Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

These 7 Strategies Will Make Your Marketing WORK

As one of the few experts who only preaches what I practice - and what has worked for hundreds of my students - here's the real deal on the 7 key strategies that need to be firing on all cylinders for your business to grow.

Questions I get from smart cookies like you all the time:

  • David, what does it take to gain pre-eminence in my market?
  • How can I become the go-to person in my topic/niche?
  • Why am I still wrestling with the feast-or-famine revenue roller coaster?
  • How can I set and get premium fees when clients are tight with budgets?
  • How can I expand my reach, grow my list & build my platform?
  • How can I recession-proof my business so that I make money regardless of the economy and industry ups and downs?
  • I'm plenty busy - why aren't I making more money? 

All these questions have their answers hidden in one of 7 key areas of your thought-leadership business as a consultant, speaker, coach, author or independent professional...

Let's explore each one - and see how you can tune, tweak, and improve anything that's missing, not performing, or could use a major overhaul in YOUR business...

1. Speaking - obviously, this is my area of expertise. Having a solid speaker marketing strategy is vital to help you gain visibility in front of audiences who matter (aka buyers and decision-makers); generate leads for your back-end professional services; and generate significant revenue in paid professional speaking fees for your workshops, seminars, keynotes, trainings, workshops, and private events. Speaking is one of the most powerful lead-generators and revenue-generators in your expertise-driven business.

But how do you scale this above and beyond the audiences that you can reach through live speaking? The next pie slice has your answer...

2. Online Courses - The most successful experts, speakers, consultants, and coaches are embracing the power of online courses, e-learning, and digital distribution methods for their expertise. The first benefit here is pure scalability - your business can reach thousands (or tens of thousands) of ideal customers, prospects, and buyers through the power of online courses. As a source of revenue, online courses are hard to beat because you create it once - and get paid over and over and over. This allows you to create a freedom-based business where your value is no longer tied to your personal time, attention, and presence. Jackpot!!

But now how do you reach those thousands of eager prospects, buyers, and decision-makers? Let's look at the next piece of the pie...

3. Webinars - The day I fully embraced webinar marketing back in 2012, my entire business - heck, my entire life - changed dramatically. We are living in an "Attention Economy" - meaning, when it comes to getting clients, you first need to earn their attention and only then do you get the chance to earn their money :o) The #1 best way to deliver massive value to your subscribers, fans, followers, prospects, and buyers is with content-rich webinars that teach actionable strategies, tactics, and tools. You need to be radically helpful and radically generous. This is what converts strangers to friends and friends to prospects and prospects to paying customers who love you, buy, repeat, recommend, and refer like crazy.

But webinars presented here and there sporadically and without a clear strategy are not going to do the trick. So you need...

4. Funnels - A marketing funnel is simply a fancy word for a programmatic sequence of touchpoints - emails, videos, blog posts, webinars, PDFs, and other helpful communications - delivered in a specific sequence to a specific subset of people specifically interested in a certain one of your products, services, or programs. A marketing funnel is your lifeline that keeps you connected to prospects who are at various phases of the buying cycle - from merely interested in the topic (browsers) all the way to committed to investing in your solutions/services (buyers). A well-designed marketing funnel will take a cold lead from initial contact to signed contract in a pre-determined sequence designed to both add value, and extend offers and invitations to your relevant investable opportunities. Without a marketing funnel in place, you will never get off the "feast or famine" revenue roller coaster. And worse, you risk alienating people who are NOT interested in buying today while completely missing out on sales to the hot prospects who are ready to buy right now.

But what about long-term stability and predictable revenue? The best way to share your expertise and gain this benefit is...

5. Consulting/Coaching - Having longer-term engagements on your service menu - such as 90-day coaching packages or year-long consulting programs or monthly facilitated mastermind roundtables - is a great way to increase your impact on client results. Remember, people don't really value transactions - but they VERY much value programs and services that deliver transformation. And delivering results over a sustained period of time is the best way to guarantee your clients' success. Because of the greater depth, breadth, and duration of these engagements, it is much easier to get premium fees from premium clients who are deeply committed to the transformation you offer that will get them the results they truly want. These longer-term engagements also provide the foundation of your financial stability because the income is significant and ongoing.

But then how do you capture "lightning in a bottle" to let all the folks who can't afford your consulting or coaching know you are the real-deal resource who can help them when they're ready to transform?

6. Publishing - One of the best ways to do this is with publishing a nonfiction business book based on the expertise you already have. Writing, publishing, and promoting a business book that captures your methodology, training, and tools is an outstanding way to build your platform, expand your reach, and establish your authority as the "go-to" expert in your specific topic, niche, or industry. After all, you "wrote the book" on it so you must be a highly credible expert. And - some tough love coming up here - your book needs to be excellent. Not just good or very good, but truly great. It does NOT need to be long - in fact, the bestselling business books of all time are less than 120 pages in a small 5x7 trade publishing format. But just writing a book for the sake of having a book (and a crappy one at that) is definitely not going to help promote your expertise. That's why the book needs to be marketed, launched, and sold for the long-term impact it can have on your professional success.

And what makes all of these components really take off? It's about how you articulate and distinguish them with your messaging and packaging, which means you need to master...

7. Copywriting - Copywriting has nothing to do with patents, trademarks and copyright notices ;o) "Copy" is written content conveyed through online media and print materials. Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective marketing and successful selling. It is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. Good copy resonates with the reader and is relevant, valuable, attractive, and effective in communicating the value, impact, results, outcomes, and emotional payoffs tied to investing in and benefitting from your products, services, or programs. The better you are at copywriting, the more prospects, leads, and sales you will generate because you'll be able to quickly get your prospects to "get it, need it, and want it" when considering buying from you.

 Grab your FREE copy of the Strategic Marketing eBook.

Are you a DO IT freak? Welcome to the club!! Please use the social media buttons at the top of this post to share it with your network. YOU are a rock star!


Tags: marketing for speakers, thought leadership marketing, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, product development, professional speaker marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, thought leadership, doit marketing, doitmarketing, product development for experts, 50 shades of pay

50 Shades of Pay

doit marketing 50ShadesofPay

Strap in and hang on - you are getting the mother lode of product development ideas right here in this post. Yes, that's right - below are 50+ ideas to help you productize, monetize and distribute your expertise.

Why is this important to you? (Yes, MORE important than reading about 50 shades of whips, handcuffs and lingerie...)

Well, here are some questions to help you answer that for yourself...

As a speaker, author, or thought-leading professional, do you...

  • Feel exhausted by long days filled with time-consuming one-on-one client work, running from one meeting to the next, and an endless stream of emails and phone calls... 
  • Find yourself frustrated by chasing the broken business model of trading hours for dollars... 
  • Fear that your business is taking over your life with less and less free time for creative play, family and friends, and proactive planning and business development... 
  • Wish you could LEVERAGE yourself and your knowledge to generate more PASSIVE income... 
  • Want to figure out how to work with better clients while making even MORE money and working LESS? (Yes, really!!) 

Shhh... Here's the SECRET you don't want your friends, clients, spouse, neighbors, or colleagues to know: Although you are very successful, you still want MORE... and you're really not sure how to get to that next level...

Somehow, some way, you want to grow your thought leadership platform so you get:

  • MORE Leads 
  • MORE Clients 
  • MORE Consulting Work 
  • MORE Speaking Engagements 
  • MORE Profits 
  • MORE Passive Income 
  • and 100-300% MORE Revenue... 

Which will in turn, help you generate:

  • MORE Clarity 
  • MORE Confidence 
  • MORE Control 
  • MORE Cashflow 
  • MORE Time Off 
  • MORE Leverage 
  • and dramatically MORE Freedom...

The secret to adding LEVERAGE to your business is to DIVERSIFY the methods and media with which you share your expertise with the world.

You can use the online course methodology to create ANY of the following:

  1. Paid online courses (to generate revenue) 
  2. Free online courses (to generate leads)
  3. Books
  4. Booklets
  5. E-books
  6. Minibuks
  7. Workbooks
  8. Field guides
  9. Study guides
  10. Manager's guides
  11. Survey and research tools
  12. Template packs
  13. Audio programs on CD
  14. Audio programs as mp3 downloads
  15. Audio podcasts
  16. Audio interview series
  17. Audio quick-takes
  18. Video programs on DVD
  19. Video programs on streaming media
  20. Video subscription series
  21. On-demand video mini-lessons
  22. E-learning modules 
  23. 12-36 month consulting packages
  24. 3-12 month coaching programs
  25. Teleseminars
  26. Special reports
  27. >>> Quick station break - article continues below and you'll want to get your hot little hands on this free speaker profit maximizer cheat sheet >>> 
  28. White papers
  29. Webinars
  30. Action Packs
  31. Implementation Kits
  32. Meeting Starters
  33. Email courses
  34. Online forums
  35. Assessments
  36. Toolkits
  37. Card decks
  38. Manuals
  39. Handbooks
  40. Laminated quick reference guides
  41. Personality profiles
  42. Games
  43. Online quizzes
  44. iPhone apps
  45. Android apps
  46. Mentor programs
  47. Self-coaching materials
  48. Membership websites
  49. Audio Powerpoints
  50. Roadmaps
  51. Checklists
  52. Worksheets
  53. Reminder cards
  54. Posters
  55. Flipbooks
  56. Master classes
  57. Bootcamps
  58. Executive mastermind groups
  59. Certification programs
  60. Licensing programs

...the list is limited only by your imagination, your personal preferences, and your revenue-generating goals for your product(s) and your business.


Tags: marketing for speakers, thought leadership marketing, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, product development, professional speaker marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, thought leadership, doit marketing, doitmarketing, product development for experts, 50 shades of pay

Marketing Coach: 101 Really Good Ideas for 2014

101 Really Good Ideas

Maybe 2014 will be the year that you…

  1. Start thinking bigger

  2. Ask for help (partners, affiliates, advocates, allies, clients)

  3. Stop playing small

  4. Give up your victim mindset

  5. Learn to sell smarter

  6. Invest in yourself

  7. Stop whining

  8. Be of service to more people, whether they buy or not

  9. Listen more deeply

  10. Stop competing and start collaborating

  11. Let go and move on

  12. Get smart about your money (earning, saving, spending, investing)

  13. Embrace the unknown

  14. Scale your business

  15. Don't sweat the small stuff

  16. Give more of your time to your best clients

  17. Amplify your voice

  18. Sharpen your vision

  19. Multiply your impact

  20. Get off the hamster wheel

  21. Leverage more 

  22. Labor less (simplify, eliminate, delegate, outsource)

  23. Serve a wider audience

  24. Dig deeper

  25. Write more

  26. Stress less

  27. Spend more time with family

  28. Get off the email crack

  29. Manage your day smarter

  30. Take 100% ownership of marketing, sales, and business development

  31. Stop pitching and start solving

  32. Make more videos

  33. Build a community around your expertise

  34. Trash your self-limiting beliefs

  35. Buy this book

  36. Get serious, get help, or get out

  37. Upgrade your marketing materials

  38. Stop tolerating bullshit in all areas of your life

  39. Embrace healthy habits (food, exercise, sleep)

  40. Aspire to be bigger, better, smarter, kinder

  41. Show up

  42. Step up

  43. Stop doing work you’ve outgrown

  44. Stop serving clients who no longer fit

  45. Raise your sights

  46. Raise your fees

  47. Seek out better, smarter, more successful friends

  48. Seek out better, smarter, more successful clients

  49. Quit doing stupid shit (yes, you!)

  50. Free your imagination

  51. Sing your song

  52. Make your mark

  53. Write your book

  54. Launch that thing you’ve been dreaming of

  55. Rediscover your passion

  56. Unleash your enthusiasm

  57. Get the hell off Facebook

  58. Mentor someone who needs your wisdom

  59. Reframe your losses

  60. Remember your wins

  61. Write down your goals

  62. Live out of your calendar, not your inbox

  63. Set your GPS for greatness

  64. Go for bigger fish

  65. Use better bait

  66. Bag the elephant

  67. Be more tenacious

  68. Focus like a laser

  69. Stop distracting yourself

  70. Get more results by doing less marketing

  71. Develop a “marketing magnet” speech

  72. Identify target-rich audiences

  73. Deploy irresistible offers

  74. Master your “enrollment conversation”

  75. Start doing social media right

  76. Become more comfortable being uncomfortable

  77. If you’re not scared, you're probably not up to anything interesting

  78. Go to more conferences

  79. Cross-pollinate your best ideas

  80. Join a mastermind group

  81. Read more for pleasure

  82. Read more for business

  83. Collect smart friends

  84. Feature and leverage other people

  85. Keep a notebook to capture your best ideas

  86. Start your podcast

  87. Interview other experts

  88. Interview your prospects and clients

  89. Serve on a non-profit board

  90. Do something artsy (music, painting, dance, theater)

  91. Upgrade your wardrobe

  92. Buy that new car (PDF)

  93. Give more generously

  94. Stop judgment and embrace openness (mind, heart, spirit)

  95. Apologize even (especially?) when you don’t need to

  96. Be more humble

  97. Punch people in the face with value

  98. Become genuinely interested in others

  99. Ask more and better questions

  100. Make more lists

  101. Send more cookies

  102. Be more grateful

  103. Always over-deliver

  104. Yes, this is item #104 out of 101

  105. Always say please and thank you

  106. Please share this post

  107. Thank you for being awesome

Tags: marketing for speakers, thought leadership marketing, professional services marketing, professional speaker marketing, small business marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, do it marketing, small business marketing speaker, doitmarketing, small business marketing coach

Your Help Needed: Top Sales and Marketing Awards

Big News!

Need your help with exciting news - Do It! Marketing has been nominated as "Top Sales and Marketing Book" in the Top Sales and Marketing Awards.
I'm hugely honored to have also been nominated for "Top Sales and Marketing Webinar" for the program I presented for the great folks at Marketing Cloud. (Email me if you want the replay link - I was on fire!!)
Would you be wonderful enough to help by voting (early and often) using each link above? The public vote will account for 50% of the overall scores and the other 50% will come from an expert-judging panel. 
You may revisit and vote every 24 hours between now and December 13th. There's no registration. Two clicks and you're done. 
So grateful for your help. It truly DOES take a village...  
Thank you in advance. YOU are awesome!!

Tags: top sales and marketing awards, doit marketing, doitmarketing, top sales and marketing book, best marketing book, top sales and marketing webinar, best business book

Why Those IDIOTS Don’t Buy from You



Have you ever wondered why your prospects DON’T buy from you? Especially when you can see as plain as the nose on their face that they DESPERATELY need what you do and could benefit from it HUGELY?

Well… as with most marketing - it’s not about YOU.

It’s about THEM.

And your prospects are not actually idiots - but IDIOTS is a good acronym for the six biggest reasons that your prospects DON’T buy.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this because MANY of my 1-on-1 marketing coaching clients experience precisely this problem when we begin working together.

And solving it for them immediately puts money in their pocket. Just like it will for YOU.

Here are the six parts of the IDIOTS acronym:

  1. Ignorant of their problem
  2. Denial of their situation
  3. Indifferent to your brand
  4. Overwhelmed with choices 
  5. Terrified of making a mistake 
  6. Suspicious of marketers/salespeople 

Let’s unpack these one at a time. And you’ll also get specific ideas for what to DO to punch through each of these six obstacles and close more sales - better sales - faster sales.

1. Ignorant of their problem. They “don’t know what they don’t know” about what’s wrong, missing, broken, too slow, too inefficient. And you can’t sell someone on the fact that they have a problem. Never works. Just pisses ‘em off.

What to DO: Use the following language: “Is This You?” and then cleanly and crisply articulate their pains, problems, heartaches, headaches, challenges, and gaps in language that they will instantly recognize - because you’re entering the conversation that’s already happening in their head every single day.

2. Denial of their situation. “Me? Problem? No, no, no - that’s impossible.” This is actually a WORSE problem than mere ignorance. It’s awareness plus a determination to avoid, deny or minimize the problem. This is also commonly referred to as the “head in the sand” syndrome.

What to DO: Call out the elephant in the room (the denial) and skillfully weave in stories of other people in similar situations who emerged from their denial, made some tough choices, and came out victorious in the end. In order to avoid insulting them, use language such as, “Many folks in your situation prefer to address the surface issues rather than deal with the problem head-on. That makes perfect sense because this can be messy, expensive, and painful. Using our [product/service/whatever you’re selling], our clients find that it’s not nearly as bad as they feared - and once it’s done, everything gets better in the areas of X, Y. and Z."

3. Indifferent to your brand. “Who are you again? And from what company?” Early in my entrepreneurial career as a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I called on a client and we had a very cordial 20-minute meeting. He seemed ready to move ahead. Until he thought to ask me this question, “If you’re so good, how come I’ve never heard of you before?” OUCH! 12 years ago I didn’t have a good answer. (Today, I would take a copy of my book from my briefcase and slap him upside the head with it before leaving an autographed copy on his desk and seeing myself out.)

What to DO: Buyers don’t buy you, your product, your service, or your brand sight unseen. So the answer is easy: GET SEEN! Use 3PR strategies to maximize your influence and impact in the right places in front of the right prospects for the right reasons. Keep showing up as a person (and company) “of value” and soon, they’ll be coming to YOU, not vice versa.

4. Overwhelmed with choices. Your buyers are lazy, busy, and befuddled. I don’t need to convince you any further of that, do I?

What to DO: Market to the LAZY - What can you OFFER that’s easy, fast, and free? Market to the BUSY - What can you DO to be heard above the noise? Market to the BEFUDDLED - What can you SAY that will immediately resonate with your best prospects because it shows that you “get” them?

5. Terrified of making a mistake. Yup - your buyers are risk-averse. Scaredy cats, in fact. As they should be because they’ve probably been burned by people who looked a lot like YOU in the not-too-distant past. What should you offer them? Guarantees, success stories, testimonials, and proof.

What to DO: Show them specific names, specific companies, and indisputable points of proof that you have a strong, clear and compelling track record of making those people happy. Let's face it - one BIG reason people don't want to buy is because they're putting their own relational capital (aka reputation) on the line. And that's risky. If you can remove the risk of the sale, you will open the floodgates to getting more and better clients for life. Hint: They won't believe YOU. They WILL believe your clients, references, referrals, and people who have given you money in the past and been thrilled to do so. Print up a sheet called "Client Success Stories." Put in 5-7 specific success stories with the right names to drop and the right stories to tell. Bingo! Instant sales breakthrough.

6. Suspicious of marketers/salespeople. Yes, of course they are. And you are, too. Salespeople and marketers have a long-standing (and sometimes accurate) reputation as liars, shysters, slimeballs, and fraudsters. That’s the stereotype you’re up against no matter how expensive your suit, how specialized your services, or how sincere your approach.

What to DO: Position yourself not as a salesperson OR a marketer. Position yourself as an expert - a thought-leader - a trusted advisor. In my marketing keynotes and seminars, I show a slide that has this text in a giant 288-point font: VALUE + TIME = TRUST. That’s the key. Deliver value - relevant insights, resources, advice, recommendations. Do this over time and become known as a person of value - and a company of value - and then over time, your prospects will begin to seek you out and you’ll be positioned as the obvious go-to choice for what you’re offering.

That’s the antidote to prospect IDIOTS who don’t buy from you. (Again, no offense - remember, it’s an acronym!)


Want to apply for your Speaker Strategy Call to see how you can IMPLEMENT some of these concepts right away? Apply for your call here.


Tags: marketing success, marketing concept, thought leadership marketing, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, small business marketing expert, professional speaker marketing, marketing coach, do it marketing, small business marketing speaker, doitmarketing, sales and marketing

Marketing Coach: No Guarantee of Success

no guarantees 480There's a nice group of folks coming together for the next "Simple Marketing Success" 10-week group coaching program that begins October 8. 

In fact, you have about 24 hours to catch Early Bird pricing that expires tomorrow (9/21). 

I'm talking with a lot of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and independent professionals about the program.

Some are a great fit for the program and will benefit hugely. 

Some are not. I will almost always catch these people during the application process and weed them out.

This is one such story... 

This entrepreneur emailed me the following question: 

Hi David,

I hope you are having a great weekend!  After some debate, here's the verdict: I want to take the course, I believe, you see, I'd make a great student - but money is an issue for the household if you know what I mean.

So here's a question: Would you feel comfortable giving us a 100% satisfaction guarantee? If at the end of 10 weeks I have not been able to get a solid booking(s) to at least cover the cost of the program, then you'd give us a full refund. But if I have been able to get a solid booking(s) at the end of the 10-week period, then we call it a major success and both parties are happy, including my wife. Can we do that?

I won't bore you with pointing out the half-dozen red flags with this prospect. You can probably see them all for yourself. 

This post is about guaranteeing YOUR consulting, coaching, or training outcomes. 

My policy - I don't do it.

And neither should YOU. 

Here's what I replied to this fellow:


If you're looking for some kind of guarantee, the problem is that I can only guarantee MY program.

I can't guarantee YOUR results. 

Here's what I guarantee:

  • I'll lead 10 weekly calls
  • You'll get 10 weekly assignments
  • You'll get digital audio downloads of 10 calls
  • You'll get word-for-word transcripts of 10 calls
  • You'll get 280+ pages of tested small business marketing strategies, tools, templates, and ideas
  • The ideas and tactics you'll get have been proven with over 300 entrepreneurs, small business owners and independent professionals
  • I'll be available for UNLIMITED email support and respond to you within 1 business day, usually much sooner
  • You'll get TWO 30-minute private 1-on-1 calls with me which you can use for any purpose
  • You'll get full access to the online Group/Forum website for asking questions, seeking feedback, and posting responses and assignments
Here's what I cannot guarantee:
  • I can't guarantee you'll be on the calls
  • I can't guarantee you'll listen to the recordings
  • I can't guarantee you'll do your weekly assignments
  • I can't guarantee you'll read the transcripts
  • I can't guarantee you'll read the book
  • I can't guarantee you'll implement a single strategy or tactic
  • I can't guarantee you'll email me when you need help or guidance
  • I can't guarantee you'll set up your 2 private coaching calls
  • I can't guarantee you'll follow my advice
  • I can't guarantee you'll participate in the online forum
  • I can't guarantee you'll work hard (or at all) to make this program WORK for you

And I'm not in the business of "convincing" people with feel-good guarantees.

I don't work with hundreds of people at a clip. I work with a very small, very dedicated group of entrepreneurs, business owners and independent professionals who are committed to their own success and want to accelerate its timetable and expand its scope.  

If that's you, then terrific. Let's do this thing.

If not, no hard feelings.

What do YOU think? Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your advice, insights and recommendations on using guarantees in YOUR coaching, consulting, training or professional services business. And if you use a written guarantee, feel free to post the link and a quick plug for your services, too!

unlock unblock unleash linkedin groups

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing for coaches, marketing concept, thought leadership marketing, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing expert, marketing for trainers, marketing coaching, marketing coach, marketing consultant, small business marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, doit marketing, do it marketing, doitmarketing

Marketing Coach: I See Broke People

I see broke people...

Here's a reimagined scene from one of my favorite movies, The Sixth Sense...

As a business owner, entrepreneur, or service professional, see if any of this sounds familiar to YOU - and if so, please share your experiences and advice in the COMMENTS area below...


I want to tell you my secret now.

Malcolm blinks very slowly



Cole takes an eternal pause. A silent tension engulfs them both


...I see people.

Malcolm just gazes quietly.


I see broke people...


In your dreams?

Cole shakes his head, "No."


When you're awake?

Cole nods, "Yes."


Broke people, like beggars?


No, walking around, like business owners... They can't see each other. Some of them don't know they're broke.


They don't know they're broke?

Malcolm becomes completely motionless. Works to hide his shock. He and Cole stare at each other a long time.


They tell me stories... how they used to land big clients without doing any marketing... how they wasted a fortune on a fancy PR firm... how they went into credit card debt to pay for a get-rich-quick internet marketing seminar...

Malcolm's words are extra-controlled. Revealing nothing.


How often do you see them?


All the time. They're everywhere.

You won't tell anyone my secret, right?




Will you stay here till I fall asleep?

Malcolm nods, "Yes." Cole pulls the covers up to his chin and turns to the window in the room. Malcolm is very still and stares at Cole.

MALCOLM'S EYES -- slowly turn and survey the room. They find nothing. Malcolm returns to watching Cole.


And then we see what he's staring at. Through Cole's hospital room window we look across onto a run-down housing project.

Rows of small offices are visible. In the windows are broke business owners... SOME OLD, SOME YOUNG... SOME ARE DRESSED IN MODERN NEW CLOTHES... SOME WASH THEIR NEW CARS...

simple marketing successp.s. If you want to STOP seeing broke people and build your marketing, sales, and business development muscles, we still have a few open seats for the Simple Marketing Success 10-Week Virtual Bootcamp experience that starts October 8, 2013. Let me know you're interested (email or call me 610.716.5984) and I'll forward you the application materials and program guidelines right away.

Tags: marketing speaker, consulting firm marketing, thought leadership marketing, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing professional services firms, marketing coaching, small business marketing expert, professional speaker marketing, marketing coach, marketing strategist, small business marketing, doit marketing, do it marketing, doitmarketing, small business marketing coach

Are You Making These Sales Mistakes?

Watch this short video and see if you are making these same sales mistakes... 

[Click the "Enlarge" icon in the lower right corner to watch full screen]

Scary, right?

Needy, desperate, pushy, salesperson-centered tactics are so obvious and easy to spot when OTHER people (especially spammers) do them to us.

But how easy is it (and probably imperceptible to you) to fall into the same mode with YOUR own prospects, clients, customers, and buyers?

Stop chasing. 

Stop hounding. 

Stop bugging.

Stop "following up."

Start engaging.

Start inviting.

Start offering. 

Start adding genuine value.  

That's how professionals win! 

simple marketing successp.s. If you want to grow your marketing, sales, and business development muscles, we still have a few open seats for the Simple Marketing Success 10-Week Virtual Bootcamp experience that starts October 8, 2013. Let me know you're interested (email or call me 610.716.5984) and I'll forward you the application materials and program guidelines right away.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing concept, thought leadership marketing, marketing professional services, trusted advisor marketing, marketing expert, marketing professional services firms, sales rejection, small business marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, doit marketing, do it marketing, doitmarketing, sales and marketing, small business marketing coach

Marketing Coach: Build the Tribe Before the Tent

build the tribe before the tentBuild the Tribe Before the Tent

Have you ever wrestled with these problems?

  • I want more leads from my website
  • I need more subscribers to my newsletter
  • I can’t seem to generate any comments on my blog
  • I’m not getting any traction in my LinkedIn Group
  • It’s a huge struggle to fill my public workshops or events
  • I built an e-learning or video course but sales are disappointing
  • My Facebook business page is a ghost town
  • I wrote a great book and nobody’s buying it

I’ll stop there so you don’t get too depressed, OK?

We’ve all been there. And we all know that “Build it and they will come” is the last great false hope of the entrepreneurial class.

But in that statement also lies the answer.

Think about: “Build it and they will come”

Who’s “they”?

No, really - ask yourself this question.

Maybe even write down your answer on a piece of paper.


Most executives and entrepreneurs I work with who want to do a better job of marketing themselves and sell more products and services will come up with these answers:

THEY is:

  • My customers
  • My clients
  • My buyers
  • My prospects

OK, let’s take this one step further - who are your customers, clients, buyers, and prospects?

Here are some clues:

  1. They’re not strangers
  2. They’re not going to buy “sight unseen”
  3. They’re not going to buy on first contact

So what does THAT mean?

  1. They know you and your value proposition
  2. With them, you’ve built up visibility and credibility
  3. They buy (usually) based on a relationship, not on a single transactional impulse

Frankly, we all WISH buyers would buy ALL our products and services on a “transactional impulse” but that almost never happens, unless you’re running late night infomercials for knives - or insomnia cures. That one phone call - that one sales page on your website - that one email - that one postcard is almost NEVER going to make the sale.

Whatever product, service, or program you’re selling - the bottom line is simple:

You have to build the tribe before the tent.

Rather than this sequence:

  1. Invest time, money, effort, and energy (lots) to create a new product/ service/ program
  2. Offer it for sale
  3. Crickets. (Silence.) More crickets 

What if you created this sequence:

  1. Be as helpful as you can to as many people as you can as frequently as you can
  2. Build a loyal, fast-growing tribe of followers, fans, subscribers, and friends
  3. Offer value and invite engagement
  4. The next time you create something to sell, they’re lined up, credit card in hand, eager to buy the moment it’s released for sale

Who does this?

Rock stars. Artists. Gurus.


They built the tribe before the tent.

  • Your website = your tent
  • Your keynote speeches and seminars = your tent
  • Your professional services offerings = your tent
  • Your newsletter = your tent
  • Your coaching and consulting programs = your tent
  • Your blog = your tent
  • Your LinkedIn Group = your tent
  • Your workshops, conferences or events = your tent
  • Your e-learning or video courses = your tent
  • Your Facebook business page = your tent
  • Your book = your tent

At the beginning, who and what are inside these tents? Obviously - it’s you. And a small fire. Just enough to keep you warm.

Now imagine yourself running around between these ELEVEN different tents, frantically tending those eleven fires, scrounging around finding enough wood to keep each fire alive.

  • How much room is there in each of these eleven small tents?
  • How available are you to welcome visitors into any one of those tents?
  • How much of a success (or failure) would you feel like if you occasionally got between 2-3 visitors in each tent to sit down and tell you their story or enjoy a toasted marshmallow with you?
  • How much time could you spend with THEM before running out to one of the nine or ten empty tents and leave them to entertain themselves?
  • How long do you think they'll stay in that empty tent without you to serve as host and with the fire slowly sputtering out in your absence?

Hmmmmm... interesting questions, right?

Now imagine things the other way...

You have a thriving tribe...

  • You offer them value
  • You invite their engagement
  • They start to follow you around
  • First 5 people - then 10 - then 25
  • And pretty soon 50, 100, 200 or more...

At some point, these folks will want to sit down - they’ll get hungry - they’ll get cold.

So you build something for them - a tent - and they welcome the opportunity to sit down with you around a blazing fire. They’ve each brought a log. One has a lighter. Another brings out some hot dogs. Someone else brought baked beans. Others start to break out the marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey bars - S’mores for everyone!

There’s ONE tent. It’s not YOUR tent. It becomes OUR tent. You’re the leader. The provider. The sherpa. The guide. They gladly follow you for two reasons:

  1. The experience you provide when they follow you (value, resources, stories, ideas, guidance)
  2. The community you’ve built around them (the tribe, the relationships, the company of like-minded friends)

build tribe before tent hintThis is a much larger conversation -- and it’s tied to a very exciting project that we’re working on with some of the coolest small business experts on the planet. Can’t say any more than that for now. But stay tuned and you’re sure to hear more about it soon.

But the question YOU need to ask for the moment is…

How can YOU build the tribe before the tent?

Because sitting around in a small empty tent, exhausted, cold and alone… well, that just isn’t a lot of fun, is it?

What do YOU think? What are some examples of “building the tribe before the tent” that you’ve experienced? Are there some people YOU admire whose business fits into this model? Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your thoughts and experiences…  

build the tribe before the tent

Tags: marketing for speakers, thought leadership marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing expert, marketing for trainers, small business coach, marketing ideas, marketing consultant, small business marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, doit marketing, do it marketing, doitmarketing, small business marketing coach

Small Business Marketing: 63 Ideas to Help You Sell More Right NOW

63 Ideas to Help You Sell More Right NOWThere are only three problems that you, as a small business owner, entrepreneur or professional service provider, are ever going to be in a position to solve.

You may sell the world’s greatest widgets… You may have patented the most efficient doo-dad your industry has ever seen… Your flagship service may be the most effective on the planet with the only 100% bulletproof guarantee in the business…

Hard truth:

  • None of your prospects has a widget problem
  • None of your prospects has a doo-dad deficiency
  • None of your prospects stay up at night searching for a bulletproof guaranteed service

Let’s reframe your sales conversations as a delicate balancing act of investigating your prospect’s most important priorities and connecting your product or service to solving those specific problems or advancing those specific goals.

For the executives and decision-makers you’re selling to, at any given moment in time, their priorities might fall into one of three categories: Solving people problems, process problems, or profit problemsWhich of these 63 sales triggers do you use the most? (Please use the COMMENTS area below to chime in...)

People Problems

People problems come in all shapes and sizes, but here’s a starter list so you can probe them more intelligently during your next sales conversation with a prospect:

  1. Recruiting top talent

  2. Retention of top talent

  3. Employee engagement

  4. Recognition and reward

  5. Staff utilization

  6. Leadership

  7. Teamwork

  8. Communication

  9. Coaching

  10. Collaboration

  11. Succession

  12. Silos and turf wars

  13. Gossip, gab and the grapevine

  14. Delegation

  15. Micromanagement

  16. Perfectionism

  17. Negativity

  18. Entitlement

  19. Arrogance

  20. Complacency

Process Problems

Process problems show up as inefficiencies, gaps, missed opportunities, too much wasted time or effort, too many steps, too much waste, too much bureaucracy or paperwork or too many layers between customer and company.

There were entire industries built around business process innovation and a handful of fads from the 1950’s to the 1990’s didn’t help – the total quality movement, business process re-engineering, outsourcing, insourcing, rightsizing, you name it.

Let’s cut to the chase and catalog a brief list of potential sources of process problems that you may want to discuss with your prospect in order to get their attention focused on the desired impact of your products or services.

  1. Accounting

  2. Billing

  3. Call Centers

  4. Contracting

  5. Customer Service

  6. Delivery

  7. Distribution

  8. Engineering

  9. Facility management

  10. Finance

  11. Information Systems

  12. Innovation

  13. Inventory management

  14. Manufacturing

  15. Marketing

  16. Operations

  17. Payroll

  18. Product development

  19. Regulatory compliance

  20. Research and development

  21. Sales

  22. Strategic planning

  23. Workforce diversity

Profit Problems

Profit problems come in many shapes and sizes.

What’s important is that when you are marketing and selling your products and services that you do NOT overlook this vitally important problem that is NEVER far from the mind of any serious prospect.

Often placed at the end of a chain reaction of internal and external variables (where your products and services come into play), when you talk about solving your customers’ profitability problems, the outcomes almost always end up with YOU using the following “so that” phrases:

  1. So that you sell more…

  2. So that you sell more often…

  3. So that you sell at full price…

  4. So that you avoid discounting…

  5. So that you open new markets…

  6. So that you expand your product line…

  7. So that you cut costs…

  8. So that you manufacture and distribute more efficiently…

  9. So that you speed up time to market…

  10. So that you cross-sell…

  11. So that you up-sell…

  12. So that you open new channels…

  13. So that you raise prices…

  14. So that you boost your margins…

  15. So that your per unit cost goes down…

  16. So that you franchise…

  17. So that you license…

  18. So that your stock price goes up…

  19. So that your revenues increase...

  20. So that you conserve more cash…

Use these 63 checkpoints and you’ll be better equipped to isolate your prospect’s real issues - and you’ll more quickly identify the “problem behind the problem” and position your products and services in the context of solving the root cause of your prospect’s current challenges.

Do THAT and your sales conversations will become more successful in the short term and much more profitable in the long term.


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You can thank me later. Rock on! 

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing concept, thought leadership marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing expert, sales prospecting, marketing coaching, marketing coach, small business marketing, marketing for consultants, do it marketing, doitmarketing, sales and marketing