More Clients - the Online Marketing Newsletter
for Independent Professionals
from Action Plan Marketing
and Robert Middleton
In This Week's Issue: How do you market your services without overselling or underselling yourself?
The Middle Way of Marketing
I believe you can market yourself with dignity and integrity. Perhaps I'm alone in this but I don't think it's necessary to hold your nose while you go about marketing your business. Marketing is not a necessary evil. It's simply a way to communicate about the value you offer.
But it's easy to look at marketing negatively. I think it's often a reaction to what might be called "Sleazoid Marketing." This is marketing that strains the bounds of credibility. It's all hype and hyperbole. All flash on no substance. And as Independent Professionals that's the last way we want to be perceived.
So we swing the opposite way. We hide. We think that no marketing at all is better than sleazoid marketing. We do the best job we can with our clients. We are humble and self-effacing. We pray for referrals. We hope for discovery and recognition, but would never do anything to make that happen.
I've worked with many people in my Marketing Action Groups over the past year. And I see a lot of the hiding mentality. Whether it's developing an Audio Logo, networking or writing an article, it's all very painful - in resistance to what they believe marketing is. It's hard to come out of hiding because they think they'll be transmogrified into a sleazoid!
Wouldn't it be nice if there was some middle ground to marketing?
I've discovered that there's a "Middle Way of Marketing" that you can actually live with. If marketing were a scale, on the far far left you'd have someone who is completely hiding who they are and what they can do; at the far right you'd find the marketing sleazoid who would do and say anything to make a buck.
The middle way is the path of truth in marketing.
When you're marketing from the middle way you're more focused on what the client gets than what you do. But you're also conveying unadorned value, benefits and stories that build your case. Without going over the top and without being overly modest you're simply communicating what's so.
Ultimately all marketing emanates from a point of view. The middle way of marketing is simply a point of view that's more closely aligned with reality. For most, this feels more authentic, more natural. And it's actually a lot easier and fun to do marketing from the middle way.
To summarize the three points of view: The Hiding Point of View "I'm not worthy" - The Sleazoid point of view "I'm the world's gift" - the Middle Way Point of View "I have real value to offer." Which feels best to you?
Take a look at various aspects of marketing from these different points of view.
Hiding: I'm not really sure what my clients want or need.
Sleazoid: I know what my clients need better than they do.
Middle Way: I work to understand the needs and concerns of my clients.
Hiding: I'm uncertain if my services really make a difference.
Sleazoid: My services are the answer to every single problem.
Middle Way: I know I have valuable services that can help.
Hiding: I can't think of many stories about my clients' success.
Sleazoid: I've performed literal miracles for my clients.
Middle Way: I have stories and examples that prove my value.
Hiding: When I get my second Ph.D. I'll feel competent.
Selazoid: I'm the best person on the planet to offer these services!
Middle Way: I know what I'm doing. I'm competent and professional.
Hiding: I try my best but I'm not sure that's enough.
Sleazoid: Clients never appreciate what you do no matter how hard you try.
Middle Way: I can be counted on to always serve my clients' best interests.
Hiding: People really don't want to know about my services.
Sleazoid: If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull---t.
Middle Way: I need to educate my prospective clients about what I do.
Hiding: I'll do absolutely anything my clients ask of me.
Sleazoid: I'll go the extra mile if I get around to it.
Middle Way: I first put my attention on the needs of my clients.
Hiding: I don't want to be pushy about what I recommend.
Sleazoid: All my clients buy my biggest package whether they need it or not.
Middle Way: I will make recommendations that are based on what I can really deliver.
Hiding: I can't really charge much for my services.
Sleazoid: I'll charge whatever the market can bear.
Middle Way: I charge a fair price for my services and give value in return.
Hiding: I'm just grateful my clients use my services at all.
Sleazoid: My clients are suckers waiting to be fleeced.
Middle Way: The relationship with my clients is one of mutual respect.
As an Independent Professional, which point of view can you relate to the best? If it's the middle way, you have a workable formula for marketing yourself, and isn't this the way you've always wanted to market yourself anyway?
The More Clients Bottom Line: To market yourself without sacrificing your integrity you need to find the "Middle Way of Marketing" where you speak the truth of what you can do, neither underselling nor overselling yourself and your services.
New York and London Workshops are Filling Fast
The response to the announcement about the workshops in New York and London has been great! I'm really looking forward to leading these workshops in two of my favorite cities.
The dates for New York are Sat, July 16 for the Workshop and Sun July 17 for the Intensive.
The dates for London are Sat, July 23 for the Workshop and Sun July 24 for the Intensive.
All your questions about the workshops will be answered on the links above, but I wanted to emphasize a few things that I think are important about these two workshops.
1. Preparation Work. For most workshops you just show up and get what you get. In this workshop I give you a few hours of preparation work. You'll come into this one with more clarity about marketing than you leave with in many workshops.
2. Interactive Format. In this workshop, instead of stuffing your head with more ideas, we actually work on practicing the most important part of marketing - the "marketing conversations" that generate attention, interest, desire and action towards your services.
3. Practical Information. It's all about what you can really use right away that interests me, not a bunch of clever marketing tricks. When you leave the workshop, your ability to communicate powerfully about your business will have increased substantially.
4. Learning That's Fun. A lot of people dread marketing and are worried that a marketing workshop will be difficult and stressful. This couldn't be further from the truth. I think this stuff is a blast. The workshop is not only fun, we laugh a lot.
5. Follow-Up Program. After the workshop, we get you together with fellow participants in small groups that meet by teleconference for two months. In these groups you have the opportunity to practice what you learned and start implementing it in your business.
6. Deposit Holds Space. Not only are these workshops affordable, you only need to pay a small deposit to hold your space. Once you've made your reservation you get the perparation homework and you're on your way!
I'm very proud of this workshop. I've spent over 15 years developing it. I sincerely hope you'll consider participating with me in New York or London in July.
If you can't attend the workshop
I know everyone can't attend a workshop. The next best thing is the 12 CD set of my Marketing Mastery workshop from last year. It's one of the best workshops I've done and it was all recorded professionally. You can order it with the InfoGuru Manual...
If you already have the Infoguru Manual you can order the CD program on the manual home page. You'll need your username and password. If you've misplaced these, let me know.
Until next week, all the best,
ACTION PLAN MARKETING
Cracking the Marketing Code for Independent Professionals
210 Riverside Drive
Boulder Creek, CA 95006
© 2005 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 http://www.actionplan.com for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses."
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