This week, Time Magazine listed its top ten of everything - books, movies, TV shows, etc. But strangely, they neglected to list the Top Tend Marketing Insights for Independent Professionals.
I guess I'll have to do it for them!
These are some of the insights I've had about marketing this year. There are no big breakthroughs; but understanding and implementing these insights could have a big impact on your business for 2008.
After most of the insights I include a link for a resource that can help you with this area of marketing.
1. EZines Still Rule
No other marketing vehicle is as powerful, efficient and affordable as a regular email newsletter. Marketing is not only about being known, it's about not being forgotten. An eZine will get your message in front of thousands of people. Not only that, it will stimulate qualified prospects to contact you. Make it a New Year's resolution to start your eZine in '08.
2. Selling is a Process, Not a Talent
I've heard it a thousand times: "I'm not a sales type." Of course not, there isn't a sales type! Selling is simply communicating in a structured way. And one of the best ways to conduct a sales interview is through a complimentary session by phone. From a small coaching engagement, to a large consulting project, you can turn a qualified prospect into a paying client in about an hour.
3. Getting Organized is Key to Marketing Success
I don't care how good your marketing and sales skills are, and how good your marketing plan is; if you're not organized, you probably won't implement it. If you can't track your papers, projects, promises and ideas, you are limiting your possibilities. Setting up a system doesn't take long or cost much, but it will pay off for years to come. Get organized for the New Year!
4. Differentiate Good Prospects from Bad
This was one of my biggest insights of the year. I realized I had no system for determining which prospects would turn out to be good clients and which ones would waste my time. Jerry Vieira showed me the error of my ways and taught me a system for recognizing the warning signs of prospects who simply had no real potential for working with me. It's already saved me gobs of time and energy.
5. Web + Blog = Marketing Synergy
There's been a lot of hype about blogging in the past year. But very few people really make blogs work for them. The best ones integrate their blog and their web site. The web portion enables you to post all the information about your business; the blog portion allows you to post current and relevant ideas on a regular basis. With blog platforms like TypePad and WordPress, it's now a snap to update your site and stay current.
6. Networking is Still Relevant
My colleague, Andrea Nierenberg, just published her third book on Networking: Savvy Networking. Independent Professionals thrive when they build relationships, stay in touch and "work their network." A great example is a close friend and associate who asked me if I could recommend an ideal client to him. After a moment's thought I said, "As a matter of fact I can." This referral just turned into a $5K/month coaching project. Another networking success!
7. Joint Ventures Accelerate Access
If there's one question you should keep asking yourself it's, "How can I tap into the credibility and trust of other people's networks?" When you gain access to another's network (which may include their client base), you can offer your services with little resistance. You are borrowing the trust earned by your partners. These joint ventures may be rare, but you'll find them, if you put your mind to it.
Audio Program Coming in 2008
8. A Book Creates Instant Credibility
The words author and authority come from the same root. As an author, you are seen as a person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject. And you are. Ever notice who's on the radio shows and giving talks? Authors. Why not take the first steps to becoming one this coming year? You'll have a powerful marketing tool you can use for years.
9. Online Tools are the Future
This is the direction I've been moving in since the InfoGuru Manual and the Web Site ToolKit. I decided to create an "online marketing plan tool" that would make it easier for Independent Professionals to master the skills of marketing while increasing the chances of implementing their marketing action plans. In January I'll be launching the online "Fast Track Marketing Program."
Watch this space in January!
10. It's All in the Mindset
If there was only one thing I could help an Independent Professional with, it would be to shift their mindset. Negative, limiting, and disempowering mindsets are the root of all marketing stuckness. It's not just what you're doing (or not doing), it's how you're thinking and being. Why not master how to deal with the mindsets that are holding you back?
I sincerely hope that some of my marketing insights for 2007 become your marketing practices for 2008. Implement just a few of them and they could transform your business.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Turning insights into practices is rare. We usually give lip service to the things we know we should do but just can't get around to. None of the practices I advocate will take a huge investment of time and money. Why not make the coming year the one where you transform your ability to attract more clients and make your contribution real in the world?
What have your marketing insights been for the past year? What resources do you recommend? Please share on the More Clients Blog.