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DO IT! MARKETING
77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
By DAVID NEWMAN
AMACOM Copyright © 2013 David Newman
All rights reserved.
STOP THROWING MONEY INTO A MARKETING BLACK HOLE
A stern-looking executive stares out at you from the page in the magazine.
The body of the ad reads:
I don't know who you are.
I don't know your company.
I don't know your company's product.
I don't know what your company stands for.
I don't know your company's customers.
I don't know your company's record.
I don't know your company's reputation.
Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?
This ad first ran in BusinessWeek in 1958. And its message is even more relevant today: You must build relationships before you sell.
If you're investing in trusted advisor marketing (it goes by several other names like inbound marketing, thought leadership marketing, and content marketing), then you've probably asked yourself, "How (and when) will this generate a sale?"
And that is the completely WRONG question to ask.
By the time you're done reading this book, you'll see exactly why—AND you'll be able to ask (and answer) much better questions to grow your business right away.
INSIGHT 1: YOU NEED TO SELL THE SAME WAY THAT YOU BUY.
Look at your e-mail spam or bulk e-mail folder. Yes, you. Yes, right now.
I'll wait ...
Tap-tap-tap- tap. You're back. Excellent.
Did you see that spam e-mail from the toner cartridge company? Did you catch the pitch from the SEO firm that filled out your website's contact form? Did you respond to that great deal on vacation cruises? No?
OK. Now pop over to your paper mail pile on your desk. Did you check out the latest triple-play offer from your friendly cable company? How about that compelling cell phone offer from Verizon? The Wall Street Journal subscription offer? Or how about that postcard—you know, the one from the home heating oil company? No?
When's the last time you gave your credit card number to a cold caller who interrupted your family dinner? NEVER??
But you seem pretty excited about YOUR cold calls—and sending out YOUR spam, YOUR offers, YOUR postcards, YOUR sales messages.
The problem with doing it this way? In four words:
Zero. Value. For. Prospects.
And hello? YOU don't BUY this way.
What in the world makes you think your prospects DO?
Look once more at the ad at the start of the chapter and answer a few simple questions:
Question 1: What VALUE have I ADDED to my prospect's world in order to EARN the RIGHT to INVITE them to a conversation and OFFER my solutions to their problems, headaches, heartaches, and challenges?
INSIGHT 2: REFERRALS ROCK ... BUT THEY'RE NOT DEAF, DUMB, OR BLIND.
The next thing you're going to tell me is that you don't NEED to do any marketing because 99 percent of your business is repeat and referral business, and it's always been that way. You don't see how any newfangled marketing is going to move the needle toward closing more sales.
Do you seriously think that referrals don't check you out online before picking up the phone? What messages are you sending to your valued referrals with:
* Your outdated website. Articles from three years ago are outdated, friends. And from 2005, even more so. And design aesthetic from 1998 most of all.
* Your sporadically updated blog that you leave dormant for two (or four or six!) months at a clip?
* Your abandoned Twitter account that you set up because someone said you had to? Now it has 87 followers while your competitors have 5,000 (or a whole lot more).
* Your sketchy, bare bones LinkedIn profile that has 200 connections but only two recommendations? (And they're from two years ago. From people with the same last name as you.)
* Your "glory days" articles and TV clips and PR placements from 20 (yes, I'm serious), 10, or even five years ago. Nothing screams "has-been" like old media.
Make no mistake: Getting repeat and referral business is great.
But don't kid yourself that this absolves you from having a top-notch web presence, social media platform, and body of knowledge that is ultra-current, super-relevant, and obviously abundant.
In fact, you are leaving yourself open to EMBARRASSMENT if your advocates hear back from their referrals and find themselves in the awkward position of having to defend your out-of-date marketing platform, which now casts your professional expertise into doubt.
Question 2: Does my overall online presence REASSURE and REINFORCE the referrals I earn? Does it contain the most current, credible, and relevant marketing messages, positioning, content, resources, and value that will make my advocates LOOK BETTER—not worse—for referring me?
INSIGHT 3: TRUSTED ADVISOR MARKETING IS A FOUR-LAYER ENCHILADA.
And you don't get to eat the delicious golden-brown cheese without first layering on the meat! Here's what "four-layer" means:
1. The first layer—at the core of the matter—is your Reputation. Your work. Your track record. If you stop there, you'll have a VERY hard time attracting NEW leads and prospects to your doorstep. "My work should speak for itself" is what a lot of very smart people say—smart people who have a hard time making their mortgage payments.
2. The second layer is Amplification. Ways to make your signal stronger. Enter social media marketing, niche PR, article marketing, blogging, keyword research, and search engine optimization. This is the key to spreading your ideas and broadcasting your expertise.
3. The third layer is Leverage. This is where you begin to capitalize on your trusted advisor assets such as articles, blogs, videos, podcasts, interviews, white papers, special reports, book excerpts, and other value-first marketing tools. You can now reach out to high-probability prospects both individually (on LinkedIn, for example) and collectively (on your blog, for example). This is where your job becomes putting the right bait on the right hooks in the right lakes to catch the right fish.
4. The fourth layer is Gravity. This is like Jim Collins's flywheel concept in Good to Great: It takes a long time to get it spinning but then is very hard to stop because of the power of momentum. This is where you start to see payoffs: more leads, better prospects, bigger opportunities, more conversations, higher profile alliances, more invitations to speak, publish, guest post, contribute and teach, and [drum roll, please] more invitations to do great work at premium fees for great clients who NOW know you, like you, and trust you enough to hand over five- and six-figure checks because their level of confidence in your expertise is pretty close to 100 percent.
Question 3: Do you want to make more sales to strangers? (Good luck with that). Or do you really want more people to recognize, respect, and request YOU by name when they have a need, project, or problem that they instantly see has "your name written all over it"? If that's your goal, then trusted advisor marketing is for you.
Reread the ad at the beginning of the chapter, and let's do a twenty-first-century spin on it together.
* I don't know who you are.
* I don't read your blog. I don't subscribe to your newsletter.
* I don't see your name in my industry's publications.
* I don't hear my peers spreading your ideas.
* I don't come across your content in Google searches.
* I don't connect your solutions to my problems.
* I don't feel the gravity of your credibility or credentials.
* I don't have any tangible way to gauge your expertise or experience.
* Now—what was it you wanted to sell me?
So here's the ultimate (and most important) question for YOU:
How can you realistically expect to SELL anything WITHOUT first setting the necessary preconditions for ANY sale with trusted advisor marketing?
The answer is as simple as it is obvious: You can't. Just like you can't drive your car from Denver to Sheboygan if you haven't first filled up your gas tank.
Only then can you get behind the wheel, plan your route, use your GPS, add more fuel along the way (and probably some beef jerky and Sno-Balls and root beer), AND put in the hours and the miles to get you to your destination.
Nobody—and I mean N-O-B-O-D-Y—hires vendors, suppliers, or professional services firms sight unseen. You wouldn't. I wouldn't either.
And the facts prove that today's buyers are just like YOU and ME. The kind of marketing we'll explore together in this book—trusted advisor marketing—is a marathon, not a sprint. And, as any marathoner will tell you, the best (and only) way to run a marathon is one mile at a time.
On your mark ... get set ... GO!
DETERMINE WHO, THEN WHY—AND YOUR WHAT COMES LAST
* What should be my company name?
* What's the best headline for this web page?
* What are the right words for our telemarketing scripts?
* What do I say to people when they ask me, "So what do you do?"
* What tagline will attract the right prospects and customers?
* What should I say in this sales letter?
"What—What—What?" needs to become "Wait—Wait—Wait!"
You're wasting your time. Truly.
"What?" is the wrong question.
More specifically, it's the wrong FIRST question when it comes to your marketing.
Let's boil this down to a very simple exercise. Imagine for a moment that I ask you to take out a piece of paper to write a letter.
You do so, and, with pen in hand, you find yourself staring at a blank sheet of paper. In the upper left corner, you write the word, "Dear," and then you're stuck.
Before you can get any further in your task, you need to ask me TO WHOM should the letter be addressed. The President of the United States? Your cousin Marvin in New Orleans? Your old high school sweetheart?
It makes a difference, doesn't it?
The assignment gets more interesting when I tell you that the letter is intended for your Aunt Sally. (Humor me, and pretend you do indeed have a dear old Aunt Sally!)
So you fill in the top of your letter with "Dear Aunt Sally." So far, so good.
Your next question might be WHY are you writing to your Aunt Sally? Is it to check on her health? To ask for her delicious apple pie recipe from last Thanksgiving? Or to thank her for those snappy Argyle socks she got you for Christmas?
Let's say it's to ask for her family secret apple pie recipe.
Having answered the WHO and the WHY questions, you would most likely get busy and create a compelling, fast, easy letter with no further questions.
Notice all the things you would NOT need to worry about:
* What do I say?
* How do I say it?
* What words should I use?
* What words should I avoid?
* Will she like the letter?
* Will she act on the letter?
* Fret, fret, fret ...
* Worry, worry, worry ...
You're just going to write the letter, get the recipe, and have a great relationship with your dear old Aunt Sally. And the reason will be that you connected with her with enthusiasm and authenticity for a specific purpose that made her feel valued, special, and important to you.
Have you connected all the dots yet? This is how MARKETING is supposed to work too.
Figure out WHOM you're talking to, TALK to them for a GOOD, SPECIFIC, RELEVANT reason, understanding who they are and what's important to THEM. Just do that, and you'll have all the professional copywriters and ad agencies beat in no time flat.
WHO ARE YOU?
This part of the book is titled "It's About Them, Really." So why is the first chapter called "Who Are You?" Because all leadership is self-leadership. All knowledge is self-knowledge.
Ha! Gotcha—THAT was philosophical mumbo jumbo. You can never be too careful reading these business books. Stay alert!
For you to be as successful as you deserve to be in your business—for you to be able to help THEM, support THEM, sell to THEM—you need to know what YOU want first. You need to know who you are, where you're going, and how you'll get there.
First, think through and make some decisions about your business model, your revenue model, and your delivery model.
Once you nail that down, you'll be able to focus your expertise and lay out all your possible offerings.
This is a thinking, writing, and strategizing exercise.
Allow between two and three hours for this work. It may take less time if you've already decided on some of these things, but it should not take more.
Turn off e-mail. Turn off the phone. Concentrate for 30–60 minute chunks on these questions and on capturing your answers.
Don't feel you have to write long responses; often key words or short phrases are fine. This work is internally focused, so approach it in the manner that is the most helpful to YOU.
Here's how to begin.
Take some time to answer the questions, or just jot down some detailed notes for further thought. Complete this exercise now, and you'll gain clarity on those BIG questions, and you'll be ready to make good decisions about the future direction of your marketing—and your business.
Here are the questions:
Are you building:
* An organization (employees, sales force, offices, etc.)?
* A practice (solo professional, no employees, work from home, etc.)?
* A project-based consultancy (a loose affiliation of people and resources)?
* Something that isn't any of these? Jot down your ideas.
How will you make money?
How much and from what sources?
Do you want active income?
* Selling products
* Selling services
* Selling expertise
* Short-term projects (less than 1 month)
* Medium-term projects (1-3 months)
* Long-term projects (3 months to 1 year or more)
Excerpted from DO IT! MARKETING by DAVID NEWMAN. Copyright © 2013 by David Newman. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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