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On this episode of More Clients TV, we're looking at a question I get asked a lot: how do I get more email subscribers?

It's a really important topic if you want to succeed online and most people are really missing a lot of tricks and could get a lot more email subscribers. So I'm going to give you a bunch of tips on this video.

How to get more email subscribers - YouTube

If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel:

Video Transcript

Hi – it's Ian here.

On this episode of More Clients TV, we're looking at a question I get asked a lot: how do I get more email subscribers?

It's a really important topic if you want to succeed online and most people are really missing a lot of tricks and could get a lot more email subscribers. So I'm going to give you a bunch of tips on that after the swoosh.

Hi – welcome back.

I'm going to talk about some specific tactics for getting more email subscribers from your website. But first I think it's important to take a step back and think strategically about email signups.

Firstly, it's really important that you get the right signups. I would be easy to get a ton of email signups by offering free money for signing up – but obviously, you'd end up with the wrong people signing up – they wouldn't be your ideal clients.

Now that's a ridiculous example – but on a lesser scale, it's what people do every day. They have a lead magnet that's valuable to their market generally – but it isn't focused on the priority area that you want to work with your ideal clients on. As a result, you can get lots of email signups – but without many turning into paying clients because they don't actually want your main service.

So the first step before trying to get more email signups is to make sure whatever you do it's attracting the right people.

The second strategic angle is to realise that no matter what tweaks you make to get more emails signups to your website, your forms, your copy – THE most important factor is simply how attractive your offer is.

If you offer your ideal clients something of amazing value to sign up then you'll get a lot of signups and a lot of buzz generated. You don't need fancy forms or clever copy.

So, for example, my wife Kathy runs an online summit twice a year for people who work in the Early Years. Each summit has between fifteen and twenty-five experts being interviewed by Kathy on a really important topic – and the interviews are all free for a week during the summit. So over a two month signup period, we get about ten thousand people signing up to every summit.

Now it's not because we have the world's best website or we pay a fortune for Facebook advertising or we're doing anything clever really. We get the basics right – but the most important thing is that the summit itself that they sign up for is an amazing event that they get for free so they're more than happy to sign up and spread the word.

So make sure you're offering something amazing – and make sure it's targeted at your ideal clients.

Now once you've got those fundamentals in place you can start optimising to get more signups.

And the first thing to look for is to make sure it's easy to sign up.

When you go to some websites you have to scroll to the bottom of the page or really search to find a signup form. But on websites that prioritise email signups, you'll find the signup button is front and centre on the home page.

Next, you make sure that there are plenty of secondary places to sign up once people are navigating around your site.

So make sure they can sign up easily after reading a blog post. Make sure there's a signup form on your “About” page that tells them this is the best way they can get value from your site. Make sure you're using something like a scroll mat or welcome mat or an exit intent popup that gives people the opportunity to sign up without being too annoying. And ideally, make sure when they have signed up you don't show them the same forms again and again.

Make sure you describe the value they'll get from signing up too. Too many sites still have a “sign up for my newsletter” button that says nothing about what you'll actually get when you sign up. We're all subscribed to far too many newsletters these days – no one wants to sign up for another one unless they can see the value they'll be getting. So tell them what they'll get from your lead magnet – and what they'll get from your regular emails. I call mine “client winning tips” for example rather than a newsletter so it's clear what the value is.

Then, if you have the opportunity to direct traffic to where you want it. So, for example, if you're running Facebook or Google Ads, or you have a link to your website in your social media profiles or in a byline of a guest article you've written for someone else or if you appear as a guest on a podcast and you get the chance to send people to your site – don't send them to your home page.

Create a dedicated landing page with the sole purpose of getting them to sign up for your emails. Minimum navigation, entire focus of the page on telling them about the value they'll get by signing up and having a simple signup button or form.

Your home page will typically have a signup rate of five or ten per cent if you're lucky but a dedicated landing page can get a signup rate of forty or fifty per cent. So whenever you can, send people to dedicated landing pages.

Next, take a look at the pages on your website that get the most visitors already. And look to see if there's anything specific you can do to get more signups on those pages. If it's a long article, could you put the contents into a PDF for people to sign up for and download? Or could you create a lead magnet specific to the topic of the article? If you get a lot of web traffic to that one page it can be well worth the investment.

Finally, if you have the technical skills – look at split testing the copy and the design on your key landing pages, your home page and on any forms that get a lot of visits. You and your site and your clients are different to everyone else so there's only so far that generic advice and best practices can get you. The thing that will get you the next level of improvement and more signups is testing different options to identify what works best for you.

That's it for today – see you on the next more clients marketing tip!

The post How To Get More Email Subscribers appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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When we talk about lead generation we normally mean potential clients we've not met or interacted with before.

What we tend to forget is the people we already know, but we're not treating like leads.

In particular, there are two categories of people who make exceptional leads that we tend to overlook.

The first is ex-clients. The second is “dropped prospects”.

Both are great prospects because we've already built up credibility and trust with them.

The challenge is we've usually dropped out of touch and we don't know how to get back in contact and start talking about working together without seeming desperate or pushy or otherwise put them off.

In this video, I show you an approach for reconnecting that will get potential clients enthusiastic about speaking with you. And it will allow you to smoothly transition to talking about working together.

It takes work. But it's worth it.

A powerful approach to lead generation that we almost all overlook - YouTube

If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel:

Video Transcript

Hi – it’s Ian here – welcome to another episode of More Clients TV.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been focusing on Lead Generation. And this week I'm going to talk about a very powerful way of generating leads that most of us overlook.

I'll reveal all after the swoosh.

So, when we talk about lead generation normally, we're talking about potential clients we've not met or interacted with before.

What we tend to forget is the people we already know, but we're not treating like leads.

In particular, there are two categories of people who make exceptional leads that we tend to overlook.

The first is ex-clients.

What typically happens with clients is we establish great relationships when we're working with them. But then when we move on and there are no immediate opportunities we tend to drop out of touch as we focus on our next clients and prospects.

Now, of course, six months or nine months or a year later there may well be significant opportunities with that same client. But by then we won't be top of mind and we can't rely on them giving us a call if they need us.

The second category is dropped prospects.

Dropped prospects are potential clients who you came close to working with, but for one reason or another it didn't quite come off. Maybe the timing wasn't right or their priorities changed or they may have chosen to work with someone else.

What we typically do here is we assume that because our work with them didn't go ahead, then we're never going to work with them. But again, that's a bad assumption. Maybe the timing wasn't right then, but it could be now. Or the issue we were talking about may have become a bigger priority or maybe the supplier they initially chose didn’t work out. Or there might just be a different opportunity for us.

The huge bonus with ex-clients and dropped prospects is you've already built up a significant amount of credibility and trust. For ex-clients it was enough for them to hire you and I'm going to assume you did a good job so it should be even higher.

For dropped prospects, they might not have hired you, but you certainly built up enough credibility and trust for them to seriously consider you.

So in both cases, you've got much less distance to go before they're ready to buy than if you were talking to a brand new lead who didn't know you at all.

The challenge though is that getting back in touch to talk about opportunities often doesn't feel very comfortable. There's only so many times you can knock on their door and ask if they have anything for you before they stop taking your calls.

The answer is to stop asking and start giving.

What that means is you use the same strategy of giving value in advance that you would use to attract a cold prospect, but you do it with your warm ex-clients and dropped prospects.

The difference is you don't need to try to collect email addresses or anything like that because you're already in contact. And you can afford to invest more per person because you know they have a high probability of turning into clients.

So usually the best way of getting back in touch and offering value in advance to these higher value prospects is to offer them some kind of presentation or discussion on a topic they're going to find valuable that could lead to opportunities for work for you if it turns out to be an area they need to improve in or make some changes in.

So that could be a discussion around industry trends affecting them in an area you're an expert in. It could be some benchmarking you've done on an important topic for them or it could be some case studies of how some of your clients have achieved what they want to achieve. Anything you can share with them really that's valuable…

…but you will find that you get a much better response when you offer to share hard data and external, objective information.

Offering to discuss with them some ideas you've had about improving customer service, for example, is nowhere near as strong as offering to share some benchmarking you've done on customer service best practices in the top 10 companies in their sector.

The benchmarking just sounds much more concrete and valuable. Something you couldn’t just make up on the spot or try to wing it.

And from your perspective, all your competitors could offer to share some ideas – but it's very likely that no one else has done the work to compile the benchmarking or create an industry report. So you’ll really stand out.

So for selected ex-clients and dropped prospects offering some kind of high value briefing like this is a fantastic way of getting back in touch, adding value, and getting into a meaty discussion with a potential client where you demonstrate expertise and talk about an area where they might well need help. From there it's a really easy transition to talking about working together.

And worst case – even if they don't agree to the meeting you'll have raised your credibility and have been seen to be adding value.

So if you target high value clients and you're willing to invest in creating a high value briefing it can pay real dividends. I would give it serious consideration.

That's it for this week – I'll see you next week on another episode of more clients TV.

Cheers!

The post A Powerful Approach to Lead Generation That We Almost All Overlook appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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In last week's video I showed you a technique for making your Lead Magnets stand out.

This week we're going to take that further and look at how to create a very different type of lead magnet. Something that's particularly powerful for high value clients.

A Very Different Type of Lead Magnet - YouTube

If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel:

Video Transcript

Hi – it’s Ian here.

Welcome to another episode of More Clients TV and another lead generation Tip.

Last week I promised you another video on lead magnets with a very different approach.

This is going to require you to think outside the box a bit. Because basically, when we think about lead magnets normally we constrain our thinking to some form of free information. So a free report, a video series, a checklist, an online tool. And we think of those type of lead magnets because they’re relatively easy, they’re scaleable, and those are the types of lead magnet that the people who teach us about lead magnets use themselves – because they’re largely in the information business.

But if you go back to first principles and think about what a lead magnet it, it’s really just something that motivates a potential client to connect with you so you can follow up with them. It can be anything that they would find valuable. It doesn’t have to be free information.

So a simple example of that would be to create an online community for your potential clients where they can exchange ideas and help each other out. If you can make that community really valuable for members then it can be a lead magnet and you’ll find the members themselves promote it for you.

Extending that idea, if you work with local businesses face to face then setting up, inviting them to and facilitating a mastermind group could be something they would find tremendously valuable. And because you get to talk to them personally on a regular basis as part of that it’s an even better way of following up than the normal email marketing that follows a traditional lead magnet.

A similar idea is one an old client of mine used to use. They’d host regular dinners for their clients and ex-clients who were all senior leaders in a range of organisations. And they’d encourage them to invite along other CEOs and senior people they knew. So they always had a good mix of potential clients in there. The networking was great for the attendees at those events and they always learnt something, There was no overt selling but it positioned the hosts as leaders in their field and gave them an opportunity to follow-up after the events.

If you work in a field like marketing where what your potential clients would value is more visibility and exposure to their customers, your lead magnet could be a podcast or a newsletter type thing where you interview them about their business and their story so they’ve got something they can use in their own PR.

Now there are two things going on with these types of non-traditional lead magnets.
The first is that by thinking outside the box you end up with a lead magnet that is completely different to what everyone else is doing. So it really stands out and gets you noticed.

The second thing is that if you are targeting high value clients, you can afford to invest time and money into your lead magnet. You don’t need it to be a zero marginal cost thing like a PDF or a video – you can afford to strategically invest some of your time to attract and nurture a high value client. You’ve got more flexibility – so use it.

Now of course the particular examples I’ve used might well not work for your business.

What’s important is the principle. Start by thinking about what your potential clients value and then think creatively about how you could offer it to them – it doesn’t have to be a report or a video or any of the traditional forms of lead magnet. It can be anything you can do at a reasonable cost that’s going to be attractive to them and help you begin your relationship.

And by going beyond what everyone else is doing they’re really going to notice you.
If you want a lead magnet that really has a big impact it’s a great place to start.

See you next week.

The post A Very Different Type of Lead Magnet appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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Lead Magnets are still the most effective way to get people to sign up to get regular emails from you so you can build a relationship with them online.

But what makes a good lead magnet? And how can you differentiate yours from all the other lead magnets out there.

In this video I show you a simple trick to make sure your lead magnet stands out and works to attract your ideal clients.

The Secret of Effective Lead Magnets - YouTube

If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel:

Video Transcript

Hi – it's Ian here – welcome to another episode of More Clients TV and another Lead Generation Tip. Today we're looking at lead magnets. Do they still work? What's the best type of lead magnet? And in particular, I'm going to show you a little technique for improving the effectiveness and the results you get from all your lead magnets.

So you probably already know a lead magnet is anything you offer for free – like a report, a video, an email, a checklist – in order to motivate people to connect with you, usually in the form of signing up for regular emails from you so you can continue to build your relationship with them. Now 10 years ago if you'd offered a lead magnet you'd probably be one of the few people doing so and you would really stand out and you'd get a good conversion rate on people signing up for your newsletter. Today there are obviously a lot more lead magnets about…but there may not be as many as you think.

The reason for that is that you've always got to remember you are not your client.

If you're watching this video you're probably interested in improving your marketing which means you're probably being exposed to more stuff from marketing people then your clients are. And marketing people use a lot of lead magnets. So the first thing to do is to get a proper baseline and see what kind of lead magnets your clients are actually being exposed to. So go on to your competitors' websites and do some Google searches that your ideal clients would do. Look at the websites and the social media that they're active on and see what they're being offered. And make a note of what the promise of the lead magnet is: so what kind of problems it's talking about solving or what kind of results it's helping them get. The format of the lead magnet: is it a report, a video etc. And how it's being offered: is there's a tiny little box in the corner of the website, is it a pop-up, is it big and prominent on the home page, is there a dedicated landing page etc. So once you've got that you can then begin to think about how do I differentiate myself from what everyone else is doing.

The best way to do that is really to go back to first principles because a lead magnet really only has two jobs. Job number one is to attract your ideal clients so when they see the offer of your lead magnet on maybe a Facebook ad or someone might share it on social media or they might see it recommended in an email. When they see it they've got to go “oh I want that”. It's got to be top of mind and they've got a want it straight away. Then when they get to your website they have to want it enough that they're going to be willing to give over their email address in order to get hold of it. So it has to be attractive, it has to help them help solve a problem that's top of mind for them or achieve a goal at the top of mind for them.

The second thing it needs to do is it needs to deliver on the promise. So whatever it is your lead magnet said it was going to do it has to add value, it has to give insight, it has to help them get the results that you said. We've probably all signed up for lead magnets in the past where it's looked really attractive, we signed up for it, we've downloaded it we've looked at it, and we've gone “oh is that it?” And that doesn't help you at all because you want your lead magnet to take your potential clients closer to wanting to work with you. But if it lets them down, if it doesn't deliver on the promise, it's going to take them further away. You want your lead magnet to build credibility and trust so they're closer to wanting to buy from you and because of that lead magnet you want them to look forward to receiving your follow-up emails, anticipating the additional value they're going to get.

In order to do all that it's all about the content. A lot of people worry about what the right format for lead magnet is: should it be a PDF is that a bit old hat, do I need a video…but to be honest if you think about it in terms of if someone offered you the winning numbers to next month's lottery you wouldn't really care whether they send them to you on video or email or ina PDF report…you just want the numbers.

It's the value of the content and what it does for you that's important and it's the thing that differentiates. So don't worry about the format. I always advise just using whatever format you're comfortable with. If you like making videos, do a video, if you're good at writing do a PDF report or an email because that way it'll get done. What's important is what you put into it and the way to come up with what to put into it is to use insight.

So what you need as we said earlier is some kind of problem or goal that your clients want to achieve and you have to help them with that. You don't have to solve the whole problem. Just giving them some insight, getting them one step on the process is great because then they'll want to continue with you to achieve that goal or to solve that problem. But the chances are if you look at that competitor research you did – on the assumption that your competitors aren't stupid – they're probably also focusing on some of the big goals some of the big problems that your clients have. So their lead magnets are probably… you know if they're, if you're a leadership coach everybody's lead magnet is seven tips for improving your leadership, a framework for improving your leadership, some other method for improving your leadership. If you're in sales or marketing it's all about you know all the lead magnets are focused on how to win more clients: a blueprint for winning more clients, a method for winning more clients, seven tips for winning more clients. If you want to differentiate yourself you've got to do that basic: you still have to solve that important problem otherwise they won't be interested, but you need to do it in a slightly different way.

And a really good way of doing that is to use a “with or without”. What I mean by that is that I've had four lead magnets in the ten years or so that I've been in business since I left big consulting. I've had the Pain Fee Marketing Blueprint, the Twenty One Word Email that Can Get You More Clients, the Five Day Authority Challenge and my current one” the Thirty Minute Marketing Plan Checklist. And each of those is a “with or without” lead magnet.

So the Pain Free Marketing Blueprint taught people how to get more clients without the pain and expense of traditional marketing. The Twenty One Word Email told people how to get more clients but with a really fast templated way of doing it. The Five Day Authority Challenge told them how to get more clients by being seen as an Authority – another with an extra thing that they also wanted. And the Thirty Minute Marketing Plan teaches them how to get more clients without spending all their time on marketing because my people tend to be busy and work with clients themselves.

So by taking the basic need, the basic problem or the basic goal people want to achieve but adding something extra that they also want or taking away something that's normally associated with solving that problem that they don't want, you come up with a lead magnet that's different to what others are doing and is really attractive. Now the only way to get to those “withs and withouts” is with insight. You have to talk to your clients. You have to do surveys. You have to talk to them face-to-face or over the telephone and ask them about their problems, ask them about what else they need, what's associated with that ask them how when they've been trying to achieve that goal or solve that problem in the past what stood in their way, what have the barriers been. Ask all sorts of questions about those problems and those “withs and withouts” will come out from that. But you have to do the work, you have to do the research.

But by doing that in getting more insight into your ideal clients than your competitors are using you move away from the bland single solution of a problem approach and you move into something that's more attractive to people. So that not everyone will want it, so not everyone will look at my 30-Minute Marketing Plan Checklist and think “well I want more clients but I don't have much time to do my marketing so that's really attractive”. There will be some people who are full-time dedicated marketers who do have plenty of time to do marketing. But for the people who haven't, for the majority of my clients who don't have a lot of time to do their marketing that sounds really attractive and it draws them to me more than just seven ways of getting more clients which they can get from anywhere.

So that's the key tip for today, it's base your lead magnet on insight, differentiate based on a “with or without” that you can add on or take away from the core need that they have and you'll have a really attractive lead magnet.

Next week I'm going to do another video on lead magnets talking about a very different approach to coming up with a lead magnet that you might well find interesting and useful.

I'll see you then.

The post The Secret of Effective Lead Magnets appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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If you've ever read any advice on LinkedIn or watched any videos or even paid for training, chances are that 90% was about “optimising your LinkedIn profile”.

And while having a strong profile is important, it's not the thing that's going to get you clients (in the same way that a great resumé doesn't get you a job – it's going out and applying for jobs and doing a great interview that counts the most).

In this video I describe 4 LinkedIn lead Generation Strategies that actually work.

For real people. Not just social media experts selling social media services through social media.

4 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies That Actually Work - YouTube

If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel:

Video Transcript

Hi – it's Ian here. I'm back with a scary new haircut and another lead generation tip.

So on my recent survey the question I probably got us more than any other was about LinkedIn. Can you use LinkedIn for lead generation? How to use it, what are the best ways of using it? etc. So let's run through some of the very best ways of using LinkedIn for lead generation.

And just to start just as a kind of fundamental you may hear a lot of people or when you read any articles or see anything on LinkedIn it's *all* about your LinkedIn profile. And while indeed you do have to have a decent profile just having a great profile no matter how optimized it is it's not going to get you a whole load of leads on LinkedIn because people aren't going under LinkedIn every day and looking for consultants and then going connecting with them and asking them if they'll work for them. It just doesn't work like that.

Now you do need a good profile because eventually people are going to look that up and a good profile – you can get tips on this all over the web – but basically it means a professional headline that reflects who you work with and what you do for them – the benefits they get from working with you or the problems you solve. Expand on that in your summary give some evidence for it in terms of testimonials facts and figures and then have a clear call-to-action for how people might want to contact you or go to your website etc.

Once you've got that you need to take proactive action to start generating leads and there are really four main methods for doing that
on LinkedIn.

The first method is the one you'll hear from most LinkedIn experts because it's the simplest, the most straightforward one. It's the connect and nurture strategy. So what you do with that is you search on LinkedIn for potential clients and you offer to connect with them with a tailored connection message ideally mentioning some kind of commonality between you or some reason why you would want to get in touch. Once you've connected you then nurture the relationship initially through LinkedIn messaging – so you might send them a link to a useful article or a video. You get a conversation going, ask them some questions and at some point that may transition to a phone call or email or even meeting face-to-face.

So there are three things you need to have in place to make that method work. The first is that they need to be high-value potential clients because you're personally nurturing them and investing a lot of your personal time for one person. It's got to be worth your while to get that return on investment so if you sell $100 online courses then it isn't worth spending you know two or three hours to nurture a relationship with someone if all they can spend is $200 with you. On the other hand if you have high-value clients it certainly is.

Second criteria you need you need to have in place is they need to be open to that kind of nurturing. And some people are and some people aren't. There are plenty of industries like law and accountancy and stuff like that that still revolve primarily around personal relationships and they will go out, they will try and meet new people, they'll build a network of people that will eventually end up referring and doing business with each other etc. And many of them have continued that on LinkedIn and they're very open to that relationship building aspect. You'll find some people are open to it and others aren't and don't value it so you'll have to kind of knock on a few doors and kiss a few frogs before you get people willing to to have that relationship built with them.

The third thing you need is you have to be up for it and you have to get good at it because it is an outreach method and you might not feel comfortable doing that. But you do have to be able to do it you do have to master the art of having conversations via messaging – asking the right questions and then of course getting on the phone or meeting someone face to face.

Personally it's not for me. It's not the sort of thing I enjoy but I know it does work tremendously well for a lot of people.

Now the second method you can use on LinkedIn is to use LinkedIn for referrals. So what you're doing there is you're essentially using LinkedIn like a big rolodex of potential contacts you can get introductions to and so what you've got to do there is make sure you're connected on LinkedIn to the people you feel confident will give you a strong referrals – maybe clients and ex-clients and contacts if you've done great work for so you know they would be comfortable referring you. And then you just do a LinkedIn search to try and identify second-order connections – contacts of contacts who would be great potential clients – you put the right criteria in to identify those potential clients and then when it shows you the list of them it will highlight who your common contacts are and if some of those are the people who you know will give you a good referral then you simply ask for that referral.

So it's an alternative to the traditional referral approach of going to someone to ask for referrals and kind of saying well do you know anyone who works for a small manufacturing firm – that kind of thing where you're making them do all the hard work of trying to think of the person. If you use LinkedIn then you can say “oh I spotted on LinkedIn you're connected to John Smith of Smith & Company. If you were me how do you go about getting in touch with them?” And you know nine times out if they would be willing to give you a referral and they do really know John Smith then they'll say “I'll introduce you” etc etc. So you use LinkedIn as a source of information for referrals. When you ask for the referral you do it in person, you do it over the telephone or over email – you don't use LinkedIn for that aspect of it.

The third method of using LinkedIn is for content marketing. Now the way many people use LinkedIn has really changed in the last year or so with a lot of the usability improvements. So it used to be people almost always just went onto LinkedIn to maybe make a connection or respond to a message etc But nowadays a lot of people are getting on LinkedIn and they are looking at their newsfeed. They may not go there primarily for it, but they're spending time on their newsfeed scrolling through articles to see if there's anything interesting there and what that means is content marketing on LinkedIn is now proving to be very effective and because not a lot of people are doing it and not a lot of people are doing it well you can make a big impact.

So if you scroll through your newsfeed what you'll notice is there's a lot of posts on there and mainly they are the kind of images and links to external articles and stuff like that and they've got one comment and two likes and stuff like that but eventually you'll hit one that's got 50 comments and 47 likes and behind the scenes it's getting thousands and thousands of views. So, in other words, the person who wrote that article is getting front of mind with thousands of people who are looking at that article and reading it.

Now the LinkedIn algorithm changes all the time but right now it is favouring pure text only posts. So if you look down your newsfeed you'll find most of the posts with loads of comments and likes are primarily just text only or they are short native videos – so not a YouTube video but a video uploaded to LinkedIn. LinkedIn does not want people to leave the LinkedIn platform – it kind of penalizes if there's a link in the actual article itself and you send them off LinkedIn because Linkedin wants to keep people on LinkedIn because that's where it makes its money: from people being on LinkedIn.

So if you can write a good post in that 1,300 words especially one where you capture people's attention with something kind of emotionally compelling in the first few words because usually the first couple of lines appear before people have to expand it. If you tell a little story in there – a little parable with a meaning at the end and you do something that people can comment on that stir some emotion – because people kind of feel empathy with it and they want to comment on it or you ask a question. Similarly in your video if you ask a question if you get people to comment…if people start engaging with your content on LinkedIn early on in the first couple of hours then LinkedIn sees that as a sign that it's the kind of thing people want to see and it starts spreading it more a more and you can get a kind of mini-viral effect. Now that's also dependent on you being connected to the right people so in parallel with doing content on LinkedIn you'll want to connect with your potential clients or other people who are connected to them so you've got a big network of potential clients who are seeing that content.

That's content marketing on LinkedIn – a lot more to be said about that and I'm sure I'll come back to that another day.

The final method is LinkedIn advertising – another big topic. LinkedIn advertising is a bit of a clunky platform. Nowhere near as advanced as the Facebook advertising platform and it's much more expensive per click. But if the targeting criteria on LinkedIn which are largely based on demographics and Firmographics so where someone is, who they work for, their job title, their level of seniority, the number of people in the company… if you can find your target clients really well through those criteria then you can do well with LinkedIn advertising. I certainly tested on a couple of occasions and the last time I tested it it was something like a four hundred percent ROI within a couple of weeks for me in terms of people then going to a sign up page signing up and a number of them then signing up for my paid programs so LinkedIn advertising can work well.

So those are your big four methods. It's the straightforward one of connect and nurture, it's using LinkedIn as a rolodex to find people you can get referrals to, it's doing content marketing on LinkedIn and it's using LinkedIn advertising.

All four could work, but they work well in different circumstances. So if you have a lot of high-value potential clients you may want to go down the connect and nurture route or maybe referrals. If you maybe have online courses and stuff like that and you need a larger number of people you might want to go down the content marketing or the advertising route.

That's it for this week – see you next. If you want to subscribe to get more – and you should – you can hit the buttons there or there depending on where you're watching this.

See you soon.

The post 4 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies That Actually Work appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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Most of us get Lead Generation completely backwards.

We're a bit like the guy who wants to get a date and obsesses about whether he should be going out to clubs, using a dating app or asking friends for introductions – and completely forgets to smarten himself up a bit and try to look his best some people will actually want to have a date with him.

In this video I explain the big mistake most businesses make with lead generation and the simple step you can take to turn that round and get people wanting to meet with you.

The Uncomfortable Truth About Lead Generation - YouTube

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Video Transcript

Hi – it's Ian here – welcome to this first lead generation tip and it's a really important one. If you listen to nothing else I say make sure you listen to this.

Because most of us get lead generation completely backwards. It's a bit like if you've got a friend who's single and they're looking to get a date and they come over asking for your advice but they haven't washed for a week and their hair's all scruffy and they're wearing really old clothes and then they're asking you “well should I use this dating app or should I go out to clubs or can I get introductions from friends” and you've just got to tell them it doesn't matter what you do unless you get yourself sorted out and get yourself cleaned up so you'll actually look attractive to someone then no one is going to want to go out on a date with you no matter what method you use.

And it's very much the same when it comes to our marketing and lead generation. Most of us look at lead generation completely from our own perspective about what we want to get from the process. We want a call with someone, we want to get a meeting with them, we want them to join our email list – instead of looking at it from their perspective and what would make us attractive to them. What would make them want to have a meeting with us?

Now if you think that they might want to have a meeting with you to explain your services or so you can ask them questions to find out their problems so you can recommend a solution – that's the wrong answer. Ninety-five percent of the time clients are not yet ready to buy so they don't want to hear about your services and they don't want to talk about their problems yet and get solutions recommended because they're nowhere near
that part of the process. Even if they could be brilliant clients later on, most of the time they're not ready yet so you need to think about what would be valuable what would be attractive to them about having a meeting or a call with you or joining your email list or interacting with you on social media. What would make that valuable to them *right then* not in the future, not when they're working with you but right then and there. What makes that meeting valuable?

Something that's always worked for me is to prepare a little presentation or a discussion about key industry trends – the big things that are going to be affecting those potential clients. That's something that clients are always interested in hearing.

They're always keen to hear “what are going to be the big issues that I'm going to have to face in the future?”
For you it might be something else – it doesn't have to be industry trends, it could be case studies of some really important work you've done in an area that's vital to that potential client. It could be anything as long as the client says it's valuable, as long as they would want to have a meeting with you. Because if you can identify a reason why that potential client would want to have a meeting with you that would make it attractive to them then all your lead generation becomes exponentially easier and exponentially more effective.

It doesn't really matter whether you're using LinkedIn or Facebook or presentations or networking or whatever it is you want to try – if you are attractive you'll find it much easier to get a date. And thankfully in the lead generation world it's a lot easier to be attractive by having something valuable to offer than it is for any of us to become more attractive in the dating sense.

So that's your task for this week: think about what it is you can offer what kind of value can you give to people to become leads – so to have a meeting with you, to have a call with you, to join your email list – what can you offer to them that's incredibly valuable to them that would make them *want* to do it. Rather than seeing lead generation as somehow some way of persuading or manipulating or coercing people into having that meeting with you, make them *want* it. Because if they want it it's all going be much easier.

That's it for now – see you next week and don't forget to subscribe. Either hit the button there or there depending on where you're
watching this from.

Cheers

The post The Uncomfortable Truth About Lead Generation appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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When it comes down to it there are three different types of network that bring you all your clients.

Just three.

The first network is your network of Close Contacts.

These are the people you know well. The ones you could pick up the phone to and pick their brains. People you'd feel happy asking a favour of – and who would feel happy asking a favour of you.

The second network is your network of Casual Contacts.

These are the people you know well enough to drop an email to. Who you probably chat to online if you see them post something. Who you'd be happy to see and chat to at an event. But you wouldn't necessarily arrange to meet up with them on a regular basis.

The third network is your network of Acquaintances or your Audience.

Acquaintances are people you recognise and would smile at at a party. But you don't know them all that well. An audience is even more remote – it's people who know you (for example they listen to your podcast) but you don't know them.

For the vast majority of us, an audience is an entirely new phenomenon. In the past only TV and movie stars had audiences. Or in the business world, the authors of well-known books or those who went out on the speaking trail. Today though we can all build our own audience – whether that's an email list or Youtube followers.

More than One Dunbar Number

You might be familiar with the concept of the Dunbar Number. This was the idea postulated by anthropologist Robin Dunbar in the 1990s that there's a maximum number of social relationships the brain can handle. Extrapolating from his work with primates, Dunbar suggested that for humans this number was around 150.

In other words, we can have stable relationships with about 150 people. But after that, we start forgetting or confusing them. Dunbar explained it informally as “the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar”.

Dunbar's number has held out to be pretty true in practice and it's now widely used when people are trying to design communities or social spaces.

Gore-Tex, for example, famously discovered that if more than 150 people were working together in one building, various social problems would occur. They started making buildings with a limit of 150 people and only 150 parking spaces. When the parking spaces were filled, they'd build another 150-person building.

What's less widely known is that Dunbar continued his research to look at human relationships in different situations and, of course, at the impact of modern social networks.

Instead of a single Dunbar Number, he now talks about a series of numbers and corresponding social groups.

The original 150 (it actually varies between 100 and 200 depending on how socially active you are) is the “casual friend” group. Inside that is a group of about 50: your “close friends”. Inside that, about 15 are your “confidantes” and within that are about 5 in your “support group”.

Extending out beyond 150 you can get to between 500 or a maximum of about 1,500 “acquaintances” where you can put a name to a face.

Dunbar's numbers have proven to be remarkably robust. Whether it comes to group sizes in primitive hunter-gatherer societies, battalion, company and unit sizes in armies across the world, or in the number of people on Christmas card lists in British households.

And they hold true in business too.

That Close Contact list of 50 people is going to be primarily family and “pure” friends (ie no business relationship). But for most of us there'll probably be 5 or 10 or 15 people in that 50 who are people we know mainly through business.

For a consultant that might be half a dozen clients they worked with really closely over the years, plus another half dozen colleagues they worked alongside. For a coach it might be people they coached or who hired them to coach others who've now become friends. Or it might be members of a mastermind group who regularly refer clients to them.

These are the people we really know like and trust. Not the “know like and trust” trotted out by marketing experts that you supposedly get from watching someone on video a few times. But know like and trust based on working closely with someone over an extended period of time. Seeing and supporting them through their highs and lows. And having them do the same for you.

Not surprisingly, these are the people most likely to hire you or refer you for large projects.

They already know what you can do and they already trust you to deliver on big, important pieces of work. Most likely they've actually seen you do it before.

That doesn't mean you can't or won't win big projects from others. But it'll be much harder work. You'll have a lot more to do in the sales process to build up the credibility and trust needed for them to be ready to hire you.

Your Casual Contact list probably contains a couple of dozen or more business contacts in there too. People you regularly interact with on social media or in real life. They could be potential clients who are interested in your work and ask questions. Or they could be others working in similar fields to you with compatible ideas.

These are the people who already know, like and trust us enough to hire us or recommend us as a coach, join a group program we're running, or buy an online product from us.

They haven't experienced us enough to stump up for a huge 6-figure project without further work. But for something smaller and less risk, we've proven ourselves alredy. And we don't need to put them through a fancy “funnel” to get them ready to buy because the work we've already done to build our relationship with them is enough.

Finally, with our wider Audience, we've built credibility and trust through our content that they see on a regular basis (depending on how long they've been in our audience). It's unlikely to be enough for them to suddenly perk up and hire us for a huge project because they simply don't know us well enough. But it's enough to buy an online training program or after a bit of work, to enrol in a group coaching program.

Your Networks Aren't Static

Of course, membership of your different levels of network changes all the time as you make new contacts and interact with some people more than others.

And sadly, the most common change in your networks is that they decay.

Close Contacts you don't speak to for months become Casual Contacts. And Casual Contacts, in the absence of any proactive contact, decay into Acquaintances and eventually out of your contact network completely.

Remember those clients you worked closely with on a day by day basis 5 years ago? The ones you could have picked up the phone to at any time. The ones you'd often grab coffee or lunch with.

Could you pick up the phone and ask them a favour now?

If you've kept in touch and nurtured your relationship then yes. For most of us, the answer would be no. We manage our networks haphazardly at best.

The good news is that with planning and consistent action you can improve the quality of your networks significantly.

If you're broadcasting to an Audience you can include calls to action that get the people you most want to move into your Casual Contact network to respond and start interacting with you.

You can make sure you regularly interact with Casual Contact network members and build your relationship with them so that some become Close Contacts.

And most important of all, you can treasure your Close Contacts to make sure they don't drop out.

All Networks Are Not Created Equal (Nor Should They Be)

It's important to remember that different businesses (and different business models) need different types of networks to support them.

In theory, Close Contacts are the most valuable. But they also take the most personal involvement to nurture.

So if your business is built around selling online training programs and memberships like mine, then you don't particularly need a lot of potential clients in your Close Contact network – you need a large and responsive Audience.

An online training business is essentially a high volume business. Though what you might want to do is ensure your Close Contact network has a number of partners with their own large Audiences who can potentially recommend you.

On the other hand, if your business focus is on winning a small number of very high-value consulting projects each year then you're much better off focusing on building a powerful Close Contact network than you are building a big mailing list.

Of course, with a big Audience, some will ascend from your mailing list into your Casual Contact list and from there into your Close Contacts. But it'll take time.

Your main goals should be to strengthen your Close Contact network, keep an active Casual Contact network that feeds it, and to “work” your network to find opportunities for those big projects.

For most businesses, a balanced strategy, maintaining networks at all levels will work best.

Build a channel (email marketing, a podcast, live video etc) to gather an Audience for your lower-end products and as a source of “new blood” into your Casual Contact Network.

Create opportunities for interaction with your Casual Contact network (prompt your engaged subscribers to email you with questions for example, or set up an online group or forum for them, or just get on the phone). For those that feel like they could become great clients or referrers, spend more time on them so they become Close Contacts.

And invest personal time to create and implement unique plans to strengthen your Close Contact Network.

Three Questions To Ask Yourself

1. What do your networks look like right now?
Where are they strong? Where are they weak? Have they grown and strengthened in the last year, or decayed?

2. What are the ideal networks to support your desired business?
If you're a consultant, do you need a really strong Close Contact network as a source of large projects? As a coach do you need a broad and strong Casual Contact network as a source of a decent number of coaching clients? Or perhaps you need a number of senior executives in your Close Contact network that can hire you to work with many of their staff in a structured coaching program?

3. What steps do you need to take to match your network to your business?
Do you need to strengthen your network in key areas? Or reconsider your business model to be a better fit for the networks you have?

Answering these 3 questions – and then taking action – will set you on course to get the most from your real source of clients: your networks.

The post The Three Networks That Bring You ALL Your Clients appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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Clients want the impossible.

Always have. Always will.

And if you're in consulting or a similar advisor profession, the particular type of impossible they want is that paradoxical combination of “new and different” with “tried and tested”.

New and different = something their competitors aren't doing, so will give them a competitive edge.

Tried and tested = proven, so they won't be taking a risk by implementing it.

Of course, a moment's thought will tell you something can't really be both new and different AND tried and tested. But “wants” are driven by emotion and gut feel. Cold hard logic doesn't often get a look in.

And yet…

Sometimes the impossible isn't so impossible.

Back when I started consulting in the early 90s it was actually relatively easy to give clients new and different and tried and tested.

Back then there was very little information sharing across businesses and sectors. So a proven and effective strategy for one business or sector would be completely new in a different one. The first business to implement it would have a significant advantage for some time because of the slow flow of information and ideas.

As a consultant, you would take your experience and ideas that you knew worked in one area and implement them for a client in a new one. You were the oil that lubricated the wheels of progress and you got paid handsomely for it. Your clients, in return, would get something new and different that gave them a competitive edge without the normal risks associated with innovation.

Win win.

Today, however, it's not quite so easy.

Today, information about new strategies and tactics spreads almost instantly across the web. “Best practices” are a commodity: they're no longer the best-kept secrets of the few, they're open to the many.

If your only offer to your clients is to help them implement best practices and proven techniques then it's almost impossible to charge a premium. Clients will either find someone else to implement those ideas cheaper, or they'll try it themselves. It doesn't matter how great you are at implementing, clients will struggle to justify paying big money for something that – in theory – is public domain.

How can you charge a premium in these conditions?

Take those best practices, roll them together with your own experiences and ideas and create something unique that's proprietary to you.

It doesn't have to be completely “from the ground up” new. Just new enough. Those marginal differences can be worth a fortune to clients.

Look at something like Todd Herman's hugely successful “90 Day Year” program.

Are the tactics and concepts in it massively different from every other planning, productivity and midset system that's gone before?

Not really.

But it's different enough for people to be willing to pay for that extra edge.

It's different enough that Todd can rightly claim you can't get it from anyone else.

It's different enough for people to believe it might work for them when other systems have failed.

Different enough makes a big difference.

And if you find you're struggling to charge a premium despite your expert knowledge and years of experience, then creating your own concept or big idea or distinctive point of view could be what makes the difference for you.

The post What Clients REALLY Want… appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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Of all the problems I hear from people struggling to win enough clients, probably the most frequent is “I just can't find the time for marketing”.

It's an insidious problem. No matter how smart you are, no matter how brilliant the marketing strategies you're trying to implement: if you can't find the time for them then you won't get results.

And it's such an easy trap to fall into. If we're not naturals at marketing we probably don't know how to do it efficiently. And we probably don't enjoy it, so we kid ourselves that we're doing OK, we have enough clients for now, something will turn up anyway…and so we avoid doing the marketing we really need.

But it absolutely is possible to fit effective marketing into a busy schedule. What it takes is a combination of mindset, ruthless prioritisation, scheduling and techniques for doing your marketing efficiently. And that's exactly what you'll learn in this guide.

How Much Time Do You Need For Marketing?

Everyone's needs are different, but over the years I've found that for most small businesses or sole practitioners you need to devote a day per week to marketing and sales in order to keep filling your pipeline with new clients and growing your business.

If you're a well-established business with a steady flow of referrals and your marketing systems are set up and working for you, you can probably get by with less. Maybe half a day a week.

And if you're a new business or looking to grow fast, you'll need more time. The good news is that if you're a new business your schedule won't be packed with client work yet so you should easily have the time available.

The other situation where you'll require more time for marketing is if you're looking to establish yourself as a premium option and charge higher fees.

If you spend more time on your marketing to establish yourself as an authority in your field, you'll be able to charge higher fees and so you'll need to spend less time on client work to earn the same amount. Conversely, if you spend less time on marketing you'll be seen more as a commodity and have to take lower fees and work longer to earn the same amount.

It's a trade-off and it's up to you to decide where you want to fit on the spectrum (personally, I go for higher fees :) ).

Finally, different types of marketing need different patterns of time investment and you need to build that into your thinking.

Traditional marketing like networking, doing presentations, cold calling, personal follow-up (or these days cold emailing or networking on social media) is essentially a “pay as you go” model. You go to an event or you make a call and if you're lucky you end up with a lead who you follow up with and they may turn into a client.

You're investing a little bit of time week in, week out and each investment of time could result in a client.

With most online marketing, you tend to invest your time up front to set up your systems. You have to create a lead magnet, set up landing pages, create your follow-up emails; all before you can start to generate any leads at all. But once your system is set up you need to spend much less time on it on an ongoing basis.

That's a more sustainable model in my view, but you need to invest time up front before you start seeing any results rather than getting results as you go along.

So if you plan to start doing more online marketing make sure you build that initial investment of time into your plans. Especially if you're switching over from traditional marketing to online: you may get a dip in your pipeline of new clients as you stop doing traditional marketing and start setting up your online systems.

Does a day a week seem like a lot of time?

It's not if you think about it. One event and a couple of meetings with potential clients and associated prep and follow up calls will take you a day.

And if you think that you really can't afford to spend a day a week on marketing, that you need to be earning fees four and a half or even five days a week, then it's an indication that you may have a pricing issue.

To have a sustainable business, your fees need to be high enough that you can hit your revenue goals with 3-4 days of paid work per week; allowing you to invest the remaining time in building your business.

If you find that you can't afford to spend a day a week on marketing, your first step might well be to raise your fees so you can.
 

The Mindset You Need To Make The Time For Marketing

One of the biggest challenges we face when we're not professional marketers is just how easy it is to let marketing slip.

If marketing isn't our day job we can let other priorities take over. Especially if we're very client-focused and we always try to prioritise their needs.

Here are 4 simple things you can do to help make sure you have your mindset right to make sure your marketing happens.

  1. Firstly, make sure that the importance of marketing is always near the top of your mind.

    Don't allow your busyness with client work to distract you from the need to build your pipeline of new clients.

    The best way to do that is to make sure you're absolutely clear on your “numbers”. Understand how many clients you need to hit your goals, how long each one typically stays with you, how many potential clients you need to talk with to land a new client, and how long that typically takes. That then allows you to set goals for how many new clients you need per month and how many meetings or calls you need to be having to get those new clients.

    That way, even when you're busy with client work, you know that if you need to be having 4 calls with potential clients every month and you've only had 1 so far this month, you need to get your skates on. Those hard numbers prevent you from engaging in wishful thinking and assuming things are going to be OK.

  2. Secondly, make commitments that lead to habits.

    Now you know your goals for your key marketing milestones you can decide what activities you'll do to achieve them. What are you going to do to get you those meetings and calls? Is it presentations, networking, online marketing? Whatever it is (and I'll have more to say on how to choose later in this guide), make a commitment to how often and when you'll do it.

    Maybe that means one presentation to a group of at least a dozen potential clients every month. Maybe it means writing one blog post or sending three emails a week.

    Whatever your chosen activity: commit to doing it. Repeatedly making good on your commitments turns them into habits. And I can tell you: habits work. I've sent an email at least once a week to my subscribers for over 5 years now and it's where the vast majority of my new business comes from. Today it’s almost harder for me not to send an email every Sunday morning than it is to send one it's become such an ingrained habit.

  3. Thirdly, “trick” yourself into prioritising marketing.

    Chances are if you're reading this you're the sort of person who will pull out all the stops to deliver for your clients. You won't just go the extra mile, you'll half kill yourself doing it!

    Yet when it comes to our own needs – like marketing – we're quite content to let ourselves down. We take second place to clients.

    So if you want to get more marketing done, turn it into client work.

    If you need to write a blog post: tell a client who's interested in the topic that you'll be writing it and tell them when you'll have it ready for them to look at. That way you now have a client commitment to live up to.

    Or if you want to create and launch a new product but just can’t find the time: pre-sell it to a handful of clients as a pilot and commit to when you'll launch it for them. Again, you're turning marketing you're doing for yourself into a client commitment. And client commitments are what you're great at living up to.

  4. Finally, recognise that sometimes you just have to work that bit harder to get things going.

    Tough as it sounds, sometimes if you want to get something started you just have to work harder for a while. That might mean working a weekend. It might mean missing that regular TV show you love for a while. I'm not a big proponent of letting work take over your life, but as a one-off to break the back of an important marketing task you might just need to do it.

How To Make The Time For Marketing Through Ruthless Prioritization

Ever been told that the way to get clients is to “be everywhere on social media”? Or that you need to network, network, network. Or you need to send an email a day, write a blog post a week, make videos, do livestreaming and a whole host of other hugely time-consuming activities?

Of course, the people giving this advice don't live in the same world the rest of us do. They either work full time on marketing with no client delivery or they have a team to support them.

For those of us who have to work for clients, run masterminds, do coaching or create products as well as do client work, we simply can't do everything the experts say we need to do to win clients.

So I'm going to suggest something rather radical.

In contrast to probably every bit of marketing advice you've had which normally gives a list of additional things you need to do, I'm going to say that the most important thing you can do to improve your marketing is to start doing less: cutting out most of what you currently do.

Let's be honest, if everything you're doing right now was working brilliantly, you wouldn't be reading this article. Something needs to change.

So let's look at some ways you can cut down what you're currently doing to make more time for marketing that actually works.

Firstly, it's important you understand what marketing you're currently doing and whether it's working.

So make a list of the marketing activities you currently spend time on and how much time you're spending on each one. Then look at each one and try to assess which ones are actually working to bring you clients and which ones aren't.

To be frank, this isn't an easy exercise. Sometimes it takes a combination of activities to win a client. And if it was blatantly obvious that something wasn't working you'd probably have noticed, wouldn't you?

But the truth is that many of the marketing activities we do happen out of habit and because they're easy, not because they're effective.

We go to that monthly networking event because we've always gone to that monthly networking event. And we don't need to prep for it, we don't need to create anything new. It's full of familiar faces so we don't feel uncomfortable having to introduce ourselves to new people all the time. And we kind of vaguely remember that a few people there have given us referrals and probably some of those turned into clients, didn't they?

We log on to Linkedin and answer questions in our favourite groups because, well, it's easier than sitting down with a blank sheet of paper to write an email. And it does help our business to be helpful and be seen as knowledgeable in these groups, doesn’t it?

It's easy to fool ourselves like this. So to counteract it you need to be systematic about identifying where your clients really came from. Look at the clients you won in the last 6 or 12 months: how many of those did you first meet at that networking event or get referred to by people you met there? How many enquiries and clients have you had who are in those Linkedin groups you spend so much time interacting and answering questions in?

If you can't clearly identify at least one client you won associated with that marketing activity then mark a red flag next to it.

Next, extend your analysis by keeping a diary of how you spend your time over the next week and highlight the marketing related activities.

I know this sounds painful, but I've seen time and time again that we often burn hours a week on “marketing” activities without realising how much time we're spending on them. How long did it really take us to write that blog post? How much time did we spend researching that presentation (or rather, how much time did we spend messing around on Google long after we'd found all the information we needed)? Did we really spend that long on Twitter chatting with “influencers”?

It's only when you keep a diary that you realise just how time-consuming some of the things you do actually are. So painful though it sounds, it's well worth doing.

The next step, of course, is to match up those activities with clients you've won as above and flag up any activities where you can't clearly identify an impact on winning clients.

So far you've identified what you're currently doing and whether it's paying off. Now, you're going to figure out what activities to cut and what to keep or add.

Obviously, any activities that showed up from your earlier analysis of your current activities as clearly leading to clients or clearly not should go on your shortlist for keeping and cutting.

Try to identify what activities are most likely to work for you in your particular industry.

You might have heard all sorts of generic advice on what marketing works best, but the truth is that different approaches work in different situations.

And unfortunately, most of the people dishing out marketing advice have little experience outside the field of marketing. So their advice tends to be heavily biased towards what works for marketing type businesses and they assume the same holds true for every business. It doesn't.

So while it might generally be true that long articles do well in Google, or that you need to post frequently, or that videos get shared more than other content, maybe that's not true for you and your specific audience.

As a quick case in point: I googled “teambuilding techniques” and looked at the word count of the top 5 articles for that topic. Far from needing to write huge 2,000+ word articles as content marketing gurus would have you believe, not one of the top 5 articles was over 1,600 words and the average word count was just 873.

Don't take generic advice: check out what really works for your type of business.

So to see what works in Google for you, search for the keywords your clients would use and see what shows up in the top 10 results. Then see whether the top sites are filled with ultra long articles, videos or other content and how frequently they publish. Then check Buzzsumo to see what the most shared websites and pages are for the same keywords and again, see what kind of content does the best in terms of sharing.

It's not a hard and fast rule, but if videos are ranking well in Google and getting shared the most, then the chances are that creating videos will work for you. If long-form articles (rather like this one) are ranking well in Google and getting shared the most, then that's probably the thing for you to focus on. And if the top sites in your field only publish a new blog post every month there's absolutely no need for you to do daily or weekly updates.

Next criteria: when it comes to choosing between different marketing approaches, I would always choose “leadership” rather than “follower” activities.

Leadership activities are things like presenting at an event, setting up your own Facebook group and posting there, regularly publishing an email newsletter.

Follower activities are things like attending events to network there, being part of someone else's Facebook group and commenting on their posts and answering questions, replying to someone else's emails or commenting on their blog posts.

Follower activities can work, but leadership activities have far more impact.

Leadership activities not only position you as an expert that others listen to, they give you more airtime. People pay attention to the presenter at an event. When they're talking with you during networking time half their attention is on what they're going to say next or who else they'd like to meet.

It might seem that by answering questions in someone else's group or by commenting insightfully on other people's posts that you're showcasing your expertise. But psychologically, others will see you as a peer, not as someone who's that step ahead. It feels like by responding to others rather than initiating, you're doing something they could do themselves and so they see you as being on the same level as them.

Final criteria: do marketing you enjoy and that you feel proud of.

I know that doesn't sound very businesslike, but in many ways it’s the most important criteria.

Partly because if your marketing doesn’t fill you with energy, you won't do it.

But just as importantly, you must always remember that your business exists to support you and what you want to do, not vice versa. Even if your marketing was amazingly successful, if you hated doing it then what's the point? Your business is supposed to be something that you love and that gives you the life you want. It's not supposed to be something you dread working on.

So stick to doing marketing that you enjoy and you feel proud of.

Next, be brave and use the “rule of one”.

It's common advice to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket and to use multiple methods in your marketing. And while that makes sense for big and established businesses with lots of people working on marketing, if you're a smaller business it's much more important to put enough focus into a small number of activities to make them work and to get good at them.

So choose one method of lead generation (meeting new potential clients) only.

Choose one method of nurturing relationships only.

And choose one method of enrolling clients (sales calls or meetings) only.

And, of course, make sure they match. If you're generating leads personally through presentations, then follow up personally by phone or email. If you're generating leads via a webinar, use email marketing to follow-up.

Now I know the thought of radically cutting down to just three primary marketing and sales activities like this can seem a little scary.

What if you miss the one networking event where you would have met a brilliant client? What if those social media posts would have put you in touch with a key influencer in your sector?

Well, they might. But the chances are they won't.

And by focusing on a small number of activities you stand a much better chance of making those work than spreading yourself thinly.

But if the thought of cutting out all those events you've been going to and all those blog posts and social media updates you've been writing is just a bit too scary then try this:

Just do it for a month.

Cut down to just one of each core activity for a month. By the end of the month, you should have a good feel for how well things are going and if your new approach is making a difference. And by then you might even have broken your addiction to those networking events!

And if you're still not sure either way, try it for another month.

Now once you've got your core marketing systems in place you can think about adding back other activities to get even better results. But until your system is working to deliver you leads and clients on a regular basis, stick to one lead generation approach, one nurture strategy and one method for enrolling new clients.
 

Use Scheduling To Ensure You Get Your Marketing Done

Far too many great marketing intentions fall by the wayside when the real world intrudes.

If your marketing activities remain as items on a to-do list or a set of goals then unfortunately when the inevitable emergencies hit or client deadlines loom, they'll get pushed aside in favour of seemingly more urgent needs.

Instead, schedule your marketing activities into your calendar just like they were an important client meeting or a project task. And once they're in, hold those times sacred. Don't cancel or move them because something else comes up. Block off the time properly and schedule other things around them.

Here are some of the scheduling strategies I've found to be the most useful to help me get more marketing done in less time:

  1. Schedule a significant chunk of time to do marketing work at the same time week in, week out.

    Regularity breeds habit. And habit breeds success.

    Personally, I like to schedule all of Monday morning to work on my important planning and marketing tasks. I start off by reviewing my overall goals and current projects and my big “to dos” and mark down all the tasks I want to get done this week. Then I schedule time during the week to do those important tasks.

    As part of that, I'll schedule my most important marketing tasks to be done during the remainder of Monday morning.

    Some tasks need a good chunk of time planned so you can “build up a head of steam” rather than trying to pick away at them a little bit at a time. Writing or other creative work is a good example of that. You'll make much more progress setting aside a couple of hours to write an article than trying to do it little at a time. So that type of creative work is ideal for you to do on a Monday morning (especially since your head is likely to be a lot clearer than after you've had a bunch of meetings, emails and other pressures pile on during the week).

  2. Batch together similar tasks that require a..
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