CRM software may be the means to implementing your marketing activities. But your marketing calendar determines what activities you’ll do and when.  Without a calendar to guide your marketing activities, you’ll do them inconsistently and ineffectively, too.

Macro Calendar
Activities that apply to all contacts or are themed — like a quarterly newsletter or scheduled events tied to a monthly PR topic would be ideal to use a marketing calendar to plan and implement.

Micro Calendar
Activities that apply to a single contact — like a series of emails you may send based on someone downloading an informational report, responding to a direct mailing, etc. would be handled by your CRM and tracked in your marketing calendar.

A calendar keeps you focused, productive, organized and very, very effective.


A client begins with a lead.  It may be ‘hot’ or, not.  It may be ‘qualified’ or, not.
Leads come from 3 primary marketing activities:  Advertising, Public Relations and Referrals.

Activity #2:  PR or Public Relations
PR is, as the name implies, all about building relationships with people of interest to your business or practice.  These may be prospects, existing clients or ‘raving fans’ of yours. Effective PR involves far more than mass distribution of a ‘Press Release’.  That’s easy.  And not all that effective.  To get decent results from PR you need to do 2 things:

Build relationships with relevant people.
PR begins by building relationships with people who can, if they wish, disseminate information about you and your firm. Identify people who have a voice your prospects will hear — writers of relevant publications, of course.
But also consider bloggers whose readers are people of interest to you.

Be worthy of promotion.
Media people detest self-centered, self-serving press releases.  They see through it.  They don’t use it. What does work?  News!  Useful information that will appeal to their readers, viewers, listeners.  When you do ‘release’ news, make sure it appeals to the people the media you’re contacting with it are seeking to serve.

Effective PR is about valuable information above all else. Media people love a good story.  Just make sure you’re not the center of it.  You’ll get a lot of goodwill and PR if you do.

Seth Godin posted this.  He bought something. It didn’t work.
Employees at the store promised to take care of his problem.
Not one did.

I don’t know which is worse.
To never promise a client you’ll do something they want from you or make a promise but never fulfill it

    OK, I think I know.
    To make a promise to your client and fail to keep it.

    In both cases your client doesn’t get what she wanted.  But when you make and break a promise . . . your client loses something else –– confidence in you and the value of your relationship is eroded.

    Keep your promises to clients
    .  Pretty simple, isn’t it?

    The easiest way to generate more revenues is to do more work with your existing clients. Think about it.

    The fact that someone has done business with you in the past is ‘proof positive’ they know know, like and trust you enough to do business with you.  That’s a ‘proven commodity’.

    With the ‘Know, Like, Trust’ factors addressed, you’re ideally positioned to now:

    • re-sell a client on something they’ve needed from you in the past
    • up-sell them on a ‘better way’ to do something they’ve already done with you
    • cross-sell them a service their past services suggest they might benefit from using now

    Sure, it’s easy.  It’s ‘low-hanging fruit’.  Yes, it’s a ‘No Brainer’.
    So let me ask you a question, “why . . . are you not doing it more often?”

    Existing clients are an asset. Wise practitioners treat them accordingly.

    If you’ve ever faced a meaningful problem — e.g. you’re about to spend a significant sum on landscaping, a new furnace, tutoring for your child, braces, a senior living center for your folks, etc. you probably asked yourself: “Is this the best provider to use?”

    Create Your Own Credentials and Credibility
    Facing a challenge in my own life recently, I found one provider offered a ‘Special Report’: Six Key Questions To Ask Before You Hire a ___________”. It wasn’t about their solution. It was about my question.  WOW!  It blew me away.

    Buying a Professional Service
    You really need to know two things to make a decision on a professional service, don’t you?  “What will fix my problem?” and “Who is the best person (or, firm) to do it?”

    Information Raises The Bar and Sets You Apart
    As consumers, we want to know WHAT we need, WHERE to find it, and WHO to use to get it.

    Helping a prospective client learn what they must know to make an ‘informed decision’ is not only extremely useful, it also differentiates you from your competitors who don’t provide such information in the ‘initial’ phase of a prospect’s decision-making process.

    Help people make good decisions . . . by educating them not only on WHAT they need but on HOW TO IDENTIFY which provider is the best one to use.  THAT . . . is a ‘best practice’ that helps prospects make the right decision . . . more likely and more often . . . in favor of you and your firm.


    I had the pleasure to interview Ian Brodie for my monthly article at The National Networker. Ian’s a UK-based marketing consultant whose known for his expertise at helping professionals develop clients and the revenues they offer.

    Ian shared his thoughts about the challenge of keeping in touch with people you meet.  Here’s what he shared about WHY this is so and HOW to address it:

    “There are  several reasons this is a challenge for  so many, but they seem to stem from a feeling that we have “No Time” or “No Staff” to do it.  In reality, what’s more likely is that we have NO SYSTEM for Staying-in-Touch with our prospects, clients and ‘fans’ — people who are supporters of our business or practice”

    In the article, Ian shares two great (and, do-able!) ideas:

    Top 10 List:
    This an easy way to follow-up.  Just pick 10 people of interest to your business and list them where you’ll see them often on a daily basis. Make note of their interests, challenges, desired connections, etc.  As you review this information throughout the day, you’ll be amazed at how many opportunities you’ll notice to add value to someone you know and build goodwill between you at the same time.

    Use CRM software:
    this helps you automate a series of planned contacts with someone of interest to you and your business.  As your list of ‘key people’ grows, it’s impractical to manage manually.  That’s why CRM software is so helpful.  Ian pointed out two opportunities to use CRM effectively.  “Initially, be sure you follow-up with someone quickly — an email or note with something of value to the other person is ideal. Then, over time, plan a series of periodic contacts — email, phone, post that remind them of you and invite them to respond to useful information you have to offer.”

    Nurturing relationships is important.  Many people don’t do it because they have NO SYSTEM to do so.  If you’re serious about staying-in-touch with people for your business, use a CRM software to make important contacts happen . . . by design, not accident.

    A common business challenge is generating a respectable ROI for the time, money and energy you invest in building your relationships with prospects, clients and centers-of-influence for your business or practice. Invest ‘too much’ with the ‘wrong’ people and your ROI will suffer.

    A simple way to do avoid that is to practice the ABC’s of relationship marketing.

    The Basic Idea . . . Unlike what President Washington said, all people are NOT created equal — for purposes of marketing your services.

    A . . . these are people who have demonstrated their ability and willingness to either:

    1. 1) buy what you offer, and/or
    2. 2) refer people to you (or, vice versa). Preferably, BOTH

    You want to maintain a relationship with these individuals and be their preferred provider whenever they (or, people they know) develop a need that you and your problem-solving expertise, product or service can address.  They are your ‘gold’!

    B . . . these are people you feel could become an ‘A’ but, it just hasn’t happened. Not YET.

    It may be just a matter of time (too little) or opportunity (not enough) to demonstrate their ability to buy and/or refer.  Regardless, you feel it’s likely to happen and you’re committed to cultivating the relationship until it does.  You definitely want to build your relationship with these individuals!  They are ‘near gold’.

    C . . . You don’t know if they have the potential to become ‘A’s for your business.

    Why?  You probably haven’t had an opportunity to determine their potential ability and willingness to either buy from you and/or refer others to you. You’ll want to assess these people as soon as possible and then ‘invest’ your resources accordingly. They may be ‘gold’ waiting to happen or ‘sludge’ you’ll want to clean out ASAP!

    You have limited time, money, and energy to invest in building relationships that will help you build your business or practice.  It’s important to ‘invest wisely’ (and, appropriately!) in your business relationships.  Knowing who is ‘most’ deserving of your limited resources, based on their potential to buy and refer — will help you make the best ROI for the marketing resources you’ve got and get you what you ultimately want — profitable growth!

    facebook –– is a social (media) phenomenon.  2010 advertising revenues topped 1.86 Billion! While it may have taken its sweet time figuring out how to monetize itself, it’s finally done so with a vengence.  And that should continue in 2011.

    Soon, you’ll be seeing a new kind of advertising on facebook –– the Sponsored Ad’:

    This is a development you’ll want to be aware of; perhaps ‘BEWARE’ of it is more accurate!

    How It Works: whenever you ‘like’ or ‘check-in’ with a business that is using this sponsored ad model, not only will your action be posted to your news feed but, at the same time, it will be used as a ‘paid advertisement’ by the advertiser — in this example, Starbucks.

    Here’s The Problem: You can’t ‘opt-out’ of having your behavior (and, photo!) used as a commercial ‘word-of-mouth’ promotion and implied endorsement for a facebook advertiser!

    The fact is that facebook intends to use your image and endorsement without your permission and without compensation.  Personally, that doesn’t feel right.  I’d like to give my permission to use my behavior and photograph in a commercial message disguised as a ‘word-of-mouth’ endorsement.  But wait . . . I’m not paying facebook a penny to use it, am I?  Well, there you go.

    In business, you get what you pay for.  And if you don’t pay for something directly, you will pay for it in other ways.

    Advertising revenue is a significant and powerful driver for facebook.  Just make sure you know if, how and when you’re helping to create that revenue!

    Like the famous Got MILK? commercials, I wonder if you ‘Got MOTS’ . . . Moments Of Truth.

    Of course you do.  Why?  Because every contact with a client is a ‘Moment of Truth’.

    Local business consultant, Carl Swanback wrote an article for the NGCOA (National Golf Course Owners Association) in which he makes an important point:
    The EXPERIENCE a client has with your business . . . can make you or break you.

    Your real challenge is managing . . . to create an attractive client experience consistently. Just remember that client BEHAVIOR follows their EXPERIENCE — good or bad — with you.

    In this model I use in my consulting, you can see that the ultimate metric of your business’ success — REVENUE — reflects the degree to which you create experiences, consistently, that are emotionally pleasing to the people you wish to attract and keep as your clients.


    1. The EXPERIENCE you offer your client is the ultimate DRIVER of your success
    2. Effective management . . .  is the KEY to an attractive experience for your client
    3. A client’s experience (and, brand preference!) is . . . 100% under YOUR control
    4. Make sure the experience you GIVE . . . is the experience  your client WANTS

    Lately, a number of business owners are telling me that their biggest challenge in ‘marketing’ is just . . . ‘Following Up’ with people after they initially make some kind of contact.

    This goes beyond prospects, of course. I’m including clients and centers-0f-influence, too.

    When I ask, “Why . . . is this an issue?” the most common answers are:

    1. “I have no PLAN to do it”
    2. “I have no CONTENT to send out”
    3. “I have no TIME to put it all together”
    4. “I have no STAFF to delegate this to”

    Obstacles? Yes. Insurmountable? No. When you think about what you are losing out on if you don’t do ‘Follow Up’, you may decide these obstacles are worthy of your time and attention in this key area of your marketing.


    If you don’t follow-up with prospects, clients and COI’s you’re committed to ‘hunting’ for a current transaction rather than ‘farming’ for a relationship that offers you many transactions over time. Just remember . . . while hunters enjoy a ‘thrill of the kill’, farmers . . . eat more regularly and better over time. Think about that and you’ll commit to ‘follow-up’ every time!

    BONUS: Download a Special Report on “How To Stay-In-Touch to Stay-In-Mind”