For many people, the internet, and specifically social media, challenges them and creates anxiety around it as a “should”. In other words, they feel like they should be doing more of it. Professional service providers may be better served, spending more of their effort on marketing strategies better suited to their situation.
The majority of information on sales and marketing today is focused on the Internet and social media. It is very attractive, exciting, innovative, and time-consuming. You can spend days learning about it, setting it up, playing with it, or you can spend a lot of money to pay someone else to set it up for you. You could spend a good portion of your marketing dollars on the internet to find leads. There is nothing wrong with that approach if you are running an internet-based business. The internet is a great source of leads particularly because of the changes in the way people buy. For some professionals, the internet is a bust or only a source of very few ideal clients. Ideal clients are those clients that you love working with because they energize and inspire you to do your best work.
I am not in the internet business. I am in the business of helping technical professionals get more ideal clients so they can make more money doing what they love, for people they love to serve, and have more fun doing it. I help them to get more out of life.
Don’t get me wrong here. You should still have a professionally designed website that represents who you are and what you offer the world. And it shouldn’t stop there. Your website must also be a lead generation system, as is described in Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port.
What I am suggesting, however, is to take stock of where all your ideal clients are coming from right now and spend a proportionate amount of effort there. You will be able to build your client base with ideal clients faster by doing this exercise than through any other approach that I can think of. For most, if not all, service professionals, their primary source of ideal clients is referrals. These referrals come from referral partners and happy clients that have become their fans.
What about you? Where do your ideal clients come from? Did they come from the internet, referral, cold calling, direct marketing, speaking, etc.?
If they came to you as a referral, ask yourself these questions about how each referral client came to you:
- From whom did the referral come?
- What was the referral for, specifically?
- Did the referral need your services immediately?
- Who contacted you – the person making the referral or the potential client?
- Did you educate the referrer about your services before he or she made the referral, and how?
- How did you accept the referral and how did you follow up?
- Is that referral a continuing client today and do they match your ideal client profile?
If 80-90% of your ideal clients come from referrals, why not spend 80-90% of your time driving a structured process around referrals? By focusing your greatest efforts on the activity that brings you the greatest results, you can triple or quadruple your business in a very short time. Then you can play on the internet in your spare time sharing jokes, quotes, and pictures with your friends and family, just because it’s fun and you don’t have to worry about getting it just right or doing enough of it.
I hope this helps you think about the right mix for getting more ideal clients instead of chasing the latest internet marketing shiny object.
Next time, I will talk about setting up a structured process for giving and getting more referrals just like your ideal clients.
About the Author: Andrei Jablokow is a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach and is based out of Philadelphia, PA.
This article was inspired by insights derived from the Book Yourself Solid system. More tools can be found at Book Yourself Solid or here.