And then I used my upcoming summer workshops, "The Fast Track to More Clients" as a case study on how to put a campaign like this together.
It sounds so simple: Get clear on your service, target, message and materials and then just get your offer in front of the right people; repeat until you have the desired results.
The thing is, it doesn't always go quite like that! In fact, your campaign just might crash and burn. In this issue, I'll explore some of the reasons why and show you what you can do to get your campaign back on track.
First of all, if you're not getting the results you want, you need to look more closely at all your Five Elements:
Element 1 - Clearly defined service
Is the service you're promoting not only clear, but a service your prospects are looking for? Is it a service that makes a difference, delivers what it promises, is easy to understand and implement?
I can't tell you how many Independent Professionals are offering a service that doesn't meet many (or any!) of these criteria. In a word, the service is a dud. There's no interest because the service is inherently uninteresting.
Get some feedback from some past clients or close business associates. Ask them to be brutally honest. Their feedback can give you ideas to help make your service more compelling.
Element 2 - Clearly targeted ideal buyers
Even if you have the world's greatest service, it won't go far if it's being promoted to the wrong audience. Or if the audience of potential clients is too small, or geographically undesirable.
For instance, if you're trying to fill a workshop and you only have 100 people on your list and they happen to be all over the country, you're not going to have much success.
Do a reality check and ask if you are honestly getting your message in front of enough of the right people. If not, you may first need to work on building your prospect list.
Element 3 - Clear, benefit-oriented messages
If your service and target market are in good shape but you're still not getting a decent response, the next place to look is at your marketing messages.
A good message telegraphs three things very clearly and compellingly: This service is for you; this service has a tangible value or benefit, this service is something you need to know more about.
A great number of marketing messages don't communicate any of these, let alone all three! Spend a LOT of time working on your message. It's like creating a melody. You'll know when it's singing the tune it was meant to sign.
Element 4 - Clearly written/designed marketing materials
Let's say you are on track with the first three Marketing Elements. Great service and target market and a compelling message. If people are still not responding, it might be your written marketing materials.
Look, when you have the attention of a prospect, when your message gets through, the prospect then wants to know more. The tragedy is that we often don't tell them enough.
Here's my rule of thumb on written marketing materials (such as a web page): Make sure your materials tell the prospect absolutely everything they need to know about the service - every benefit, advantage, feature and detail. (And this is often five to twenty times more than you're telling them now.)
Element 5 - Clearly communicated offers
You've come a long way. Your prospect has responded to your service, is interested in knowing more and has read every single word contained in your marketing materials. But he or she still doesn't act? Why?
Some of the reasons are out of your control. Timing, price, the tendency to procrastinate, event the economy are simple realities you have to deal with. No matter how well you promote your service, not everyone will buy.
But you can control how you present your offer. You can tell your prospects exactly what they need to do next. And you can give them al kinds of incentives to take action. In other words, make it very easy for them to respond. And don't just ask them once, ask several times.
What to do next
What I recommend next is to go back and review the Five Elements of your campaign. I bet you'll find many things you can improve right away. Then let things sit for awhile, come back and see if you can find a few more things to improve.
When you don't think you can improve the design of your campaign any more, test your campaign in a very focused way and see if your results haven't improved.
Ultimately, you'll hit on a successful formula for your campaign that you can repeat over and over (of course, always trying to improve it a little more every time).