When you don’t trust your team, you can’t fully let go. Most business owners, through no fault of their own, use a faulty hiring process. Try this instead.
Leverage Your Marketing
Use omnipresent marketing to increase market share and bring in an unprecedented number of qualified leads, without you being the one involved in the day-to-day lead generation.
TO INCREASE your impact and get your revenues from Six Figures to Seven Figures usually requires a dramatic increase in the number of clients and customers you attract (and then sign on) to your business...
TO INCREASE your impact and get your revenues from Six Figures to Seven Figures usually requires a dramatic increase in the number of clients and customers you attract (and then sign on) to your business. To add another zero in this way then requires as little as a twofold and as much as a tenfold increase in lead-generation efforts.
This, in turn, means that the volume of your marketing activities needs to increase proportionally.
Admittedly, that seems like a lot of work for someone who’s already maxed out and likely overwhelmed. But the good news is, you don’t have to be the one to generate all of it yourself. It’s time to leverage your existing marketing channels and add new ones, with a focus on creating systems and repeatable processes for everything, ones that ideally do not require more of you, and eventually, may not require you much at all.
Your number one job, arguably the most important one you have, is to be the best and most prolific marketer you can be. At first, this may feel like a shock to you, and you wouldn’t be the first...
Your number one job, arguably the most important one you have, is to be the best and most prolific marketer you can be. At first, this may feel like a shock to you, and you wouldn’t be the first. I have rarely met people who started their own business because they said, “I can’t wait to spend a majority of my time marketing, leaving my comfort zone to get myself out there! Oh, how I wish I could spend more of my time doing what I love best, the marketing piece.”
You probably didn’t start your business saying this either. No, you, like the proverbial 99.9999 percent of business owners, got into your business likely because 1) you wanted freedom, instead of working for someone else; 2) you were good at something, and you wanted to do more of it, but on your terms; and 3) you wanted to make a difference in people’s lives—a real impact.
I am willing to bet that you weren’t giddily looking forward to doing the marketing piece. In fact, you probably didn’t even realize how much marketing (and selling) you actually needed to do, thinking that clients and customers would just come to you, right? Or that it is arguably the most important job you have in the business, even more so than the actual “work” of delivering the promised services, results, or products.
You see, consistent and effective marketing is what runs the business, more so than the work you do, at least in the first few years. If you don’t have a steady pipeline of new prospects coming in, you have no clients. And if you have no clients, there is no money. And if there’s no money, well, you don’t have a business, you just have an expensive hobby.
I have long taught a mindset shift to our program members, and it is that you are a marketer first and foremost, before anything else.
You are a marketer who provides insurance. You are a marketer who consults.
You are a marketer who coaches.
You are a marketer who provides financial services. You are a marketer who speaks from the stage.
You are a marketer who provides nutritional advice. You are a marketer who cooks.
You are a marketer who teaches people how to make their homes beautiful.
You are a marketer who designs houses.
You are a marketer who helps people with their bookkeeping.
It is a rather tough concept to get your head around at first, especially because you probably didn’t attend a two-year marketing school before opening your business. We celebrate those who build a better mousetrap, not those who market a better mousetrap. For you, as for many, marketing is a necessary task, and if you didn’t have to do it, you would be perfectly happy.
The more marketing you do, the more you will reach the clients and customers divinely contracted to work with you. That said, how you feel about marketing dictates how much of it you do.
I deeply believe that marketing can be a divine tool. Just as rich people aren’t evil (it’s just evil people who are evil, and there are plenty of people without much money who are evil too), the same applies to marketing.
Marketing is like power; it can be used for good or for bad. You can decide on the type of marketer you want to be—sleazy, inauthentic, and dishonest, or:
It really depends on you and how you wish to “do” marketing.
A few years ago, a woman came up to me at one of my three-day marketing workshops and said to me, “This better work because I hate marketing.” I had heard this many times before and lovingly grabbed her hands. With compassion in my heart, I responded, “The only reason you hate marketing is because of how you feel about marketing itself.
Once I teach you to feel differently about marketing, you will begin to love it, and then you will want to do it all the time. This will change your business forever.”
She was skeptical, but I made her promise to come up to me at the end of the three days and let me know if there had been any development on this hatred for marketing.
At the end of the workshop she came up to me with tears of gratitude in her eyes and said, “You were absolutely right. Now that I see it through your lens of divinity, I love marketing. I actually can’t wait to get home and put myself and my message out there in a much bigger way.
Can you really transform your relationship with marketing that quickly? Yes. It just takes a shift in perspective, from thinking of marketing as something you do to someone, to thinking of it as something you do for someone.
Okay, so what shifted for her, specifically?
She began to look beyond the burden of her everyday marketing tasks and instead at the big picture of her life’s purpose. And then she looked at the role of marketing itself in helping her activate her greater purpose.
When you can somehow connect the role of marketing as the amplifier of your message and of your life’s purpose (or the purpose of your business), you slowly begin to embrace this new role of yours, that of being a marketer first.
This is when everything changes for the better. You begin to shift your energy around this marketing thing, put more focus on it, learn to systematize it, and put it to good use. It becomes a reliable friend you can always count on, in good times and in bad.
The more you make marketing your priority, the more prospects come your way, the more your pipeline is continually full of people listening to your message, some of whom will eventually become your clients or customers. This means that more money comes into the business, which also means that you can afford a better and larger team. This then leads to you being able to document your processes and methodologies, so that the team can begin to take over some of the daily tasks that previously kept you in the role of “bottleneck” in the company.
And because you begin seeing real results from your new focus on marketing, after a while, you begin to actually love marketing.
Never ever take your finger completely off the pulse of the marketing controls. Because many business owners don’t initially love marketing, there is often a propensity to 1) not do it, or 2) completely abdicate it—meaning you hurry to get someone else to do the “dirty work” of the marketing strategy for you, so you never have to think about it again.
The problem is, marketing is one of (if not the) most important aspects of your business, and it still requires you to some extent. Even if you eventually hire a marketing director or a marketing manager, you must still be involved in this aspect of the business, until the very last day.
You might say, “But I thought I was supposed to delegate all the things I don’t like or am not good at. Now you’re telling me I must still do this thing I’m only somewhat competent at?”
Yes. This is the one exception, at least at this stage of your business. The idea around leveraging your business is to get as many things off your plate as humanly possible. That is, except for your marketing and sales strategy. The strategy is something you must always attend to, even if you’re not fully driving it or you get lots of help with it.
Here’s what I mean and why it’s important. Your business has a soul, and that soul within your business is held by you. When you’re present, and you are involved in the marketing (at least the strategy, angle, and essence of it) people resonate with the essence that is you. It’s hard to explain but they, well, feel you are part of the business.
Conversely, when you’ve completely abdicated the marketing strat- egy and the “voice” in the marketing copy, or when someone else is doing your videos and all of your social media posts for you, the result can feel canned and lifeless—Elvis has left the building. This isn’t going to create a movement. Don’t worry, though. I’m not suggesting you do all of the marketing. Just the high-level driving of the marketing.
As the business owner, you must be a part of every big marketing decision and the overall message, and make sure these are congruent with what you stand for and whom you’re talking to (remember, no outside person will likely know your clients or customers the way you do). Then you can step to the side and have someone else execute on the marketing directives for you.
Stop keeping yourself and your company a secret. One of the best compliments I received early in my entrepreneurial career happened at a business networking group in New York...
Stop keeping yourself and your company a secret. One of the best compliments I received early in my entrepreneurial career happened at a business networking group in New York. As I walked in and scanned the room to see if there was anyone I knew, a man turned to me and exclaimed, “My God, you’re everywhere!” and I laughed and said, “Thank you!” Apparently, he’d seen me at several other networking groups over the previous two weeks. The following week, he hired me to help him grow his business.
This happened again a few years ago, when a joint venture partner approached me about doing a strategic alliance. We had just started a Skype session and before diving in, I asked her how she had found out about me and my business. She responded, “How could I not? Every- where I turn, there you are, Fabienne. It’s like you’re on surround sound in my life!”
Yet again, a week ago, a brand-new member of our program and I were beginning an initial strategy call and I asked, “What made you decide to enroll in the program and work with me?” and she replied, “I’ve been following you for about a year, and was thinking it might be time to work with you, and lo and behold, I received your letter in the mail, right after getting a lovely phone call from one of your team members. The next day, I saw you pop up on Facebook. It was a sign that now was the time I should work with you.”
I have countless stories like this and, although it feels synchronistic, even divinely led on the receiving end—which it may very well be—it is also not accidental. It is the end result of consistency and what I call Marketing Omnipresence.
Omnipresence can be loosely translated as “being present every- where at all times, at the same time” or “to appear everywhere simultaneously.” When applied to marketing, it is the kind of exponential leverage that is missing from most people’s marketing plans.
Imagine that your marketing message, your company name, your brand and offers, could be seen by your ideal prospects practically everywhere they turned. What would happen to your sales and your revenues? My guess is that more people would work with you and that it would drive growth.
Shooting for omnipresence means taking every opportunity to surround your prospects with, well, you. Or your message. This requires looking at all the places your prospects “hang out” and then being present there, in full force, in a variety of different channels, with valuable content and useful information.
If you don’t have ten times the number of clients or customers you want, the problem is likely not that you’re not good at what you do. No, your only “problem” may be a combination of obscurity and anonymity. The solution requires that, from this day forward, you make the commitment and constant effort to be out there in the world (well, at least in your prospects’ world) in a much bigger way than you are now, and let them know you exist.
If you or your company are currently reaching 10,000 people through all your channels and social media, the mindset shift that needs to happen is to focus on creating visibility to 20,000, and then eventually 100,000 or 1,000,000 of your prospects (or more) as your goal each year. It’s about dramatically adding quantity to your quality, and to stop the tendency of wanting to hide behind your computer or avoid marketing altogether.
It’s a commitment to leveraging your marketing so that you can reach more of the people who desperately need you but don’t know you exist.
Omnipresence in marketing allows you to fast track your expert status and be seen as the authority in your field. When a prospect looks for information about your topic and many of the useful bits of information they find have been created by you, you become their trusted source. This will considerably increase your credibility in their eyes and it paves the way for a much easier sale once they raise their hand.
Think blogging, free reports, online summits, webinars, free assessments, quizzes, articles, podcasts, free templates, checklists, a mobile app, books, lead-generating (online) ads like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, high-content videos, extensive social media presence, being a contributing author to publications or sites that cater specifically to your target audience, in your particular niche, speaking, sponsorship, booths at trade shows, etc.
We’re looking for (small) market dominance here. This is about you being the big fish in a small fishbowl, the first person someone thinks about when they talk about your industry.
You can manufacture what your prospects see as “a sign” to work with you. Have you ever been recommended a book three different times from three different people, and upon hearing about it the third time, you finally said, “Wow, it’s a sign, I need to get that book and read it”?
I know that if I am experiencing a particular challenge in my personal life or in my business and the same solution to this problem shows up from different sources (a friend tells me about a particular consultant; a business colleague recommends a book written by the founder of that same company; and a Facebook ad pops up inviting me to a webinar from, again, that same consultant), because I don’t believe in coincidences, I am going to start paying very close attention to this said consultant.
I will likely read the person’s book, sign up for that person’s email newsletter, maybe check out her videos on YouTube, sign up for a webinar, maybe even read her testimonials on the website. I would become very curious and want to find out more about how I can work with that person.
Then, if I get a call from her customer service team asking if I wanted to explore working together or if I received a letter with an outstanding client testimonial, maybe with a call to action to work with them, the odds are heavily stacked that I will likely work with that person. It’s as if they’ve been on surround sound in my own life and will begin to be very top of mind for me, feeling as if all these mentions were serendipitous, a lucky and unexpected sign, as if it is meant to be that I should work with her. And it likely is.
Now, if we put our business owner/marketer hats on, we understand that this type of omnipresence isn’t just a coincidence but rather a choreographed series of marketing touches. It is the sort of “serendipity” that comes from a company (yours) knowing exactly who your clients are, what their biggest struggles tend to be and exactly what’s going to get them the result they so badly want and help them to reach their highest aspirations.
And then, being committed to leverage your existing marketing efforts to lovingly surround them with content, solutions, social proof and calls to action, everywhere they turn, in a variety of channels with great frequency, so they see you in at least three places and consistently. Imagine that your solution kept showing up in their life (with authenticity, compassion, integrity, and a loving message) just at the right time, from different sources, again and again. Would they consider working with you?
Yes, probably, and with much greater frequency than is happening for you now. The key for it to feel right is not to be aggressive but rather, lovingly omnipresent.
The mindset shift I invite you to make as it relates to your marketing is that it’s YOUR job to be ever-present in your prospects’ lives and that you must show up in different channels, so that you literally, and systematically appear to be everywhere. The importance is to embrace the idea of seeming like you are in surround sound in their life and that working with you is the logical choice they look forward to making. When done with the right energy (pulling vs. pushing hard), this feels nice on their end, as well as yours.
Be the biggest fish in a small pond. One of my serial clients over the years, Kate, found me through a listing for a seminar I was doing in New York City close to fifteen years ago. Even though she never ended up attending my “How to attract all the clients you need” evening seminar, she looked me up and found me online and called me to set up a Get Acquainted Call. After a brief conversation, she quickly signed up to work with me.
Kate was an out-of-work actor who had taken a job as a receptionist to make ends meet in between gigs. Being high-energy and someone who loves to add value anywhere she can, she offered to place outbound prospecting calls for the owner of the company to help set up meetings with prospects. Essentially, she was cold calling for her employer and it was working.
The owner was delighted that she had this uncanny ability to schedule meetings for him with usually difficult-to-reach C-suite corporate prospects, whereby his other staff members weren’t able to do this. She loved doing it, became very good at scheduling these sales calls and eventually decided to leave her job to open up her own business teaching other companies how to get their sales teams to successfully set up more sales meetings with prospects by using her cold calling system and unique process.
The problem was, she didn’t have a client. So, she hired me, and I taught her how to do a few things to get clients. Right away, she landed a copier-dealer company as her first client. She was thrilled, especially since the sales team started experiencing an unprecedented spike in new meetings scheduled with C-level prospects.
Within four months of us working together, she was making $10,000 a month. Soon, she asked me, “Okay, Fabienne, what’s next? What other types of clients should I go for?”
My answer: “You don’t.”
“Kate, you are crushing your results with this type of business technology client. Instead of going for another industry altogether, let’s use the existing success with this one type of client, and reach out to other copier-dealers in New York and say, ‘Hey, if I can do this for your competitor, I can also do this for you. Are you interested in hearing more?’”
At first, she cold called (of course), pitched and eventually worked with the majority of the New York business technology dealers. She closed one, then another, and then another. Word spread within the New York business technology niche. It was as if she had become the Business Technology Sales Whisperer.
Referrals eventually came in for her to do business with regional sales teams, and based on our marketing coaching, she increased the minimum size of the sales groups she would work with from three to twenty-five. This allowed her to get paid more as she was paid by the number of delegates. She was using the same amount of time, but leveraging that time by working with many more people, thereby making more.
It continued to work. We knew we were onto something, so we decided to go further with this.
I told her, “Kate, let’s go vertical with this industry and have you saturate and own all things related to cold-calling within the business technology space. Let’s have you be omnipresent so everywhere they turn, they only hear about you. Let’s focus on signing up all other copier-dealers in New York and then regionally, and ultimately, nation- ally. Let’s have you be the biggest fish in the pond so they are no longer interested in working with anyone but you, meaning, you are the only logical choice in their eyes. Let’s shoot for omnipresence.”
That’s when I could hear her smile over the phone. She knew she could do it.
Eventually, the large national and international companies got wind of Kate and started asking her to come speak at their annual conferences and hired her for their national sales trainings.
And that’s exactly what took Kate from $0 to five figures a month, to Six Figures within one year, and toward ultimately making more than $80,000 a month (Seven Figures a year) within a few short years, with very low overhead. She had learned to leverage her marketing by saturating one very specific niche and becoming a superstar within this niche.
The same thing happened recently to Terri, a practice management consultant for oral surgery clients. Terri had a low six figure consulting practice when she joined the program. I shared Kate’s story with Terri and we went about dramatically increasing her visibility in the oral surgery field, rather than expanding too quickly into the general dentistry field.
As you can imagine, everyone knows everyone in a niched field such as oral and maxillofacial surgery. When one surgeon told another about the results he’d gotten from working with Terri’s company, she was easily hired. And this happened again and again.
But to greatly expand her reach, visibility and exposure, we didn’t just depend on word of mouth. She focused on becoming omnipresent in this niche with regular email marketing, speaking at all the annual oral surgery conferences, contributing to an important book in the industry, producing direct-mail campaigns, and more, with a focus on being known by all as the ultimate expert in her field.
And this strategy worked.
People now come up to her at conferences and they know about her; they talk about her on the bathroom line not even knowing that she can overhear them. To Terri, this is funny because she has always been more introverted, not really a seeker of the spotlight, and generally not one you would consider to fit the traditional “rock star” archetype. But that’s who she’s become, because she leveraged her marketing to focus on saturating one particular industry, becoming the big fish in a relatively small pond.
And that’s how Terri went from making just over $100K in her business, to a million a year in revenues, just thirty-six months later. Oh, and going from almost no vacation to six weeks of vacation per year. To be inspired, you can read Terri’s full story (and watch her video account of this).
For you to experience similar results in your own business, I recommend shifting your mindset so that you avoid being all things to all people. Trying to appeal to many niches at once can be rather expensive and very time-consuming. Instead, the riches are in the niches, where you commit to leveraging your marketing so that you dominate a single niche, like Kate and Terri have done so successfully.
You control how much you make, simply by how much you’re willing to market. Would you like to go from Six Figures to Seven Figures (or more) in your business? The process is simple, actually...
You control how much you make, simply by how much you’re willing to market. Would you like to go from Six Figures to Seven Figures (or more) in your business? The process is simple, actually. Now that you’re thinking of leveraging your business model to accommodate ten times more clients or customers, it’s time to increase your marketing by ten times too. (It can sound time consuming and overwhelming at first, but stay with me, as it doesn’t have to be.)
I have long believed that how much you make is absolutely within your control, and no one else’s, at least when you’re self-employed or own a business. Over the course of my work with entrepreneurs at every stage of business, one of the most common questions I’ve gotten is, “Fabienne, how much marketing do I really need to do to grow my client base significantly? I’ve got so much to do as it is, how little marketing can I get away with?”
Well, it’s really about simple math first, then willingness, followed by commitment.
So first, let’s start with the math part:
As in the Leverage Your Accountability Activator, we’ve got to get clear on what your target is. Let’s pick a basic formula, just to keep it simple. Let’s say that, by this time next year, you want to have ten times the number of clients or customers you have now. (I know, big stretch, but we’re just playing here, just to stretch your mindset and get you thinking so much bigger. Remember, it always starts with stretching your mindset around what’s possible. Once that happens, everything follows seamlessly.)
Ok, so for argument’s sake, let’s say you have ten clients now. Multiplying this by ten would make a goal target of one hundred clients or customers within twelve months. (Yes, in your particular industry and depending on how long clients stay or leave, there may be some clients who roll off or transition away from working with you, but let’s keep this really simple, just for this exercise.)
10 x 10 current clients = 100 new clients in 12 months
First, how many new clients would you need to add per month?
You get to this number by dividing the number one hundred (that’s how many new clients you want) by twelve. A hundred new clients over the course of twelve months is an average of signing on a little over eight new clients a month.
100 new clients ÷ 12 months = approximately 8 new clients per month.
Next, looking back and “guesstimating” how often you close the sale when talking to each prospect, what’s that percentage? For every ten sales conversations you’ve had over the last month, how many did you close? Half? Then that means you have an average of a 50 percent conversion rate. If you close two out of ten, then that’s 20 percent.
10 sales calls ÷ 5 sales closed = 50% conversion rate
Let’s say it’s 50 percent, just to make the math easy. That means that, if you need to close an average of eight new clients per month, you will need to have a minimum of sixteen “sales conversations” per month.
8 new clients x 50% conversion rate = 16 sales calls per month
So, to stay with this exercise, let’s say that you need to have “x-number” of sales conversations per month to reach your year-end target. Based on the numbers you worked out so far, how many qualified prospects do you need to have a sales conversation with every month? (In our sample exercise, the number is sixteen. What’s your actual number, based on how many new clients you want to sign on per month?) Are you having that many sales conversations (what we call “Get Acquainted Calls”) now each month?
Based on this, do you suppose you would have to do more marketing than you’re doing now? (The answer is likely yes.) If so, how much more marketing? Two times? Five times?
Let’s just get real, here.
If you’re not much of a math enthusiast (and let’s be frank, it’s not unusual for a business owner to be minutiae-challenged), you can just forget all of this and boil it down to the following sentence that I invite you to now embrace:
“I am ready to market a lot more than I’m marketing now, about ten times more. It’s time for me to seriously turn up the volume on my exposure, visibility, marketing sequences and follow-up.”
It’s really about you becoming a marketer first, and committing to increasing your marketing activities dramatically, remembering that the only type of marketing we’re committed to doing is with authenticity, integrity and love.
Okay, so that was the math aspect. Now, we move onto the willingness part.
Remember the example about providing the cure for cancer we talked about earlier? This is about the willingness to become that person who wants to impact more people, either within your community, or within the world at large.
There is a litmus test that I’m fond of, to check your willingness factor. It has to do with how hungry you are to get new results. As it relates to your willingness to market in a big way, ask yourself which of these statements best describes you right now:
- “I could eat.”
- “I’m hungry.”
- “I am famished, starving, ready to do just about anything (with integrity, of course) and get out there so that my people can find me. I am willing to do whatever it takes to reach my goal of increasing my reach by a factor of ten (or two)! Watch me do it!”
Whichever statement you chose will likely explain your current results. If you understand that your next several hundred clients or next few thousand customers are literally in pain or experiencing anxiety, discomfort, depression or any other emotion because they don’t have a solution to their biggest problem, but that you do, it becomes a real motivation to get out there and let the world know that you exist.
That said, they won’t find you automatically or by accident. You must be willing to market in a much bigger way and let them know that you exist. Conversely, if you keep hiding your services and making yourself a secret, you can’t help as many people.
I invite you to shift your mindset to be fully willing to put your own needs, wants or energy level aside; to move beyond the “I could eat” stage, and go for “I’m hungry,” or better yet, “I am famished and will do whatever it takes.”
And finally, the commitment part.
This is about taking personal responsibility and becoming a disciplined marketer. Learning what works from those already getting results, and then doing that and only that. Getting help. Understanding that marketing is one of the most important things you can do. Putting it above all else. Understanding that, as visionary and chief business development officer, it’s your role to do all you can to reach those who (perhaps) desperately need your company’s services or products.
It’s about eliminating the excuses, and becoming really committed. My good friend John Assaraf, multimillionaire many times over, respected marketer and best-selling author, shared a quote with me on the phone many years ago that I’ve never forgotten. He said, “Fabienne, when you’re interested, you do what’s convenient. When you’re committed, you do whatever it takes.”
Hearing these words sent chills down my spine back then. It was as if he’d distilled into a few words what I believed all along about life and business. You must be committed to see exponential results.
Turn up the volume on what’s already working for you. Okay, but ramping up the volume on your marketing can feel very overwhelming, especially when we’re talking about a ten times increase, and even more so when you’re already overwhelmed. Rest assured. I’m not necessarily talking about finding new-fangled ways of getting the word out there and creating complexity by learning lots of new marketing techniques, although that helps. We’re not there yet.
First, let’s start with the marketing activities that are already working for you, those already getting results, and let’s turn up the volume on those activities. Here’s the marketing pie we share with all members in our program, to help you figure out what you’re already doing, and where you could do more
Are you currently getting most of your new business from word-of- mouth, but not doing much to generate it? Create systems for generating referrals from existing clients, referral sources and strategic alliances, so that you’re doing something to generate lots of referrals at least once a month (ten to twelve times per year).
Are you a natural “influencer,” comfortable speaking from the stage, but you only speak in public once or twice a year? Start speaking twice a month, anywhere they’ll have you; get comfortable doing video and produce a video a week that you post to your YouTube channel and other viral video distribution sites; host livestreams or Facebook Lives on a weekly basis; get booked to speak at all your industry’s annual conferences, as Terri and Kate did.
Are friendships and building trusting relationships your strong suit, but you only network and meet new people in a business setting once or twice a year? Join three to four new networking groups, and especially ones that meet weekly so that you’re networking with other referral partners and business owners at least eight to ten times a month.
Are you incredibly knowledgeable about your topic or industry, but also painfully shy? Perhaps writing is your strong suit instead. Begin writing prolifically, several times per week. Write materials such as thought leader articles, blog posts, special reports, quizzes and assessments; write a direct-mail letter to prospects once a month; become a contributing author to several publications, groups or websites that have already gathered your ideal clients; write a short, lead-generating, high-content and high-value book that you plan to give away for free on your website (our members learn how to write a book in as little as ninety days), and invite readers to work with you.
Everyone is wired differently and has different skills and strengths.
The key is to begin by harnessing what’s already working for you and then multiply your efforts in that marketing activity. This, in turn, brings in a lot more leads and prospects, and eventually clients. It’s simple math. Then, you can always add more marketing channels, so you end up on surround sound in your prospects’ lives.
Admittedly, this can seem overwhelming when your time is already maxed out. Don’t worry, this won’t all depend on you, as we’ll create systems for marketing more without you being as involved in the marketing implementation as you may have been in the past.
Systematize your follow-up (and never call it “follow-up”). In working with so many entrepreneurs over the years, I have noticed that there are often “money-on-the-table opportunities”...
Systematize your follow-up (and never call it “follow-up”). In working with so many entrepreneurs over the years, I have noticed that there are often “money-on-the-table opportunities” that business owners don’t take advantage of, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars waiting to be cashed in on. They’re looking for increased cash flow, and the potential money is there, but they don’t always see it, until it’s pointed out to them.
One of those “money-on-the-table opportunities” is almost always in the follow-up process. The leads already exist, in one of the following forms:
- people who have expressed interest in what you offer
- people who have raised their hand to find out more about working with you, but were never taken through the closing-of- the-sale process
- referrals who were never contacted
- past prospects who didn’t sign up at the time
- even past clients or customers who are not being contacted regularly about working together again
Why haven’t they been closed?
Well, let’s face it. Following up with prospects on a regular basis, until they become clients, doesn’t always happen consistently. This is because it currently requires you and there is likely no more of you to go around, so the follow-up often falls through the cracks. (Plus, the concept of following up isn’t always as appealing as that of meeting new people.)
Here’s the deal, though. These unclosed prospects are, other than being lovely human beings, money-on-the-table opportunities. Some of the marketing has already been done to introduce them to you and now it’s time to market to them until they’re ready to sign up to work with you.
Now, if you understand the age-old marketing concept that an individual must see your marketing message seven to nine times before they consider buying or hiring you, I ask you this:
Have you been in touch with your prospects by phone or email seven to nine times over the course of the last few months?
The answer is likely no. Why? Again, in most cases, this is because it requires you to do the following up and nurturing aspect required to turn a lead into a prospect, and a prospect into a client and four things are currently getting in the way of you doing so:
- You don’t have the time to follow up.
- There are too many of them to follow up with.
- You don’t want to be a pest or bother them.
- You’re (likely) not wired as someone who loves to follow up consistently, systematically, on a certain day each week or each month, for years to come.
And yes, these are all absolutely valid “reasons” for not staying in touch, which is why most busy business owners don’t follow up and eventually let their leads go from warm to cold. Sadly, those leads get forgotten and these leads also eventually forget you.
They simply haven’t been contacted enough to have become clients or customers. That being said, if they had been followed up with systematically, a certain (perhaps large) percentage would have gladly hired you or worked with your company.
So, what do you do if you don’t have the time or aren’t wired to follow up consistently? To fully leverage your marketing, it’s time to systematize your follow-up. As I did in the Leverage Your Systems Activator, I invite you now to start thinking about systematizing your marketing too, so that when your marketing systems are running smoothly, these pro- cesses can liberate you from being the one who does everything. Having marketing systems in place will help you clone or replace yourself in the follow-up process.
This involves using a stay-in-touch marketing process (a sequence or a funnel, as it’s called) to follow up on leads so that you appear to consistently be in touch, without you having to reach out individually to dozens or hundreds of prospects each day or each week.
One solution: Follow up (consistently) with a content-rich email newsletter (some call it an ezine, for e-magazine, others call them email blasts) that prospects actually want to receive and look forward to reading. The key to this is that your follow-up sequences provide content they can use and resources they need.
Providing amazing content weekly or monthly (weekly is best) will help nurture the Know-Like-Trust factor that is required for someone to go from a cold lead to a warm prospect, to a ready-to-buy candidate. The content illustrates for them that working with your company is very valuable.
Here’s a formula for a weekly ezine or email newsletter that works really well:
A personal note from you + high value content they can use + testimonials or other social proof + a call to action = potential new clients raising their hand to inquire more about working with you
And this can be done automatically, meaning, you create the content (a useful article, a quick video), and publish it to your email subscriber list on a weekly basis. This allows hundreds or thousands of your leads to receive and consume it, without much work on your end. Eventually, a percentage of them who are impressed with your content and curious about how (maybe even convinced that) working with you will help their situation will raise their hand to ask to speak to you.
Whereby following up on dozens, hundreds or even thousands of prospects a week would be impossible for you to do as a single human being, this follow-up system does all the work for you. And the higher the number of qualified people are on your list receiving your useful weekly content, the more of them will reach out to talk about working with you. That’s Leverage in marketing.
Use the “pink spoon” as an ethical bribe. So, the idea then is to build an email subscriber list of people who want to hear from you and are eager to opt in for your valuable content. In turn, this allows you to stay in touch with them regularly, and on a consistent basis.
Now, there is one small challenge here and it is that, whereby getting onto someone’s “mailing list” used to be something we genuinely looked forward to (or was it ever?), with the volume of emails people receive today, few people are excited to sign up for a mailing list anymore, rarely doing so.
In fact, they’re more likely to want to unsubscribe to the countless promotional emails they currently receive than to add more emails to their already full inboxes. Short of adding them to your email list with- out permission, which is not only illegal but will backfire on you, how do you “get them on the list”?
The answer lies in leading with a valuable gift they can use.
Instead of the only way for you to invite them to consume your marketing on a weekly basis with a button on your website that says, “Join my mailing list,” shift your mindset to provide a valuable free gift. This “free ethical bribe” should provide so much good content they can use, that it becomes an Irresistible Free Offer (IFO as we call it), one for which they will happily agree to give you their contact information in exchange for access and then begin receiving your weekly content.
What kind of irresistible free content do you give them to get them on the list?
Ideally it’s something that doesn’t cost you much but will 1) get them to opt in for the email newsletter and 2) give them a valuable nugget as a sample taste of the solution you provide your paying clients or customers. The idea is to wow them but also leave them wanting just a bit more, as does the famous sample of ice cream you taste on a little pink spoon at the ubiquitous Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops in the United States.
What is the ideal format of your IFO? It can vary greatly.
When I first understood this concept and created my first list-build- ing free offer, I simply put together a list of “151 ways to attract all the clients you need.” Available on the homepage of my starter business coaching website, this two-page downloadable PDF with 151 bullet points took me two hours to create and helped me build my email list to thousands of people in very little time.
People loved the checklist, and they tell me that it’s something they still use today, even when they’re working with me.
Later, I hired a former radio announcer to interview me about my (then) ten-step Client Attraction System® and burned the interview onto a CD that I offered for free on my website. This allowed me to ship something in the mail, and therefore receive physical mailing addresses, beyond just the email address. Having mailing information helped me build a database later on for in-the-mail stay-in-touch projects, such as the warm-letter campaign we teach our members or postcard invitations to intro events.
This interview turned into a free CD was titled “How to Attract All the Clients You Need.”
There are many other types of IFOs, such as free video series, a special report or white paper, a downloadable audio, telesummit, assessment, book chapter, annual planning guide, even a free book, etc.
I believe in starting small (the sooner you get it published and avail- able, the sooner you build your list).
The ideal IFO should have very good content, something that can solve some of your prospects’ or ideal clients’ concerns or frustrations, but without giving away all of your secrets. Secondly, it should prompt them to (gladly) give you their contact information in exchange for this free resource. The key is that they understand that in requesting the IFO, they will also receive your weekly tips by email (with an understanding that, of course, they can opt out or unsubscribe at any time, without hassle).
Over time, you can vary it up, as I do, and offer different IFOs. We have free resources available on our website and on different landing pages on the web to keep the engagement going strong.
Understand that building your email subscriber list is an ongoing process, something you’ll focus on for years to come. There’s never a point at which you say, “Well, my list has grown, I can stop focusing on list building.” No, the mindset shift required here is that you continue building your list for the rest of your career.
And once people are on your list, you will continue to provide good content once a week and for years to come. This content will also include client case studies and testimonials, as well as a call to action to reach out and talk to you (or your sales team) about working together. Over time, many of them will say yes.
This one email once a week can be one of the most important and lucrative pieces of leveraged marketing you can use to scale your business.
As a side note, providing really good value in a free gift also triggers the Law of Reciprocity. This concept speaks to an unspoken contract between two people, in that, when someone gives you a gift or does something nice for you, repeatedly and with increasing generosity, you find yourself having a psychological urge to do something nice in return or give them something back.
Studies have shown that the “return act” can be greater or bigger than the initial act(s) of kindness. In this case, in exchange for your IFO and all the goodwill you provide on a weekly basis through your valuable content, many will want to buy your product or work with you, as opposed to someone else. This is simply because you were willing to repeatedly give them something of value.
The IFO and free weekly content is only one of many ways to consistently be in touch and move cold prospects to warm and then ready to buy. In simply committing to setting this up in your business, you effectively automate your follow-up activities and leverage your marketing, increasing your results and freeing up your time to focus on big projects.
You can absolutely put your marketing on autopilot. Yes, it is possible to clone yourself in marketing and sales by automating the processes that generate high-quality leads while you sleep...
You can absolutely put your marketing on autopilot. Yes, it is possible to clone yourself in marketing and sales by automating the processes that generate high-quality leads while you sleep. Doing so helps you dramatically expand your reach and save you time, which in turn helps you leverage and scale your business.
Right now though, almost everything that is under the umbrella of “marketing” in your company is likely being generated by a person, probably you. While that has been fine up to now, it also requires human capital and lots of time, much of which you don’t have.
If our original idea is to get you to ten times the impact you’re having now or to Seven Figures (by doing ten times the marketing), you would likely not be able to handle ten times the amount of marketing you’re doing now. Frankly, no one would, unless you cleared your schedule and stopped working with clients or on anything else in the business.
That being said, it’s time to change the current number of hours you spend on marketing, and instead implement systems to automate or replace your previous efforts, producing a state of leverage.
Here’s an example of this in action: years ago, I would go on the road each month with several Team members to host a half-day seminar to acquire new clients. I loved doing it, and it was both effective and very rewarding as we signed up very good clients each time we visited a different city.
But truth be told, it was taxing for me and my Team members to take long flights or train rides to two different U.S. cities each month. It was also expensive and took me out of the office for long stretches of time, which prevented me from working on other big projects that would help us reach our important year-long goals. And frankly, my three kids missed me when I was on the road so frequently, as did my husband, and I came home exhausted from the travel.
Upon moving to Paris with my family, flying to the United States an additional few times a year to market the program was not going to be an option. That said, we had to come up with an alternative to present our program to entrepreneurs who desperately wanted to experience new results.
We decided to leverage the same content using technology by record- ing the same presentation I would deliver from the stage, but this time, as a livestreamed webinar, available online.
Instead of having up to a hundred people in the room, thousands registered to watch the presentation virtually, increasing visibility and no longer requiring me and my Team to travel for days at a time (you can imagine how thankful my family was).
Additionally, this allowed us to broadcast this same content every other day (fifteen times per month) using new webinar technology, rather than only two times per month in person. While this one webinar was being broadcast fifteen times per month in an automated way, I could use my time to work on other leveraged marketing projects.
The mindset shift I am inviting you to make here involves trans- forming the marketing activities you currently do in person into something that can work for you continuously and without your presence, using technology and the web. This automation is sometimes referred to as evergreen marketing.
Evergreen means that the marketing doesn’t mention a date, time of year, the weather or any identifiable thing that would place it within a particular moment in time. Because of this, it becomes, well, permanent and continues to be relevant long past its original publication.
This form of leveraged marketing means you create something once and it runs on repeat, every month, every week, even every day or several times per day. It’s very exciting once you put it into place.
Here’s the mindset shift required to leverage your marketing: when creating any marketing effort, aim to evergreen everything and then scale it, so that you can use it again and again without any additional effort or content creation on your part. A book does that, for sure, but can take years to write, even with the best of intentions. Automating your marketing activities on the web can be done in a week or even a day, and can then be used for years to come.
So let me ask you this: If you were to look at some of your own marketing efforts, the ones that require a lot of you, and put them through the filter of automation (using technology) and evergreen (creating something once that could be used again and again), what could this look like for you, specifically?
Perhaps, instead of delivering that in-person talk once a month, you can record that talk as a webinar and make it available online. Each time that someone were to sign up for your weekly email newsletter, you could invite them to watch this webinar.
Instead of filling your talk by calling people and personally inviting them to attend, you can begin driving traffic from online advertising (Facebook ads, for example) to an opt-in “landing page” featuring a video of you describing the webinar and inviting them to register online by filling out their information on the boxes provided on the web page.
Once the new attendees register, a sequence of emails (called autoresponders) would automatically send them the webinar log-in information for you, reminding the registrants to show up the day of, and then recapping the offer you made on the webinar, with a link to register for whatever program or product you were offering on the webinar.
Alternatively, you can replace a series of sales calls with a video series, dripped by email to the recipients every few days, again, all online and by email.
The possibilities are endless. And yes, admittedly, this kind of marketing can seem like foreign territory, even overwhelming, to someone who’s not used to it, but once you are shown exactly how, it is easy to get the hang of it and this kind of online marketing becomes your “new normal.” This is one of the ways our members get to multiple Six Figures and eventually to Seven Figures. It’s because they’ve leveraged their marketing by following a few proven steps.
Not all automation needs to be online, though.
You can also begin sending a direct-mail campaign (although I prefer to call it a warm-letter campaign), sending one personalized letter in the mail to thousands of prospects, every month, without having to do anything but write the initial letter. It’s personalized in the sense that each letter is addressed to a particular person by their name (“Dear Susan”) by using a database system and mail merge, instead of having the letter be addressed “to whom it may concern.”
This is much more personal than the traditional and impersonal direct mail you typically ignore.
This is an example of how technology can successfully be applied to offline marketing activities. Using a twelve-month “editorial calendar” of sorts, a fulfillment house can take your database and do a mail merge so that each envelope and letter is personally addressed to the recipient, “signed by you” with a JPEG of your signature, then printed and shipped to each of the prospects in your database, without fail and without your involvement.
The only thing you have to do is write the original twelve letters (or someone in your office can start them, and then you tweak it with your voice). Then, your autopilot direct-mail campaign is ready to generate untold new clients for you.
The thrilling part of this, once you get your mind around creating leveraged marketing and learning exactly how to do this, is that it removes you from the day-to-day of marketing and can then be scaled ten times over time. And this automated marketing campaign can then run for weeks, months, even years, and reach thousands of people each year, as you add more new prospects to this campaign each day.
This is what we call a marketing or sales “funnel.” People enter your marketing at the “wide mouth” of your funnel (with something free, like your IFO) and then over time, using great content, testimonials, and several well-placed calls to action, eventually trickle down to you as a paying client or customer.
Again, this may sound like a complicated process at first or when you’re not familiar with it, but 1) it’s easy when you’re shown how (much easier than doing all the marketing yourself) and 2) you don’t have to be the one to do it. It is a learnable, teachable process (we teach this to our program members) and there are lots of virtual professionals you can hire by the hour to implement the setup and management of this streamlined process. They exist and they do this every day.
Over time, and with each new layer of automated marketing you implement, this process allows you to sign on many more new clients and customers each week, or hundreds of customers per week.
These are only a few examples of the dozens of different traditional marketing channels that can be replaced with automated, evergreen marketing. And know that, after the initial strategy, creation and set up, all of these processes can eventually be managed by a junior marketing manager, removing you from any of the daily processes or tracking.
Once you begin to embrace autopilot/evergreen marketing, you’ll realize that leveraging your marketing with technology, email marketing sequences and sales funnels will quickly and effectively replace your current manual, time-consuming marketing communications. It also helps you create greater, more predictable results.
Can you imagine the sheer impact to your business that could result from you implementing this sort of automation? It is absolutely limitless. The added benefit is that so much of the time you previously used on time consuming, one-to-one marketing activities or follow-up is gained back. This means that your time can be reinvested to grow your business in other ways, or to simply spend more time outside of the office with those you love.
How would that make a difference in your own life?
What’s the impact of applying the Marketing Activator in your business? Lucy explains it to you in her own words:
“I signed up for Fabienne’s business programs because I needed more clients. I remember signing up and not even knowing how I would pay for it. Two months later, I had made just over $80,000 by embracing a no-excuses approach. In six months, I wound up having too many clients! Once in the program, we took on a team, developed systems, launched a group program and began road shows. That year, we made just less than $900,000.
“What’s really exciting is that I know how much money we will make in the next twelve months already. We will make nearly $2 million. I know that because the program has taught me that making money isn’t random. As long as you follow the formula, the money will come in. That’s given me more security than any amount of money in the bank.” —Lucy Johnson