Let’s face it, marketing can get overwhelming pretty darn quickly. Websites, blogs, networking events and now social networking, all competing for your limited time and attention. It’s all too easy to get caught up in a lot of “stuff”… at the expense of taking the action that will really get you clients.
So what’s truly important? Below are the 5 marketing actions that keep you closest to the money in your business. If you’re signing on fewer clients, it could be that one of these 5 actions has fallen by the wayside. When you stay on top of these 5, you’ll find you’re bringing in more business, more often. Look here first!
1. Collecting Testimonials. There is almost nothing more persuasive (and thus nothing more powerful to create income in your business) than testimonials. Why? Because what someone ELSE says about you will ALWAYS carry more weight in your prospective client’s mind than what YOU say about you. Jeff Walker, creator of Product Launch Formula and one of my marketing mentors, has a saying: “No proof, no sale.”
Testimonials equals sales. It’s just that simple. So you want to ALWAYS be collecting them. Did one of your clients send you a gushing email? Or maybe she’s standing in front of you, gushing in person! Thank her, then ask if you can quote her. Back in my copywriting days, I knew of several colleagues whose marketing materials consisted of nothing but “raving fan” testimonials, a call to action, and a phone number. They were always booked solid. Testimonials really can do the selling for you.
The key to testimonials collection is “right place, right time.” Make a habit of being on the lookout. When one appears, grab it! It’s a lot easier to collect a testimonial when your client is full of emotion and in the moment than later. Being shy COSTS you here, big time. Your clients want you to succeed. Ask.
2. Treating clients like gold. You’ve heard it all before: it costs much more in time and money to get a new client than another sale from an existing client, the money is in the relationship, etc. So once you have a client, how do you treat them? What kind of experience do they have when they work with you? Give them every reason to come back for more by treating them like the gold they are!
The best part of treating your clients like gold is that it’s so simple to do. Just a few simple tweaks can make all the difference in the experience your clients have with you. It really is the little things. Answer your emails quickly. Acknowledge them often. Tell them how much you appreciate them. (You do, don’t you?) And, of course, provide exceptional service.
Never forget that your clients are your in-come. One of my spiritual teachers used to say, “You’ll let me know when I’ve messed up by leaving my living room.” It’s not fear, it’s just good business sense.
3. A regular “keep in touch” mechanism, such as a newsletter. The majority of your clients are simply not going to buy from you the first time they meet you. What’s more, in today’s info-overloaded world, “out of sight, out of mind” occurs within seconds. If you want a thriving business, you simply must have some way of staying in front of clients and prospective clients alike. As you connect with more clients (by getting yourself out there), the job can get daunting very quickly.
A newsletter is one of the most high-leverage marketing activities there is. Instead of following up with one person at a time, you’re following up with many at one time. Your newsletter tips, articles, and personal notes also builds a relationship. Over time, your “tribe” will come to know you and think of you as a friend.
4. Personal follow-up with past clients. Have you ever run into a past client who said, “I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you!”…? I have! Alas, to-do lists are lengthy and time is short. Why not make it easy on your clients by checking in on a regular basis? Personal follow-up with past clients also lets them know that you care about them and are thinking of them.
If your clients have had a great experience with you, they will want to work with you again. The trouble is, we often don’t make it easy on them. Get in touch (just check in), find out what they need, offer them something new. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll get more business.
5. Consistency. You’ll get more clients by spending 15 minutes a day every single day marketing your business than if you spend 24 hours straight every 3 months. Why? Because a relationship is built over time, not in a day. And those 7 to 10 touches that a potential client needs before they pick up the phone and call you happen over time, too.
If you’re not doing “just one thing” daily to build your business, now is the time to start. Remember: Marketing doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be much… but it MUST be consistent. Schedule 15 minutes to make that phone call, send that email, or write that blog post.
No matter what marketing actions you take, make sure to hold every one accountable. If that networking meeting you’ve been going to for the last 6 months hasn’t brought you any new business, it might be time to re-evaluate. Joyfully release anything that isn’t working for you – your time is much too precious and your clients need you!