How to Attract More Clients
Imagine life with a steady flow of new client enquiries. Every month, interested decision makers make contact with you. They either come recommend by someone who knows you – or they have read your useful, helpful and interesting material. Before they even speak to you, they like what they have heard.
Now imagine that you could use this approach within new media projects, in order to help your clients to attract more business. This would add value to your marketing proposition, increase positive word of mouth and generate more cash. Is it all a dream? Let’s see.
In the last century, it was all about push marketing. In other words, shouting the loudest and using big budgets. The 21st Century is about customer / client education and attraction. Intelligence is now more important than cash.
We are all inundated with some 5000 marketing messages a day. To keep sane, we put up filters in order to sift out unwanted messages. This means that it’s harder than ever for marketers to get their messages through - hence falling response rates. As we move towards an ‘opt-in’ marketing culture, businesses must adopt a new approach.
Enterprises which educate their customers and add value throughout the buying cycle will win. Increasingly, we will see promotional campaigns which are primarily educational in nature and which offer useful, relevant, interesting and informative help and advice. This approach is especially relevant for businesses on limited budgets. It is also highly relevant for web based businesses and for internet marketing campaigns.
All too often, clients don’t understand the importance of content creation. As readers of NMK will know, ‘content is king’ in terms of search engine optimisation and website stickiness. Sadly, however, some clients can get the wrong end of the stick. They are still thinking in terms of the hard sell and the need to beat customers into submission. In the media-crowded 21st century, they have literally got to change the way they think. New media content should be customer focused. It should offer help and advice. Here are three examples for you: buyer’s guides, dos and don’ts lists, and ‘how to’ articles.
In order to attract customers to a website, both internet marketing and traditional forms of promotion can be used. The twist is that these promotional items don’t have to do the whole ‘hard sell’ thing. All they have to do is point consumers / business buyers in the direction of the useful content that we have been talking about. For example, a banner ad could say that a free buyer’s guide to widgets is available if you ‘click here’.
This approach will attract more customers / clients. Some of these visitors will be in the market to buy there and then. Many of them, however, will just be browsing. Therefore, the next stage is to tempt the visitor to sign-up to some form of regular communication, such as an e-newsletter or blog. In order to do this, you should provide an incentive – in terms of packaged information which is relevant to the target market you are communicating with. For example, within my website, www.nigeltemple.com, I offer a free marketing toolkit for new subscribers to my e-newsletter. The toolkit contains a marketing plan template and other items which I would normally only give to paying clients. Hence the toolkit has a high perceived value. This strategy has created an opt-in list of over 2,000 business owners and marketers who subscribe to my e-newsletter.
The final step is to send useful and helpful material to your subscribers on a regular basis. By ‘regular’ I mean at least monthly. Yes, I know this is quite a commitment! However, if you don’t want to do this, the joy of cold calling awaits you, when you run out of projects.
I have used this approach for my own marketing since 2000 – when I uploaded a series of articles onto my first website. Google loved me! Subsequently, I have added more articles to my site as well as dozens of links to useful marketing websites. Within my client work, both online and offline, I urge my clients to experiment with the ‘attraction’ approach. If they implement the sequence I have described, they invariably get good results. In some cases, the results have been extraordinary.
This article is based on Nigel’s new book, ‘How to Get Clients to Come to You’ (ISBN 978 09552798 1 2), published by Words at Work, London (www.words-at-work.org.uk). Written for small businesses, the book focuses on practical and proven low-cost marketing techniques and is priced at £6.99. Click on the front cover of the book to read all about it!
Written by marketing consultant, speaker and author Nigel Temple (firstname.lastname@example.org; 01628 773128). Copyright © 2007.