How saying something interesting to your target clients will transform your marketing outcomes
By Scott Charlton
This is the second article in an occasional series, the first of which discussed the importance of growing a database of prospective clients. This next element explains how to continually engage that audience by sharing ideas and items of interest.
In an earlier article I mentioned that I was fortunate to witness a gifted marketer in action at first hand. The idea behind this series of articles is to share some of the secrets of his success, so that you too can enjoy fantastic outcomes from your marketing.
The previous article shared ways in which you can be constantly adding qualified names to your marketing database. In effect, this is nothing more than having a growing list of people that you are best suited to help. (If you would like a copy of the previous article, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The critical next step is consistently developing something interesting to share with your prospective clients.
Understand how fascinating you are
I’ve had the privilege of coaching hundreds of practitioners and the pleasure of meeting many more.
One of the characteristics hardwired into the DNA of these professionals is undue modesty about their expertise, experience and accomplishments.
The reasons vary from person to person but there are some common threads. Unfortunately, these admirable qualities tend to work against practitioners from a marketing perspective.
- Hoping the quality of one’s work speaks for itself.
Reality: This leads to becoming the best kept secret in your chosen field.
- An assumption that “Everyone else would do that too”.
Reality: No one else has the same knowledge of your clients’ circumstances. Equally, no one goes the extra mile for these clients as you. The collection of success stories you’ve created with those clients is truly unique.
- Barely pausing after finishing one assignment before charging on to the next.
Reality: Pausing to reflect on completed assignments leads to improved processes. It is also a good place to uncover compelling marketing material.
- Being uncomfortable with anything which might be construed as big noting oneself.
Reality: By tastefully explaining how you help people you will get the opportunity to help others in similar circumstances.
Upon reflection, what I learned from the marketing guru is not really genius. The key thrust of your marketing is engaging with these prospective clients, letting them know how you can assist them.
You will be pleasantly surprised – simply explaining the problems that you solve for clients and how you make their life easier will draw others needing similar assistance to you.
Build story telling into your regular activities
As part of my role, I look at practitioners’ websites quite regularly. Many of these feature a bullet points list of capabilities that look remarkably like everyone else’s lists. With such a distinct lack of differentiation, it’s little wonder that these practitioners’ marketing outcomes are so modest.
True differentiation comes from leading out with fascinating stories of the people you’ve helped.
The term I use for these examples is Case Studies and I do so enjoy them!
Here at Slipstream Coaching, we’ve created a guide to help busy practitioners create a suite of compelling case studies. In the first instance, we have an easy to follow formula by which a succinct, yet powerful client story can be readily developed.
As a coach, I know that even the busiest practitioner can find an occasional hour in the diary for what effectively amounts to a debrief on a client file.
Armed now with this guide, practitioners simply add a keyboard, dictaphone or an interviewer to the mix and first class marketing material emerges quite readily from the process.
Tell your story in interesting ways
The other key lesson I absorbed from the marketing genius is that once developed, there is no end to the ways in which great material can be applied.
In this regard, the first aspect I observed is that there are numerous ways to share this material. Here are some quick examples. (You will likely think of others.)
- PDF information sheet
- Compilation of articles
The second key lesson is that once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s fun to put your own imagination to work. That’s the reason for our guide containing a further three illustrations by which client success stories can be told.
Here at Slipstream, we’ve recently been creating material in two forms which are quite new to me – video clip and podcast. I hasten to add that “We” does not particularly require technical knowledge from “Me”! These days it’s practical and inexpensive to enlist assistance with these aspects, such that the finished article becomes a great ambassador for your business.
I’m hoping this series of articles is dispelling any notion that marketing is in some way “black magic” or “chest beating”.
There are practical ways to develop compelling material about how you help the people you like to work with. Putting this material into the hands of the right people will bring a steady stream of target clients to your door.