Today we’ll take a look at how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole prospects.
Most of successful professionals use a series of information-based ads that build emotion and a call to action. These are much more effective than a standard company branding advertisements. The same principles that go into putting together a high impact (and, often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs with similar results.
Here are some ways to put together and execute a professional, effective ad campaign:
- Put together a short report that will you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success.
- Develop value-oriented yellow page ads.
- Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered.
- Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business, but make sure you make the information pertinent to your target market and find speakers who are respected and known in the industry.
- Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.
- Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
- Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.
- Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.
- Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or others.
- Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.
- Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
- Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.
- Offer public clinics for the public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable.
- Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.
- Approach local newspaper by offering to write a weekly column about your area of expertise. Do not ask for money, just a byline and bio.
- Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients, not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people, it gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.
- Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program.
- Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.
- Be proactive with your marketing plan.
- Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.
- Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.
- Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income from them to hit the next year and try to push back advertising costs for the next year to offset your expenses.
- Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.
- Offer loaner products to replace equipment that is be repaired or refurbished.
- Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.
- Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.
- Develop a mail order division of your company.
- Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.
- Use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies.
- Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for product you just can’t seem to sell.
So, there are 30 great ways to market to other professional and businesses. Some other great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:
- Get involved you in your community-volunteer, donate to local events, etc.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year.
- Join a local, state or regional professional associate for further networking opportunities.
- Become a board member of a local organization.
Advertising should never be your only method of marketing, there are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.
“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham
If you’re not sure where you start with your marketing plan or how to reach out to your local community, competitors, customers/clients and others who could influence your business in a highly positive way, try our GUIDED TOUR to experience the tools and resources we have to boost your business to the next level and beyond.
There are 5 major components to good advertising copy: (The order of these is essential to success)
- Command Attention
- Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
- Prove the Benefits
- Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
- Call to Action
Advertising is sales in print. So, you need to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase that in a persuasive way. You need to emphasize results, not features.
Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:
- Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with the headline. You need an attention-getter that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your products/services. The headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.
- Showcase Benefits: You have to showcase the benefits of your products and services and, more importantly, show how they will solve or prevent a problem. They need to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are and how they are going to help the customer.
- Offer Proof: This is where you prove what the advertisement is offering. You need to establish you have a method to deliver. Consider information that establishes credibility and past performance.
- Persuade: You need to add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Use a hard sell approach and create scarcity. This will enact your potential customers to feel like they have to act now. Which leads into the last component.
- Call to Action: You need to compel your potential customers to DO something. They need to check out your site, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services…something. Offer a freebie-a booklet, sample, product, bonus, demo, consult, limited time price…the list goes on. There are lots of ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal.
Good advertisements include all of these components and are not complete without any of them. You can sit down and think through any one of these components, then figure out how to best place them together for the most effectiveness. We can help you with this too. Try our GUIDED TOUR to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.
Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.
It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.
We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.
Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.
- The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.
Who can help me meet my goals?
Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?
Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.
- Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) J What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?
If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.
There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:
- Business cards
- Company message
- Your picture
- Your wording
Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)
You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.
- The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.
You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more right here in Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, who can help in your success as well.