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Food for Thought

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I had some great conversations on a recent business trip that stirred up a number of thoughts and served to reinforce some of my beliefs. Here are just a few directly related to marketing.

  • Connect with your story first and foremost. What is the ROI for this clinical service? What are the conversion rates from my webpage? These are important questions unless they become a convenient way to hide from the deeper work. While you are obsessing over the math someone else may be confidently living their story. Who gets the most attention between the two?
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  • But don’t forget to measure!! You still need to measure and test what’s working, and when you figure out what’s producing results – do more of that!
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  • Marketing is “Why you do what you do” not “What you do”.
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  • Focus on one person at a time versus everyone all at once. This is one reason why connecting to your story is so critical. It takes time for your outreach efforts to tip in your favor. If you aren’t connected to what it is you’re doing then you’ll give up too soon. But if you are connected wholeheartedly, you’ll have no choice but to keep going.
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  • Earn trust not attention. Attention seeking will get you in trouble. Earning trust by helping your audience in unexpected and genuine ways will allow you to expand your reach. The latter approach is the only way to promote what it is you do.
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  • Avoid all the noise, fools gold, and empty promises. I know you want to give talks to large audiences and have your phone ring off the hook, but no magic button or four-step business solution is going to make that happen on day one. Ignore the search for that hidden something you need to find to finally bring you success. Focus instead on becoming more relevant to your audience.
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  • Expect some turbulence as you move forward with your campaign. No amount of analysis and preparation can substitute for the gifts that come with “doing”. Your actions will bring forth insights that will allow you to adjust and tweak your efforts for the better. If you’re stumbling along the road, give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve found the true path to success.
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  • Sell the way you like to buy. What are the experiences you gravitate towards because they build trust, a sense of value, and they make you feel good. Model that process.
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  • Is Social Media all it’s hyped up to be? It depends on how you define it. Blogging is a great way to be a part of a conversation but Facebook & Twitter? I’m just not sold on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like for helping professionals. There are plenty of people who tell me it is working for them, and if that’s great!. I believe there are lots of pitfalls with social media, not the least of which is your understanding that they are technical tools and not strategies that form the backbone of your marketing efforts.
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  • Find a good balance between effort and interruption. As a consumer, I become annoyed when people’s well-intentioned efforts, hard work, and persistence turn into self-indulgent blather. Consider the first three lines in this email I recently received: “David, we are so sorry you missed our webinar? Demand was so high that we sold out immediately. We want to make it up to you and…”
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  • Sometimes, good old fashion advertising works. The element of surprise or being the only one using an advertising channel can bring forth added awareness. Don’t discount advertising altogether, just be sure it conveys a message that is consistent with your brand.
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  • Organize your efforts around making a difference in people’s lives versus obsessing about how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors. You’ll be amazed at the result by simply making this shift in your approach to marketing.
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