I commented on someone’s LinkedIn post.
I responded to a newsletter that came to my inbox.
I replied to someone who commented on my newsletter.
None of these things are going to bring me clients today.
And yet, when you do these little things, all day long and every day, there is no more effective way to grow your professional service business.
“Marketing” isn’t a thing you do once a week on Tuesday afternoons. It’s every outbound connection, every day.
Try and do more of these.
I was on a small group networking call and I asked someone, “What kind of work do you do?”
The five-minute-long answer, which I believe had something to do with real estate law, included several detailed descriptions of changing regulations and their implications.
Here’s the thing: The point of telling people what you do is not to impress them.
It’s not even about getting them to hire you; the chances of them needing you, right now, are exceedingly low.
It’s simply this: To get them to understand and remember what you do.
This way, in a week, or a month, or a year, when someone they know mentions a problem, your name pops up as someone who can solve it.
If your description of the work you do doesn’t feel to you like a painful oversimplification, you’re not doing it right.
He was writing to make fun of the fact that the subject line of my “Today I” from earlier in the week was: “Today I … resent my newsletter.”
He wanted to know why I hate my newsletter (resent).
Of course, I meant “re-sent,” a frequently used word by those of us who live newsletter-centric lives.
But it was a good reminder that our world view is not necessarily shared by our clients, prospects, readers, or older brothers.
Are you marketing to yourself, or to the people you are trying to influence?
I sent it to those who didn’t open it the first time I published, last Friday.
I do this for nearly all my clients’ newsletters too.
Typically, we see a 50% increase in opens (e.g., a newsletter with a 20% open rate adds another 10% on the second send).
Does it annoy some people? Maybe.
But many people appreciate the reminder. Which group do you care about more?
Our last umbrella met with an untimely death during a recent windstorm.
I bought the umbrella from Overstock, an online everything store that sends me an email every … single … day.
The last email of theirs I opened was on May 28th. Today, with “replacement umbrella” on my mind, I opened another.
Timing is a critical element in selling anything, whether that’s an umbrella or a professional service.
Until I have a problem that needs solving, it doesn’t matter how compelling your service, how attractive your price, how wonderful your web site, or anything else – I’m not listening.
If you can find a way to stay in front of people over and over again – publishing a newsletter, joining a networking group, sending stay in touch emails, volunteering in industry associations, etc. – you have a good chance of being top of mind whenever the next windstorm hits.