One of the biggest challenges facing consultants, experts and advisors, is how to stand out from the pack. As one might guess, the primary benefit of becoming a recognized expert is that it draws potential clients to you, rather than you having to chase after them.
Case in point.
If you ask most consultants and advisors how they get new clients-you’ll hear, “Referrals.”
Nothing wrong with that.
However, in most cases, it’s not the referral that calls them.
Rather, the advisor learns of a referral, perhaps a casual introduction was made, and then the advisor has to peruse this new prospect.
That’s still chasing after business rather than drawing business to you.
For some, that’s fine.
However, if you want to avoid having to convince people to do business with you, you need a strategy that both educates people about your approach, and then motivates them to call you.
There are 3 steps to doing this. The good news is that anyone can do this-it just requires a bit of work.
1) Write a book. You can self-publish it or go the traditional route. (As Amazon dominates the business it’s increasingly irrelevant whether it’s traditionally published or not-unless you want to get in bookstores.) The key is to provide both good content and make sure it is appealing to the eye. Fortunately, that’s increasingly easier (and cheaper) to do.
Your book becomes your signature calling card, and if you play it right-the book can explode the number of people who want to do business with you.
2) Promote your book. The flip side being able to self-publish, is that lots and lots of people do it. The sheer number of books available has increased dramatically. According to my PR person, over 25,000 new books come on the market each year. (In some ways this makes getting a “real” publishing deal with an established publisher a bit more valuable since they have vetted your book. Many people will look at who has published a book before deciding to buy it. The way around this if you decide to self-publish, is to give your “publishing company” a name that sounds real, and make sure your book looks professional.)
Still, getting visibility for your book is a challenge.
This is where PR plays a crucial role.
You can either do it yourself or hire a professional. If you go the professional route I recommend you check in with Jane Wesman or Dottie DeHart. They both did a great job promoting my last book, The One Week Marketing Plan, and it wouldn’t have been the success that it was without them.
Naturally you can do the PR yourself, which if you invest in learning the ins and outs, is a fine way to go. If you decide on that direction, you’d be well served to get to know my friend Steve Harrison. He and his brother Bill run one of the top firms that advises authors on how to get the word out on their books. (They also offer a number of great resources to help you get the book written as well.)
3) Make sure that you have a web based strategy for getting readers onto your subscriber list. Bill Harrison suggested (for which I’m eternally grateful) that I put a coupon in the front of my book that encourages people to register for a free companion video series. That one piece of advice has been invaluable in terms of adding readers to my community.
The point I’ll leave you with is that breaking out of the pack is difficult-we all know that. Writing a book is one of the best methods for establishing yourself as a true expert. Unfortunately, very few of us can rely solely on people coming to us, completely unbidden, asking to become clients. Unless you want to chase after new business (and there are some people who enjoy that-I’m not one of them), you need to implement a strategy for drawing prospects to you.
This one works really well.
Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube