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Open the Door to More Business with Your Ideas
By Charlie Cook

Visualize your business as a building. Whether you are an
architect, lawyer, coach, graphic designer or accountant,
to bring in more clients, you need to make it easy for
them to enter. The more doors you create and open the
more prospects will come in and become clients. Too many
small businesses inadvertently put up walls instead of
opening doors to new business.

People buy products and services from firms they know and
trust. If you are trying to attract new business by
advertising, cold calling and direct mail you may be
creating barriers to communication instead of opening doors.

Networking and referrals are a couple of doors that let new
business in based on familiarity and trust. The problem with
these two approaches is that they are limited to the people
youÕve met or worked with.

If you want to increase the number of people interested in
your business you need to find a way to open many more doors.
One of the most effective and low cost ways to do this is to
position yourself as an expert and demonstrate your expertise
through an article or series of articles. Chances are you've
got dozens of ideas that would be helpful to prospects. Each
time you put one of these ideas in writing and share it,
you open a door to more business.

Articles help you attract people who are interested in your
services, establish your firm as experts, and, if you give
them at least one idea they can use in each article, builds
trust. A handful of articles can attract hundreds of people
interested in your services each week. If you have a web site,
incoming links from your article placement are the best way
to boost your ranking when people search for you site using
Google, Yahoo, or AOL, bringing you even more prospects.

Of course your article needs to be well written and
effectively targeted and distributed to motivate prospects
to action. Use the following steps to build more doors to
let business in:

1. Target Your Market and Their Needs
Focus your article on the primary concerns and specific needs
of your market. To generate ideas for articles, jot down your
observations and reactions after every client meeting or
conversation. Cull your list of ideas and start with the ones
that will be of the most help to prospects. If you can't come
up with any ideas at all, use a survey to ask questions that
will generate more information for articles.

2. Write Compelling Copy
No matter how helpful your ideas are, if you don't have a
headline that grabs your readers' attention, they won't read
it. Next, your lead sentence needs to capture their interest
so they'll read the rest of your article and let you
demonstrate the value you provide. Generally, you'll spend
50% of your time crafting your article title, then another
25% on your lead sentence, and the rest of the time writing
the body of the article.

Find someone to read your writing. Even great writing can
profit from editing. And donÕt count on the 'spell check' on
your computer to find all the errors.

3. Distribute Your Article Everywhere Your Prospects Read
Sending out a copy to your existing clients is a good idea
but to attract prospects you need to get as many of them
as possible to read your article. If your market is business
executives, placement in Forbes, Fortune or Harvard Business
Review would be ideal, but isnÕt realistic for most authors.

Send your article to the hundreds of ezines, newsletters,
and newspapers that are looking for fresh content they can use
to meet publishing deadlines and attract more readers. Online
placement has the advantage that with a link included at the
end of your article readers can easily be connected to your
web site.

4. Motivate Readers to Take the Next Step
Motivate your prospects to take the next step to learn more
about your business. At the end of your article, offer
something they will want for free, and tell them how to get
it. For example, a short report or tutorial that provides
inside advice or research will entice them to contact you.

Most small businesses mistakenly lock out many prospects with
their marketing. Instead you can turn your ideas into articles
and open doors to new business. Once you've written and
published a handful of articles you can use the same content
to become a featured speaker, demonstrate your expertise
in person, and open even more doors to attract prospects and
convert them to clients.

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 a copy of the free marketing
guide, '7 Steps to Get More Clients and Grow Your Business'
visit www.charliecook.net or write ccook@charliecook.net






 
This article was submitted by - Charlie Cook Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends

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