I use a marketing professional and my advice to any budding entrpreneur would be to seriously consider this. Choose the right person and you could recoup any initial investment in no time.
It happened to me almost by accident! I know that I am good at what I do and had been very successful. But I wanted to slightly alter my focus. I work primarily with women to help them get the best out of their lives, whether at work or in their personal lives. I have deliberately resisted the idea of employing others, except for administration and accountancy support; I want to maintain full control over what is delivered in my name.
That means however, that if I am not out there delivering it, no income. I had begun to explore alternative ways of ethically extending my business in a way that didn’t always involve my physical presence! I had plenty of work but not enough time to accept all the work that was being offered. I began to think about possible recordings and started to search the net for information and examples. By chance I stumbled on a marketing guy called Jim Connolly (I bought his product to see how he had delivered it) and after some initial and lengthy checking out, engaged his services. He is a marketing man, which is similar but different from selling.
If you had told me at the beginning of last year that I would be paying thousands of pounds to someone I had never met I would have laughed in disbelief. But that is exactly what I have done. And I have no regrets whatsoever!
I am not a salespersor marketeer. My skills lie elsewhere. I hadn’t really needed to do any selling as most of my business came through word of mouth. But I knew I wanted to develop and extend my range of services and I didn’t know the best way of doing that. I knew that it meant telling people who DIDN’T KNOW me or who had my services personally recommended, what it was I did, why they should choose my services above all the others available. It was much harder than I thought. My work is all about focussing on other women, and their issues be it career or personal, so it was strange, but quite delightful to have the focus on me for a change.
Working with a good marketing professional has made so much difference and helped me clarify exactly what I am about; he has saved me almost as much money asI have paid him. But a side effect that I had not anticipated was that my current work has grown and grown. I can honestly say that I have not felt any of the effects of recession that my colleagues with similar businesses have. He also helped me look at the competition in my field and realise that what I offer is of a high quality (I couldn’t have written that before!). That gave me a huge confidence boost.
These are my tips for finding a good marketing coach:
* Start by subscribing to lots of free newsletters, blogs etc. You can get lots of good advice that way and also get an idea of who is worth reading. If their own copy is no good yours won’t be either! Also, try and get someone who knows to check out the quality of their web site. If it’s home made with a generic email address steer well clear.
* There are lots of good people out there and lots of bad. Look at loads via the net and check out any references they give by going to their referees web sites and even contacting them. I personally never trust a web site that doesn’t actually give me a proper adddress somehwere or at the very least a land line phone number.
* Try to get an idea of what it is you want from them. The more specific a brief you can give the better you can compare what people are offering. Do you want them to write sales material for you? Help you design your web site? Discover your unique SP? Boost your confidence?
* A good provider will be happy to talk with you before you sign up. Take note of how they are selling their services to you as this will give you a good indication of their style.
* If you are choosing a phone provider check who will be making ie paying for the calls.
* Check out how much contact you can expect to have. Some offer limited sessions of 8 consultations, some an annual or time limited contract with contact when you require it, some a one off. If there is a free initial consultaion take it and then say you will call them back to discuss. Don’t let yourself get pressurised by ‘if you book today it will be cheaper’talk. It will be very expensive if you end up with something that you don’t want or need at all!
These are just my thoughts. In my experience getting good marketing advice has been the single best investment I have made since launching Changing People. What has been your best move?
Be the best that you can be!
This article has been kindly written by Jane C Woods a Personal Development Specialist for Women. Please visit Changing People for more articles on Jane’s website.
Jane is also author of a great book “When Work isn’t Working”.