14 Top Lead Generation Tactics

According to former Harvard Business School professor David Maister, typical marketing practices are not only inapplicable for professional service firms, but they may be dangerously wrong.

Often professional service firm principals tell me they are frustrated with the quality of their marketing materials, they are concerned with their firm’s low profile or they feel pressure because their efforts are not generating enough new client leads. Are any of these issues for you?

Many professionals do not know there is a body of knowledge about what does and does not work in marketing professional services. A review of the marketing recommendations of Maister, Robert Bly, Alan Weiss and other experts reveals a recurring theme of what does and does not work in professional service firm marketing. My own 20 years of practical experience in marketing professional service firms supports these findings.
The best marketing for professional service firms is educational in nature. Here are the top 14 tactics that work, in order from the least to the most effective:

The inadequate seven

14. Cold calling — This should be done by a business development person, never a principal. Nothing says “trust me” like a cold call. A better approach is what I call warm calling, which is following up with seminar invitations.

13. CD-Rom or video brochures — These can be great lead conversion tools, but they cost too much for lead generation. Instead, stick the videos on your Web site.

12. Printed brochures — Again, don’t spend too much money up front to generate leads. Instead, create these as PDF files that Adobe Acrobat can read, and place them on your Web site.

11. Sponsorship of cultural/sports events — Being title sponsor of the right event can have an impact, but it is not the best use of lead generation dollars.

10. Advertising — Isn’t it ironic that none of the great advertising agencies built their clientele by advertising? However, if you specialize in an industry and they publish directories, it is always good to have your firm included.

9. Direct mail — This is the traditional direct mail of a letter and a printed piece, like a response card. Some accountants and financial planners have used this cost effectively, maybe offering a complimentary consultation (there is a much better form of direct mail; see tactic No. 1).

8. Publicity — While getting your name in the newspaper and trade journals is a cost-effective way to increase awareness about your firm, it doesn’t always translate into leads.

The magnificent seven

7. Paid ballroom seminars — Rent out the ballroom at the local Marriott or Hilton and charge for an all-day or half-day seminar. Participants should take away a substantial packet of good information from your firm (and a good meal, too).

6. E-Newsletters — This is the water drip torture school of marketing and the opposite of Spam. By signing up for your newsletter lists, prospects are telling you that they are interested in what you have to say but not ready for a relationship now. These people should receive valuable how-to information and event invitations from you on a monthly basis until they decide to opt-out of the list.

5. Networking and trade shows — An excellent way to gather business cards and ask for permission to include them on your e-newsletter list.

4. Community and association involvement — Everyone likes to do business with people they know, like and trust. You need to get involved and “circulate to percolate,” as one Ohio State University professor used to say.

3. How-to articles in client-oriented press — Better than any brochure is the how-to article that appears in a publication that your target clients read.

2. How-to speeches at client industry meetings — People want to hire experts, and an expert by definition is someone who is invited to speak. Actively seek out forums to speak and list past and future speaking dates on your Web site.

1. Free or low-cost small-scale seminars — The best proactive tactic you can employ is to regularly invite prospects by mail and e-mail to small seminars or group consultations. If your prospects are spread out geographically, you can do these briefings via the Internet (Webinars) or the telephone using a bridge line (teleseminars). These can’t be 90-minute commercials. You need to present valuable information about how to solve the problems that your prospects are facing, and then a little mention about your services.

Network Marketing – Cross-border Recruiting Tactics For the Avantgarde

Network marketing is perhaps, in my estimation, the best way I know of that can make you money both online and off long-term. Getting rich quick is just a pipe dream. Anybody that promises you overnight wealth (especially for doing nothing) is a big fat liar! That said, what I do like about multi-level marketing is the long-term residual income potential that CAN be realized if you PERSIST and keep on recruiting and helping your team grow with the business. In this article I want to share a couple of useful tips I have picked up along the way. I’m hoping that these little handy insider tips (I wouldn’t call them secrets!) can help motivate existing network marketers into taking that leap into the stratosphere – like I did; and to those still searching for a home-based business opportunity, well, maybe this can help you decide?

Let’s face it, there are markets out there that are tough to crack. The reasons can be anywhere from widespread skepticism in all things MLM; or just a prevailing lack of hunger to come out of the gutter. I don’t know. But people build barriers around themselves sometimes — as a safety mechanism. My first port of call – if I were to advise you on this, is to take a close look at your geographical location and to gauge its receptiveness to this opportunity. There are, of course, a myriad of ways you can do this, but my absolute favorite is running classified ads in local newspapers. Believe me when I tell you, I have recruited THOUSANDS of new affiliates off the newspapers. Online prospecting doesn’t even come close! And this is coming from a man with 10 years experience in online marketing, and yet I still prospect the old fashioned way. Old is gold as they say. And if you’re not making any headway, consider looking abroad. Yes! You heard that right. Find newspapers abroad, write to them with a sample of your ad and ask for a quote. It really is that easy. Thanks to the Internet!

Most MLM programs provide you other offline promotional tools like calling cards, flyers, postcards, business cards and so forth. If you want to do the rounds prospecting offline (and online), there’s usually everything you need in your program’s back office. And here’s another pointer: stay in touch with the people you recruit into the business. Again, many programs will give a form of Contact Manager facility with which to reach your entire downline through their built-in genealogy communication system. I use this at least once every single week to disseminate information and to assist and keep my downline motivated. Blogs are great; forums are great; but I’ve found creating mini eBooks (5 to 10 pages long) on PDF to be extremely effective… because you can isolate the information under different topics / headlines to help them focus on a particular project or idea you have in mind for growing their business; and eBooks are so easy to pass on. You can go viral very quickly with this strategy. I simply love it!

Any online network marketing business can grow exponentially with a little determination, persistence and tenacity. You can’t go wrong if you really want it to happen and especially when you think outside the box and do your best to help others on your team succeed with the program. Just allow yourself to drift into your creative zone without fear of failure or retribution. I’m sure you will, eventually, find what works for you, and when you duplicate that through your downline organization, your entire team stands to benefit… and your bottom line, of course.

Guerilla Marketing Tactics For Small Business – Marketing Ideas That Stick

Guerilla marketing means maximum impact for minimum expense, often on a Do-It-Yourself basis. And while this sort of thing has always been a priority for small business marketing, in today’s tough economy, innovative, low-cost guerrilla marketing strategies have the potential to be more important than ever.

This article focuses on custom stickers-one of the cheapest, most versatile marketing materials in existence, and one often overlooked by traditional marketing campaigns.

Let’s start with the basics:

1) Understand Your Customers

First of all, this may seem like commonsense in any marketing strategy, but commonsense is often not so common. If it were, more small business owners would understand that a simple logo sticker-however great that logo may be-is probably not going to go viral, except among folks who are already ravenously loyal to their cause.

However, a sticker that people actually identify with-because of the humor, the artwork, or some other element-does have the potential to go viral, for one very important reason: it says as much about your customers as it does about your business.

A great example of this is a pizza shop in my area called Bob’s Pizza. Their logo, appropriately enough, is their name, in a curlicue type font next to a drawing of a slice of pizza. The owner of this shop (Bob) could easily have made a custom sticker of this-instead, he chose to do something different.

As the owner of an affordable downtown pizza joint, Bob understands that his target market in this area is composed primarily of families and students. So he not only provides crayons and paper for young artists and late-night doodlers, he posts these masterworks on the walls of his shop. One of these artworks happened to be by a seven-year old boy; it was a happy, blob-like person with a piece of pizza, accompanied by the words, in a childish scrawl, “I like Bob’s Pizza.”

This is the image that Bob chose to turn into an eye-catching, die-cut sticker-an image that seemed to strike a chord with both families and students, who appreciated the style and the humor. I’ve seen this sticker everywhere imaginable. I’ve also noticed a lot of people in Bob’s Pizza.

The moral of the story being: create a sticker that shows you understand your customers, and they will advertise your business far and wide-at virtually no expense to you.

2) Be Useful

Nearly everyone knows the old trick about putting a tip-calculator chart on the back of your business card, to encourage people to keep your cards in their wallets.

Depending on your business, however, there may be a better way to “stick around” in your customers’ lives-and in a way that helps to establish authority in your area of expertise. By printing a custom sticker with useful information related to your business, designed for semi-permanent mounting in important, everyday places, you can keep your name and number in front of your former and potential clients for an almost indefinite period of time.

Fix computers for a living? Design a sticker with quick-reference trouble-shooting for common computer problems, designed for mounting on a computer monitor or laptop. Yoga studio? Create a daily ‘mindfulness meditation’ designed to mount on the dashboard of a car. Heating and cooling business? Print a sticker designed for thermostats, featuring energy-saving tips.

The trick here is to be innovative, useful, and to stick around long enough so that when people need your services, you’ll be the one they call.

3) Be Outrageous

If you truly want to create some buzz in your area, you can put the “gorilla” in guerrilla marketing with some over-the-top, in-your-face marketing-that-does-not-resemble-marketing.

Case in point-a website called SprayGraphic. This online artists’ community wanted to create some buzz in different places across the US. First, they recruited creative artists to feature their graphic design work on their website. Next, they sent out eye-catching posters and custom stickers to these artists, in order to help them promote their work.

The result? Intriguing posters began to appear in coffeeshops and on community boards all over the country, accompanied by their characteristic, funny moustache, nose and eye-glasses logo, explaining who they were, what they did, and why people should join. Then a series of die-cut stickers featuring their logo started showing up everywhere, accompanied by their URL. You can rest assured this simple, affordable guerrilla marketing tactic created a huge amount of traffic for this site, almost overnight.

The trick with using custom stickers this way is not to give too much away-and to use them to create a kind of mystery, which your customers will then be compelled to solve.

Exit mobile version