Market Your Way to Professional Success

    August 16, 2004

It’s never too early to start saying thanks to your clients, vendors and referral sources for what they contribute to your business or practice. Everyone loves to be appreciated and acknowledged, so start now and do something every month.

Keep in contact with your clients and vendors by sending articles you have written or that would be of interest to them. Add a little “How are you?” note to these people and keep the lines of communication open. Include current information about any new value-added products or services, such as a newsletter, or tele-class you will be presenting.

Marketing your way to success doesn’t have to be expensive. You just have to do it.

Communication and relationship are the keys to marketing. Attending numerous networking meetings may be worthwhile to some, but that strategy doesn’t work for everyone because, as someone once told me, the people who love you will always refer business to you.

Create a list of Advocates, or supporters, who will think of you first when it comes time for your special area of expertise. This list could be up to, but certainly no more than, twenty-five people.

You could also have a separate organizational list, such as companies where there is more than one person you know.

The people who are your Advocates or supporters are the ones who require nurturing. Send them an e-mail, e-zine, note, or article at least once a month.

Create an external management team to help you achieve your success. This could include your attorney, your own mentor or consultant, your accountant and other like minded people who you can trust. This is the key, people you trust to tell you the truth

Gather your external management teams in an informal meeting such as breakfast or lunch. Advise them of your upcoming plans, get feedback and give acknowledgement for all their support and advice.

Check in with former clients to see how they are doing. Be willing to provide free information to these people. Generosity is its own reward. If you keep a timer on your desk, you can be sure of keeping the conversation brief as well as focused. Then, send them more information. Follow up in about two weeks to see how the seeds of your generosity have blossomed.

Information is available to everyone, through the internet, magazines and newspapers. Only you can provide customized data to your clients that will be appreciated as well as remembered.

Review your brochures, marketing letters, and newsletters in a new light. Does this information speak to your”Ideal Client”? Do you know who your “Ideal Client” is? Redefine these documents as needed after you have thoroughly defined this client. Give these documents to your management team and get their feedback.

Does your collateral material speak to what you do? Is the information clear or does it require interpretation? Spend time on this now and review it every ninety days.

If the cost of a new brochure is prohibitive, or if you think your business will be adding more products or services in the near future, create an Information Letter.With this type of document, you can update your Advocate groups as well as former and potential clients. Again, it’s not costly and serves a specific purpose.

This letter can include updates on your particular industry or market. You also can advise them of your continuing education and how it will benefit them.

About those referral sources, they deserve a little extra attention. Remember, they thought of you first! Consider seasonal flowers, plants, a book or a special card.

You want them to keep remembering you! Nurture all these relationships and your business will grow and glow.

Copyright Updated 2004 All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Joanne Victoria, Sausalito, CA, US
Joanne Victoria, owner of New Directions, is a Northern Calfornia based writer who speaks to associations, professional organizations and small business owners on getting more control of your time and life; creating a market position that builds momentum; and taking the right action steps inside a personal plan for progress.

telephone: (415) 491-1344