I Have $2,500 worth of Value . . . Waiting For You to Download
No.  I’m not kidding.  If you’re seeking a wonderful resource that will truly help you market your business, products and services BETTER in 2012 than you are now . . . I have been authorized to give you a complimentary gift worth $2,500.  Click the link above to get it!

  All you must do is DOWNLOAD IT . . . before November 29, 2011  

The ‘gift’ is a download of some 33 audio MP3’s and a workbook PDF that other business people paid $2,500 to enjoy.  And now, it’s yours.  FREE of charge. No strings attached.

WHY . . . you’re being granted access to this gift
The brilliant brain behind this offer is Sean D’Souza.  Sean lives in New Zealand.  He moved there from Mumbai, India.  He heard doing so would allow him to live closer to Antarctica.  Go figure.  He’s had a stellar career in advertising and is passionate about helping business owners market their products and services more effectively.  I am a client and a ‘Raving Fan’.

This is ‘Green’ Marketing . . . Recycling At Its Best
When Sean has a program like The Brain Achemy Masterclass sell sufficient ‘seats’ that he’s recovered his development costs many times over, he will use it to introduce himself and his approach to marketing to new prospects through . . . ta da . . . old clients.  Most of whom are his ‘Raving Fans’.  Like me.

What Sean is Doing Is Brilliant
Sean does not give his Brain Alchemy Masterclass away . . . without charge or strings attached.  Sean’s clients do that.  For Sean.

It’s Not About The Gift . . . It’s About The Gift-er!!
If Sean offered you a ‘Free Copy’ of his program or I offered you a copy, the net effect, financially speaking, is the same.

The difference in having a client like me give you this same ‘gift’ is because I’m adding my tacit endorsement of Sean.  If I have ANY influence, prestige, potency, regard, etc. with you . . . then I am infusing that credibility into the offer I’m making to you  . . . in a way that Sean, by himself, could never do.

Social Networks Offer Marketing Opportunities . . . IF . . . You Use Them Effectively
Each person in your world (or, network) has a network of their own.  Some of their network contacts may be very qualified prospects for the problem-solving expertise and services you offer.  So here’s my question, “Can you benefit from what Sean is doing?”  Specifically, “Can you DO what Sean is doing here?”

Here’s the formula:

Create / Select an ITEM OF VALUE — preferably a high quality MP3 of PDF that reveals your problem-solving expertise

Craft an OFFER — that your ‘fans’ — prospects, clients and COI’s can share with their network contacts

Promote it to your NETWORK OF INFLUENCE — give them the ‘glory’ of gifting it because you’ll get their traffic soon enough

It’s a wonderful way for everyone involved to win . . . you’ll win with new people being favorably introduced to you by people whom they already know, like and trust.  Your ‘fans’ win by demonstrating the value of being part of their network of influence.  Finally, their network contacts win by finding out about a superb resource in your field — you.

Your Network is an asset . . . give the people who know, like and trust you a way to introduce you to their contacts . . . and enjoy the ride! 

Publish or Perish
Successful marketing requires that you produce and distribute relevant content on a regular basis.

That’s why Step 3: “Adopt The Publishing Model” is so important to honor and practice.

Of course, once you embrace this reality, using a marketing calendar becomes an inescapable conclusion.

Lead Generation
At the same time, you’ll be engaging in many different activities to market your business.

In Step 5, “Orchestrate The Lead-Generation Trio” you’ll be focusing on advertising, PR and referrals.  These marketing activities are not ‘one-off’ activities.  They are most effective when you engage in a series of actions.

For example, an advertising campaign requires that you plan your creative message, select appropriate media, monitor results and modify your campaign accordingly.

Public Relations involves identifying and cultivating media contacts with useful information on a regular basis.

Generating referrals requires a systematic approach and carefully coordinated actions to produce successful results.

Managing Your Web Presence
In Step 3: “Create a Total Web Presence” you’re managing your social media profiles — definitely not a ‘one and done’ kind of activity!  Creating and using a ‘listening post’ to monitor your brand’s mentions involves a number of orchestrated actions.  And let’s not forget the ‘big driver’ of your content is your blog — which requires definite planning to maintain a quality level that will generate traffic to your site.

Marketing is a NEVER-ending function of your business
Once you begin to implement your marketing, you quickly realize that consistency in your actions, over time, is best managed by creating a marketing calendar. The annual marketing calendar is not only a great planning device for campaigns and product launches, it’s also a great tool to organize and schedule all your time-sensitive projects and actions.

Creating projects and breaking them down into daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly actions, helps you maintain focus on your marketing and the results you’re seeking from doing your marketing . . . by design, not accident and consistently and conscientiously rather than sporadically, erratically and ineffectively.

Ask, “What would happen if I started to manage my marketing ‘by the calendar’?”
Trust me, you’ll like the answer!

In football, the Red Zone is the last 20 yards a team must cross to reach their goal and get points on the scoreboard.

Marketing gets you into your revenue Red Zone.  Getting people to know, like and trust you is not enough to generate revenues — but it sure puts you in an excellent position to do so.

Once you’re in a position to score (or, sell), your focus turns from marketing to selling.

“Ya Gotta Have a System to Sell”
Here’s another way to look at things.  Let’s say you fly from London to New York and have a ‘picture perfect’ flight until . . . you’re about  50 feet above the runway at JFK when your pilot loses control and crashes. It matters not how good the flight was before your landing. The entire flight is still a total loss. No matter what else you do, if you don’t sell effectively, you lose!

Systems and Procedures . . . Systems and Procedures
Once you’re in the Revenue Red Zone, you’re at the point in the Duct Tape Marketing Hourglass where you can leverage the know, like and trust you’ve developed to make an offer to a well-qualified prospect.

Early stage prospects may give you a ‘try’ with offers involving no-cost and no-risk.  As prospects become better qualified, your offers can be for low-cost, low-risk ways to use your services.

Later stage prospects, who really know, like and trust you are your best candidates for significant purchases.

Selling is to Marketing . . . as Marriage is to Dating
You won’t marry everyone you date.  And, you won’t sell everyone to whom you market your services. But once you convert a prospect into a client, you can leverage that relationship to generate a number of transactions with your client over time. That’s the basis for what we call ‘lifetime value’ — the sum total of all the transactions a client relationship offers you over time.

Selling is a revenue-related function no less important than other aspects of your marketing system.  It deserves an equally sound systematic approach to be effective.

The popular belief is that you do ‘marketing’ to ‘fill your selling pipeline’. True enough. But your ‘mix’ of:

1.  referrals,
2.  advertising, and
3.  public relations

varies with your Ideal Client, target market and available budget.

So the way you’ll choose to use referrals, advertising and PR to generate selling opportunities will, of necessity, be unique to you and your business.

Marketing Synergy . . . When The Whole is Greater Than The Sum of The Parts
Marketing pros have long held that someone needs to see or hear about you 7 times BEFORE they’re likely to even be aware of you much less consider responding to your marketing offers. While the numbeer of contacts required may vary, the basic principle is sound.

A marketing ‘contact’ can result from seeing your ad, getting a referral to you via word-of-mouth, reading your special report, attending your webinar, reading your client case studies or client testimonials, and so on.

Together your lead-generation trio helps you build the ‘know, like and trust’ your prospects need to take action on your offers to ‘try or buy’ what you’re selling.

Referrals, advertising and PR can easily fuel up your ‘lean, mean marketing machine’ — if you use them consistently and conscientiously. 

To paraphrase the famous words penned by the English poet, John Donne (1572 -1631)  . . .

“No Website Is An Island”
Your website can not long exist, much less thrive if it is not connected to a larger system of online (and, offline!) media.

Wayne Gretsky, the hockey legend said, “I go where the puck is going to be . . .”.  That’s your goal, too — be everywhere you can be online (and, off) so prospects can find you easily.

You Never Know When or Where or How
People who are prospects for your products and services are on all kinds of media. They’re on social network sites like facebook and Linkedin. They send and receive tweets on Twitter, they read posts on blogs and they’re constantly searching online using Google.

This is why your business must be easy to find and connect with online. This requires creating quality content that’s Google-friendly and easily promoted on social media.

It also means dovetailing your online presence into your offline marketing activities, as well.

The entire web is an opportunity to build your presence and traffic — use it or lose it! 

Time Magazine’s ‘Man of The Year’ award in 1982 went to the “Personal Computer”.  It was a shocker. A game-changer.  A harbinger of things — BIG things — yet to come.

Content is ‘King’
Today, ‘Content’ is where the focus of marketing has shifted due to the role of a little company in California called . . . Google™.

The real ‘power’ in marketing has shifted away from the marketers and into the hands (or PC’s, tablet computers, smart phones, etc.) of consumers seeking useful ‘content’.

Access to Information is Everywhere
With access to ‘the net’ being so easy and available, consumers have the power — to learn anything they want, the moment they want it, from anywhere they happen to be.  They simply use ‘Google’ to search online and, Voila! — it’s done!

Attraction, Not Interruption
As consumers, we’re conditioned to search for answers to our questions on our terms, when we want to know something.  The days of ‘pushing’ an ‘intrusive’ message on ‘everyone’ that most find ‘intrusive’ are fading fast.  And if you tenaciously hold on to that model of marketing, you’ll be gone before too long, too!.

The New Model:  “Be Found, Not Obnoxious”
Getting found by consumers when they search isn’t difficult.  Ask Google.  They invented ‘Adwords’ and PPC (pay per click) advertising that places your online ad in front of ‘qualified’ consumers based on ‘keywords’ in what they’re searching for.  And it works.  Very well.  But it gets expensive, quickly.

The Better Approach:  “Organic Search”
It’s obvious you want to be found by consumers who are searching for what you do.  But you want to do it both effectively and affordably.  Right?  OK.

Then you want to publish relevant information that Google will show to a prospect when they search online — using a blog (like this one you’re reading now) as your publishing platform.

Why Google Loves Your UN-PAID Content
The more consistently you publish relevant content, the more Google loves you!  That’s also why Google shows your content to consumers far more often than sites that don’t publish relevant information on a consistent basis.  Here’s why . . .

Even though Google makes a ton of money from ‘paid advertising’, they know consumers want quality information.  So in order to keep people using Google as the search engine of choice, they must offer the highest quality content they can — along with the paid-for advertising — or consumers won’t be using Google and their advertisers will go bye-bye, too.

Ironic, isn’t it?  Google’s paid search model (Adwords / PPC) is actually dependent on providing consumers with relevant and quality content that doesn’t (directly!) generate revenues for Google.

In Biology, you learned a term: ‘symbiosis‘ –– two entities that, while different, each benefit from associating with one another.  It’s why Google loves you — even if you don’t pay them to promote you.

Don’t Fight Reality — Go With It
Modern marketing is largely about helping prospects find you / your firm when they’re searching for information you have that they want.

Publishing useful information on a regular basis builds your authority in the eyes of Google and makes them show your content to prospects more frequently and more favorably than the content of your competitors who don’t.  Yes, it’s THAT simple.

Publishing Content is an Ongoing Commitment
Being found online is only the beginning of your courtship with prospective clients.  Quality content in the form of case studies showing how your clients enjoyed success because of your expertise, testimonials that provide ‘social proof’ of your value and capabilities, insightful e-books, Special Reports, blog posts, video, webinars, recorded audio and the like are all forms of ‘content’ that help you attract traffic to your site and then . . . position you as a ‘trusted advisor’ who, when the need arises for what you do, will be seen by more and more prospects as the ‘Preferred Provider’ of the services you offer.

Commit to publishing content consistently and relevantly. Google will love you for it and show you to prospects who will get to know, like and trust you.  That generates business — for you — at the expense of your competitors who are either too ignorant or indolent to adopt the publishing model as a key factor in marketing simply, effectively and affordably.

“I don’t know” isn’t the end of the world
When I was starting out in business, I was reluctant to tell a prospect, “I don’t know” when I was asked a question about how taxes, policy provisions or  business law would affect them.

As I ‘matured’ in my career, I learned to get real — real comfortable admitting, “I don’t know” to many of the questions I was being asked.

Be ‘OK’ being ‘Not-OK’
Social psychologists have proven over and over again that your ability to openly acknowledge that you are NOT perfect . . . that you don’t have all the answers . . . actually makes you more attractive to a prospective client.

Seek to demonstrate . . . “Credible Candor”
The fact is . . . your ‘trustworthiness’ factor goes up whenever you exhibit what I call, “Credible Candor”.  This means you say, when it’s true, “I don’t know”.  This makes you more ‘real’ (i.e. less ‘plastic’) and, therefore highly attractive to prospects.  Just be sure you add something like, “. . . but I’ll make sure I find out for you!”.

What you DO is more telling than anything you might SAY to a prospect or client.  Behavior that reveals you’re not perfect in every way – makes you seem  even more perfect to others.

Be Human . . . you’ll reveal your imperfections . . . and become more attractive 


Regardless which approach you choose to use (and BOTH is a very good option!) there’s one thing you must be sure to do or neither approach is likely to be productive.

The King and I
Yul Brenner, the iconic actor, was renowned for portraying the Kind of Siam in Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical, “The King and I”.  One of the songs in that play was, “Getting To Know You”. The lyrics are: “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you . . .”.  It’s a good idea to do this on LinkedIn, too.

It’s Not About You
Social media in general and LinkedIn in particular are not about marketing that interrupts other people.  You want to ‘blend in’ to join in with the LinkedIn member community.

Take the time to really understand who you may want to approach — directly or indirectly.  Study their profile.  View their connections to other people and groups on LinkedIn.  Learn what you both have in common.  Engage with people based on what’s interesting to them. You’ll be far more interesting to them as well.   And do this all before you ever approach anyone on LinkedIn for an overt business purpose.

Getting to know LinkedIn members before you approach them is smart!

Being crystal clear about WHAT your business does and WHO you serve is a key to attracting the interest and response of people who could do business with you.

A business is in one of 4 ‘Clarity Categories’ based on the mission and market it serves.

MERCENARY — this firm is focused entirely on providing its customers with anything they want but at the expense of what matters to the firm’s owners. Mercenary firms are ike the character whose coat reveals pens on one side while revealing watches on the other.  These firms do very well financially but they fail to fulfill the owners personal sense of purpose.

MARKETEER — this firm perfectly aligns both its mission and market.  It first finds and honors its mission and then finds the market that finds its mission attractive and affordable.  In the end, this is what we all aspire to be in our business . . . personally fulfilled in what we do and financially profitable for doing it, too.

Balancing your MISSION and MARKET . . . builds your business value

Many people don’t think of management as a marketing strategy or as a key to growing revenues  But it is.

I recently changed a banking relationship from one bank to another.  The new manager, Bill McDougall was a big factor in my switching.  But it wasn’t until today that I realized why I’m glad I’m now with Farmington Bank.

While in the bank I casually mentioned in front of a teller that my ‘transition’ to their bank was not as smooth as I had hoped or expected.  Not a deal-breaker.  I wasn’t a ‘flight risk’.  And I probably shouldn’t have said anything in front of the bank teller.  But I did.

Later that day, I got an email from Bill who said, “I heard you had some challenges.  Let’s talk.  We’re committed to making sure our customers are happy”.  No defensiveness.  Just regard for my experience and for the experience the bank could use to improve their performance with other customers.  WOW!

I reflected on this. The more I did, the better Bill and Farmington Bank looked.  Here’s why . . . Bill’s email reflected a sincere regard and CARING for me as his customer.  The fact that his tellers LISTENED to what I’d said (another form of caring!) and then SHARED that information with Bill (a reflection of TRUST in Bill and of their RESPONSE-ABILITY to act in a proactive manner on behalf of the customer and the bank) are all good signs.

OK, Farmington Bank isn’t perfect.  Neither am I.  Who is?  But a bank with a culture that:

  • has and honors a commitment to its customers,
  • recruits people who can demonstrate that commitment with their actions
  • encourages people to create a WOW! experience
  • has managers whose leadership encourages trust in their staff

Is pretty darned amazing!  You may not be near Farmington Bank.  But you can learn some great lessons in marketing by seeing how they manage their customer’s experience.  Now THAT . . . is a great basis for differentiating any business — including yours — from its competitors.

Caring is the unconditional regard for your customers that manifests in action on their behalf