Almost nothing in marketing is immediate. The goal is to build a sustainable client pipeline that doesn’t drop on your day off, or skip if you get busy for less than a week. This takes an investment in involvement, consistency, and sustained effort. But what if you need to get more people on the phone or in the door as quickly as possible? Focus on these 5 channels and take immediate action now:
Do More Strategic Networking
The networking that sucks is where you show up to events, box of business cards in hand, and try to pitch everyone in the room (without looking desperate). Even if that room contains potential clients, working it like that is crap and everyone, including you, knows it’s crap. The goal should be to get specific about who you need to attract, then go and build an authentic, open, and honest relationship (yes, immediately) with the people you meet, and ask for introductions to a couple of *their* contacts who meet your criteria. Don’t try to hide that you want business – be clear and be authentic by being specific. And join something; for goodness’ sake – don’t just raid. Look for a BNI chapter in your area – they’re reputation is stellar. If you can’t get out of bed, you’re already busy enough. but If you want the extra clients, go ask for them.
Host Valuable Live Events
Events aren’t hard to set up. Figure out what you want to teach, what you can teach, and who would benefit – how they would benefit. Alternately, figure out who your desired clientele are, and what they want most to learn, and then decide how you’re going to give them that. That’s all that’s between you and getting an eager audience. Book it, get registration going, and promote it. Ask your friends, contacts, family or a local community center or church for a space. Use an online registration tool like Eventbrite, and promote the event using the same basic tools of ongoing digital marketing you use anyway – blog it, promo it on social media, make a promo video, issue press releases, contact groups that might have interested people, to include in their announcements. Consider charging admission if it’s valuable enough. Avoid the sales pitch til the end. Lots of existing groups will do the legwork for you, if you offer real value. Put together your event with determination and commitment and you’ll have a room full of people who know that you know what you’re talking about. Who do you think they’ll turn to, if you are hitting the right button on what moves and motivates them?
Sack Up & Do Direct Sales
You want instant results? Nothing is faster than cold calls or some kind of direct pitch to a ready-to-act audience. You’re not going to get instant from one or two blog posts; it’s effective, done right, but it takes time to build your audience and craft your relationship to it. If you need clients now, you’re going to pitch, and pitching means face to face or telephone. Pick a list to call, teach a class at a trade show, or get 5 minutes in front of an audience that’s ready to act. If absolute speed is important, this is the race car version of going after business. The key to direct sales is *direct* – resist the temptation to trick yourself by equating it with throwing up an ad, mailing out a flyer (direct but low conversion, because low engagement), or some other thing that keeps you from directly contacting potential clients.
4. Be Relentless on Press / PR / Media
A write up in even a small local ‘zine can mean boots at your door or that phone ringing at surprising intervals. It’ll require taking rejection and specifically silence well, just like a writer does. Sign up for HARO, and set yourself a calendar item to respond religiously. This isn’t just potentially immediate – immediate is the only way it works. You can get press the same month you start pitching and responding, if you pay close attention to what they’re asking for, can put your thoughts into a pithy form, and respond fast – fast – fast. You’ll get more attention from some publications than others, but you need to become a go-to authority in your field. People are asking questions and writers are feeding information, if you’re not contributing to this discussion, then it’s not actually clear that you have some expertise. Expertise, inherently, is a shared construct. Get on it.
Build Instant Brand Authority
You gotta make a name and, of course, you should be writing a blog, consistently and routinely. But the fastest way is to put what you know, can teach, can inspire about, or can contribute into a simple chapter outline and make it a book. It doesn’t take a year to write one anymore, and digital books tend to be shorter. Can you pick an important topic and make 10 separate statements of fact or imperatives of action? That’s your outline. Write 300-900 words for each item, and you’ve got a roughly 10-30 page e-book. You could do this on a weekend. Then get that puppy out there on Amazon, and start promoting it as your book. Price it low enough to garner some kindle sales and pick up a slight commission (yes, you need to make sure the info or insights are worth something), and be sure to promo it the same way you might an event. You’re now an authority – act like one, because it’s going to help you attract people of all kinds, clients included. Rinse and repeat as often as you like.
In a way, there’s no excuse for not having clients. We always say “Well, I’m too busy to…”. Great, then you have enough clients – that’s not your problem right now. Maybe it’s getting more efficient in operating your business but, if you don’t have time to market, you don’t have time for more clients. If you’re sitting around with time on your hands, though, and you really need the instant hit of traction on your business, put one or more of these campaigns in play and you’ll generally get out of it what you put in. Contact MadPipe to get some help if you need it.