Getting recognition for your “expertise” in selling professional services is paramount if you’re to make good profits.
The stages in the process include –
Setting out your credentials
Outbound publicity – demonstrate you know your ‘stuff’
Getting to one on one conversations around the client’s desired future state
Discussing your services, their needs and fees
I was working with a financial services client and recommended he use the Monte-Carlo methodto establish the prospective client’s need for advice. (Go to the sub heading on Finance and Business). I think it’s very suitable way to frame a discussion when talking about personal finances
Monte Carlo simulation is commonly used to evaluate the risk and uncertainty that would affect the outcome of different decision options.
First be recognised as an expert
You can’t get these conversations going without first establishing yourself as an expert.Nobody wants their finances managed by an amateur. Nor their marketing services. Just working for a big name firm is no guarantee of expertise – it’s a step in the rightdirection.
Groups on LinkedIn
Getting in front of future clients is possible via step 1. As you establish yourself as an expert you will get noticed (particularly if you use key words relevant to your expertise and audience.Maintaining your position as an expert in the eyes of your audience can be continued through outbound articles and publicity.
These are best delivered using sites aligned to your industry niche and audience. For my area there’s a great Reddit thread, a couple of Facebook Groups and a Linked In Group which is very active. You need to find the ones suited to your needs. Don’t forget to check out in-person events on places like Meetup.com too – not all communication has to be written!
Finding the right things to say in your publicity and how to start a conversation with your reader are the things you will need to practice.Conversations in a public forum can lead, later, to a private discussion which is preliminary to taking on a new client.
Book a personalised coaching session with the Creative Agency Secrets team – pick the person who best suits your need.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/NZ-SME.png6401534Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-02-02 17:44:472018-02-02 17:45:00Become an expert in the eye of the client
Working with a client who makes animated explainer videos – Case Study of how to grow referrals. We discuss three ways they can get more referral business.
Image by NWeSource
1.Innovations in your specialism
Every market changes over time – fads pass, new ideas surface. So write about what’s happening in your market. Consider writing about styles, techniques, innovations to be added onto an explainer video (if that’s your business). So which new styles are coming about? Where did each one come from – background and timeline of the evolution.
In the writing analyse the change, what are the component parts, which elements stand out. You could add in new uses for explainer videos – for example in a PitchPack video brochure.
Give the reader the education and tools to make an analysis themselves of whether their archive of explainer videos is getting dated
Show your opinion as a market leader on what’s good, what’s new and what’s to be avoided
Create content which you can share with past clients and encourage them to update their videos and re-buy from you. [This is referring back to prior clients, not new ones.]
2. Create a Call list
You need to speak to people if you sell in Business to Business (B2B). The best way to start a dialogue is with Open Questions. These encourage a longer response from the other person and give you insight into their views on a topic. Any insight enables you to position your services as a solution to issues they raise.
Here’s an example of a call prompt (not really a script).
“Hello, Rebecca. I sent you our article about new styles in explainer videos. I just wanted to get your opinion on it. What did you think?”
Can you imagine how the call will develop into a discussion?
Yes, so can I.
Whether you get a new job immediately or not, you stand a good chance of doing some good things
Checking your contact database is still current – add new names in if you can
Finding out the current situation in the client business with regard to your service offering
Reminding them that you exist and have been trusted with work in the past
Updating your CRM with lead status (cold, warm, hot)
Possibly opening new opportunities for new business.
Create this call list from a list of all your clients from the past 3 years (more if you’ve been in business longer). Also add to the list from your Linked In connections and those from your co-workers. Goal to have 100 people on the list to call.
Plan on making 3 calls per week, per person in your team. Yes, new business development requires discipline and is hard. We can teach you how…
3. Getting Referrals
Start to build a referral marketing engine into your daily project work as well. We find what works best is to connect with them early in the project.
Start with a “Happy call” when you ring asking for feedback on how the job is going.
Then build on this with a similar call just after the project has been delivered. Remind them of what they said on the earlier call. This is the moment to ask for a testimonial for the project team.
After getting this, I usually wrap up by asking
Do you know anyone else who might like to meet us?
My goal is to get two names of people as an introduction. My big tip to make this successful is to ask the question and then to stay silent until the other person has come up with a name…. stay silent as they “ummm” and say “maybe”, “well”, “I’m not sure” and still stay silent and they will 80% of the time come up with a name. If they firmly say no, you can prompt with – maybe a co-worker in a different team or maybe someone from your previous job and see if that can deliver a name.
How to use the introduction….. write an email to BOTH people. This is my template email that works.
Subject: NAME OF THE INTRODUCER
Our AGENCY NAME has just completed a job for INTRODUCER and s/he suggested you as someone who might like to get to know us.
We completed an explainer video (link) for INTRODUCER.
I took a look at your website and [something helpful here which they can use immediately].
Looking forward to connecting.
Lots of love from Rebecca (only joking… use an appropriate sign off).
I always cc the introducer in this message so they know what I said.
In the email you could tell them about the customer satisfaction scores or Net Promoter Score which your team has acquired over time. Or link to TrustPilot Reviews or your Google My Business Review score.
The follow up call is just a friendly get to know you call. No selling. But if you feel it’s gone well you can follow up with an email linking to a helpful resource from your website. Here’s one I use frequently.
This is an example of the type of helpful marketing tips which Creative Agency Secrets writes in our newsletter and blog.We want to enable you to buy web services as an informed consumer (and we don’t build websites, we help our clients to use them actively to win new client business).
Then you have to put them onto a stay-in-touch programme or ask if they will allow you to stay in touch with a newsletter subscription. Either way, one call won’t win you business but a dedicated process to provide utility (usefulness) to them, will ensure you are remembered and they take your calls in future.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/referral-NWeSource.png420596Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-06-08 17:13:202017-06-09 14:58:42Case Study: Three ways to increase referrals
Direct mail is a highly effective marketing technique that delivers sales revenue in a short time frame.
Some direct mail is poorly conceived and so does not achieve its potential.
[WARNING – this is not always true].
Printed direct mail promoting a printer
I received three mailers from a printing firm which serve as a great example of a campaign that could have been much more effective with some pre-planning working with an expert in direct mail campaign structure such as us.
Direct Mail campaign structure
Using a mailing list of marketing agencies, three print pieces of DM were posted out.
The copy promoted “digital by nature” and a new world of digital printing.
Each card had a number to show where it came in the sequence
Each one showed different paper colours front and back
Each card had the print specifications for the front and back detailed which was cute
All print was beautifully executed
The 3rd card showed how to set up artwork to work with digital White Toner
The 4th card showed how to set up artwork to work with digital Clear Toner
I did not receive the first card so the campaign opener was lost
My agency does not buy print or do graphic design, we are not a good prospect for this service
When I first visited there wasn’t a mention of the campaign on the homepage, there is now.
This goes to a landing page which has the wrong link in the contact us button.
Wrong link – testing would have showed this up
How I would have improved the campaign
Combined telephone canvassing with direct mail
Checked the database by phone first asking one question “Do you design for print?”
This would have reduced the downstream print and mailing costs, focused the campaign
Published a landing page URL on the collateral
Tested all the links so the contact us URL was correct (it currently references the same page it’s on)
Included a “behind the scenes” video to show the inside track of the skill Valley Print used to create the mailers and the challenges they faced e.g. printing white on black for the envelope
Used a courier delivery not NZ Post to improve delivery success
This is particularly important for a posted print direct mail series
Followed up by phone with
an invitation to watch the video
stay in touch
subscribe to news updates
further qualify for future work opportunities
This would have built a mailing list, fully up to date and ready for in-house new business sales team to continue to work in the coming months
Planned follow up campaigns including more of the excellent tutorials for designers
Ready to talk direct mail with us?
Give us your challenge and let the creative team loose!
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_6999.jpg20161512Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-02-02 10:00:002017-02-03 09:42:43Preparatory work for direct mail lowers costs
Google alerts are an extremely useful resource for promoting your business online. First of all, if you aren’t using Google Alerts to track your business, you’re missing a seriously useful hack. They are particularly handy for staying up to date with relevant and timely information regarding your business, so you can react immediately to any publicity or news as soon as it happens.
But that’s not all Google Alerts are good for…
Google Alerts can also be used via RSS as a news aggregator on your website or blog! This is particularly useful for showing your visitors you know what is happening around you as well as demonstrating a position of authority with regards to your particular topic. Displaying the latest, relevant news results provides a great reason for your fans to continue returning to your site. Tailored, niche content is much easier to digest when it is a subject aligned with your own browsing interests. It may even help increase the likelihood of your visitors purchasing from you!
The best part about this is it can be totally automated, so you don’t have to spend time curating material. But make sure you have tested and refined your alert keywords in order to get the best results. Or, be sure to check the results from time to time in order to filter out anything that doesn’t fit with your brand.
We will be putting together a guide explaining how to get Google Alerts displaying as an RSS feed on your website shortly…
The next application for Google Alerts is a little more intricate: With a bit of research and a thorough understanding of your target market, you can even use Google Alerts to find new business!
Example: How to use Google Alerts to Generate Leads
Our client provides storage equipment solutions to the global rowing community. Although they can retro-fit single pieces of equipment inside an existing boathouse, their biggest projects come from clubs and organisations who have or are building brand new facilities. These new facilities obviously require a complete fit out of storage equipment and therefore, are our client’s ideal market. So how do you know when a new facility is built and looking for storage equipment? Timing is everything – if you find them too late, they may have already sourced a supplier and you’ll have missed the boat. Google Alerts provides the answer!
By setting up alerts with keywords such as “new rowing boathouse”, “rowing building new boathouse” and “new rowing club” for example, you get a nice summary of boathouse developments happening around the world.
Of course you have to continue your research beyond the alert itself to determine the lead’s value. Sometimes, results are completely irrelevant, and sometimes they are duplicates of material you have already covered. However, on the whole, they are incredibly useful at identifying future projects, as they are often newsworthy topics in their local area.
The next step is to track all your leads in a spreadsheet. Information such as who to contact and where they are located is particularly important. Additional research on the lead’s website often provides the necessary information to point you in the right direction.
In our client’s case, we were interested in contacting the architects of the boathouse, so that we could get involved with the club and their design process, as early as possible.
We have experienced great success building up a database of quality leads for our client in recent months. It is then up to our client to continue the dialogue with the prospective club and come to an arrangement. We have had a great deal of success converting these previously unknown prospects into happy customers, and have done so without investing hugely in advertising, outbound mailing campaigns or other conventional outbound marketing activities!
We have been able to minimise the time taken to research new sources of business through alerts and have increased the prevalence of new business, while making it easy to filter out results of no value. And as it updates you each time a new boathouse is being developed, you don’t waste time searching for them manually. A weekly check of your alerts inbox provides you with enough
Regardless of your industry or business, there’s bound to be a positive application to use Google Alerts for. Whether it is direct lead generation, building a database of bloggers and journalists to share content between, or even researching a network of businesses whose interests align neatly with your own, the uses for it go on and on.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/google-alerts.jpg341845Jeremy Peskeyhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgJeremy Peskey2016-08-11 10:00:402016-08-11 18:32:34How to Use Google Alerts to Drive Business
Landing pages are important to drive valuable conversions for your business as we wrote before, whether from current customers or new prospects. But designing the perfect landing page can take several weeks to accomplish.
Well, at least, it used to.
Enter Unbounce, a tool we are using to create beautifully designed landing pages, built to deliver easily measurable outcomes.
Yes, we know: there’s a ton of groundbreaking offers popping around on the internet every day, promising to be the Holy Grail of marketing. Luckily you have us to filter the noise and point you in the right direction! 🙂
Why we chose Unbounce Pages
This complete add-on tool has the advantage of offering quick creation and editing, cutting a lot of time from the development stage of the landing page strategy for our clients. Unbounce delivers agile results, not neglecting the “best practices” learned by the developers with intense market research. Every Unbounce landing page is completely mobile responsive, which means extra points for you in Google’s eyes.
Having a successful business on the internet is a tricky thing if you don’t focus on driving results with the right strategy. Among lots of features, Unbounce offers A/B tests and Google Analytics tracking that are amazing at collecting data and eliminating doubts in the decision-making process. It can all be integrated seamlessly into WordPress, Joomla and other CMS platforms, so the landing page doesn’t feel disconnected from the rest of your website. When a visitor gives you their e-mail address, it can automatically go to your new MailChimp highly-focused list for future prospects. Simple as that. Check out all the Unbounce integrations.
Build your mailing list
Do you feel like building a highly-focused list of contacts is what’s missing from your digital marketing strategy? Contact us right away.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/conversion-growth-unbounce-2.jpg321845Conrado Langerhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgConrado Langer2016-02-23 13:00:572016-03-18 10:37:29From attraction to traction: build your list with Unbounce landing pages
Landing pages are undoubtedly one of the most powerful features of your entire website. We’re willing to bet that, regardless of the purpose of your website, you have at least one landing page to filter your web traffic towards a purchase decision or other desired action. You don’t want to let your prospective customers slip away because your landing pages are ineffective, do you?
This got us thinking, “How effective are our own landing pages at driving action?” Further exploration of this question revealed our landing pages could, indeed, be better.
What makes an effective landing page?
Each landing page only serves a single purpose.
It should be stripped of the full range of information available on the rest of the website in order to focus the visitor. Having additional content on the page only distracts the visitor from the reason they arrived there and, thus, decreases the likelihood of a successful conversion.
Your landing page should also be able to accurately measure where your traffic is coming from and where they go next. Having too many variables on the page creates unnecessary complications in your analytics and reduces the effectiveness of the page.
Our old landing pages were visually outdated and cluttered with a stack of information that did not show clear actions.
Aside from an enhanced aesthetic make-over, which fits in perfectly with our branding and design, the pages now have a much clearer and appealing interface, outline the purpose of the page and make it even easier for visitors to find exactly what they need to take further action.
We compare the old and new versions of the same page:
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/not-a-mug.png300316Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2015-01-28 15:32:482015-04-24 14:15:40Financial advisors - give me your contact details
New Clues published in January and numbers 52-67 apply to our marketing communications world in particular. [see below]
Oh, and also pay attention to number 100
You want to know what to buy? The business that makes an object of desire is now the worst source of information about it. The best source is all of us.
It will be hard to adhere to them – because marketers are busy fouling their own nest, much as we did with banner adverts, SEO and oh-so-many other internet tools which we over-exploited so the makers ended up changing the rules to exclude our actions.
Seems to me ever more of a message about the quality of content, ease of discovery and honesty of presentation.
Your marketing strategy for 2015
If your marketing strategy for this year even remotely resembles what you did for the past 5 years tear it up. Forget it. The businesses who will thrive understand Cluetrain, they present their wares at least in part in a Cluetrain-format and will reap the $$ rewards accordingly.
Just call us if you think you want to change and don’t know how.
Now, what do you think?
I’m going to get my whole team to read Cluetrain original next week as their homework!
New Clues for Marketers
The New Clues that directly relate to the practice of marketing. Numbered from the original. Read more
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/cluetrain.png205139Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2015-01-27 11:29:392015-01-27 11:29:39Cluetrain has New Clues - time for newbies to read the original!
Email is a vital tool to growing your business. It’s non-invasive, interactive, and most of all – integral to business communications, so often get noticed.
One way to use email is through cold emailing, which is emailing to people you don’t know. It can come across as underhanded, but when done correctly it’s a marketing practice that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Find out about cold emails and how to write them in our free eBook…