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By Charlie Cook
You wouldn't try to collect water in a bucket that leaked or
catch fish with a torn net, but that is what many service
professionals and small businesses do. They work hard to
attract clients and customers but too often their marketing
is full of holes.
The biggest holes in small businessesÕ marketing efforts are
in lead generation. For those that don't know it already,
identifying, attracting and building a steady stream of
prospects is the number one marketing task for growing a
service business. You need to know who is interested in
your products and services in order to market to them,
again and again.
Every small business has some sort of lead generation
strategy, whether its just handing out business cards,
sending out press releases, writing articles, asking for
referrals or, in more recent years, putting up a web site.
The problem is that many of these approaches are used
sporadically not systematically, and techniques aren't in
place to capture the contacts made.
Interested prospects are missed, or if contact is made,
are pushed away by your materials, web site or phone
system. The result is that hundreds and thousands of
potential prospects fall through cracks in your marketing
and you can't profit from their business. If your lead
generation strategy and systems aren't generating
dozens or hundreds of new leads each week then your
marketing strategy has a big gap in it. Four common
holes in marketing are:
1. The Lack of Compelling Content
Whether it's the title of your web site and the description
shown in the search engines, or the title of your article
and the first paragraph, your content needs to pull in
prospects. Too often marketing materials are written from
the sellersÕ point of view instead of the prospectsÕ.
Compelling content captures prospectsÕ attention by
focusing on their problems. Without good copy prospects
won't be moved to become clients.
- Is your marketing content compelling from prospectsÕ
- Does it lead with information about prospectsÕ problems
2. Limited Reach
If you could contact all the people who need and want your
services, you might want to. Using advertising, direct mail or
cold calling to do this is in most cases cost prohibitive. PR,
writing articles and having a web site are some low cost ways
of getting attention. The objective with any of these is to reach
as many people as possible in order to find qualified leads.
Despite effort put into creating marketing materials, building
web sites and writing articles, independent professionals rarely
get the visibility they want. Articles are only read by a handful
of people and web sites are hard to find.
To leverage the time and money you put into your marketing
materials, articles, and web sites, you need to do everything
you can to help people find them. This sounds obvious, but
most service professionals write an article and just post it on
their web site or send it to a few clients. With hundreds of
online ezines and offline publications looking for content, you
could be putting an article in front of tens of thousands of
people instead of just a few.
The same is true of search engine listings. Most people can't
even find their own sites in the search engines. Help the
search engines put your web site on the first page or two for
your keywords and you'll increase your exposure and reach
hundreds of new prospects each week. Depending on your
business, this is easier then most people realize and will
extend the reach of your marketing dramatically.
- How many people per week see the marketing copy or
articles that are meant to get them to make contact?
- What are you doing to increase this number?
3. Missing Motivators
Grabbing prospectsÕ attention is the first step in lead
generation; moving them to make contact, visit your web site
or call your company and add themselves to your target list
is the next step. When you write an article or send out a
mailing, provide an incentive for prospects to take action.
Offer a workshop or free report.
- Does your marketing motivate prospects to come to you and
give you their contact information?
4. Malfunctioning or Non-Existent Systems
If your marketing is working, prospects will call your office
or stop by your web site. You want to make it is as easy as
possible for prospects to get in touch with you, and you
want to collect their contact information. Again, this sounds
obvious, but how many times have you been frustrated by
menu -driven answering systems that didn't list the item
you called about? (Or made you go through too many steps
to find it?) Or a web site with no name, email address or
phone number of a person who could answer your questions.
And many phone systems and web sites aren't set up to
capture visitorsÕ contact information.
- Do you have automated systems that make it easy for
prospects to contact your company?
- Do you have automated systems that make it easy for
prospects to give you their contact information?
Marketing involves generating leads, converting them to clients
and reselling to clients. If you're not attracting the number of
customers and clients you want, make sure your marketing
strategy isn't full of holes.
2003 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps
independent professionals and small business owners who
are struggling to attract more clients. To get the
free marketing guide, '7 Steps to Get More Clients
and Grow Your Business' visit
www.charliecook.net or write firstname.lastname@example.org
|This article was submitted by - Charlie Cook||Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends|
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