example, my Leveraging LinkedIn class is 8 email lessons delivered once a day for 8 consecutive days. I set it up once in AWeber and people can subscribe to the "course" and the messages are delivered to them automatically. It also offers great opt-in forms -- giving you the code to put on your own page or AWeber will even "host" the form for you. Setup difficulty level: Harder

Why don't I recommend Mailchimp? Mainly because of email deliverability rates. Because Mailchimp offers a free level of service, their OVERALL email deliverability rates are lower, because some email service providers block ALL Mailchimp messages because some people use the free service irresponsibly. (Because there is no cost, it's used quite a bit by folks selling multilevel marketing products or low-cost services/products). I prefer using a paid service that monitors its members and makes sure they are following the rules (not just adding their entire email list to their account and sending messages without permission).

As for the privacy policy, YES, it's fine to include it, but it does NOT need to be the first thing in the message (nor will that help you entice people to subscribe and/or stay on your list). The #1 way to build trust with your list is to SHOW, not TELL. It's not enough to say that you won't share or use their email without permission -- SHOW that. Do NOT add send "bulk" emails to people unless they've requested to be added to your list (by opting in to receive your freebie). It's fine to send ONE email message to people you currently work with (or have worked with in the past) to ask if they want to receive your freebie, but don't just ADD them to the list. People hate that. :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Save $200 on "Serious Revenue" Program (Buy By Oct. 19)

Yesterday, I wrote about Career Directors International's Career Innovator Awards. Today, I learned that two of those award-winning innovators -- Susan Whitcomb and Pat Schuler -- are offering a $200 discount on their program if you purchase by Oct. 19.

The Career Innovator award are presented to individuals who have developed a resource, tool, program, or initiative that has added significant value to the careers industry -- either to jobseekers or career professionals.

Susan and Pat's program, "Serious Revenue: Landing 4- and 5-Figure Clients...With Integrity and Heart" earned the 2012 Career Innovator award.

Here's the description of the program:

Susan Whitcomb here! . . . I’ve spent several decades in the career field as a practitioner like you, and have also trained and coached hundreds of career professionals over the last 10 years. During that time, my heart has been broken to see the many talented, passionate professionals who LOVE what they’re doing — in fact, feel called with a divine destiny to do what they do — but are STRUGGLING to make ends meet. And to be painfully honest, I’ve struggled with the same issue in the past!
Serious Revenue: Landing 4- and 5-Figure Clients with Integrity and Heart – Binder and Audio Collection on thumb drive
I wanted to do something about this (and boost my own skills in the process!). I’d heard about several people in our industry who were also in that mode (doing great work but not making the income they wanted) and had worked with the amazing sales coach, Pat Schuler — doing so, they took their income beyond what they had dreamed, landing 4- and 5-figure clients on a regular basis.
The problem was, a lot of people can’t afford Pat Schuler’s $400-600 per hour rates. So I asked Pat to team up with me and create a product where people could get more than a dozen hours of her and my time at what it would cost for approx. one or two hours of her time, as opposed to $7,000 to $8,000! . . . a product that would have a lasting change on the way you do business and enable you to earn more for the priceless services that you offer.
So, if you . . .
  • Feel like you’re at a crossroads with your business
  • Are a recent startup
  • Or perhaps have been doing this for years, but worried that if you can’t find a way to earn more money, you may have to go to work for someone else . . . read on!
You know you make a difference in your clients’ lives, and if you could you’d do this work for free. You’re self aware, and you’ve done a lot of personal growth work.
Are you beginning to suspect that, like me, you have some old beliefs or old habits that are potentiallysabotaging your business success despite the expertise with which you deliver your services? What if the major obstacle in your way is just that there’s a skill set you haven’t yet mastered?
  • How many weeks or months of training have you had at actually growing your business?
  • How well is that training working for you?
  • How often are you getting push back on your fees or programs?
  • What percentage of prospective clients are saying, I need to think it over?
These are all challenges that you can master with the Serious Revenue: Landing 4- and 5-Figure Clients … with Integrity & Heart program that helps you conquer self-sabotaging beliefs, that leads you step by step through a process that empowers you to ask for the business from a place of confidence and power without being arrogant or pushy . . . in fact, with integrity and heart.
In about a dozen lively, interactive interview sessions (I love interviewing thought leaders!) between myself and exclusive sales coach Pat Schuler, you can get the skills you need to grow your business and land those 4- and 5-figure clients that would make such a difference to your confidence, your career, and your checkbook. In fact, here’s what a recent beta tester, Robyn Feldberg, said about the program:
I’m really impressed with the Serious Revenue: Landing 4- and 5-Figure Clients … with Integrity & Heart training and genuinely grateful to have been among the first to learn these innovative techniques — things I would have NEVER thought of on my own, and I consider myself a fairly decent salesperson to begin with. I grew up in a family of sales-people, but this program taught me techniques I’d never heard of before, and it gave me usable tools to implement in my business immediately that will inevitably help me reach my revenue goals more quickly. The program also made me much more aware of why it’s important for me to reach my revenue goals.
Robyn L. Feldberg, CCMC, NCRW, “The Abundant Success Career Coach”
Certified Career Management Coach & Nationally Certified Resume Writer
What’s included in Serious Revenue: Landing 4- and 5-Figure Clients … with Integrity & Heart?
  • More than a dozen audio sessions on a thumb drive (in MP3 format so you can download to your iPod) covering everything you’ll need to know to land 4- and 5-figure career clients, from mindset, overcoming limiting beliefs, to setting revenue goals, qualifying clients, and asking for the business … with integrity and heart!
  • A beautiful binder with approxiately 200 pages of transcripts, for those who prefer to read along while also listening.
  • Outlines to bring the comprehensive material into focus.
  • Special Bonus: To ensure you implement the program and reach your revenue goals, we’re addingMomentum Monday – Six MONTHS of LIVE monthly calls with Pat and/or Susan on the 4th Monday of the month (we take a break for summer and December).
Pat and I have invested hours and hours of time over a six-month period to make this product powerful. We have finished beta testing and put final touches on production, so the product ships immediately!
If you’re committed to seeing some Serious Revenue in 2012, this will be the key tool to make that happen!
BONUS! PROFESSIONAL MARKETING SYSTEM is included when purchasing Serious Revenue WITH an Academies Certification Program
On top of the Serious Revenue program with Susan and Pat, which covers the selling side of the equation, you’ll also be able to participate in a proven marketing system with a professionally trained and licensed Get Clients NOW!“! facilitator–Kim Avery!
Kim, a graduate of Career Coach Academy and now completing the Job Search Academy program, is an experienced coach AND marketing maven, passionate about marketing and helping you build your practice. She provides foundational marketing education, training on how to build an effective marketing plan, and coaching through the process of implementation. I guarantee you will love her warm and caring style, insight and wisdom, and deep level of competence!
Get Clients NOW! teaches you over 100 tactics and tools for marketing professional services with step-by-step recipes for their use. This systematic, structured program shows you how to design a focused, cohesive marketing action plan that produces results. (Requires that you purchase a copy of the book, Get Clients NOW!)
Step-by-Step Approach
Using the Get Clients NOW! book as a text, you will learn a simple but highly effective step by step approach, straightforward tips, and specific techniques like these:
  • What really works to market a service business, and what doesn’t
  • How to diagnose what’s wrong with your marketing using the Universal Marketing Cycle
  • How to design a marketing program that is suited not only to your business, but your personality, strengths and favorite activities
  • How to break out of “analysis paralysis” and determine exactly what you need to do first — and every step of the way
  • How to overcome the fear, resistance, and procrastination that block effective action
  • How to create a customized, affordable, reusable, and realistic marketing plan
  • Ongoing support and encouragement to stick to your plan throughout the program
With both the selling tools you’ll learn in Serious Revenue and the marketing tools you’ll implement in Get Clients Now!, you will have the critical information AND the support you need to get on the right track.
Register here for Serious Revenue: Landing 4- and 5-Figure Clients … with Integrity & Heart audio program (if not registering for CCMC or CLC or CJSS program):

Purchase Serious Revenue: 1 payment of $895 or 3 payments of $299

Use promotional code INNOVATOR when you buy -- and get the program for only $695 (instead of the usual $895). Code is valid through Oct. 19, 2012.
Payment plans are also available.
Learn more about -- or purchase -- the Serious Revenue program here.