Are you looking for a natural way to market your professional services? What if you could exponentially multiply the number of motivated, pre-qualified prospects you reach in a fraction of the time that networking and referrals require?
Now what if you could be the person in a crowed room with whom everyone wants to talk about your services? And no, they don?t want to sell you something?they want to buy what you?ve got.
Too good to be true? Not if you know how to leverage the knowledge you get paid for every day as a professional service provider. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, sharing what you know is the #1 fastest way to attract more clients.
Hands-down, the two best ways to do this are by writing articles and giving talks.
In this month?s e-newsletter, I?ll give you detailed guidelines for packaging your knowledge that really work. Next month, we?ll cover where to look for knowledge-sharing opportunities and how to make them happen.
STEP 1: Get Inspired
If you?ve been reading this e-newsletter since at least February, you may recall that issue was all about how to get started with using your expertise to attract clients. Get inspired by re-reading your February issue or read it on my website at http://turningpointemarketing.com:8080/icms/icms.php/cs/21/linktarget.html?cs_news_ref=14&COMP=dated_items.
If you?ve done the basic things outlined in the February e-newsletter, you?re ready for Step 2. Before you move on, make sure you?ve:
? Brainstormed a short list of problems your clients have that you can solve
? Written a few paragraphs describing the problem, the lost opportunity, why this is important to address, what will happen if it?s ignored, what your solution is, any tips you have for implementing your solution, and an example can you use to illustrate your point
STEP 2: Attract Attention for Your Knowledge by Giving it a Compelling Title
Copywriters have a bag of tricks that are used on us everyday in the marketplace. They skillfully use words as tools to persuade us to do things. Like it or not, you need to adopt some of these tried and true approaches in your own marketing materials.
Trust me, clients will not clamor for your services just because you?re really good at what you do. You?ve got to motivate and persuade your target audience to take action.
By the way, these principles apply to all of your marketing tools: website, direct mail, brochures, flyers, newsletter, press releases, value-adding freebies such as checklists, etc. Bottom line: you?ve got to catch and hold your target audience?s attention, if you?re going to convince them you?re the right solution to their problems.
This is very how-to stuff, but stick with me. If no one reads your article or attends your presentation, it doesn?t matter how brilliant your content is. So you?ve got to hook them with a WIIFM (What?s In It For Me?) title that gets their attention.
Rules for Writing Good Titles:
In a nutshell, it?s all about the WIIFM. One of my favorite Marketing Gurus, Robert Middleton, has nicely summarized how to write an attention-getting title. According to Middleton, a good title?
1. Is clear and easy to understand (?Time Management Techniques?)
2. Targets the audience (?Time Management Techniques for Managers?)
3. Includes core benefits targeting the reader?s self-interest (?Managers, Save Two Hours Per Day With Better Time Management?)
4. Leads the reader into the article or talk (?How 20 Managers Saved Two Hours a Day With These Time Management Techniques?)
Secrets from the Copywriting Pros for Compelling Titles:
The following titling approaches are what the pros use that really work:
1. How-to titles: Start the title with the words ?How to? or ?How (target audience), followed by a benefit.
2. X# of ways titles: Implies a system or process that?s easy to master: ?Five Secrets for Improving Your Golf Game.?
3. Contrarian Titles: Tongue in cheek: ?Ten Ways NOT to Attract New Clients.? Shows you have a sense of humor.
4. Fun titles: An interesting or fun twist that is hard not to read: ?How a Graphic Artist Who Wouldn?t Network and Couldn?t Make Cold Calls Found All the Business She Needed Using Her Dalmatian.?
5. The word ?these?: The word ?these? draws you into the article or talk to find out more: ?Do you Make These Mistakes in English?? Remove the word ?these? and it loses its impact!
6. Story titles: Set up a story: ?They Laughed When I Called Myself a Marketing Expert... But When the Dollars Started Rolling In...?
To learn more secrets from the pros for getting attention for your expertise, keep reading?
Richard Bayan, author of Words That Sell: The Thesaurus To Help You Promote Your Products, Services, And Ideas, offers a lot of good ideas for sharing your knowledge in compelling ways:
1. Write to motivate and persuade: This is not about a sales pitch for your services. It?s about clearly articulating the WIIFM in words that will get your target audience nodding their head in agreement, saying, ?Yeah, you really understand my situation.?
2. Use ?grabbers? to get your audience?s attention:
? Open with a question: ?What if you could??? ?Wouldn?t you like to??? ?How many times have you said to yourself??? ?Do you struggle to???? Open with a statement: ?You?ve probably noticed that?? ?Let?s face it?? ?_____ may determine the future of your business.?? Open with a challenge: ?If you?re serious about?.? ?Make time for?? ?Say ?yes? to??? Use heading and slogans: ?Some straight talk about _____? ?Your shortcut to?? ?Don?t take chances with??
Go ahead?give it a try. Use some of these techniques to spice up an article or talk and see what kind of response you get. You?ll be pleasantly surprised at what happens.
Next month, we?ll look at how to get you in front of the right audiences to put your attention-getting articles and talks to work in promoting yourself.
? 2004 TurningPointe Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. We encourage sharing and publication of Your Monthly TurningPointe in whole or in part if copyright and attribution, including live web site link and email link, are always included. Please let us know where and when it will appear. Thank you!
Bayan, R. Words That Sell. Lincolnwood, IL: McGraw-Hill, 1984.
Lant, J. Cash Copy. Jeffrey Lant Associates, 1992.
Middleton, R. InfoGuru Guide, Action Plan Marketing, 2001.
Putman, A. Marketing Your Services. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1990.
(c) 2004 TurningPointe Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved.
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