Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

Marketing Coach: Your Web Traffic - Fitness Program or Autopsy?

marketing coach, small business marketing coachBad news: You are 9 days into the month and your website traffic is down 43%. 

Worse news: You don't even know about it. 

Why not? 

Because if you're like most small business owners, (non-web) entrepreneurs and independent professionals, you look at your web stats once a month - and almost always when it's too late. 

So the question for you and your organization is - are you looking at your web marketing game plan as a forward-looking fitness program -- or as a backward-looking autopsy?

The autopsy approach sounds like this: "What went wrong? Where did our site visits go? How come opt-ins dropped? Our bounce rate climbed again..." Sigh, worry, fret, fret, fret...

The fitness approach sounds like this: "It's been 10 days since our last blog post, we have to post more regularly - let's put something up this Tuesday and again on Thursday. Where's our SEO score card? I think we dropped back a few places on two of our keywords and it looks like we're back at #1 again for 'Poughkeepsie laundromat' - woo hoo! We need to load some fresh tweets to drive more traffic to our free report because it looks like opt-ins are dropping..."

DANGER: The fit get fitter. And the autopsy people are dead on the table. 

Where do your website stats stand today?

Please leave your insights, advice and recommendations in the COMMENTS section below...

Keywords: Marketing coach, small business marketing coach

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing for coaches, consulting firm marketing, marketing professional services, email marketing, marketing for trainers, marketing professional services firms, marketing ideas, marketing consultant, small business marketing, marketing mix, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, doit marketing, doitmarketing, content marketing, small business marketing coach, marketing tips, frustration

Marketing Mix: You’ll Thrive or Starve By These 3 Calendars

marketing speaker marketing calendarAs a small business marketing speaker and small business marketing coach, I know you're probably wearing lots of different hats in your small business, and it's tough to keep all the areas of your business running smoothly all the time.

Think spinning plates or juggling balls. What's worse is that when time is tight, your least favorite tasks (often marketing and sales) get neglected, and your business suffers.

To keep your business running smoothly, don't rely on your memory or your never-ending to-do list.

You'll thrive or starve by three calendars: an Editorial calendar, a Marketing calendar, and a Sales calendar.

If you set up these calendars and then rely on them, your business will hum along, growing and thriving as you regularly accomplish all you need to.

Let's take a look at each of these three calendars to find out how they work their magic.

Editorial Calendar

As you know, content is king when it comes to today's inbound marketing environment. To get noticed and to be recognized as an authority in your industry, you've got to produce timely, quality content, and you've got to do it regularly. Set aside a time on your calendar for each of the following tasks:

Email Newsletter. An email newsletter lets you communicate with customers you've already tapped into. These customers will be your repeat business if you stay fresh on their minds. Quality email newsletters include articles and news that your customers can't get anywhere else like invitations to exclusive events, industry updates, valuable resources, and timely articles that offer real value.

Blog. An updated blog tells your customers that you're an authority in your industry, that you're with-it, and that you are responsive to their needs. One of the greatest benefits of a blog is that you can build a genuine two-way relationship with readers. They can comment and ask questions, and you can show your knowledge and responsiveness as you reply.

Offline Publications. Your internet presence is priceless, but don't discount offline publications. Articles in national trade publications, association magazines, industry journals and major newspapers may reach an entirely different audience than your blog and social media. 

Guest Posts. Writing guest posts for outside blogs is a great way to reach more people and send more traffic back to your own website.

Article Marketing. Once you've written an article or paid a writer to write one for you, use it to your best advantage. Syndicate it so that it appears on many different websites, increasing your web presence and generating more traffic to your business website.

Marketing Calendar

Like your editorial calendar, your marketing calendar will ensure that important tasks are done on a regular basis, including your least favorite tasks. Make sure you have the following items on your marketing calendar:

Email. Nothing kills interest like unresponsiveness. If you don't respond quickly to emails, potential clients and customers will turn to someone who does respond quickly. Checking and responding to email should be on your marketing calendar every day.

Promotions and offers. Regular promotions and special offers keep you top-of-mind. Put your promotions on your marketing calendar, and use your editorial calendar to inform readers and customers about upcoming promotions.

Outreach. Put your business out in the community regularly by setting up booths at targeted trade shows or sponsoring events aimed squarely at your target market. Outreach may show up on your calendar much less frequently than other marketing tasks, and that's fine. But if it's on your calendar, you're much more likely to make the preparations necessary to participate in such events.

Web. Web marketing, whether it's paying for Google ads or finding appropriate blogs to comment on, takes some time, and it's very easy to push this task aside. Assign an hour or so each week to web marketing. Track your web marketing success over several months to see if you need to spend more time on it.

Sales Calendar

Developing and using a sales calendar will help you to stay on top of more personal tasks. Coordinate your sales efforts with your other calendars.

Calls. Set aside some time each day to make and return phone calls. If you work in an office, warn your co-workers that you'll be unavailable during this time.

In-person meetings. Even though phone and video conference work well for catching up, there's nothing like an in-person meeting for solving problems and getting on the same page. Put these meetings on your calendar as frequently as you think you need them.

Follow-ups and Decisions. Schedule a time for following up on leads and for collecting decisions from prospects you've had initial conversations with. By scheduling this time, prospects will meet your deadlines more often, and your sales funnel will operate more reliably.

It may seem intimidating to set these calendars up, but once you do, you'll find that you feel less stressed and more able to meet the demands of your day when you abide by them. With slots for each important task, you may even feel that you have more time for your favorite tasks - like running your business and serving your clients.

marketing coach marketing speaker sos

p.s. If you'd like some personalized help - and your very own customized marketing and sales toolkit PLUS an easy-to-implement small business marketing game plan with 1-on-1 guidance for 90 days, get all the details here.

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing concept, business plan, trusted advisor marketing, small business marketing expert, marketing coach, small business marketing, marketing mix, doit marketing, small business marketing speaker, marketing tips

Marketing Coach: 5 Keys to Buyer Persona Marketing

Marketing coach 5 keys to buyer persona marketingBuyer persona marketing is not about knowing your customers or what they like to buy. 

It's much more than that. It's about getting inside their heads to deeply understand their emotional drives.  

Many of my small business owner and solopreneur clients claim to know their customer, yet they haven't really tapped into the potential of buyer persona marketing.

Once you finish this article, you'll own the 5 keys to unlock your very own pair of X-Ray goggles to connect with your best prospects so you can sell more, more easily and more often. 

As far as small business marketing goes, you'll be stuck in the minor leagues until you realize that in order to know your customer, you must first create an archetypical buyer, based upon all the information you can glean from your past clients, prospects, and previous conversations you've had with folks who bought - and perhaps more importantly, folks who didn't buy. 

What you need to figure out is the entire person, the whole picture.  Once you begin to understand the psychological motivations and emotional triggers that make your customers buy a certain product or service, you can much more effectively market to them in a way that will put you miles ahead of your competition.

Understanding your buyers is a bit like taking apart a mechanical apparatus to see what makes it tick. 

First, you need to know what problems your buyers are experiencing on a daily basis, or how they prioritize their time and the solutions to these problems.  Your product needs to offer an emotional relief from one or more of these problems.  In short, the buyer needs to NEED your product from an emotional standpoint, and they will then justify the purchase rationally after the fact.  Humans are capable of rationalizing just about any behavior if it triggers an emotional reward.  Bank on that with your product and let your marketing follow.

Secondly, work to identify the rewards your customers gain from purchasing your product.  This ties back into the emotional reward, but try to understand exactly what the buyer gains from your product, on a very basic level.  This will help you market to that reward and toward filling your prospect's emotional gap. 

Just as you consider the rewards, also look at what the perceived barriers to success or reaching that reward are, from the customer's standpoint.  This is the part of the process where you need to understand the thought process that each customer uses to either justify their emotional reactions or to justify not buying your product. 

When you begin to build a model to break down these barriers, your product or service literally sells itself with little to no resistance from your customer.  

Third, it is crucial to understand the buying process that your typical customer goes through.  This is to say that you need to better understand each step of their emotional and rational justification for having your product in their lives.  Do they compare other products to yours in an effort to sort out which one will offer the best reward?  If so, you need to understand the other products they are comparing yours to.  It is important to align your product and marketing solutions to their process for vetting information along with the emotional connection to the problem your product is solving for them on a day to day basis.

This leads to your fourth key - your competitive analysis. Which boils down to a simple answer to a simple question: Exactly how does your product compare against others from the standpoint of the criteria that your customers develop to help them make a decision? 

These are questions that can be answered if you truly LISTEN to your customers and understand what they are telling you. 

The fifth key is personal conversations. The fastest, easiest and most enjoyable way to figure all of this out is to ENGAGE your customer base in face-to-face real time dialogue. Yes, I'm talking about personal conversations, either on the phone or in person. Think about sitting down - at least monthly - with your clients and prospects over breakfasts, lunches, coffees. Can't make it in person? Use the phone or Skype and take them to a "virtual lunch" or "virtual coffee." Shouldn't take more than 30 minutes and you'll both benefit hugely.

Why? Because you'll learn firsthand the direct path to their own interests and emotional triggers - and you'll hear it in their OWN WORDS. Use THAT language in your marketing, and it's much more likely to resonate with others just like them!

When you begin to "sync" with your buyers at the deepest and most personal level -- and how they make buying decisions -- you're on your way to effective, attractive marketing that will draw clients and customers to you like a magnet.

What do you think? Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your experiences with buyer persona marketing...

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing success, consultant marketing, marketing book, marketing professional services, entrepreneurship, professional speaker marketing, marketing coach, marketing strategist, marketing mix, doit marketing, marketing tips, buyer persona

Speaker Marketing: Interview with Shawn Ellis of Succeed Speaking

Speaker marketing coach, marketing speakerHere is special treat for you: A 68-minute content-packed interview with speaker's bureau owner and speaker success coach Shawn Ellis of Succeed Speaking and The Speakers Group.

Simply right-click the link below and select "Save File As..." "Save Target As..." or "Download Linked File..." and save the digital audio file to your Desktop:

Download Interview Now

Shawn and I share some rock-solid ideas to help you grow your speaking business, approach speakers bureaus in the right way at the right time and for the right reasons, separate your speaking business from the rest of the pack, and leverage your long-term value to clients way beyond your speech. 

Shawn helps speakers have more fun, reach more people and make more money.

NOTE: Don't forget to grab your Succeed Speaking Subscribers Toolbox of resources, videos and tips that Shawn and I mention during our interview. Grab your copy now at... 

Listen in, grab your free resources and then please leave a comment below so you can...

doit marketing speaker david newman

Tags: marketing for speakers, motivational speaker, professional speaker, speaking, professional speaker marketing, marketing coach, motivational speaker marketing, speaker marketing, marketing tips, sponsored speaking, speaker placement

Marketing Coach: 62 Ways to Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet

marketing coach making 2012 your best yearKindly donated by Mr Robin Sharma, World Class Business Coach

1. Remember that leadership isn't about your position. It's about your influence.

2. Get fit like a pro athlete.

3. Lift people up versus tearing people down.

4. Protect your good name. An impeccable reputation takes a lifetime to build. And 60 seconds to lose.

5. Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

6. Remember that even a 1% daily innovation rate amounts to at least a 100% rate of innovation in 100 days.

7. Believe in your dreams (even when others laugh at them).

8. Measure your success, not by your net worth but by your self worth (and how happy you feel).

9. Take an intelligent risk every 24 hours. No try-No Win.

10. Read "Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist".

11. Watch "Man on Wire".

12. Regardless of your title at work, be a team builder.

13. Remember that business is all about relationships and human connections.

14. Say "please" more.

15. Say "thank you" more.

16. Know your Big 5: the five things that need to happen by the end of this year for you to feel its been your best year yet.

17. Read your Big 5 every morning while the rest of the world is asleep.

18. Read "As You Think". At least twice this year.

19. Be willing to fail. It's the price of greatness.

20. Focus less on making money and more on creating value.

21. Spend less, save more.

22. Leave everything you touch better than you found it.

23. Be the most positive person in every room you're in.

24. Run your own race.

24. Stay true to your deepest values and best ideals.

25. Write a handwritten thank you note to a customer/friend/loved one every day.

26. When you travel, send love letters to your kids on hotel stationary. In time, they'll have a rich collection to remember your travels by.

27. Read "Atlas Shrugged".

28. Be a problem solver versus a trouble maker.

29. Rather than doing many things at mediocrity do just a few things-but at mastery.

30. Honor your parents.

31. Commit to doing great work-whether anyone notices it or not. It's one of life's best sources of happiness.

32. Give more than you receive (another of the truths of happiness).

33. Have your 1/3/5/10/25 years goals recorded on paper and review them weekly.

34. Be patient. Slow and steady wins the race. The only reason businesses that went from zero to a billion in a year or two get featured in magazines is because 99% of businesses require a lot more time to win.

34. Underpromise and then overdeliver.

35. See part of your job as "a developer of people" (whether you work in the boardroom or the mailroom).

36. Wear your heart on your sleeve. When people see you're real, they'll fall in love with you.

37. Be authentic versus plastic.

38. Read "The Alchemist".

39. Remember that life wants you to win. So get out of your own way.

40. Consider that behind every fear lives your next level of growth (and power).

41. Eat less food.

42. Drink more water.

43. Rest when you need to.

44. Read "SUCCESS" magazine.

45. Write your eulogy and then live your life backwards.

46. Demand the best from yourself.

47. Remember that the more you go to your limits, the more your limits will expand.

48. See everything that happens to you as an opportunity to grow (and therefore, as a precious gift).

49. Be obsessed with learning and self-development.

50. Become comfortable alone (you are the only person you get to be with your whole life).

51. Smile. It's a stunningly effective way to win in business and life.

52. Reflect on the shortness of life.

53. Be bold when it comes to your dreams but gentle with those you love.

54. Remember that success is dangerous because it can kill drive/innovation/passion and going the extra mile. Be successful yet stay hungry.

55. Read "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin".

56. Be of deep value to this world.

57. Own beautiful things but don't let them own you.

58. Use excellent words.

59. Laugh more.

60. Don't complain, gossip or be negative.

61. Plan as if you'll live forever but live as if you'll die tomorrow.

62. Feel free to pass these lessons on to those you want to help.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing success, marketing for coaches, marketing agency, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, professional speaker, professional speaker marketing, motivational speaker marketing, success tips, marketing consultant, marketing tips

Marketing Concept: 5 Tips to Write What They Want to Publish

Today's marketing concept is another stunningly simple one. marketing concept - 5 pr tips for speakers and consultants

When it comes to your public relations or article marketing strategy...

Write What They Want to Publish - Don't Try to Publish What You Want to Write

If you're trying to put your expertise in the spotlight, don't go to the marketplace with a fixed number or pre-written articles and say "OK, where can we get these puppies printed?" When you're brand new, that might be enough - but once you're a truly up-and-coming though-leader, you start to need to pay close attention to:

  1. Editorial guidelines (follow 'em)
  2. Functional requirements such as word length (make overworked editors lives easier)
  3. Editorial calendars with themes and topics (don't make editors stretch too far)
  4. Current trends (be relevant and up-to-date)
  5. Today's headlines and top stories (be timely so you ride the wave of attention)

It's the old marketing mantra of "Find a need and fill it" - but when it comes to niche PR, association publications, trade magazines and industry journals, we too often lose sight of the fact that editors are buyers and our content is our product.

Tailor, customize, and work hard to meet the demand and you will be published over and over and over again. Because you're writing what they want to publish.

What do you think? Leave a comment below to share your article marketing or niche PR success story, tip, or question. Eager to hear from YOU:

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing concept, media relations, marketing agency, professional services marketing, public relations, professional speaker marketing, marketing coach, motivational speaker marketing, marketing consultant, small business marketing, marketing mix, thought leadership, marketing tips, raintoday

Marketing Coach: Stop Sending IDIOTIC Emails Like This One...

marketing coach - stop sending idiotic emailsAs a marketing speaker and marketing coach for thought-leading professionals and professional services firms, I'm continually amazed at the stupidity of firms who just DON'T get the fact that their marketing messages are NOT about THEM...

Case in point - a Philadelphia area communications and design firm whose list I have been on for more than 7 years. They have never - NEVER as in NOT ONCE - sent me a single solitary message that was relevant to me, my business, my marketing, my design needs, or my ANYTHING. Not a shred of value in sight. Zilch. Nada. None.

Every single flippin' email blast they send out is about THEM, THEIR awards, THEIR staff, THEIR media mentions. I mean it's over-the-top ridiculous. I could go on and tell you - but I'd rather SHOW YOU...

For some bizarre reason, I'm removing their name to protect the guilty. I dunno - maybe it's the holiday spirit of thankfulness that I'm not this big of an IDIOT myself. (See previous post on the Real IDIOT's Guide to Social Media for the backstory on this acronym.)

I've used green bold text to show each instance of "I, me, my" syndrome in this incredibly self-centered, years-long and completely ineffective email marketing approach.


Subject: Good things come in three for IDIOT Design+Communications 

Good things come in three for IDIOT Design+Communications
25th Anniversary, ranked 7th and scholarship winner 

[Unnamed town], PA - November 21, 2011 - IDIOT Design+Communications (ID+C), a brand design firm, is proud to announce three major milestones for the company

ID+C celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011.  What started as a freelance graphic design job in 1986 has grown into a full service design agency serving the Northeast corridor from Virginia to New York. Their expertise includes integrative brand campaigns that span internal and external audiences. Branding initiatives include brand touch points that create and spark perception of brand positioning. ID+C specializes in employee communications and internal branding. According to President and founder, Susan Idiot, "I would have never imaged owning my own graphic design and communication business. It is the support of long-term clients and friends that has allowed me to do the work I love and for that, I am grateful." ID+C built their reputation in the industry on strong partnerships and would like to take this opportunity to thank each of their clients. 

Ranked 7th Among Philadelphia Design Firms  In July, the company was ranked Number 7 in the 2011 Philadelphia Business Journal among Graphic Design firms in the Philadelphia region.    

[Blah blah Name Changed here too] Executive Scholarship ID+C wishes to extend a special thank you to Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) for their continued support and for awarding Susan Idiot the [Blah blah Name Changed] Executive Scholarship. Idiot used the opportunity to attend Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management's Executive Program on Branding. From elite scholars in marketing to an international contingency of fellow business owners and branding professionals, Susan Idiot gained invaluable insights into branding strategy. As a result, ID+C can assist its clients to discover and express their brands' positions and future direction in a dynamic, global marketplace.         

IDIOT Design +Communications
address block
phone number
Susan Idiot


Questions for YOU:

  • Is this the kind of email you would pass along to your best business colleagues?
  • Would you be motivated to go through your database and see who else could benefit from such a terrific email newsletter?
  • Would you rush to your web browser and immediately check out their site to see what OTHER valuable resources they have to offer you?
  • Finally, would YOU give these people your email address so they could spam you with their accomplishments, awards, milestones, and anniversaries and spend nary a second in 7 whole years talking about branding, advertising, communications, or marketing ideas that might help you, your organization, or your career?

Yeah... me neither. Click. Unsubscribe. Bye, bye.

BOTTOM LINE: Don't let this happen to you.

What do YOU think? Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your thoughts on "I, me, my" Syndrome or share a success story of more prospect-centered email marketing! 

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing for coaches, consulting firm marketing, marketing concept, professional services marketing, email marketing, entrepreneurship, small business marketing expert, small business coach, small business email, email marketing campaign, marketing coach, motivational speaker marketing, success tips, marketing consultant, small business marketing, marketing mix, small business marketing speaker, marketing tips, email blasts, email newsletter, raintoday

31 Things that Should Scare the Hell Out of You

marketing speaker mask1. I'm scared to...

2. They won't let me...

3. It sounds too simple...

4. It sounds too complicated...

5. I'll never find the time to...

6. Sounds crazy...

7. I've never done anything like that before...

8. I've done that a bunch of times...

9. It'll turn everybody off...

10. I don't know how...

11. That's not the way we do things around here...

12. It's too expensive...

13. It's too far-fetched...

14. I need another 6 months to test it...

15. I need to be 100% sure...

16. It's not perfect yet...

17. People will say I'm foolish...

18. People will say I'm crazy...

19. I would never buy something like this myself...

20. I don't know...

21. I'm not ready...

22. I'm not smart enough...

23. I don't have the right degrees and certifications...

24. What's the exit strategy?

25. The competition is already way ahead of us...

26. We can't just pick up and start...

27. The other guys are bigger...

28. The other guys have more money...

29. The other guys are so well-connected...

30. It'll never work...

31. Maybe next year...

marketing coach small business marketing doitmarketing

Which one(s) of these scare YOU the most? Please use the comments area below to share your SCARIEST source of fear, uncertainty and doubt... so we can overcome them TOGETHER!

Want to blow past all these scary excuses and tackle your most important marketing, sales and business growth TO-DO items all in a single, super-focused day? Check out DO IT DAYS and join us for the next one.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing strategy, marketing success, marketing for coaches, consultant marketing, consulting firm marketing, marketing concept, keynote speaker, small business marketing expert, small business coach, marketing ideas, marketing coach, success tips, small business marketing, social media marketing, marketing tips, conference speaker

Marketing Speaker: A New Kind of Client Reference

Marketing speaker, marketing coach Philadelphia PAI got a phone call a few days ago from my friend Steve who is a fellow independent professional. He said to me at the beginning of the call, "David, I'm calling you as a reference."

So I'm thinking, "OK, he wants to hire someone I've worked with or someone I know - perhaps even a client of mine whose testimonial he saw on my website."

I say, "Steve, what can I do for you?"

And then he mentions someone's name. Let's call this person Larry. Now I like Larry and he's a good guy - perhaps a little confused about his marketing and messaging... and frankly that's OK because Larry is NOT a client of mine (although I've given him plenty of chances!)

Steve stops me and says, "No, no... I don't want to hire Larry. Larry wants to hire me. I'm calling you to ask you what kind of client do you think he would be?"

Wow. It's not a consultant reference, speaker reference, or service provider reference - Steve was asking me (essentially) "Would this guy be a good client?" FYI Steve saw me connected to Larry through LinkedIn and some other social media sites.

Lessons for YOU:

  • We live in a hyper-connected world
  • People DO read your social media profiles
  • People DO judge you on the "company you keep" both online and off
  • If you're a pain in the ass - as a consultant, speaker, vendor, partner, OR client... word will spread faster than you can imagine
  • The top people in their field (ahem, YOU) do not have the bandwidth nor the interest to work with folks who are a pain in the butt
  • YOU can't afford to be a pain in the butt on EITHER side of the professional services buying equation

Comments? What do you think? Have you had some experiences to share along these lines? Would love to hear from you in the Comments section below...

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing success, marketing for coaches, consultant marketing, consulting firm marketing, consulting, small business marketing expert, marketing coach, motivational speaker marketing, small business marketing, small business marketing speaker, marketing tips, referral marketing

Marketing Speaker: 5 Cost-Effective Marketing Secrets

Guest column by Tom Marin, Orlando Business Journalmarketing for speakers

Brand marketing is facing a power-shift in today's marketplace. Customers want to be part of a brand's direction and development.

Listening to their expectations can determine your firm's level of success. To take full advantage of today's market share, companies will need to "lose" control of their marketing strategy to ultimately gain it, by embracing this powerful dynamic of customer expectations.

Fifty years ago, there weren't the number of brands or media choices there are today. The market is filled with brands, sub-brands, cross-brands, and strategic-brand partnerships. Add to that list the ever-increasing media choices, including Internet marketing, and it's difficult to make a minor change to a brand that will affect top-line sales significantly.

Investing in cutting-edge, no-cost and low-cost promotional tools for branding ideas will allow you to market your company profitably.

Consider these suggestions for energizing your brand in today's marketplace:

• Create uniqueness. Uniqueness is a brand's No. 1 asset. The greater the brand uniqueness, the higher its score in market share. And those brands that create a unique brand category usually become the leaders. What comes to mind when you consider: theme park, soft drink or overnight delivery? Most likely it is Disney, Coke and FedEx. They are the recognized leaders, though there are other brands in their categories. Your brand's uniqueness can be determined by completing this sentence: Our (brand name) is the only (product category) that (does what).

• Replace repetition with interactive promotions. A common branding strategy is repetition of the brand message to build awareness. This strategy is not as effective as interactive promotions. For example, a 30-day trial use, a sample pack, an on-premise presentation or a portion of the service you offer are all effective interactive strategies. They allow customers to discover the benefits of your brand and move closer to making a purchase decision than the repetitious sales pitch provides.

• Replace outbound marketing with inbound branding. Traditional methods of outbound marketing include telemarketing, voicemail campaigns, e-mails and direct marketing. These standard marketing strategies have become less effective because people use spam-ware, caller ID, firewall devices and the "circular file" to eliminate them. Internet searches have become a primary source for obtaining product information. Popular Web sites such as Google and Yahoo are tapping the exploding volume of today's online buyer.

To increase your potential customer base, consider using these methods:

1. Publish articles on Web sites that are relevant to your target audience.

2. Write book reviews on related topics for Web sites such as

3. Publicize your brand on Web sites like and

4. Increase your online identity with listings on LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Ziggs, Naymz and others.

• Replace monolithic marketing with customer-centric branding. Don't be a follower. If you're trying to overtake a brand leader, don't emulate their strategies. Create your own. And let your strategy strike at the heart of what your key customers want. Of course, knowing what they want will be paramount to your success, so ask them.

• Don't plan for overnight success. If someone offered me $10 million to help them launch a successful brand tomorrow, I'd tell them instead to give me $1 million and five years to make their brand successful. Understanding this dynamic of time, I'll bring home the bacon based on what prospective customers want.

Accepting and using this branding power-shift between you and your customer will allow you to involve their needs in your strategy and, in time, will establish your brand successfully. Their involvement offers them new reasons for becoming a loyal customer.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing success, marketing for coaches, professional services marketing, professional speaker marketing, motivational speaker marketing, marketing tip, marketing tips, inbound marketing