Building a business as a professional is a daunting challenge. Because of this, we have a tendency to try and accumulate a lot of extra bits and pieces in our efforts to get more clients and gain more revenue. But perhaps we're over complicating it a bit?
What does your marketing strategy involve at the moment?
If you're operating in a vaguely modern mindset, the chances pretty good that you do some combination of these:
- web design
- email list building
- social media publication
- social media engagement
- commenting on websites
- calls to prospects
- calls to clients
- writing articles
- writing and responding to emails
- coffee meetings
- youtube videos
And the list could go on and on.
But there is a big question that many people engaging in these activities don't ask themselves…
The Question is… Why?
Why are you doing these things? Most people don't actually stop to ask this question.
They know the “what” – it's for more clients and more revenue.
They know the “how” – it's that mile long list of dot points up the page.
They sometimes know the “who” – which is usually a bit broad.
But the “why” is an elusive concept which most people don't worry about.
Try This “Why” On for Size
I want to propose a why for you to chew on and think about.
We know the what: you want more clients.
But that doesn't say “why” you're doing the things in the list.
I think you're doing those things because you want to build assets.
More, I think there are only two assets that those things can build:
So then, I think you're doing those activities to build attention and trust.
And that's good – because those are the only two assets that actually matter.
You've probably heard the old “known, liked and trusted” right?
Well, on the one hand, getting known used to be easier than it is now. There was less competition, the barriers to entry were higher, and getting your name out there was more difficult.
But, on the other hand, now is one of the easiest times for a relative nobody to gain attention, provided they know what they are doing. The tools and tactics that might let you get some attention from the right kind of people are now extremely easy to use, cheap, and quick to implement.
That said – real attention from the right people takes a lot of effort, but without it you're just whistling a tune to yourself while you walk down the street.
If you don't have attention – you've got nothing to build off from a marketing perspective.
But I Don't Want Attention!
Really? Are you sure?
If you genuinely want to hide in your office and just “do the work” then that's fine by me. But if you're in professional services (doctors, lawyers, accountants, financial planners or whatever) and you actually don't want attention – then I hope somebody else is going to do your marketing for you.
My bet is what you probably mean is this: I don't want to be an “attention-seeker“.
Attention-seekers are icky, annoying people who constantly pester you with questions, issues, worries and problems so that they can force you to spend time with them for some reason.
And you're right – you definitely don't want to become that person.
But then we're not talking about attention itself, we're talking about how you go about getting it – and that's an entirely different problem.
So let's be honest: do you really not want attention, or do you just not want to look for attention in a spammy, sleazy way?
Are you Trusted?
My guess is yes – by your current clients.
If you're any good at your job, it's pretty easy to build trust with people who have already entrusted their business, their health, and their questions to you. After all, they've already committed, and all you need to do is to not fail miserably.
But what about the people who haven't done that yet? Trust is the catalyst that turns non-clients into clients.
Getting trust from relative strangers is quite a challenging task. How should people really go about distinguishing between adviser A, adviser B, adviser C?
They all dress the same, look the same, act the same, and sound the same.
So what makes you so different? Why should I trust you instead of somebody else?
Perhaps it's how helpful you are? Perhaps you have a distinct personality? Maybe you're just the most charming individual on the planet? Possibly your background, your story, your methods – it could be anything.
Let's not make assumptions about exactly what people will choose to base their trust decisions on. For some people it might be because you wear a bow tie, whereas others might think you're a crackpot if you do that.
So what's the best strategy? In my mind it's simply to be authentically yourself. Tactics about how to do that are for another day.
What's Your Strategy?
So in the comments let me know this: what's your strategy to gain attention and build trust?