Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

get more clients

A Great Marketing Lesson from Chanel

chanel_experience.jpg

Last week, I was close to running out of foundation and knew there was no way I’d be able to get to Nordstrom’s before it was gone.  As an avid online shopper, I have no idea why I insist on going to a department store to buy my makeup, but it’s just something I’ve always done. I Googled the exact color and name of my foundation (which is made by Chanel) to see which online stores might be offering the best deals. After a 30-second turbo search I gave up trying to read through all the fine print and just placed an order on Chanel’s main website. At checkout, a surprise gift was offered — what a nice touch! “Which of our samples would you like to try?”  I placed the order and then promptly forgot all about my purchase. That is, until two days later when a chic-looking white box appeared at my doorstep bearing the iconic Chanel logo. They had upgraded my ground shipping at no extra charge. Things just got better from there. Inside the white box was another box — the kind that might contain a $1500 pair of sunglasses or a  $10,000 watch. For an instant I thought someone had sent me a gift — surely Chanel wouldn’t go to this much trouble for a $60 foundation? Oh yes, they would. Inside the box, my foundation was beautifully gift-wrapped. A black silk-like drawstring purse held my three complimentary samples (they certainly weren’t tossed into the box as an afterthought). And my receipt was neatly and tastefully tucked inside a black cardstock envelope, carefully placed underneath the gift box. Chanel had indeed succeeded at creating an extraordinary experience for me, the client. Even for something as insignificant as a purchase of foundation. And that’s what makes them Chanel — one of the most premier and highly sought-after luxury brands in the world. Do you consider your business a “luxury” experience? If you want to command higher prices and attract the most affluent patients in your business, then creating an extraordinary experience for your clients is critical. While I see many business owners who have worked hard to deliver their clients a wonderful experience (eg the Porsche dealership who picks up your car for service and drops it back afterwards) nowadays you have to go the extra mile. It's expected. Just what constitutes the extra mile? Every year the bar gets raised higher as consumers demand more (if you want a great resource on this read the Middle Class Millionaire - it is excellent.) For example we used to be impressed with cars that had GPS's in them. Now that's all but standard. How about the grocery store who offers to have your groceries carried out, or even delivered, (eyes roll). So yesterday.

The point is this. If like Chanel, you can deliver an extraordinary experience at all price points in your business (and not just the premium ones), your clients will never go anywhere else. It';s time to get thinking about what would make an extraordinary experience in your business!  

 

5 Easy Ways To Get Your Prospects Off The Fence

“I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation.”-Bo Bennett (author, businessman and motivational speaker)

Umm let me have a think about that and I’ll get back to you,”

How many times has someone told you that? (Of course you never hear back from them again.)

If you’re getting push back from your prospects about your prices, or stalling tactics – then this article is for you. The good news is that it likely has nothing to do with your prices or your abilities but it has everything to do about your actual sales process and how you market your business. It’s likely you either don’t have a good one, or you have gaping holes in the one you’ve got that are making people clamor to safety.

The simple truth is that most people tell you “they’ll think about it” for 2 basic reasons:

1) You haven’t given them enough information to enable them to make an informed decision

2) You haven’t given them a compelling reason to jump off the fence now (as opposed to next week or next month)

Here are 5 easy ways to strength your sales process,improve how you market your business, increase your conversion rate and help more people make better decisions about using your services:

1) Prior to any sales appointment or big in person meeting, send them a “Shock n Awe” kit. This kit contains valuable information about your services, your clients and your accomplishments. In every way it should surprise and delight the prospect – think of including an expert audio CD, a special white paper you’ve written on a topic of interest, a copy of your book. Get creative and make this a fun package for people to receive.

2) Script your sales process. Forget “winging” the call. Every top salesperson in America uses sales scripts (usually memorized). Its because they work. Most people don’t even prep before an important sales call, let alone use a script. If this is you then its time to tighten up your process, get some sales scripts crafted and watch what a difference it makes to your conversion rates.

3) Follow up after the call. Just because they say "no" on the phone, doesn’t actually mean no. It just means "not now."Once someone has raised their hand, keep marketing to them again and again. Use a combination of email marketing (better than nothing) and creative “drip” direct mail campaigns (the most persuasive).

4) Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Give them a reason to jump off the fence today. Otherwise expect them to “stay put” until they feel they’re ready (by which time you might be old and toothless).

5) Take away the fear for them. Everyone is petrified of making a wrong decision, especially in business. No one wants to waste their money on a lemon and sadly because so many businesses are mediocre at best – most people buy expecting to be disappointed. In my copywriting and consulting business, practically every client we work with has horror stories of working with other marketing companies. Big promises, poor delivery. Impotent sales copy that completely missed the mark. Missed deadlines, bad quality, horrid graphic design – the list of battle scars is long in our industry. So we flip this on its head, and instead of expecting our clients to take all the risk by using our services – we take on the risk by guaranteeing our services. Either they love working with us and are thrilled with the results or we’ll refund their money. That’s unheard of in our industry. But you can see how it immediately takes the fear away for a prospect. If you truly believe in the value of what you do then why wouldn’t you offer a bold guarantee?

Flying KFC & How To Get More Clients

KFC
KFC

Where I grew up in New Zealand, there’s a pretty large population of Samoans.  In fact, I think there are more Samoans living in New Zealand than on the actual island of Samoa itself.  In case you’re not familiar with its whereabouts, Samoa is a gorgeous Pacific Island nestled almost halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.  Think pristine white beaches, glistening azure waters and people so friendly their smiles could light up the whole island. But here’s the thing.  Samoan people are, as far as national averages go, known to be very much on the large side.  In fact, Samoans share the highest heart disease and diabetes rates in the world.  They love their food.  As an example, let me tell you about Samoans and KFC.  They especially love their KFC.  The only problem is… there’s no KFC in Samoa (at least there wasn’t the last time I checked).  So it’s very common, almost mandatory in fact, for a native Samoan to board their flight from New Zealand to head back home armed with the biggest bucket of chicken Colonel Sanders sells and to have pots of mashed potatoes and coleslaw tucked into their coat pockets.  In fact, if you’re planning your winter escape from New Zealand to Samoa, then also plan on the smell of fried chicken wafting through the cabin for the solid 3.5 of your journey.

For the last 15 or so years the airlines flying to Samoa have turned a bit of a blind eye to all this KFC trafficking.  It has helped filled their planes, their customers are (mostly) happy and everyone wins.  Until now that is.  With tightening airline margins and fierce competition, practically every airline today is duking it out for survival.

When I worked for an airline that flew in the area, we used to get a steady stream of complaints in the legal department, but it wasn’t about the smell of KFC saturating the air on the Samoan flights, as one might think.  It was instead from passengers mashed into a corner, forced to sit next to someone who was so big their fat rolls took up their own seat and two others.  That’s not fun for anyone – the poor person who has to fit their frame into those seats, or their neighbor who can’t even squeeze by to use the rest room.

Well, Samoan Airlines has decided they’re going to fix the problem once and for all.  They are not outlawing KFC on board, but they are charging passengers based on their weight.  That’s right.  If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, or a few hundred extra, you pay more.  A LOT more.  If you miss a few dinners and go on a water diet you just might be able to swing a flight to paradise for mere pennies on the dollar.

As you can imagine, people are in a complete uproar over this.

“It’s discriminatory, it’s racist and it’s a breach of civil liberties,” says one side.  On the other side of the fence, those who run the business and are trying to keep a struggling airline alive say it’s the ultimate “user pays model” and the only way to ensure a “level playing field.”

Apr MD for ezine
Apr MD for ezine

Hmmm.  What do you think?  I think it’s a bold move that makes great sense from a pure business perspective, but makes terrible sense from a customer service perspective.  The majority of Samoan Airline customers are… Samoans.  I suspect they will vote with their feet and take their dollars (and their KFC) elsewhere.  In which case, the top brass might want to take a read of my article from last month’s edition of my paper and ink private client newsletter, Marketing Dynamite:21 Utterly Ingenious Ways To Get More Clients.”  I got so many positive comments about it I thought I would share it again.

3 Power Productivity Tips To Achieve More In Less Time

“My life is one long obstacle course with me being the chief obstacle.”- Jack Parr

Practically every entrepreneur I know and work with gets presented with a lot of opportunity. Their bank account is not yet where they want it to be due to lack of opportunity.

It’s due to lack of time.

In business there are good strategies poorly executed, poor strategies well executed, but rarely is there a new revolutionary strategy. The same goes with managing your time. These strategies may well be familiar to you already. It’s just your execution of them that probably needs a little work.

Tip #1 Stop Answering Your Phone When It Rings.

How can you focus on the really important things in your business when every day you get bombarded with a tidal wave of distractions? Answering your phone anytime it rings is one of the biggest killers of productivity. It’s a sure fire way to derail the plans you had for the day as you now spend it fighting fires or helping others with tasks they’re likely more than capable of handling on their own.

Please, turn your phone off. Get your calls answered by your assistant. Train your clients to make appointments to talk to you so that you can ensure you’re always well prepared for their call (and not answering questions off the cuff). I have a client VIP list – anyone who calls my office on that list gets a call back usually the same day or a priority appointment set. Anyone not on that list gets a call back from my assistant to help them, or, if they qualify, an appointment to speak with me is set which may be in 2 or even 3 weeks time. Return your calls in a clump or schedule set times like I do. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done and how much more prepared and productive you’ll be to the people you do speak to.

Tip #2 Leverage Your “In-Between” Time

Stuck in traffic? CD’s and podcasts are arguably the greatest educational invention since the yellow highlighter. They let you easily and cheaply turn your car into a classroom or a seminar, listening to one of America’s experts discussing your subject of choice. Just about every notable self-improvement or marketing and business expert, author or speaker has a variety of material available in audio form. Information on practically every topic is now readily available for download – from fitness and learning a foreign language, to improving your memory and how to grow your business. You name it and likely an audio version is available for you to listen to during otherwise “wasted” time – when you’re stuck in airports, sitting in doctor waiting rooms, or taking road trips.

Tip #3 Delegate Or Outsource Everything That Isn’t The Highest And Best Use Of Your Time.

You know the things in your business that you’re best at. It’s likely the very thing you get paid the most by your clients to do.

In my case it’s designing growth strategies for clients, creating advertising campaigns and working with my team to create end to end marketing systems. Any task that doesn’t fall into this list I do my best to delegate, or even better outsource. My administrative tasks get done by my assistant. I have two people who do all my proof reading of my campaigns, books and articles (like this one). Through a lot of trial and error I have the most phenomenal graphic and web designers on my team.

I happen to love both graphic and web design but it’s not what I’m best at. Sure I could spend the hundreds and thousands of hours to learn how to do what they do – but why bother? I’ve found three of the most talented graphic and web designers on the planet. They take my strategy and copywriting and produce visual designs that are even better than I could have imagined.

It’s the same with my private clients. Most of them hire me to help with the marketing and growth of their business not because they couldn’t learn how to do it themselves (sure they could with the right materials and time commitment). It’s because they have better things to spend their time on – things they love to do and are outstanding at doing – like spending one on one time with clients, conducting seminars, speaking, motivating staff, securing funding, bringing on new strategic partners, etc.;

The bottom line is this: Protect your time for the precious commodity it is. Leverage your time by spending as much as you can doing only those things that you’re truly the best at doing. Let the rest go. Delegate it or outsource it to the best people you can find.

Piggybacking On Other Businesses: How To Make Co-Marketing Work For You

Client-Stampede-piggyback1
Client-Stampede-piggyback1

Here’s a great marketing strategy and a step-by-step guide on how to leverage OPC (Other People’s Customers) in your business. First of all, why co-market? Co-marketing is just a fancy schmancy term for working together with another business and doing some joint marketing.

There are many easy ways you can do this.

The first way is to structure a co-marketing arrangement in what I call the “double double relationship”. You create a marketing campaign that the other business sends out to their mailing list. And they do the same.

This is really just leveraging each other’s mailing list. For example, imagine you’re a financial advisor and you have a great buddy who’s an estate planning attorney. It’s very, very likely that some of his clients could use your services, and that some of your clients could do with an estate planning overhaul. Everyone wins.

Another way is the endorsed mailing – which is where you create a marketing campaign that the company you’re co-marketing with sends out, under their name (not yours). They basically say what a swell company you are and give them some reasons why they might want to do business with you. This kind of co-marketing arrangement is particularly powerful. You’re unknown to these people, yet suddenly your credibility leaps skyward because you’re getting an endorsement from someone they know and like.

One quick word of caution about the endorsed mailing – whatever you do, never ever endorse a company to your own list that you don’t know to be honest and great at what they do -- 1000%. If you have even a shred of doubt about their ability to take care of your customers – don’t do it. It will damage your own credibility and trust relationship with your clients, and will negatively impact your business and reputation.

The third way to do co-marketing is simply to approach a company and ask if you can “rent their list”. Why would you want to do such a thing? Well, if they have your ideal clients as their customers already – leveraging the list they’ve already spent tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on is like leap frogging to the top of the class. Of course, you could invest the thousands of dollars and many years to develop your own list, OR you could push the easy button, shave years off your learning curve and simply “buy” new ideal clients.

Why Emotional Based Marketing Works

In my private consulting & copywriting practice, I come across a lot of people who sometimes confuse sales with marketing. They’re not the only ones. You see so-called experts get it wrong all the time: Marketing/Sales Workshop: "Sizzling Marketing Ideas to Close More Sales."

What these people are confusing is this:

Marketing is the art of getting warm, interested, live bodies sitting across the desk from you (or on the phone, or visiting your website), that you have never met before.

Sales is getting those same breathing individuals to buy from you!

I have been doing a lot of marketing research on the financial services industry recently.

So far, without exception, every one of those "marketing self help" books provides some great tips on how to better close a sale. The only glaring problem is they provide very little guidance on how to get people in front of you to close in the first place!

Why is this? For the simple reason that the industry leaders have no clue about how to market, so they focus all their energies on sales training help.

Let’s face it. Selling is a heck of a lot easier than marketing.

I'm willing to bet in your business, if I could plunk an interested warm body in front of you, that you’d do a pretty good job of getting them to try your services.

You and I both know you can sell. That’s not your problem.

Your problem is getting the people to sell to!

I’m going to let you in on a little marketing secret. The reason why most people find marketing hard, is because they use logic and “intellectual” reasons to get people to respond to them.

Instead of emotions and empathy.

Remember the people you’re marketing to have no idea who you are. They don’t know how you can help them and how immensely valuable your service is to them.

All they see is someone coming at them with another thing to sell.

But here’s the thing. If you don’t use emotion to get them interested, then they’ll never find out how invaluable you are, because you’ll never get the chance to enter into their lives.

Nobody buys anything based on logic. They make 100% of their decisions based on emotions, and then rationalize their decision afterwards!

That’s because at the end of the day, all that we humans are, is a giant sack of emotions. We’re an emotional species. We can’t separate our emotions from our thought processes. We all have very strong feelings about the decisions we make.

So why does just about every business do the exact opposite?

Because of all that marketing mis-information out there.

So how do you transform your marketing from appealing to their intellect, to their emotions?

By following these four critical rules for emotional based marketing:

  1. Getting to know your prospect’s mind, inside and out. Get in touch with what they’re thinking and feeling (which is not your product or service, I guarantee!).
  2. Talk about them in your marketing, not yourself and your company (this one is tricky because it really goes against the grain of conventional "marketing wisdom").
  3. You must first talk to them about their lives, desire, fears and wants. There will be time later to talk about what you offer. First, you have to get in the gate by making them curious and interested. The only way to do that is by taking the time to build curiosity, empathy and compassion.
  4. Not making the mistake of telling people what you think they need, instead of what they truly WANT!

Still not convinced about the power of emotional based marketing? Next time you go to make a decent sized purchase start being aware of your own thought processes.

Observe how it’s an emotional driver that makes you want to buy, but then notice how your logic kicks in afterwards, to justify the buying decision!

Christmas Craziness and 8 Marketing Secrets to Attracting a Never Ending Supply of Dream Clients

Santa
Santa

As I walk past pictures of angelic looking families gathered around a perfectly decorated Christmas tree, I laugh at how my Christmas experience at that exact minute is polar opposite. My arms are breaking from my shopping bags.

I’ve got an oversized dog bed hanging off of one arm (what was I thinking). My phone is ringing, it’s my printer on the line trying to get final signoff for an Everest sized project for one of my private clients. I’m carrying my toddler’s hat, gloves, coat on one spare finger, and she’s at my side yanking at my coat, too tired to walk because her new shoes she wanted to show Santa are hurting and is about to let the good folks shopping in this over crowded mall know just how much noise can come out a two year old’s lungs.

Ahhh, the holidays.

And a brand new year is peeking just around the corner.

If Santa asked you what you wanted for Christmas this year, would you tell him you wanted a bigger, more successful business? Would you say “hey Santa, can you bring me a boatload of new customers – and not those pesky, high maintenance kind who are always trying to drill me on price – but the kind who are funny, intelligent and fun to work with? And have the ability to pay me? You know, dream clients? Oh, and Santa, would you mind delivering me these dream clients every single week, to my front doorstep like clockwork so I never have to worry about prospecting for new business again and can really build my client base?”

Then the old man with the apple red cheeks and shiny black shoes would chuckle softly and say “well, it’s about time you asked…”

So here it is.

Straight from Santa’s sack.

The 8 Marketing Secrets To Attracting A Never Ending Supply Of Dream Clients For Your Business

  1. Know who your dream client actually is. Sounds obvious but few people have this part thought out. Most folk define their dream client by default as being – well, anyone who wants to pay me. Na-uh. Get clear.
  2. Make a list of 20 -100 companies or people who would be your dream clients. When I first started my copywriting business I set my eyes on working for the really big guys – the Fortune 100 Companies like Walt Disney, Coca Cola and Mercedes Benz. I made my list of 100 companies and looked at it every day, thinking of all the different ways I could “break in” to be able to work with them. I didn’t get to work with all 100. Actually I only got to work with 3 before I changed my focus, but those 3 big clients gave me more work than I could handle. Thing is I would have never have been able to work with them if I didn’t know from the start who I wanted to work with!
  3. Brainstorm how you could create the dream experience for those dream clients. Put yourself in their shoes. If it was you writing them the check, instead of the other way around, what would be the absolute ultimate, rave worthy experience if anything was possible? Now you have your new gold standard.
  4. Hold a focus group of your current dream clients. Take them out to dinner and ask them what you could better. You will be amazed at what they tell you and how much they appreciate you asking their opinion.  Work with your current client base.
  5. Truly there really is no marketing secret if you become a marketing nut. Marketing is the life blood of your business. Period. Remember that it’s not the best company who wins, it’s the best marketing. Make it your business to learn everything you can about real world marketing that has been tried, tested and proven in the battlegrounds of real life. Not crummy marketing theory that should work in principal but is unproven.
  6. Create a monthly, and weekly marketing plan for your business. Then implement it. Separate your marketing into 3 sections:
  • your lead generation
  • what you do to convert a prospect into a paying customer
  • what you do to keep a customer so they buy from you again and again.

7.  Make marketing your daily fix. Just like ordering your cup of Joe or having a lunch break. Spend a little time every single day working on your marketing. Don’t make your marketing a series of sporadic, haphazard events that happen in reaction to cash flow issues or “when you get the time.” Without marketing, you don’t have a business. So put it at the top of your list.

8.  Be remarkable at what you do. Give more than your clients expect. Follow up with them. Care about their success.

Photo Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

The Ultimate Marketing Secret To Attracting More Clients

I once heard a great story about a little commercial fisherman who fishes off a well-known peninsula in New York. This man has become legendary in fishing circles and I even heard it rumored that he was the guy who captured the Great White shark that inspired the movie Jaws. Every morning, Captain Jack heads out bright and early to go fishing. But that’s pretty much where the similarity between him and every other commercial fisherman ends. Instead of hiring a big crew to help get his catch, Captain Jack has one lone deck hand.

And they don’t use nets to catch their fish. Call him old school, but he still prefers to use just fishing poles and lines.

But here’s the thing.

Every day for the past 20 years, without exception, Captain Jack catches not hundreds of fish, but thousands of fish. In fact, he out fishes every single commercial fishing operation in the area, usually by multiple times.

It doesn’t matter what the tides are doing, what time of year it is, or even if the fish are “running.” Captain Jack seems to have the “Midas touch.”

Over the years, he has been interviewed multiple times. Each time, the journalist tries to pry out of him the secret to his success. And every time, this is what he says (what’s most interesting is that it applies just as much to marketing as it does to fishing):

“I make it my business to know everything I can about my fish. I think like the fish, not the fisherman.”

That one little statement right there is the single biggest reason why his methods work while most methods fail.

It was made by an entrepreneur (it could have also been written by a marketer), who is thinking like his prospects, not like other entrepreneurs.

There is no one who knows more about fish in those waters than Captain Jack. For the last 20 years he’s documented the water currents, studied the fish migratory patterns, examined water temperature and, of course, knows his fish food sources.

A fisherman knows it’s all about putting the right bait on a hook to catch the right fish. If you’re looking to catch Cod and you bait your line with an old sock, you’re going to be very hungry come dinner time. On the other hand, if you use Peeler crab at a time when the Cod are looking for it, your chances of success multiply exponentially.

So why then do so many people make the mistake in their marketing of offering the wrong bait to their market? They offer things they themselves think their prospects should be interested in – but don’t actually know for sure what their prospects are looking for.

You are never your prospect. Even if you think you are. Assumptions are the most dangerous (and most expensive) things to make in marketing.

To catch a prospect, you have to think, act and talk like a prospect. Not like a marketer.

When I create advertising campaigns for my private clients, at least half of my time is spent studying the target market. I don’t even dare pick up a pen until I have a very firm grasp of whom I’m writing for and how they think. Copy is written very differently for business owners than for employees. You speak to a 30 year-old man very differently than you’d speak to a 40 year-old man; married women very differently than single women. Moms very differently from “empty nesters." Knowing and understanding these nuances makes all the difference to your marketing - it's the only way to attract more clients.

Think like the fish, not the fisherman and you'll experience your own Client Stampede!

9 Slam Dunk Ways To Attract New Clients to Your Business

Forget magic closing tricks, gimmicky marketing, or having to chase prospects and beg for business. It is easier than ever to attract new clients to your business without having to sully your good name or resort to sneaky tricks to get people to do business with you. Whoa, back up the bus a minute Nelly. Yes, I did just say that prospecting for new clients is getting easier (if you know what you’re doing, that is), and here’s why.

  • Because most businesses are terrible at marketing (and getting worse, not better)
  • Because most businesses drop their customers like a lead balloon once they’ve got your money (you never hear from them again, or their service is plain awful)
  • Because most clients are hugely frustrated/disappointed with the companies they do business with. They’re looking for that one little nudge, that one reason, to switch allegiances and buy from you.

Right? So how do you attract those clients jumping ship to you?

It’s simple. Here are 9 Easy Ways to Attract New Clients:

  • Quadruple check that your product/service solves some pressing problem, terrible pain, or difficult issue. If you don’t think it does, then you need to go back to the drawing board and reposition your service. Moving away from pain is a far more powerful motivator than moving towards pleasure.
  • Make being one of your customers mean something. Do they get a special gift? Some kind of recognition? A membership in a rewards programs that’s actually useful? If not, get your thinking cap on. This is huge.
  • Offer exceptional customer service. Everywhere you go, you can’t help running into companies who treat their customers like dirt. These businesses won’t last (no matter how big they are – mark my words). Show your customers how much you care about them and you’ll be amazed at how much more they’ll want to buy from you.
  • Show that you've helped people just like them (make liberal use of testimonials).
  • Be of service first. Create a powerful, free, opt-in magnet for people. It could be a free white paper, audio series or video. But don’t give free stuff without a plan. That’s just throwing your money away. Your opt-in magnet should help guide people along your sales funnel.
  • Write a great sales letter. Still the most powerful form of marketing on the planet.
  • Implement an referral program with incentives.
  • Follow up, follow up, follow up. Before the sale. During the sale. After the sale. Get a follow up system in place that gets triggered at each of these 3 points.
  • Give your website a “direct response marketing” makeover. No I’m not talking about having to use flash and fancy graphics. I mean rewriting and redesigning your website so that it accurately conveys the value you provide, your expert positioning in the marketplace and magnetically attracts the right kinds of prospects, while at the same time repelling the wrong kinds.

That’s it! Go get em’ tiger. Pretty soon you'll see you've attracted so many clients you'll have your own Client Stampede!

173 Ways To Get More Clients

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, "What is the one thing I can do to get more clients?" Actually, I can do a lot better than that…here’s 173 marketing tips you can do right away. But here’s an important thing to remember…when a client of mine was asked by his colleagues the secret of his success and how they could add 30 or 40 more patients a month to their practices he replied:“I don’t know one way to get 40 new patients, but I know 40 ways to get a new patient and I use all 40 of them!”

1. Get very clear about your marketing message 2. Write out your unique selling proposition 3. Define who your ideal clients are 4. Follow up with prospects within 24-48 hours 5. Deliver more than expected 6. Deliver it before it's expected 7. Implement a referral campaign 8. Use Personality Infused Marketing™ to write a warm letter to family and friends 9. Join a networking group 10. Hold your own focus groups 11. Build a mailing list 12. Offer a bold guarantee 13. Keep your promises (do what you say you’ll do, when you do it) 14. Keep an abundance mindset (not a fear based scarcity one) 15. Call up everyone you didn’t close last month and make a special offer 16. Carve out a niche for your business 17. Be clear about your own unique ability and how this helps others 18. Start a coffee group for prospects 19. Send your clients gifts (birthday, holiday or just random “I was thinking of you” gifts). 20. Start doing presentations 21. Revamp your website so that it’s “Client Stampede compliant,” and is easy to navigate, value filled and builds instant rapport 22. Create a Client Stampede business card so that it actually brings you business 23. Do a co-marketing campaign with another business 24. Hold your own workshops 25. Hold a webinar 26. Hold a teleseminar 27. Do a neighborhood direct mail campaign in areas where you have other clients 28. Time block your time 29. Stop checking email and Facebook throughout the day 30. Raise your prices (really) 31. Start your own blog 32. Write articles 33. Create an auto responder sequence for your website 34. Create a consumer awareness guide 35. Automate your marketing – get your marketing system in place so you can get clients while you sleep 36. Call up your competitors and work collaboratively on a special campaign 37. Start a paper and ink newsletter 38. Write an ezine 39. Create a brochure that clearly articulates what you do 40. Create a one page flyer 41. Create a Welcome to the Family customer kit 42. Create a shock n’ awe box 43. Record an audio program and give it away for free (in return for email addresses) 44. Use sales scripts – don’t wing it 45. Practice your close in front of the mirror 46. Practice asking for triple your current rates in the mirror and keeping a straight face 47. Find out where your best clients have come from 48. Take your “centers of influence” out for  lunch 49. Don’t chase clients for work (but follow up professionally) 50. Remember "no" doesn’t really mean no (except in dating) – keep anyone who says "no" in your follow up file 51. Write a letter to your Chamber of Commerce introducing yourself and offering your services to them to use for free (gain credibility) 52. Ask for testimonials 53. Use your testimonials 54. Provide incentives for referrals 55. Tell everyone what you do – even at family bbqs 56. Ask your clients what success looks like for them 57. Write a sales letter 58. Send a lumpy 3 step direct mail campaign 59. Use your on hold message as a way to educate about the value you provide 60. Get a personal assistant to farm out all the jobs you don’t like doing 61. Write your WHY on a piece of paper and keep it pinned to your desk (the WHY you’re in business for yourself and what you REALLY do for your clients) 62. Keep your best testimonials pinned to your wall so you can see it often 63. Enroll in a copywriting class 64. Realize that all writing in business is copywriting (writing to persuade), and become determined to be great at it 65. Use a bold, curiosity arousing headline 66. Never, never, never give up. The race is won by perseverance, not the person who runs the fastest 67. Memorize your selling scripts 68. Don’t take rejection personally 69. Research your target market and understand what makes them tick 70. Volunteer your time in the community and be visible 71. Write a book or eBook 72. Surround yourself with people who support your dreams and goals (not people who tell you it can’t be done) 73. Stop brand advertising and start REAL Marketing (Rewarding, Easy, Authentic and Loved) 74. Create a tear sheet and send it to your prospects 75. Do a podcast 76. Keep an ideas book for all the big ideas you have for your business 77. Drink your own Kool Aid – make sure you use your own product or service 78. Get a marketing coach who can hold you accountable and help you create your own marketing materials for a fraction of the price it would cost to hire a copywriter 79. Hire a copywriter to create your marketing materials 80. Have a price sheet 81. Offer packages and call them cool, memorable names 82. Protect your confidence by only working with people you like who respect you and your time 83. Don’t be afraid to fire problem clients 84. Invest in your marketing education by attending classes, reading newsletters, reading books 85. Ask for suggestions and feedback from your top clients 86. Implement a lost customer campaign 87. Use a vanity 800 number 88. Become an expert in your marketplace 89. Become a celebrity people are fascinated and intrigued by 90. Use a local celebrity in your marketing 91. Write a guest blog 92. Write a newspaper column 93. Start your own association 94. Spend extra time with your best clients 95. Use a professional photo for your marketing 96. Get a tag line 97. Implement a marketing plan 98. Use a marketing calendar to plan out each of your marketing activities 99. Do fun holiday marketing promotions 100. Become religiously fanatical about direct response marketing 101. Study marketing greats like David Ogilvy, Gary Halbert, Gary Benzivenga, Joe Karbo 102. Write out the copy of one of the best performing ads in long hand – 3 times to get the flow and rhythm of how to write great copy 103. Read Ogilvy on Advertising 104. Use Paypal to accept payments 105. Write newsletters for associations where you’re a member 106. Target and study other great networkers 107. Study the advertising your competition is using (and don’t copy it) 108. Use your email signature to communicate your value proposition and get opt-ins 109. Hold a client appreciation party 110. Get a professionally designed logo 111. Brainstorm different offers 112. Use direct mail to build relationships 113. Realize that email marketing is not free at all 114. Implement a marketing plan 115. Keep your language simple – avoid trying to sound fancy 116. Use take away selling 117. Use positive affirmations daily 118. Create scarcity with your services 119. Be known for one thing 120. Brainstorm all the ways you can quickly and inexpensively connect with prospective clients 121. Ask all your friends for referrals 122. Have a list of topics you can speak on at your fingertips 123. Dress better 124. Respect your clients' time and never take an incoming call when speaking/meeting with them 125. Use call to actions in all your marketing 126. Brainstorm a list of irresistible offers 127. Offer discounts for fast action or full payment 128. Use vision boards for the lifestyle you want 129. Create a team of peers to hold you accountable 130. Start your own mastermind group 131. Check local newspaper for groups that meet on regular basis (city business journal) 132. Create systems for your marketing so you know exactly what needs to happen and when 133. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up! 134. Speak slowly and clearly – don’t try and explain your value at break neck speed 135. Use hand written thank you cards 136. Brainstorm time each week for how you can add more value to your clients 137. Make an apples to artichokes comparison when it comes to your prices 138. Create packages and products out of what you already know 139. Focus on building relationships, not making the sale 140. Write in plain English as if you were having a friendly conversation with someone 141. Brainstorm a list of the 50 best headlines you could use 142. Be passionate about what you do 143. Give back – tithe a percentage of your earnings 144. Slay procrastination by having an action plan each day and sticking to it 145. Do the job you dread the most, the first thing in the day and get it over with 146. Be authentic – don’t ever sell out. 147. Care about the results your clients get 148. Create a survey and find out what your target market really wants, then give it to them 149. Mystery shop your competitors' businesses 150. Become clients of your competitors 151. Start becoming very aware of how other businesses (not in your industry) market themselves – this is where your best marketing ideas will come from 152. Use live stamps to send your direct mail (not bulk rate) 153. Create a memorable experience for your customers they’ll want to tell all their friends about 154. Choreograph everything about your business so nothing is left to chance. 155. Think positively but take immediate action. 156. Behave as if you are already the successful person you want to become 157. Use the “Theatre of the Mind” to practice your selling situations 158. Write a press release announcing new products, services, partnerships or awards 159. Create a video and send out to your list 160. Start tracking the numbers in your business – ruthlessly 161. Know how much a client is worth to you over 3 years 162. Know how much it costs you on average to get a client 163. Give awards to your clients 164. Use attention grabbing signs outside your place of business 165. Make it easy for people to find you – provide clear instructions and maps 166. Follow up with people who don’t show 167. Have a late and no show policy 168. Hold a contest 169. Buy the phone numbers of your competitors who have gone out of business 170. Use a vehicle wrap for your car 171. Sell to groups 172. Don’t advertise like your competition – you have to look and feel different to be different 173. Expect wonderful things to happen. Take massive simultaneous action.

Improve Your Marketing Message - 6 Easy Steps

Do you sometimes struggle to explain to people exactly what it is you do?  Maybe you offer a service that takes a little explaining. Or perhaps you get that awful tongue-tied feeling at a networking event when the room is hushed and all eyes are on you? Sometimes it’s not always obvious to people what the benefits of working with you are, or even who your target market is.  We’re crystal clear on the value we bring to the relationship– but often times our prospects are not.

To fix this problem, sometimes all that’s needed is a refinement of your marketing message.

Try these six easy ways to improve your marketing message and help networkers and prospects grasp your value more quickly.

1. No one cares about the labor pains or the process – just show them the baby!  What I mean by this is no one is interested in your methodology – they only care about the outcome.  Always keep in mind that as people are listening to you speak, they’re secretly thinking in the backs of their minds, “What’s in all this for me, and exactly how are you going to help me?”

2. Walk a mile in your prospect’s shoes and think about what the BIG problem is that’s making them lose sleep at night. What are their top 3 worries when they get out of bed in the morning? If they had a magic wand that would fix anything, what would it be?  What would they pay anything to get access to?

3. Make a list of the top 5 objections your prospects would likely have for NOT doing business with you.  You likely know this list off the top of your head without having to think very hard.  Now write down an answer to each of these objections, and work that into your marketing message.

4. Select a handful of great client testimonials and then sprinkle liberally in your marketing materials.  What someone else says about you is at least 5 times more compelling and persuasive as what you say about yourself. You can also casually drop these “examples” into conversations when talking with people to add more persuasive power.

5 .What would make YOU leap out of your chair and shout “YES!” Think how apprehensive you feel before you decide to invest your money in the services of a person who you’ve never worked with before.  We’ve all had bad experiences… but we’ve also had some amazing experiences too.  Think about a message you can deliver that would relieve any nervousness and get them feeling excited and confident in working with you?

6. Make your marketing materials stand out and grab readers by the eyeballs by using snappy headlines that demand to be read.  Think of your headline as the ad for your ad.  Use phrases that arouse curiosity or speak directly to the reader like “Discover how to…” or “Never before revealed secrets of….” Your headline has to immediately answer that same old question we talked about above - “What’s in it for me?”

As you begin to talk with colleagues and prospects, watch how they react to what you say. Do they ask similar questions?  Are they still confused about anything?  Get feedback from people you trust about what your marketing messages (ideally someone who is in your target market and not your beloved Mom, spouse or great Aunty Sue). Then apply what you learn as you create a new elevator speech, new marketing materials and new service offerings.  Remember, as your business grows, you’re going to keep refining your marketing message – this is perfectly normal and to be expected as you keep getting better and better at what you do!

Your Marketing Message - It Ain't About You!

Your marketing message is one leg of a three-legged stool that also includes the right market and media, and it’s the fundamental building block to building a successful marketing system.  It’s also the secret sauce that quite literally could make or break your business.  Domino’s Pizza built a multi-million dollar empire on the strength of their marketing message – it was just 7 words long. What’s your marketing message?

In my work as a copywriter and coach, I critique hundreds of ads and sales letters every year.  One of the most common mistakes I find is that… most businesses focus the message on themselves.

Having a marketing message that’s all about you - your accomplishments and your success comes off as hollow bragging.  It doesn’t create a compelling marketing message to make your prospects want to leap out of their La-Z-Boy and go flying to the phone to call you. It doesn’t build rapport. And it doesn’t answer that age-old marketing acid test: what’s in it for me?  Newsflash: to get your marketing noticed by the right people and connect with your prospects, you have to make your marketing all about them, not you.

Now don’t worry.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about your success and accomplishments.

It’s all in the way you do it. Good copywriting repositions your experience and success in a way that servestheprospect and makes them feel so connected to you that it’s like you’re reading their mind.  That couldn’t be more opposite to the way most people market their businesses – which is usually about pushing a message out to the market that’s all about them.

Also, never give prospects or customers a reason to say, “So what?” Sentences like “I’ve been in business for 20 years,” or “We care about our customers,” can lead to the “So what?” response.  You have to link the dots and tell your customers why that’s important to them.

I recently got a card from a Gold Stampede Member who, after purchasing my Ultimate Marketing Homestudy Toolkit, changed his marketing message from the “we’ve got” to the “you get” approach. He also rephrased all of those harsh sounding sales words in his sales letter (he now uses “agreement” instead of “contract,” and “invest” instead of “buy.” These words can be found on my list of 23 Most Persuasive Word Subs). He told me his leads increased and his closing ratio jumped from 35 percent to 56 percent with those changes.

By taking a client centered approach to your marketing, you’ll also stand out from your competition, who most likely don’t do much else in their marketing other than talk about themselves. Don’t believe me? Dust off a copy of the Yellow Pages and see for yourself (doctors, attorneys, nutritionists, real estate agents, plumbers, life coaches… you name it – ME based marketing is everywhere!)

How To Attract Clients By Leveraging Your Most Powerful Marketing Asset – YOU!

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia As a small business owner, the temptation for many of us is to pretend that we’re bigger than we really are.  We live in a world where bigger is better – bigger houses, bigger cars, bigger bank accounts… so of course it makes sense for us to assume that people only want to do business with bigger companies – not the one person consulting firm, the solo freelance web designer or home-based business coach.  This is simply not true.  There is incredible power in being “an army of one,” and I’m going to encourage you to celebrate your business size, not hide it.

Here are two pieces of very valuable client attraction advice for you:

1)    Resist the urge to make yourself look bigger than you really are.  Bigger is NOT always better (in fact, nowadays in business, bigger is rarely better – the service gets worse, it gets harder and harder to speak to a real person at the end of the line, and we lose all sense of connection with the company we’re working with). At the end of the day people want to do business with people – REAL people, not some big faceless, impersonal company who makes them feel like just another number or another sales statistic.

2)    Don’t lose your own voice in your marketing.  Marketing is nothing more than a way of connecting with people.  Your voice, your authenticity, what YOU bring to the table to help your customers solve their problems isthemostvaluableassetyouhave.  Don’t be tempted to neuter the language down to sound like it’s being written from a larger business, from no person in particular, or from someone who’s not really you.

No one else does exactly what you do – the way that you do it.  Your own special uniqueness is what helps set you apart from everyone else out there.  Don’t hide this.  Bring it forth and shine a giant spotlight on it.  Shout it from the rooftops so that you will attract clients who mirror those same qualities and values as you and who will be an honor to work with.

This kind of marketing is what I call Personality Infused Marketing™  and it forms the basis of The Ultimate Marketing Homestudy Toolkit - Personality Infused Marketing™ is an immensely powerful way to connect with your audience, a more meaningful and authentic way to attract and serve your clients, and a happier, more stress free way to run your business.

Once you give yourself permission to be authentic with your marketing, you will be amazed at the difference it makes to your life and to the lives of the people you serve.

Marketing: How to Beat the Pricing Bugaboo

Pricing is a very sticky topic among just about every solo business owner I know. That’s because when we started our businesses, we had no idea what to charge, but we were told that there are market “norms” – amounts that people will, and won’t, pay for things.

So we take a peek at what our competition is charging – we charge the same, or most commonly, we charge less than the competition, to make our prices look competitive.

There are a couple of major flaws with this strategy…

First, if we let the market dictate the prices we charge and how we charge them – then we’re effectively letting other people set our income.

I once did some consulting work for a printing company that told me they couldn’t change their prices because there were industry guidelines that “set” their prices!  Huh?!

You’re the entrepreneur!

You’re the captain of your own ship!

One of the GREATEST things about working for ourselves is that we don’t have to play by anyone else’s rules.  There’s no boss breathing down our necks watching how long our lunch hour is, or deciding if we deserve a pay raise.

Now we get to make the rules including what we think the value of our services are. Lesson 1: don’t let anyone else tell you how you should “price” your services and determine your income.

Here’s the second problem. Most people only know one way to market their business – based on price.  Being the cheapest in your marketplace is a very dangerous, a very stressful and very unstable position for your business to be in.  Here’s why:

1)    Because someone more desperate and more hungry than you can ALWAYS undercut your prices.  Having a value proposition that you’re the cheapest has never worked long term for any business (perhaps with the exception of Wal-Mart, who has become the1000 pound gorilla of “cheapness”).  Cheapness is a recipe for disaster.

If you’ve marketed your business as being the lowest cost and suddenly your competitor gets behind on their mortgage payment, gets desperate and offers even lower prices – you’re in big trouble.  You’ve either got to keep undercutting your prices – working more for less – to maintain the integrity of your value proposition.  Or you have to find a better, different way of marketing your business fast!

2)    Secondly, people who shop at the bottom end of the market are the worst kinds of clients to have anyway.  They’re typically high maintenance, high drama, folk who don’t appreciate you or your value.  And they’re always trying to beat you down on price.  Let other people serve those clients – not you!

I was at Tractor Supply the other day and saw a landscaping truck with this slogan on the side – “We won’t be undersold.  We guarantee to beat anyone’s price.”

It was obvious to me that this guy had seen some big company (probably Wal-Mart) use this kind of marketing strategy.  And he probably thought it made great sense for him to do the same, without realizing the horrible trap he was falling into.  It’s not his fault – no one likely showed him how to market his business any better way.

Now here’s a really big secret.

Not everyone buys on price.

In fact not even the majority of people buy on price.

That’s why you can drive through the ghetto and see some of the biggest TVs you’ve ever laid eyes on.  It’s also why we have so many stores that aren’t the $2 store.

But here’s the rub.

In order to not get caught serving the bottom end of the market, you have to provide compelling reasons why your customers should never buy on price, and why your services are so much better. 

Because if you don’t do this, people will always default to deciding on price.   You need to convince them to do otherwise. We’re all hard wired that way.

This is not easy to do, which is why so many business owners struggle with their marketing.  And it’s why I spent almost a third of my Ultimate Marketing Toolkit on explaining how to create real value for your customers and get them to happily pay you more money, even at prices much higher than your competition.

Your success boils down to these two simple things: Having great marketing and creating real value for your customers.  When you have both these things working for you seamlessly in your business, then truly, the sky is the limit!

How to Turn Mud Into Chocolate Mud Pies ...

"When written in Chinese the word "crisis" is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity"  ~John F. Kennedy, address, 12 April 1959 Nearly a month ago a small tornado ripped through the sleepy town of Dexter, MI.  As with most tornados, it arrived with little warning and plowed a path of destruction that stretched over 10 miles, upending trees, houses and the lives of the people who live and work there.

Dexter also happens to be the city just north west of where I live.

And its where I keep my horse.

By nothing short of a miracle, the tornado missed the barn by less than ¼ of a mile.  The night the tornado unleashed its fury I got a text from the barn manager to say that despite the 135 mph winds, all people, animals and property were safe.

I happen to believe in miracles, and that was certainly one of them!

The next morning I yanked on my boots, hopped in my car and headed out there to double check on my horse.

As I approached the little town, the first sight of damage I saw was that it looked like someone had emptied 100 dumpsters worth of trash onto the branches of trees.  The damage got worse as I drove on.  It looked like a war zone and I felt like as if I was part of some kind of horror movie set on a Hollywood backlot.

King Kong had stepped on a car wash building and squashed it flat as a pancake.

A restaurant had its whole top floor ripped off.

Cars were overturned or wedged into the side of buildings.  Homes destroyed beyond recognition.

A somber parade of more than 30 huge landscaping trucks shuddered past me to begin the mammoth clean up task.

As I sat in the traffic jam, I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the local business owners.  Dexter has a thriving small business community, but how many would have planned  for this kind of catastrophic event?  Very few was my guess.  Most would have woken up that day thinking it was just going to be a regular, old Thursday.   Now, in one foul swoop their incomes had been severed, their homes damaged, and they had no idea when they’d next receive another paycheck ….

Except for one little business, that is.….

Which just so happens to be my favorite little coffee hut out there.

As I approached the lot where the coffee hut was located,  I noticed that unlike the rest of Dexter (which understandably was in a total state of shock and mourning), the place was a hive of activity.  The vibe, very upbeat.   Everywhere I looked there were people – in cars, out of cars, directing traffic, talking to each other…there was laughter even - police officers, landscaping crews, rescue crews, locals, volunteers…

In fact, you could say the place was rocking.

I also noticed that everyone seemed to be drinking coffee!

Turns out the little hut had survived the tornado but had no power or water.

That would have been enough to keep most businesses shut.

Not this little business.

The owner had brought in a mobile truck complete with generator, a portable espresso machine and a cash register. And someone had been up baking carrot cake muffins that were being handed out left, right and center.  Extra staff had been called in to help, and they were taking, and making coffee orders like crazy.

Never mind that the parking lot was strewn with debris, or had huge potholes which a mini could get lost in.  The staff were running around, taking orders, bringing coffees, boosting morale.

Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

On one day I’m sure that little business made more money in a 24 hour period then it did the whole month prior.

That takes some “hootzpah, and some fierce bulldog determination to succeed no matter what.  I don’t know that owner, he isn’t part of any of my coaching groups at the Client Stampede, but I’m going to seek him out to hopefully interview him on how to thrive despite mountain sized obstacles

Reminds me of another favorite quote of mine…

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of equal or greater opportunity" - Napolean Hill

Time to Go... When Firing a Client Can Be the Kindest Thing to Do

You might have heard of people say “The customer is always right,” and “Whatever the customer wants you should do.” Now, I am the first person to tell you that providing exceptional customer support in your business is a necessity – serving clients is the ONLY reason any of us are in business.  And it’s an honor and privilege I certainly don’t take lightly – I’m sure you don’t either.

But unfortunately, not all clients are made equal.  Some people have a PhD in complaining.  Others just decide to perpetually get out of bed on the wrong side every morning.  None of this happens to have anything to do with you.  Some clients think because they’re paying you for a specific product or service that they actually own you – and have the right to treat you as they want… calling you all hours of the day and night, beating you up on price, changing the project specs on a whim with no advance warning, paying late, or in some instances not even paying you at all.

This doesn’t have anything to do with customer service.  This is what I call ABC – Abuse By Client.

One of the worst ABC cases I’ve experienced was with a financial advisor who had very a high-end clientele in a posh part of town.

Over the years, he had managed to build a very successful business for himself, especially during the housing boom.  But when the economy turned – as happened for many, his business dropped off substantially and the old way of attracting clients wasn’t working for him anymore.

In fact by the time he’d come to me for help with his marketing, he hadn’t had a new client in more than 2 years!  You could say this guy needed my urgent attention!

When I look back on the whole experience I realized that this client had been waving some bright red flags from the very first consult.  But I had felt a deep empathy for his situation and really wanted to help him.

That was Lesson Number One.  When entering into a new business relationship – always, always listen to your intuition.  If something doesn’t feel quite right then, at the very least, buy yourself some time to think things through before leaping headfirst into a decision you’ll surely regret.

After the initial consult, I spent a full day at his office doing an in-depth diagnostic and prescriptive consultation with him.

This is a critical, very deep dive where I overturn every aspect of a client’s existing business to see where the big hidden opportunities and low hanging fruit are.  Except, not in this case.

Instead of letting me do the work he was paying me for, for the first half of the day all he did was talk about himself and his idea of how marketing should be (remember, this is a guy who hasn’t been able to get himself a new client in more than 2 years).

That was Lesson Number Two.  If someone is looking to hire you for your services, but then turns around and tells you how they think you should do your job – run – don’t walk – away from that relationship.

You’re probably thinking I was out of there by now, right?  Wrong.  I kept on… thinking this was a “nice guy” who clearly really needed my help. He had the money to pay me... surely that was enough..

What gave me an ice cold bucket of reality was when it came to agreeing the details of our future working relationship.  Suddenly, this nice and somewhat talkative guy became a tyrant.  Wow, was I wrong! He made it perfectly clear that as he was going to be paying me a substantial sum of money (more than double what my currently monthly earnings were at the time), that he “owned” me.  He also made it clear there was only one way of doing things – his way.  And then he proceeded to beat me up over the head on price trying to extract every possible concession from me.

I began to lose sleep over the relationship.  Every time he emailed me or called I would feel sick to my stomach.

That in itself is a massive warning sign that a client needs to go.

So I ended up withdrawing from the relationship.  It was hard to do because I was walking away from a substantial amount of money and I didn’t have a whole lot else sitting in my pipeline.

But I realized the personal toll the relationship was taking on me wasn’t worth any amount of money.  And I wasn’t being fair to my other clients because this guy was sucking the life out of me.

Having the guts to fire that client was one of the hardest and the best decisions I ever made. It gave me a real sense of freedom and empowerment that I really did have the power to choose who I did business with.

The day you stand up for yourself in your business and say “No – this isn’t how I want to be treated.  No your behavior isn’t acceptable and no you’re not the kind of client I want to do business with” – is the day you’ve achieved massive success in your business.

It’s a fantastic feeling.

Saying “no” to the wrong kind of client also means you can say “yes” to the right kind. Not long after that difficult experience, I attracted one of my most favorite clients (we’re still working together today).  If I had worked with the other gentleman I would have never have had the capacity to work with my dream client and that opportunity would have flown right by.

Pocket Money

Here's my last story to share with you about my Irish Christmas vacation..well maybe my last, I just might have one more up my sleeve... So there I was.  In blustery, butt freezing Belfast.  Out braving the cold and the throngs of mad post-Christmas shoppers.

The wind was relentless, my cheeks were bright red (even redder than usual) and the sky had just opened up, pummeling me with pea sized pieces of ice.

So.... I did what any sane person would do.  I gritted my teeth, stayed my course and made a beeline through the now icy streets.  I had  my target fixed firmly in my sights while people all around me were bailing left right and center into the nearest pub.

I hurdled around the corner and charged through the doors of my destination - a mega sized department store called Marks & Spencer. Fighting my way through the throng of frenzied, wet and hail assaulted shoppers I made my way to the kids clothing area.

I did manage to find what I was looking for - a cool sweater for my daughter (one with patchwork elbows made of ridiculously soft Irish wool).

Then, as I was lining up to pay, my eye caught sight of something which can only be termed as sheer marketing brilliance.

It was a sign strategically placed to catch the attention of anyone under 3ft tall, right next to where "Mum" would be forced to stand in line for the next 10 minutes at check out.

Here's all the sign said.

"Pocket Money" (that's Irish speak for Allowance),

Beneath it was a series of little bins with at least 35 different ways to separate kids from their precious weekly allowance with all kinds of useless colorful trinkets.

Absolutely brilliant marketing.  Here's why.

First of all the sign specifically targets kids to buy stuff using THEIR OWN MONEY. The sign is not meant for adults to read, it wasn't even at our height.

Secondly the sign is located in the area most Moms and kids visit - in the kids clothing section.  Most kids HATE clothes shopping and get dragged there under duress.  This little marketing ploy was the perfect diversion to keep the kids out of their "Mum's" hair and make a sale at the same time.

And thirdly, the location of the sign was strategically placed to catch little eyes while they were rolling theirs, bored senseless and being forced to wait in line.

This kind of marketing brilliance is called niche marketing - and if you're not doing it in your business, that's why you don't have an extra zero at the end of your income....yet!

(For those of you who are smart enough to have already invested in a copy of my Client Stampede Ultimate Homestudy Toolkit - don't worry the easy niche marketing magic formulas I give you in there are bullet proof...just plug and play and you're on your way!)

As the rich happily say "there are riches in niches!"

A Dose Of Thursday Inspiration And A Life Changing Strategy For Your Marketing

We’re already nearly half way through January, so here’s a little inspiration if your New Year’s resolutions are wearing thin, or you’re struggling with a big problem in your business right now (like not getting enough clients)… When JK Rowling (Harry Potter inventor) wrote her first book, she was so poor she couldn’t even afford to have photocopies made of the transcript.  So she typed out 3 entire copies of the manuscript to mail to potential agents.

Good ol’ blue eyes, Frank Sinatra was dumped TWICE by a record label.  Lady Gaga was told she wasn’t talented enough by her first record company. They fired her, too.

Whether you are fans of these three artists or not, just imagine what they would have deprived the world of if they’d quit.  If they’d said, “This business is too hard, I’m gonna go drive taxis instead…"

Now back to you and what all this has to do with your business.

I’m assuming that what you do in your business really DOES help others.  You’re only selling a product or service you truly believe in…right?

Ok, good.

And just one more thing I need to check with you: people NEED what you’re selling too, right?

Alright, phew.  I just wanted to check you weren’t scrambling around trying to find a market to “sell your thing to” – there’s already a hungry market out there.

Well in that case, GET OUT THERE AND MARKET YOUR BUSINESS.  You don’t owe it to yourself – you owe it to the hundreds, possibly thousands of future raving fans who are desperate to find someone like you to do business with. They’ve been searching for you for a LONG time.

Many of my private copywriting clients say exactly that.  “We’re SO glad we found you!”  That’s because I remove a huge stress from their shoulders, I take the guess work out of their advertising, I do exactly what I say I’ll do, and I get them real, measurable results.

Just think about it for a second.

That one realization that you OWE IT TO OTHERS TO TELL THEM ABOUT HOW GREAT YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE IS - changes EVERYTHING about the way you approach your business.

If your future customers don’t know about you, their lives are going to be a lot harder.  They NEED you.  They’re looking for you.  And they’re looking to you for ways to make their lives easier.

It also means that you’re now approaching your marketing from a giving mentality instead of a taking mentality… and that’s one of the BIG secrets to attracting more customers.

So now I’ve helped you change the way you think about marketing and selling your business.  You’re not doing it from the perspective that it’s an activity you have to do in order to make a bunch of money (although that’s exactly the happy by-product of what we do).  It’s about looking for ways to help others, and telling enough people about the great work you do.

One of my mentors Zig Ziglar once said “you will get everything in life if you will only help enough others get what they want in life.”

So true.

Now get out there and tell others about how you can help them!

Three Smart Questions to Find Out About Your Target Market

No matter what kind of marketing you’re doing – whether it’s a blog, a billboard, or a brochure…there are 3 CRITICAL areas that must be in alignment: there must be a market to message to media match. This is also referred to as a marketing triangle. If any one of these areas is out of alignment, it’s certain death for your marketing. The most critical is WHO is your target market. This must be the starting point for ALL your marketing, because if you get this wrong, then your marketing message will be seen by the wrong people no matter what media you select.

Here are 3 very smart questions to ask yourself about your target market. The objective of asking these questions is really to “get inside their head” in order to help you write powerful copy that’ll resonate with them.

Robert Collier says you need to write copy so that you are “continuing the conversation your prospect already has going on in their head.”

Here are 3 starter questions to ask yourself about your target market that’ll do just that:

1. What keeps them awake at night? – What has them sleepless, what’s really bugging them so bad they can’t sleep?

2. What are they scared of? – Everyone is afraid of something!

3. What are their top 3 daily frustrations? If you don’t know – get the list, talk to enough of them so you get consensus.

Once you have the answers, you need to relate them back to the product or service you sell (e.g. Is the government making you see red with yet another tax hike for small business owners? Come to my free seminar – The 7 secret strategies for small business owners to slash their tax bill legally …).

Why Marketing Your Business Is The Highest And Best Use Of Your Time

I don't care what business you're in - there is one single universal truth that you need to wrote in big bold letters with a fat sharpie and place right above your desk to look at 10 times a day. Marketing your business is THE single best and highest use of your time.

Why?  Because, no matter what business you think you're in...whether you're a plumber, a dermatologist or you sell cars for a living...the real business you're in is the marketing business.

Yes I know - if you've been following me you would have heard me harp on about this point.  A lot.  In fact, if I could, I would take a sledge hammer and pound it into your brain, because....understanding this one principal - just this ONE - is all that it would take to completely transform your business.

If you can move from thinking about yourself as being in the restaurant business, the weight loss business, the clothing business - and instead think of yourself as being in the marketing of that product, service or "thing" - that's when you're going to start seeing extraordinary results.  There is no better use of your time, no bigger "payday" than the time you spend on marketing your business.  Want more money?  Invest more time and money in learning how to effectively market your business.  Cracking this nut holds the keys to the kingdom, the secret to your riches...and fortunately it's exactly what I specialize in helping you do.