Archive for: June, 2023

Painless Marketing for People Who Hate to Market

Jun 10 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Face it…you know you’ve got to do something to keep a steady stream of clients coming to your professional service firm. But when it comes to the m-word (marketing), you’d rather not. Do any of these statements sound familiar?

If we’re good enough, clients will find us or we’ll get plenty of referrals.

We don’t have time – we’re busy enough and have to maximize our billable hours.

We can’t afford to market – we have no extra money.

We have brochures and a website – isn’t that enough?

We don’t know where to start, even if we do want to attract more clients.

We can’t get key people inside our firm to agree on how – or if – to start.

Promoting our firm is unprofessional, unethical, and tacky.
These are all legitimate perspectives and shouldn’t be minimized. But what if there was a painless way to get the following results?
High-quality prospects seeking you out and coming to you, instead of you having to seek them out.

Your firm reaching and helping more people with what you have to offer.

Increasing the volume of clients from which you can choose, allowing your firm to be selective and work with only those you truly want.

Differentiating your firm from your competition and articulating what makes you and your firm special.

Tapping new networks that don’t know about your firm yet.

Wasting no more money on ineffective brochures, flyers, web sites and other marketing materials – better yet, knowing if the investment you make is worth it.

Raising your fees and being paid what you are worth.

Learning how to grow and sustain your practice in any market.
My guess is that you’d be willing to take a closer look at some basic marketing principles and practices, if they could generate these results for your firm.

The Ugly Truth

Here’s the ugly truth about attracting more clients: you have to make it a priority constantly, consistently, and carefully. So what can you do to make it less painful…or even painless?

The answer depends on your firm’s view of marketing. Many of the professional service firms we work with tend to fall into one of two camps. Some firms are committed to using internal resources (i.e., partners, designated business development staff, or junior marketeers), and some won’t or can’t. Either way, marketing systems must become a core part of your day-to-day business practices.

Look Before You Leap

In both cases, you have to spend some time thinking about, developing, and testing what happens before you print brochures, develop a website, introduce yourself at a networking event, or write an article for a trade publication. Robert Middleton’s Five Laws of Marketing captures this well:

Build your base (careful attention to your message):

Get Attention: what you say and write to grab your prospects’ attention, introduce yourself, headline a talk or article, etc.

Uniqueness: what makes you stand out from your competitors, such as a specific promise, standard, or guarantee; you must be very clear on who you do and don’t serve

Value: what you demonstrate through information that you share before you get hired – free articles, white papers, survey results, workshops, etc. – so that when the need arises, the client thinks of only you

Authority: the proof that you’re qualified to deliver what you say you can do; demonstrated via case studies with measurable results, media appearances, testimonials, bios, company background, etc.
Reach out to the market (being constant and consistent):

Relationship Building Systems: networking, direct outreach (personal or mass mail); keep in touch systems; centers of influence (banker, advisors), joint ventures, client relationship strategy, customer creation system, relationship selling strategy, value-based pricing strategy, next level strategies

The key to these five laws is that all aspects of marketing must pull in the same direction. So if you have one vendor doing direct mail, another your website, and another your ads – particularly before you’ve built your base (laws 1 through 4) – chances are they’re all pulling in different directions. You must have a holistic plan that keeps your firm and your vendors pulling together.

Making it Happen

Knowing what to do is not the same as making it happen. That’s where most busy professional service firms fall down when it comes to marketing.

Whether you do it yourself or hire an outside firm to help you, here’s the basic process you should follow:
Make a research-based plan of action that’s strategic, contextual, and seamlessly aligned with your firm’s business goals; set priorities.

Establish a process to stay on track and motivated.

Use an approach that gets your team aligned and all working toward the same goals.

Factor in support, guidance, and resources for the hard work of implementation.

This Won’t Hurt a Bit!

You don’t have to tackle all of this at once. Take it one step at a time. Effective marketing takes hold organically and grows over time. A steady pace lets you experience and evaluate any changes thoughtfully. You can reasonably expect to put all of these things in place in about six to nine months. You’ll see results much sooner if your first steps are thoughtful, strategic, and carefully focused on building your base.

Want a prescription that will keep your business pipeline full of high-quality clients? Decide to add a little painless marketing to your weekly business routine and call me in the morning!

References

Levinson, J. Guerrilla Marketing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.

Middleton, R. Laws of Marketing TeleClass. Action Plan Marketing, Inc. 2003.

Putman, A. Marketing Your Services. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1990

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Network Marketing – Financial Independence

Jun 08 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

What is it that separates some people from being financially successful? My goal here is to show you the financial lessons that can make your financial secure particularly through direct sales and network marketing. Think about taking charge of your life and start brainstorming as to how you can achieve financial independence. Did you know that Warren Buffet’s company has purchased many network marketing companies?. Why is it that so many people take part in network marketing? Because its a proven model and its successful and has created many millionaires in the world.

Network marketing and the direct sales distribution model allows the people who make the sales collect the money directly. You are actually involved in network marketing, but you do not just do know about it. Anytime you recommend something to your friends or acquaintances you are referring something or recommending something but you simply do not get paid for it. What you need to understand about network marketing is that the company are willing to pay you for selling their products. Working at home is another advantage people are getting into network marketing or direct sales. People do not want to work for a corporation that maybe downsizing, they want to attain financial freedom and the only way to do this is to get into the right system.

Whats the right system? Its the profits system and if you can get into this system you have a far better chance of attaining financial freedom. Nobody gets rich in the wage system except professional athletes or corporate executives. Profits are better then wages. Are you currently in the profit system or the wage system? The people who get rich are the people who are in the profit system. The problem with the wage system is that its low risk. Low risk equals low reward. Chances are you may not lose your job but you will not pay rises also. There is a way though you can rich in the wage system and its buy diverting money from your wages into a profit system such as property or stocks or network marketing. Where will you be financially if you stay on the wage system for another 10 years. Its a question that needs to be asked?

Lets now look at profit systems. The most popular way of achieving financial freedom is by owning your own business. It has higher rewards but also higher risk. Lets look at what it takes to open a traditional business such as a store. Well there are fees such as commercial rates, utility bills, equipment, property letting, advertising, etc. You need money to open up your own business. This is where most millionaires are made but it needs money upfront to stay in business. Its a stationery business because its limited by time and space. You can only have so much space and the business hours are nine to five or whatever the working hours are.

Is there a better way where we do not have to put up all that money but still remain in the profit system? It’s called network marketing and direct sales. Its easy to start a branch office for network marketing. The beauty of this system is that you are earning income even when you are not working. Lets look at the advantages. The start up costs are practically nil. You have no employees, you have no accounting, you have no real estate, you have no manufacturing, there is no shipping, there is no warehousing. This system is also known as the invisible profit system. I invite you to get started today and get out of the wage system and into the profit system as you need to be on this side on the fence to experience true financial freedom.

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3 Elements of a Successful Dental Marketing Strategy – Do You Have Them?

Jun 06 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

  • Building your “BRAND” and “WORD of MOUTH” reputation

Marketing is NOT SALES but should generate the perception of your value and reputation in the minds of both your current and prospective patients. Start with this:

  • Target Patient Audience: Who are they and what are the types of procedures? What does that demographic expect (e.g. what preferred communication method, what dental procedures, desired experience, etc.)?
  • Your Brand Image: Ask yourself this: What images come to peoples minds when they think of your brand? Start there.
  • Caveat; Your marketing budget will be wasted if your patients’ experiences aren’t consistent with the brand you build. Bad reputations travel faster than good ones.

  • Generate Sales Leads

“Hold and Grow” Strategy is best. It’s easier and less expensive to keep an existing patient than to attract new patients. It’s fundamental; remember you have competition. The goal should be:

  • Patient Retention & increased per patient revenue value annually
  • New Patient acquisition consistent with your targeted demographic profile.

Use a hybrid approach mixing “Old School” Direct Mail and various social media tactics to attract the targeted demographic. Here are a couple of helpful hints:

  • “Direct Mail” Marketing with coupons and other discount incentives. Track your ROI (new revenue value compared to campaign cost). According to a recent study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail return on investment (ROI) is improving. In 2012, an investment of $1 in dental marketing ad expenditures is predicted to return, on average, nearly $12.18 in incremental revenue.

You tell me, do you think it’s worth it?

  • Social Media – Focus on Facebook engagement tactics and contests (via offers, promoted posts, etc.) to get them to “engage” (like, comment, share) with their friends, thereby multiplying your efforts through others. DO THIS CONSISTENTLY and SCHEDULE it. It won’t get done otherwise.

  • Follow up (May be most important)

Why do so many Dental Practices and businesses fail to do this?

Good Marketing Plans perform like the “gift that keeps on giving”. Patient revenue continues to be generated pass the end of the dental marketing campaign. However, it won’t without follow up. Many methods (e.g. direct mail, phone calls, social media, mobility, etc.) exist to accomplish this imperative.

Fundamentally all of these options require commitment. Your staff may see it as a job, but your patients see it as a relationship. Please remember even your existing patients have choices of dental providers.

In conclusion, successful campaign requires these essential elements to produce planned outcome. They are:

  • Building your dental practice “BRAND” and “WORD of MOUTH” reputation
  • Generate Sales Leads, Dental Practice’s revenue life blood
  • Follow up to keep your dental marketing investment the “gift that keeps on giving”.

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Promotional Marketing and Advertising Products – The Changing Picture

Jun 04 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Web searches for “direct mail response” and similar topics report that “Dimensional Marketing” generates much higher response rates than “flat mail”. This well-documented trend should not come as much of a surprise to marketing professionals. To see an inviting, chunky packet in amongst the morning’s business mail is bound to generate much more curiosity than the run-of-the-mill flat envelopes that arrive without fail every morning of the working week. However, the contents of the pack can be expensive as can the cost of the postage and if the sender has not used much imagination, then the opportunity to create a successful and economic direct mail piece might have been lost.

When you think of promotional marketing and advertising products your mind probably goes straight to a catalogue or website full of mugs, mouse mats, pens, T shirts, coasters and other such predictable promotional products. It is possible that the receipt of one of these hackneyed ideas by your customers will be met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. Much better, methinks, to try to generate a greater impact by creating something unique and for less money.

The creation must satisfy certain criteria that are golden rules for direct mail pieces. The mailing pack must be eye-catching and must feel good in the hand. The contents should be interesting and innovative in order to capture your customer’s imagination. The product should also be interactive so that it maintains your customer’s interest for at least as long as it takes your promotional message to hit home. The whole thing should be custom-printed in order to give it a unique feel that could belong only to your company, product or service.

So, what is out there in the promotional product marketplace that could fulfil all of these requirements? One family of products that certainly fits the bill is created using paper and cardboard engineering skills. They can be described as interactive and pop-up marketing products and they come in all shapes and styles. They are produced by many manufactures in most countries and those suppliers are likely to be commercial printers with a cardboard engineering or paper-engineering department. Each company has its own variations on the range of products available but all of them follow a very similar pattern.

For the sake of this discussion, I would like to concentrate on interactive products which feature pictures that change. I choose this area simply because it lends itself to one of the oldest forms of advertising -”before and after” images. I have selected three hand-held products for this illustration, each of which has a high curiosity value and is dependent on customer interaction.

Automatic Picture Changing Cover Captures the Imagination

My first example is an interactive marketing product with a very interesting movement. It is a 4-page landscape product with a window or aperture on the front cover. When you open that cover the main picture changes. Customers will open it repeatedly to watch the picture change ensuring that the direct marketing message hits the spot. The product is known by different names such as a cover dissolve, woven dissolve or picture dissolve and it fits neatly into a standard envelope size, though I would always recommend the use of a bespoke mailing pack. It is always custom printed in full colour and it is usually made in 350gsm art board.

Interactive Picture Dissolving Action Creates Excellent Marketing Mailer

A variation on the dissolving picture product above has a simple but attention-grabbing feature. It is operated by the simple interactive action of pulling a tab at one end of the product. This automatically sees the cover graphic dissolve from the original into another picture. This is ideal for many creative marketing themes and it is a very popular mailer. It can be custom made in a variety of sizes.

Moving Picture Card Creates Inspiration for Promotional Marketing Ideas

My final selection is perhaps one of the most ingenious designs that is produced commercially for B2B marketing. The products is, once again, known by various names including a flick card, a waterfall card and a flicker card and is somewhat reminiscent of the early days of the moving picture industry. The product is a very creative piece of cardboard engineering that is bound to capture your customer’s attention. It is like a small book with a pull-tab at one end. Pull the tab and the pages automatically turn over and with clever use of graphics, the image on the pages appears to move. This card is bound to be a source of inspiration for many marketing ideas.

All three of these kinds of cards are available from many suppliers including UK-based pop-ups manufacturer, Whitney Woods.

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Direct Response Advertising: Why It Works for Child Care Centers

Jun 03 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

I’m a NUT about direct response advertising, compared to traditional “brand” advertising, especially for child care businesses. So exactly why is direct response so much better?

Well, there are 2 main reasons why. The first reason is, direct response is 100% MEASURABLE, whereas regular brand advertising is not. The second reason is, direct response is a great way to get new prospects to contact you, and build a list of people interested in your programs and services. Regular brand ads just don’t do this as well.

So what ‘s the difference between the two, anyway? Well, simply put, a direct response ad includes a unique phone number, URL, or offer that invites the reader or viewer to take action based on the OFFER in the ad itself. A typical brand ad just creates “impressions” or buzz about the product, but doesn’t present an offer for the prospect to take an action.

One of the most targeted ways to use direct response is through direct mail. The reason direct mail is so targeted is the ability to purchase lists of potential recipients of your message based on all sorts of factors: where they live, ages of kids, income, what magazines they subscribe to, and MANY other factors.

For example, if you want to fill up your infant room with new enrollments, you can literally get a list of expectant mothers and moms with infants in your town.

One of the core principles I teach is the formula you must use to get the BEST possible response from your direct response ads or mailers. The formula consists of the 8 KEY THINGS you need to have in your ad or mailer:

  1. Headline: an attention-grabbing statement at the top of your letter or ad
  2. Offer: a compelling reason for the prospect to take action
  3. Deadline: a specific date that the offer expires
  4. Testimonial(s): quotes from your customers on why they love you, including the customers name & town
  5. Benefits: how you are going to make your prospect’s life better
  6. USP: what makes you UNIQUE and different than all your competitors
  7. Guarantee: a service or product guarantee
  8. Unique measurement tracking: a way to track the exact # of prospects who called or enrolled due to that ad, flyer, or mailing

When your child care marketing materials include all eight of these key items you will find you get amazing results. You will find your phone starts to ring more, and enrollments increase.

As a side benefit of being able to measure and track your marketing efforts you will quickly be able to see what is working great and what could use some improvements. This measuring and tracking that you can do with direct response advertising is a hidden secret to great results with all your child care marketing and enrollment building efforts.

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