With the beginning of each new year, most business owners naturally turn their thoughts toward increasing revenues over the previous year. This common goal also comes with two common problems: 1) Not knowing where to start, and/or 2) feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of numerous time-sucking marketing obligations. But there is a solution!
CJ Hayden, author of Get Clients Now!, has a knack for breaking down seemingly vast marketing tasks into reasonable, actionable bites. Her advice is unwaveringly practical, and I enjoy her newsletters. The following is reproduced with permission from one of her recent editions. I offer it here in the hopes that it helps my goal-oriented brethren increase sales without increasing stress.
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Does it seem like you can never find the time to market for more clients? It’s hard to find open hours in the middle of a busy week. But not every marketing task requires big chunks of time. Here are ten productive things you can do to get more clients when you have just ten minutes.
1. Place a call. Which of your past clients have been totally happy with your work over the past couple of years? Think of one you haven’t been in touch with recently. Call to see how he or she is doing. When your fans are reminded of your good work, new projects and referrals often ensue.
2. Send an email. Who has referred you the best client over the last year? Send an email to express your continuing thanks. Showing your appreciation to referral sources frequently results in more referrals.
3. Make a date. Think of a prospect or referral source you have always wanted to know better. Contact that person and make a date to have coffee or chat by phone. Informal conversations deepen relationships and build trust.
4. Expand your network. Log on to your social media channel of choice, and choose a colleague you think of as well-connected. View that friend’s connections. Send connection requests, or follow, every one of those people you recognize. More people in your network means more potential prospects.
5. Review your image. Browse through your website or social media profile with a critical eye. View each section as if you were someone visiting for the first time. Note any areas you think could improve and schedule time to make some changes. First impressions make a difference to surfing prospects.
6. Examine your contacts. Scan your contact database seeking anyone who might be a prospect that you haven’t made contact with in the last 30 days. Reach out to that person with a personal call or note. People who already know you are more likely to become clients than new, cold contacts.
7. Send an article. What’s the last article you read that might be helpful to some of your prospects? Email them with a link to it or mail them a copy. When prospects perceive you as a helpful resource, you gain their confidence.
8. Follow up a meeting. What was the last meeting you attended where you collected business cards? Did you follow up with those people? Find the stack of cards and send one or two a nice-to-meet-you note. Repeated contact helps people to remember you.
9. Touch your network. Visit your favorite social network and peruse recent posts by the prospects and referral sources you’re connected to. Post some likes and replies about what they’re saying. Relationships build when communication is two-way.
10. Find a referral partner. Think of occupations who naturally come in contact with your ideal clients. Then consider who you already know in any of those occupations. Send a quick note to suggest you talk about becoming referral sources for each other.
Reproduced with permission. Copyright 2012, C.J. Hayden. All rights reserved. Get Clients Now! Phone/Fax (415) 981-8845 or (877) 946-4722 www.getclientsnow.com.