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More Clients
- the Online Marketing Newsletter
for Independent Professionals
from Action Plan Marketing
and Robert Middleton

In This Week's Issue: Here are some ways you can let your clients contribute to you, making a difference to everyone in the process.


More on Contribution

Last week I said: "The greatest contribution you can make to others is allowing them to contribute to you."

I asked you to offer some examples of this in your business. And I got some very good responses that I'd like to share with you. Applying these in your business can not only be fulfilling, they can also enrich you in the year to come.

Robert Bystrom has an aphorism he shares with all his clients:

"Appreciation is the lubrication of a successful organization."

Monica Premo sent this:

My contribution is to let other business professionals serve on your Board of Directors or advisors. As independent Professionals, we have to take care of the whole business and don't have expertise in every area. By allowing others to share their expertise with us, we help them as well as ourselves.

Matthew Miller offered this:

The biggest and most important way I know of to accept contributions in business is to ask your clients what you can do to improve. They'll almost always be happy to tell you, once they realize you're truly serious about the question. Don't be hesitant when asking and realize that most folks who ask this question aren't really serious about it, they're just giving a popular idea lip service. Give your clients time and reinforcement to show you're really serious and they'll get into it with gusto.

These two ideas by Jenny Mallos are great:

Idea #1: Invite subscribers and clients (past and present) to attend a free teleclass to share about their greatest success over the last 6-12 months and how they managed to achieve it. Ask what limiting belief or paradigm they shifted in their life and what were the results. It's a chance to acknowledge themselves and to potentially contribute to other callers (and me!).

Idea #2: Invite the same people to a free teleclass to share what has been the best piece of advice, insight etc. provided via my newsletters/website/coaching, the difference it made and also what would they like help with in the coming year, i.e., what is their most pressing issue?

And Sue Edwards took it even further:

A year ago I approached a recruitment firm with a suggestion that they align themselves with a professional coach (guess who!) to provide coaching to the candidates that they place to truly set them up for success in their new job. I saw this as a fantastic way of differentiating the recruitment firm's service. (I'm a leadership coach who specializes in working with leaders taking on challenging new roles or moving to new organizations and experiencing enormous pressure to perform.)

What was transformative for me was this... as excited as I was about MY vision of what the service would look like, after I gave my pitch I simply listened and allowed the leaders of the recruitment firm to contribute their own ideas. As they expressed their resistance... talked about their own immediate needs... conveyed their understanding of their client's needs... I ended up with enormously valuable gifts of contribution.

This one conversation literally ended up defining much of my business development strategy for the subsequent year and has formed the basis of my core plans for the next two years.

Initially, their contribution was one powerful question... "How can you make your coaching more accessible to more people?".

Before I knew it, the list of marketing contributions they provided for me grew to...

1. Posting a regular column of articles that I write on their website which has a much wider audience than I would ever reach on my own. The column generates client leads.

2. Publishing and printing a book I wrote (involving a significant financial investment on their part) and providing it as a gift to all candidates they place, reaching hundreds of different organizations each year.

3. Inviting me to meetings with decision-makers in their client organizations.

The beauty of it is that in making these contributions to me, they are giving value-added contributions to their clients and are, of course, providing a contribution back to themselves. And so the collaboration ripples outward.

And as a parting reminder, Lisa Evans contributed this:

The truth is... we could all use more acknowledgment in our lives. Being recognized and reminded of who we really are by another is one of the greatest feelings in the world. We all have the ability to wield this incredible magic at any time and yet so often we hold back our praise. It truly is the best gift you have to give and it's the best gift to receive.

Thank you for all the contributions. It sure made writing More Clients easy this week! Next week's issue will focus on creating a goal that will motivate you for the rest of the year.


The More Clients Bottom Line: When you let others contribute to you in your business and in your life, great things happen - both to you and the ones who made the contributions.

Happy New Year everyone!


The Between Christmas and New Year's Sale

Buy anything on the Action Plan Site between Christmas and New Years and receive a $10 instant discount. Just click on the link below and it will take you to our products page where you can order The InfoGuru Marketing Manual, the Web Site ToolKit, the Action Plan ToolKit and more.

As you know, I don't have sales very often, so if you'd like to save a little money before the New Year, I urge you to act now!


Until next week, all the best,

Robert Middleton

Cracking the Marketing Code for Independent Professionals


210 Riverside Drive
Boulder Creek, CA 95006

Contact by email

© 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 for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses."

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