Today we’ll take a look at how the kings of industry wine, dine and otherwise cajole prospects.
Most of us successful professionals use a series of information-based ads that build emotion and a call to action. These are much more effective than standard company branding advertisements. The same principles that go into putting together a high impact (and, often, high priced) ad campaign can be adapted to fit your needs with similar results.
Here are some tools you can put together and execute a professional, effective ad and promotional campaign:
- Put together a short report that’ll you’ll automatically send to prospects when they contact you. This should include a short description of your business and what you specialize in. Don’t forget to include case studies, samples or other proof of your success.
- Develop value-oriented yellow page ads.
- Consider newsletters as a way of educating and informing customers about your industry and services offered.
- Offer a free seminar, webinar or other lecture to build awareness of your business, but make sure you make the information pertinent to your target market and find speakers who are respected and known in the industry.
- Buy an existing business, introduce better marketing and grow this new business faster than a “from scratch” business.
- Always test different versions of your ads to find the most effective ones.
- Use direct mail marketing to grow your business.
- Put together a database of previous customers and send them new information.
- Offer incentives such as frequent purchasing benefits, loyalty programs, referral programs or other such incentives.
- Approach large firms who may need your services and negotiate a deal to be their exclusive expert in your field.
- Offer a 24-hour information line with a regularly updated recorded message. Make this available to all past and future customers/clients.
- Donate time or materials to local charities to show support in your area.
- Offer public clinics for the general public to come along and discuss what they need that’s free and approachable.
- Organize seminars your customers/clients can pay to attend by putting together a high-perception value package.
- Approach local newspapers by offering to write a weekly column about your area of expertise. Don’t ask for money, just a byline and bio.
- Develop a weekend or other destination seminar for customers/clients, not only does this give you an action-packed weekend with the most important people; it gives them a tax-deductible business adventure.
- Take a good seminar and turn it into written form as a home study, member site program, audio or video program.
- Approach large companies and offer to give seminars to their employees, investors or management.
- Be proactive with your marketing plan.
- Barter for your marketing. Offer products or services in lieu of payment.
- Be willing to bring in new clients, even if at an initial loss because it will likely pay off later.
- Regulate your marketing budget to maximize the potential income or expense appropriation based on your tax year needs. This year or, next.
- Make offers to target markets or target market businesses to pay them for referrals or shared databases.
- Offer loaner products to replace equipment that’s be repaired or refurbished.
- Give away something free to everyone who brings in a print version of your advertisement. This is a great way to see which ads are giving you the most bang for your buck.
- Continually consider what new products/services you can offer to current customers/clients.
- Develop a mail order division of your company.
- Develop an app for your company.
- Offer a proposition to your competitors to trade customers/clients you were both unsuccessful in selling to.
- Even if what you’re doing is working, use different marketing tactics as an excuse to attract new customers/clients with new offers and goodies. See what you attract! Things change, people change, tastes change. Be willing to experiment.
- Offer a “you-choose-the-price” program. This is especially good for a product you just can’t seem to sell.
So, there are 31 great tips for marketing to other professionals and businesses. Remember that in the beginning we were talking about ad campaigns. All of the tools mentioned here are elements and augmentations of a full-blown campaign, which includes paying for advertising and/or many of the elements above. Utilize the ones you like and test your “sticky” factor with them. Enjoy doing them but no sticky factor? Stop it! Enjoy doing them and get great sticky factor? Fantastic, do it again and again and again! Don’t enjoy doing it and still get a great sticky factor? Shut up and do it anyway.
Some other great ways to get your name out there for little or no cost are:
- Get involved you in your community; volunteer, donate to local events, etc., and always get the photo op.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend the networking and other activities throughout the year.
- Join a local, state or regional professional associates for further networking opportunities.
- Become a board member of a local organization or two.
- Become more prominent in your church or any other social organizations you are associated with or have been thinking of being associated with.
Advertising should never be your only method of marketing, there are a myriad of ways to get your name out there in a way that feels personal to potential customers/clients.
“Effective advertising…must be used to get your name out to the public. If your name is not familiar to people, they will not come to you.” Jay Abraham