Someone asked a famous marketing guru (clearly a celebrity archetype), “What’s your secret of success?”
Her story was, “I invited my women friends over to my apartment in the city. At the time I was into a form of wellness coaching. From those meetings came group coaching.”
She could have added, “And then…my empire!”
I heard that story just after I‘d moved to a new city, where I shared a home with two very furry cats and one very furry dog.
A business meeting of prospective clients — mostly strangers — would be drowned out by itching, sneezing, and cries of “No! Don’t do that!!”
Anyway, my clients were (and are) busy business owners who prefer to do business remotely. Even when we’re in the same city, we get on a Zoom call, with no interruptions and cameras off.
The real takeaway from any “Here’s what I did” story isn’t the method, but rather the notion of having a system.
You pretty much have to come up with your own system, by trial and error.
When I first got started online, I kept hearing about a coaching consultant who advocated:
“Hold breakfast meetings in your home with local opinion leaders.”
That’s a really bad idea if you can’t cook, your kitchen is small, and your toaster tends to set off the fire alarm.
Another consultant suggests finding a market that’s desperate for solutions and writing ebooks for them.
The REAL story is that each of these business owners started with a credible, juicy offer that truly appealed to their target market.
(1) Make the strongest promise you can credibly offer.
One business owner built an empire around an ebook with the title, “How I added $50K to my revenue in six weeks with one free report.”
What succeeded wasn’t the ebook. It was the promise. An ebook titled “How I built an empire of basket-weaving” wouldn’t cut it.
(2) Use one method that fits your personality, style, location, and clients.
Here’s where your intuition and experience come together.
If you’re gifted at building relationships in person, create a system to meet regularly with potential clients and referral partners. One designer baked chocolate chip cookies and shared the during a holiday season.
If you’re an outstanding speaker, use podcasts and guest talks. (They’re not always easy to get, but you can make that a goal.)
If you want to use a particular channel, such as a podcast or social media connection, spend time learning the tricks of the trade. Become a master of that medium.
(3) When you hear a story from a successful business person, listen between the lines.
What was the promise they made? How did their method fit their target audience? What are they not telling you?
One business owner talked about starting a healing practice with no website. She hinted about using her mindset to attract clients.
The story she didn’t tell was, “My fiance had a very successful online business with over 5000 on his email list. He sent out a broadcast recommending me as a resource to help people’s businesses. I filled my practice from that one message, and then went on to build a website and use other promotional strategies.”
Most of all, listen for ways the business owners used their intuition. Ultimately you have to make choices about marketing. No one else can do that for you.