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The 7 Musts of Marketing: How to Build a System That Makes Clients Come to You

» Introduction
While preparing for my second annual Small Biz Marketing Summit (a training seminar for service professionals) I was looking for the overall theme to promote my event. After days and weeks of struggling to come up with the right idea, I finally stumbled upon results of little known research that revealed the “seven marketing habits” of super-successful companies. Instantly I knew I found my “Holy Grail.”
» Step 1

Most business owners and professionals are "doers". There is nothing wrong with that - that's why they work for themselves and get things done! But often they get so busy they lose sight of where they are going and how they want to get there.

But creating a marketing plan sounds so intimidating even the thought of it scares the living-jibbies out of most people. Fact is, you don’t have to kill a tree to create simple marketing plan.
Start by listing your ideal clients, the top three to five lead generating strategies to reach them, and first few implementation steps.

It’s amazing how a one page document can get you focused and motivated to take the right action.
» Step 2

I once heard a statement that on Coca-Cola's balance sheet over 90% of their value is represented by their "brand equity". If building a brand is good enough for them, don't you think it could do some good for you?

How do you differentiate yourself? What makes you, your services or products unique? With the explosion of service businesses it should be your top concern - to set yourself apart from the pack.

If you are providing an ordinary product or service it may be hard to set yourself apart based on what or how you do it. But there is one thing in your business that no one else can duplicate – YOU!
» Step 3

If no one knows what you do you will always struggle to get enough business. Advertising, direct mail, networking, public speaking, publishing articles are just a few ways of getting the word out. And, don’t forget about free publicity - what's better than having someone else talk about you!

Stop being busy and take time to learn how to develop effective announcements and "hooks". With a bit of effort you may get all sorts of media attention that will give your business the ultimate marketing boost you are always looking for.
» Step 4

A strong online presence can become a serious marketing weapon. But if you are confused how to make your web site generate leads and sales - you are not alone. In fact over 95% of small business web sites are a total waste of time and money. They will never make their owners a penny!

Amazingly, with a few simple and inexpensive tweaks you can turn your online brochure into a lead and profit generating machine.
» Step 5

Do you ever feel that in order to market your services and get clients you have to overly boast what a great job you do? That leaves you feeling sleazy and unprofessional. No wonder you avoid marketing all together!

However, most potential clients don’t have a clue about all the ways you can help them. It’s your job is to educate them. Write articles, give public talks, publish a newsletter or even write a book.

These strategies can turn your expertise into industry recognition, credibility in your field, and make you feel like the ultimate professional – all while you are marketing your services!

(Personal note: Oh please, don't give me excuses that you are not a public speaker or are not a good writer... If a schmuck like me - with only high-school diploma and English as a second language can write a short article and deliver a presentation... Believe me - you've got no excuse!)
» Step 6

More than 80% of all sales are made on or after five contacts with the prospect. Yet, most people give up after the second follow-up call. Why? They don't know how to consistently stay in touch with their prospects, referral sources and existing clients.

Develop and automate a follow-up system that gets results and doesn't take over your life. Publish a newsletter or ezine, collect and distribute interesting articles, regularly send out postcards with a short tip or quote.

There must be a million inexpensive ways to regularly put your name in front of your clients and prospects. Just get started and do it consistently!
» Step 7

If you are anything like a typical service provider or small biz owner, chances are it's a bit tough for you to ask for the sale. Even though you know the great benefits your clients get from working with you I bet at times you still get chocked up when it comes to closing the deal.

Stop leaving “money on the table” only to learn that your competitors gobbled up the deals that belonged to you. Develop an advisor-like selling paradigm. Learn and practice consultative sales approach and never again feel guilty about closing the deal.
» Step 8

Wait a second – I told you there were seven “marketing habits” – so what’s this number eight all about. You see this is the last, simple, often overlooked element of marketing – consistently under-promise and strategically over-deliver!

Yeah, I know, it’s so simple it’s almost embarrassing to mention it here. But often we get so focused on getting the business we forget to “pamper” the clients we already have. Just for the sake of it - imagine what would happen to your referral rate if you were always as responsive to your clients as you were on the day before they hired you.

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