By Catherine Franz
When marketing your practice, as well as designing
brochure, web site, business card, flier,
other marketing effort, we recommend investing the time and
effort needed to effectively address all these tips. Not
one of them can be omitted.
Tip #1. MARKET FOR YOUR DESIRED PROSPECTS, NOT YOURSELF
What looks good to you is not necessarily effective for your
desired audience. This is the biggest mistake I see people
make over and over again. The come up with an idea, they
think it's great, a few friends, family or nontarget market
people give them the thumbs up and they run with the ball.
When it doesn't work, they just can't understand why.
Do market research and test your strategies on your target
market. Big companies do lots of market research before
launching a product or service. The little guys don't have
the resources to match this but that doesn't mean you don't
do any. Even if you are an independent professional, you
need to do marketing research. And market research isn't a
one-time deal. It needs to be incorporated into your
marketing system and it needs to be ongoing.
Tip #2. YOU MUST ANSWER THESE FOUR CRITICAL MARKETING QUESTIONS
Question 1: WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?
Is it immediately clear to the reader what is being offered?
Any opaqueness, confusion, or question marks in their mind,
even for a second, and they have moved on. They are gone
and usually don't return. Don't be cute or clever. Make it
simple and very clear. Cute and clever has a reference
point now with S*P*AM or hype. Don't let them place you
into that category.
Question 2: WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?
The big benefits are very clear and directly stated... not
implied; the reader doesn't have to guess. The listener
doesn't have to guess. Please come to you from all
different stages of readiness and different desire levels.
How do you handle each one when they arrive makes what
occurs afterwards critical? It isn't what you perceive that
they want, it is what they perceive what they want. Stop
guessing just because you are too lazy to do the legwork to
find out. Start asking and don't ever stop.
Question 3: CAN I TRUST YOU?
How do I know you are safe and credible? Can I find out
easily enough if I want to? Is your photo and contact info
prominently displayed so I can build a relationship with
you? Put your photo on every page. If you want to, change
the picture to show you doing something fun or different on
People don't trust any more especially if all your contact
information isn't on your web site. Put your phone number
and address on ever page. It says you are credible. Put
them in every ezine, in fact, put it at the beginning and at
Create a safe place for them to be, a comfort zone. If you
offer a complimentary session, realize that people don't
immediately sign up for these because they aren't
comfortable to. It doesn't matter if you think you are
safe, it's what they think. Step them into working with you
feeling safe the whole way through the process.
People are either boulders or blue birds. Blue birds are
easy to convert to clients. Boulders need to know that they
have a safe place to roll to before they will move.
Question 4: DO I FEEL GOOD ABOUT THIS?
Do I WANT to engage you? Do I feel COMPELLED to click my
mouse or pick up the phone (or whatever the call to action
is)? Do I feel good about myself in deciding to engage you?
Can I trust that I'm making the right decision? What's my
motivation? Am I being motivated by fear, shame, or being
empowered to make a good choice? Am I so excited that I want
to tell all my friends?
Tip #3. ALWAYS INCLUDE THESE THREE KEY ELEMENTS IN YOUR
Element 1: POWERFUL HEADLINE
This grabs their attention and lets the reader know what you
can do for them; the big benefit. Say what the biggest
benefit is up front. Make it about them. Use attractive
words that rock their boulder so they read more.
Element 2: COMPELLING CALL TO ACTION
Your desired result is to motivate your ideal client to act
immediately to engage you directly or indirectly and
generate a prospect by getting their contact information.
What do you want people to do? E-mail, phone, what? What
will compel them to take action?
Element 3: OFFER THEM MULTIPLE CONTACT METHODS
Offer a choice between e-mail, telephone, web site, etc, so
your prospect can choose what is most comfortable to them.
I have visited many web sites where I had to search for five
minutes to find their contact information. I am a
persistent person and I know that most others who have left
after 30 seconds. Can visitors to your web site find your
contact information in 30 seconds? Put the information on
Tip #4. CREATE A SYSTEM
Design a marketing system that you can implement repeatedly.
Make it as automatic as possible. Ask the most valuable
series of questions to yourself, "And then what do you want
them to do? And then what? And then what? Etc."
If they visit your web site ask, "And then what?" If they
subscribe to your ezine ask, "And then what?" And then when
they do that, ask "And then what?" Keep challenging
yourself to come up with the answers.
No, I didn't say it was going to be easy. When I work with
clients, sometimes it takes months to create a system. Most
people give up to easily. Once you have it set up and it
runs automatically, you will understand.
Don't waste your time, effort, and money with one-shot deals
or fragmented marketing activities. Leverage everything.
If you use writing for publicity, don't just write an
article once for your ezine, ask "And now what?" Send the
article to past clients with a "just in case you didn't see
Tip #5: FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, AND FOLLOW UP AGAIN
Following up is one of the biggest areas independent
professional fail to do. Set up a follow up system that is
a part of your overall marketing system. Make it as
automatic as possible -- so that I can run while you are on
If you want to always have that "personal touch" with
everyone, hire a virtual assistant as part of your system.
Always have the next step planned and let your prospects
know of future opportunities to engage you.
Working with many independent professionals this past year,
including coaches, insurance agents, real estate agents,
engineers, too many medical practices to mention, I found
they never asked the challenging question I mentioned
earlier, "And then what? And then what?" Etc. They did
speaking engagements and there was only one "And then what?"
and they stopped there.
Remember people are at different levels and need to build
trust with you. Give them the ladder and the rungs to do
that and they will.
Always contact your leads within 24 hours of receiving them.
Contacting them a week or two later, they people have moved
on. If they had an issue they need to solve that you had a
solution for they had most likely already found someone and
Always follow up by e-mail, telephone, etc, multiple times.
Yes, it's true, 80% of sales are made after five or more
These elements will make all the difference in the world
between struggling to get clients and becoming wildly
successfully in marketing your services. They are worth
investing your best efforts and getting the support you need
to implement them effectively.
The "Secret" of Viral
Viral Marketing is a relatively new phenomenon, and at its simplest is a line of code embedded in any promotional
"give away" item, such as an e-book, that instantly directs the viewer on to your site.
Marketing Smarter to Earn More
How can you market smarter and make more money?
10 Important Marketing Tips
Each of the following Ten Marketing Tips is based on a highly effective, but often overlooked, marketing tactic. How many are you using? How many have you overlooked?