If you are self-employed, you may have had the experience of contracting a consultant to develop a marketing plan for your business. In my earlier business days, it was frustrating to hear, “Well we never really know what’s going to work or when these efforts will bring in a client. Your plan needs many touches, different types of connecting…”
With a grimace of doubt, I accepted the unknown, resigned to something is better than nothing.
Fast-forward to the present – 2016. I finally get it! Marketing is not a direct transaction but more a process of connections working simultaneously. The bottom line is plan proactively, execute, and be patient.
Here’s my story:
Two years ago, I was a featured speaker for a trade organization. The workshop went well and following the engagement, I entered the participants’ names into my database as I always do so I can stay connected through newsletters, blogs and other business communications. Two years later I receive a website inquiry from one of the workshop attendees. He left his telephone number and we arranged a conversation.
Mr. X mentioned that he had been receiving my marketing communications and appreciated them. He also shared that he was the Program Chair for another trade organization and had an opportunity to bring in a speaker. My eblast kept my name “in front of him.” He went to my website to get a current view of my business, clicked on the video and voila! He liked the segment where I quickly demonstrated improvement in a speaker and thought this process might work for his group. Our conversation resulted in a paid speaking engagement – one of my key marketing targets!
The Marketing process is a journey and mine had these landmarks:
- Participant in workshop shares contact information at seminar
- Contact information entered into business database
- Business sends eblasts, newsletters, event communications, blogs
- Participant reads blog which reinforces business brand and evokes interest
- Interest takes participant to website
- Video on website is viewed , liked and valued
- Participant emails business through website
- Website leads parties to telephone discussion
- Telephone discussion becomes a business opportunity and sale!
Truthfully, I never thought much would come from this local speaking event. However, with time and wisdom, I have learned to dispense with the “probably NOTs” and replace them with trust, possibility and most of all – patience.
Marketing is a process without guarantees, but with focus, intention and patience, it can generate opportunity and prosperity! My bottom line: stretch your patience and stay connected. Good things are bound to happen.