By Henry DeVries
New Client Marketing Institute
Time to read this article: three minutes.
In this guest blog post: How to Attract Clients by Typing and Talking
Learn insider secrets on how to turn your expertise into clients
If you are an independent professional or consultant, what should you do to increase revenues? Focus on the attract factor.
First, understand that generating leads is an investment and should be measured like any other investment. Next, quit wasting money on ineffective means like brochures, advertising and sponsorships. The best marketing investment you can make is to get help creating informative websites, hosting persuasive seminars, booking speaking engagements, and getting published as a newsletter columnist and eventually book author. This is what attracts clients like an electromagnet.
The first challenge for professionals and consultants is creating new clients. There is a proven process for marketing with integrity and getting a 400% to 2000% return on your marketing investment. To attract new clients, the best approach is the Educating Expert Model that demonstrates your expertise by giving away valuable information through writing and speaking. In addition, you can increase closing rates up to 50% to 100% by discovering and rehearsing the right questions to ask prospective clients.
Rather than creating a brochure, start by writing how-to articles. Those articles turn into speeches and seminars. Eventually, you gather the articles and publish a book through a strategy called print on demand self publishing (we’ve done it under 90 days and for less than a $1,000 for clients). Does it work? Here are a list of business best-seller titles by professionals and consultants that started out self-published (Source: Southwest Airlines Spirit, March 2005):
1. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson: picked up by William Morrow & Co.
2. In Search of Excellence, by Tom Peters (of McKinsey & Co.): in its first year, sold more than 25,000 copies directly to consumers-then Warner sold 10 million more.
3. Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, by Weiss Roberts: sold half a million copies before being picked up by Warner.
Marketing With A Book
How much should you invest in the attract factor? That depends on your business goals, but here are some norms. Marketing costs for accounting firms average about 7 percent to 10 percent of gross revenue (Source: The New York Times, November 15, 2001). The typical architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firm spent a record 5.3 percent of their net service revenue on marketing (Source: ZweigWhite’s 2003 Marketing Survey of A/E/P & Environmental Consulting Firms). Mark LeBlanc, author of Growing Your Business, advises independent professionals to invest 35% of gross profits (after Cost of Goods Sold) in business development, which includes marketing and professional development like attending seminars and events (his are great, I attend several a year).
Here are some of the key benefits of following the Educating Expert Model:
1. Allows your message to be heard above the noise of all the other professionals and consultants
2. Systematizes your marketing with a proactive, monthly approach that is simple and affordable to implement
3. Makes it easier for your clients and business advocates to refer potential clients to you
4. Creates multiple streams of income because prospects actually pay for you to market to them
5. Increases closing rates up to 50% to 100% by discovering and rehearsing the right questions to ask prospective clients
6. Produces all-help, no-hype marketing you actually feel proud to communicate
7. Quits wasting money on ineffective tactics like brochures, sponsorships and cold-calling
8. Leverages your time so you get more results in less time
I wholeheartedly agree–a book is one of the best investments you can ever make–partly because 1) You can use your book to target the specific clients you want to work with (i.e. your ideal clients–the ones you love to work with, who pay on time and in full). 2) When you’re seen as an expert in your field, clients are willing (and expecting) to pay top dollar. Of course, your book needs to be well-written, compelling and engaging.