I use a cookbook metaphor in my Get Clients Now! system to illustrate how to go about creating an effective marketing plan for a self-employed professional. An essential element of that plan is what I call Success Ingredients — the missing ingredients your marketing and sales activities need in order to be successful.
Why is this important? Let’s say you decide you’re going to market
your business by attending live networking events in your area. You’re
not sure where to begin, but you’ve just received an email invitation
for a Chamber of Commerce mixer, so you decide to go.
Arriving at the mixer, you discover that everyone you meet is either a
salesperson for a local corporation, or a solo professional who is
looking for business from those companies. But you are (for example) an
acupuncturist. The type of people you typically serve are individuals
looking for relief from a current health issue. While there might be
people in the room who fit that description, it’s hard to even turn
conversation in that direction with everyone focused on business topics.
As a result, you leave the event feeling like it was a waste of time,
and decide that in-person networking is probably not a good marketing
tactic for you. But other people seem to find clients from it. What do
they know that you don’t?
To make good use of a recipe requires that you start with quality ingredients.
Before walking out the front door with business cards in her pocket,
what our acupuncturist should have done was to make a shopping list of
what she needed.
First of all, she needed to carefully select some networking venues
that made sense for her type of business and target clients. When she
started to do so, she would likely find that she also needed a clear
definition of her target market. With those two Success Ingredients
lined up, she would be much more likely to find herself at a networking
event that would suit her. This might be a speaker program on
alternative health or stress relief, or a professional meeting of other
Would you like to determine what your Success Ingredients are?
Pick any marketing tactic that you feel may not be working as well as
you would like. Then ask yourself: “What’s missing that might make it
work?” and keep asking until you identify one or more specific missing
elements that you could create or acquire.
Here’s a sample dialogue our acupuncturist might have with herself:
Q: “What’s missing that might make networking events work better for me?”
A: “Better events to attend.”
Q: “What’s missing that might help me find events that would work better?”
A: “A list of events to choose from; some networking venues.”
Q: “What’s missing that might work better to help me choose events?”
A: “A clear picture of the type of clients I want; a target market definition.”
With two Success Ingredients defined, our acupuncturist might stop
there to work on them, or she might ask the first question again, just
to see if there’s anything more:
Q: “What else is missing that might make networking events work better for me?”
A: “More confidence when introducing myself to strangers.”
Q: “What’s missing that might help me be more confident when introducing myself?”
A: “A comfortable way to introduce myself; a ten-second introduction.”
Our acupuncturist has now identified three Success Ingredients to
boost her networking success. When she acquires these ingredients and
uses them in her marketing recipe, she’s going to produce much improved
Try this for yourself. Take any marketing approach
that’s not working for you as well as you’d like, and ask: “What’s
missing that might make it work?” See if you can define some Success
Ingredients of your own. Once you do, it’s my bet that your marketing
recipes will start turning out better.
Copyright © 2015, C.J. Hayden
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