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- Ten Dumb Marketing Mistakes -

Are you doing dumb things in your marketing?
Yes, you're doing at least ten of them. Let me count the ways.


We all make mistakes.

And in marketing, most of us make some really dumb mistakes. They wouldn't be so dumb, if we didn't make them over and over and over! Even though they defy common sense and don't get us the results we want, we keep making them.

Why? Because doing dumb things is comfortable. And doing smart things is often uncomfortable. So the material in this eZine just may offend you. After all, we're also very good at justifying the dumb things we do. There's always some excuse, some plausible reason.

In today's eZine I'm going to outline the "Ten Dumb Mistakes" Independent Professionals tend to make with their marketing. And then in the following ten weeks I'm going to propose solutions and approaches to correcting those mistakes.

Ready? OK, here's my Ten Dumb Marketing Mistakes:

1. Being unprepared - Professionals prepare. They know their stuff. They study long hours. They get it right. They have a stake in the outcome. And a big reason Independent Professionals don't attract clients consistently is that they fumble around with marketing much like George Costanza from Seinfeld.

2. Not investing - You spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours and quite a few dollars to master your profession, didn't you? To become a competent marketer of your service also demands an investment of time, energy and money. You won't become a smart marketer overnight or by accident. Stop complaining; you need to commit.

3. Undervaluing yourself - The value you can provide to your clients is literally unlimited. The difference you can make is unbounded. But you'd never know it. A common mantra of Independent Professionals is, "I can't charge what I'm really worth." And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. True self-value = long-term wealth.

4. Not mastering networking - The most powerful marketing strategy for Independent Professionals is, and will always be, building networks of relationships. If you don't master this, you have no real chance of reaching your true potential. Get out there!

5. Avoiding writing - Successful Independent Professionals write. It's the master skill of marketing. If you can't organize your ideas on paper, clearly and persuasively, how can you expect prospects to understand how you can help them?

6. Avoiding speaking - Successful Independent Professionals speak. It's the master skill of selling. If you can speak in front of a group confidently and persuasively, then selling will not be a big hurdle for you. Don't master it and selling will always feel hard.

7. Not leveraging the Internet - You don't need to be an "online business" to take advantage of the Internet. A high quality web site, a regular eZine and posting articles online, are all relatively simple and inexpensive marketing tools that give you amazing leverage.

8. Not asking - People have so much concern about offending someone or being rejected that they simply avoid asking. That's dumb. You need to ask. For time, for attention, for interaction, for meetings, for the business. Want it? Ask for it!

9. Not implementing - If we implemented just a fraction of what we already knew, we'd be more successful than we could imagine. You need to create intentions, action plans and timelines and then set up systems of accountability to make things happen.

10. Not risking - Playing it safe all the time may be the dumbest thing you can do. It makes you weak, fearful and complacent. What's outside of your comfortable little box? Success, joy, aliveness. Swing out there and risk failing for a change.

How do you score yourself on the smart to dumb marketing scale?

Assign a number from one to ten for each of the above ten dumb mistakes. A zero means you virtually never make that mistake. A ten means you make it all the time. Like in golf, a low score is good.

0 - 20 - You're a pretty smart marketer. Keep up the good work.

21 - 40 - Not bad, but you still have some marketing issues.

41 - 60 - You're losing marketing opportunities left and right.

61 - 80 - Pretty dumb marketer. Sure you're cut out for this?

81 - 100 - Hopelessly dumb marketer. Time for a new line of work.

Stay tuned to More Clients for the next ten weeks and I'll share my prescriptions for transforming yourself into a smart marketer. I'll give you one action plan a week that will help move you forward.


The More Clients Bottom Line: transforming yourself from a dumb marketer to a smart marketer is a matter of doing the things that will increase your visibility, credibility and value to your potential clients. Work on improving one area at a time and you'll be amazed how easy it becomes to attract more clients.

What's the dumbest thing you're currently doing in your marketing and business? (Remember, confession is good for the soul!) Please share it with us on the More Clients Blog at:

A Cure for Dumb Marketing Mistakes

The opposite of dumb is smart. You need to do more smart things in your business. Preparing, investing, networking, writing, speaking, asking, implementing, risking, etc.

For the past twenty two years, Action Plan Marketing has been dedicated to helping you do just that. But where do you start? I'd recommend these programs in this order:

1. The InfoGuru Marketing Manual - $69/$99
A complete system for attracting clients.

2. The Relationship Pipeline Audio Program - $29
A blueprint for networking and building business relationships.

3. The Value Pricing Audio Program - $29
A system for charging what you're really worth

4. The Action Plan ToolKit - $49
A complete goal setting, planning and accountability system.

5. The Web Site ToolKit - $49
A tutorial on building a client-attracting web site.

Until next week, all the best,

Robert Middleton

Helping Independent Professionals Attract More Clients

210 Riverside Drive
Boulder Creek, CA 95006

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© 2006 Robert Middleton, All rights reserved. You are free to use material from the More Clients eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear. The attribution should read:

"By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert's web site at for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses."