The Secret to Getting Your Business Off the Marketing Rollercoaster


Published on - For so many small businesses, it’s the same rollercoaster story. You’re marketing, market-ing, mar-ket-ing until you reach the crest, then you’re plummeting to the bottom, madly servicing clients until…the clients or projects run out and the momentum is gone. Then it’s the uphill marketing climb again.

The secret to consistent results isn’t flashy or cool. It’s not the latest bright, shiny object (social media saves the world!) Fun and cool new tactics can be great additions to your marketing toolbox, but the real key to generating a consistent stream of clients is downright boring.

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  • To launch this presentation, I asked every participant to share his or her biggest frustration with marketing and sales. Some of the most common responses? Getting the attention of your prospects, being consistent with your marketing because you’re constantly “putting out fires,” and generating qualified leads. For so many small businesses, it’s the same rollercoaster story. You’re marketing, market-ing, mar-ket-ing until you reach the crest, then you’re plummeting to the bottom, madly servicing clients until…the clients or projects run out and the momentum is gone. Then it’s the uphill marketing climb again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.The secret to consistent results isn’t flashy or cool. It’s not the latest bright, shiny object (that’s right, social media, I’m looking right at you.) Fun and cool new tactics can be great additions to your marketing toolbox, but the real key to generating a consistent stream of clients is boring and fundamental.The answer is: SYSTEMS.You need systems in your marketing to create consistent success.A person doesn’t become a black belt by going out daily and flinging themselves around the mat with the latest moves. A black belt practices the same seven fundamental moves. Over and over again.
  • Why have systems for marketing and sales? To stop spinning your wheels, to break the feast or famine of sales & marketing and get a steady stream of ideal customers into your pipelineWhen you have systems, you don’t have to waste time guessing what to do next; you just work your plan.When you have systems in place, and a discipline established, you will be able to leverage your time and increase the results because one marketing element builds on another. Let’s take a look at seven core marketing elements you can build systems around.
  • Should you jump in and implement all of the Magic 7 marketing elements at once?No way. Tackle them one at a time. Pick the one that you’re most comfortable with, or the one that you think will generate the most “low hanging fruit.” It doesn’t matter where you start, just focus on one. Get your tools and tactics down and your schedule in place. Once it’s humming along, then you can move to another of the Magic 7 marketing elements.
  • For each of the Magic 7 marketing elements, I’m going to share some marketing best practices. I’ll also throw in a marketing ninja trick here and there. Networking.To be really effective with networking, you’ve got to be what? Systematic about it. Pick 2 or 3 groups and really get involved. Serve on committees, hold office, chair events. This level of involvement will help you become more visible, more respected within the organization. It will create a deeper connection between you and the other members, and it will help you develop your leadership skills.When it comes to networking, some people feel shy or sleazy. A simple mindset shift can change your attitude and your results. (How cool is that?) The change is to shift your focus from yourself (how many cards can I give out today? Oh, I hope this person wants to buy my ----, c’mon, buy it…) to the other person. Listen intently and focus on how you can help that person. It doesn’t have even be business help. If you meet someone with a brand new puppy and you can recommend the best training video for housebreaking a mini dauchshund, you’ve created a connection far deeper than the standard card pitch. So focus on being a “go giver.”You’re building relationships for the long haul.When it comes to picking your networking groups and events, a good rule of thumb is to spend 50% of your time networking with clients/prospects and 50% with other professionals. Don’t spend all your time in your own industry! Where can you find networking opportunities? Check out the Michigan Business & Professionals Association, local chambers of commerce, networking/leads groups like BNI or Local Business Network, trade associations, or your newspaper’s events calendar.When it comes to networking, the cardinal rule is you must FOLLOW UP. Like the tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it, did it really matter that you met the person if you don’t discipline yourself to follow up? Nope.
  • Direct Outreach is a way to categorize the Magic 7 marketing element of reaching out to one person at a time. There are endless tools to perform direct outreach: letters, calls, email, postcards, brochures, fliers. The Rules refers to what your offer must have to not be “spammy” or “salesy”. It’s got to be targeted (no “dear sir or madam”.) It must be individualized. The outreach should be legitimate, not fake (hurry - we’re having our annual going out of business sale!) And finally, it should be valuable to make the interruption you are creating worthwhile.Don’t just think prospects – connectors and COIs need outreach love, too!Here’s a marketing ninja tip: when you are reaching out, don’t overwhelm the person with everything about you, your business, your products and services, blah, blah, blah. Instead, focus on one idea (a new massage technique that reduces stress by 75%.) Have only one action you want the recipient of your outreach to take (go to your website and watch the 3 minute video promoting the stress relief that other clients have experienced.)
  • Don’t just make haphazard attempts to get referrals. Be systematic. Set aside one day each week to examine your referral process and how you can ramp it up. It may only take 10-15 minutes, but actually sit down and do it. What are the details of your referral interactions? Identify each part of the process and look at where you can improve it. Do you know who your biggest fans are? The ones who refer you without your having to ask? How can you create more of them?Make it easy for someone to refer to you. Give your clients, family, friends, colleagues all the information that they need to talk about you and your business. Is there is a short of list of trigger questions that indicate a need for the product or service that you offer? Write them down and share those with your referral sources.When you do receive a referral from someone, you should do all the work. Don’t make your referrer go back to ask additional questions. It’s your opportunity now. Make the most of it. Reward generously. Reward your referrers just for talking about you, just for trying, not only for closed sales. The good feelings will encourage more referrals.Don’t forget to use the electronic tools available to ramp up your referral network. Include social media sharing and forward to a friend widgets in your online communications.
  • Web StrategyWhen it comes to your business’ web strategy, there’s an important point I’d like to make. Your website should be your online hub. That means that your website is where all of your information lives, where your content (articles, tools, checklists, tips sheets, etc.) lives, and where you always lead your visitors. Don’t get me wrong – you can (and should!) have profiles and links elsewhere on the web. Just don’t rely on a Facebook community page or Squidoo lens for your business web presence. Your business website is the online real estate that you own. With Facebook, Linkedin and other sites, you’re only renting. The site owners can change the rules at any time. Your website is your tool to build your business’ Know, Like and Trust factor. Knowing, liking and trusting a person and a business is how people make their buying decisions. Use your website to build your Know, Like and Trust factor by expressing your (or your business’) personality. So many websites focus try so hard to be “professional” that they’re completely sterile. Use your website to build credibility. Testimonials can help. A good testimonial will demonstrate the problem your client was facing, then the benefit that he or she received after using your product or service. Content marketing is another great tactic to build your Know, Like and Trust factor through your website. Include tools, tips, articles, and checklists on your site. They’ll provide value to your visitors and they’ll actually do some of the work for you. It’s like cloning yourself over and over again. If you plan to market to your website visitors after they leave your site, you’ve first got to capture their information. You’ve got to get permission to market to your visitors after they leave. A good way to do this is to offer visitors what is sometimes called “an ethical bribe” to enter their email address or other contact information. It could be a coupon for an introductory service, a free report, a checklist or 30-day trial membership. Try to create something that your visitors would find valuable. Finally, on your website, be sure to create a clear path for the visitor. What do you want your visitor to do first? What next? Create a clear path and have a next action on each page to pull the visitor through your sales education process.
  • Speaking and EventsThere’s no question that speaking and events are a terrific way to market your business. Prospects get to experience you and your business to really ramp up your KLT! The opportunities are wide open - wow can you get yourself out there? It’s not just standing in the front of a room. There are so many ideas you can pursue to get prospects experiencing your business:traditional speaking, conference calls, demonstrations (hair stylists, organizers),tours (decorators, , makeovers, retreats, niche clubs (cool stuff clients would enjoy; product review club) seminars…Go deep: organize a conference call using a service like, record the call and upload to your computer using This gives you a way to share your expertise over and over again, without you even being there! That’s leverage, my friends.What to talk about? You can brainstorm a list of topics based on the questions most asked by your prospects and clients, from magazine articles, interview industry experts, ask clients for suggestions, have a Q&A call.By planning and holding events regularly, you’ll always have something to invite people to.
  • PublishingLike speaking, publishing articles is a sure fire way to build your credibility as an authority. But what if you hate to write? No problem! Writing is a skill that you can learn, or you can collaborate with a writer, or flat out hire a ghostwriter. Not only can you generate leads and increase your authority by being published, you can repurpose the content to live on and on. Distribute it to online article directories, related websites and newsletters, in your own newsletter, on your website, send out link to your mailing list, distribute reprints, post on ninja trick:Focused topics are much more compelling to the reader and easier to write about than broad or generic topics. For each topic you want to write about, brainstorm how you can narrow the focus.Human Resources > Healthcare for Employees > 4 Ways to Reduce Healthcare Costs for Your WorkforceDon’t forget important marketing real estate: the author resource box. In the author box or blurb at the end of the article, include your name, your area of expertise, your business or offer, a specific call to action and contact information with links.
  • Keep in TouchHaving an efficient and effective keep-in-touch strategy is a cornerstone of your business’ marketing program. Without it, you’re starting over each time that you talk to a prospect or client. Using keep in touch vehicles helps to make you top of mind for your prospect and client and continues to build that Know, Like and Trust factor.Just like I mentioned in your Web Strategy, it’s important that you get your prospect or client’s permission to add them to your keep in touch vehicle. Never add someone to your newsletter list without permission!When you are reaching out to clients and prospects regularly, use content to add value. It might seem like more is better, but actually small, bite sized, and useful is the way to go. People are now overwhelmed with so many messages and emails and marketing communications that they could be intimidated by lengthy content and put it away for later, when they have more time (and we all know that “later” never comes!)Your keep-in-touch tools are similar to the tools used for Direct Outreach, but repeated. Email newsletters (sometimes called ezines), printed newsletters, postcards, mailers, conference calls, anything goes.If you’re going to keep-in-touch, you’ve got to have a database, although the type you use might differ, depending on whether you’re keeping in touch online or offline. Online tools: Constant Contact, Vertical Response, MailChimp, AweberOffline tools: ACT! Goldmine, Salesforce or Outlook
  • Just like I cautioned at the beginning, don’t tackle all your marketing elements at once! You’ll only create a frenzy of ineffective activity that will leave you frenzied and exhausted. Start with one marketing element, get it working like a well-oiled machine and then move on to the next. It’s important that you truly commit to establishing systems around marketing your business to achieve consistent results. Here are a few quick tips:Create a weekly schedule with daily time breakouts. Stop multitasking and focus on one, just one thing at a time. You’ll be surprised at how much more you can produce, because you’re not distracted jumping from one task to another. Block out time for your most important business building tasks.For networking, log all your events on your calendar for the next year: weekly group meeting, lunches that you’ll set up, weekly coffee dates with referral partners. Find ways to use templates and tools without making your business impersonal.Outreach: planned on calendar, booked at the beginning of the year.Newsletter – editorial calendar, consistent day and time.Events offered by you – plan the preparation time, calendar your topics in advance.Speaking – have a list you’re following up on weekly or biweekly.Alliances – same thing.
  • SystemsPlan out the activities that you’ll perform daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. Then, (and here’s the hard part) sit down and DO them.
  • The Magic 7 Marketing Circle
  • Systems really are the secret to getting your business off the marketing rollercoaster. When you put your systems in place, you’ll start a generating waterfall - a continuous flow of prospects and clients.
  • The Secret to Getting Your Business Off the Marketing Rollercoaster

    1. 1. The Secret <br />to Getting Your Business off the <br />Marketing Roller Coaster<br />
    2. 2. Timesaving<br />Efficient<br />Disciplined<br />Leverage<br />Systems<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    3. 3. Magic 7<br /> Lori Nash Byron<br />
    4. 4. Groups<br />Go Giver<br />50/50<br />Follow up<br />Networking<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    5. 5. The Tools: letters, calls, email, postcards, brochures, fliers<br />The Rules: targeted, individual, legitimate, valuable<br />Connectors<br />Centers of Influence<br />Direct Outreach<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    6. 6. Focus<br />Process Improvement<br />Make it Painless<br />Reward Generously<br />Referrals<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    7. 7. Virtual Hub<br />KLT<br />Content<br />Capture<br />Sales Process<br />Web Strategy<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    8. 8. Be Creative<br />Leverage Your Time<br />Always Have Something to Invite Someone To<br />Speaking & Events<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    9. 9. Articles<br />Repurpose<br />Focused Topic<br />Resource Box<br />Publishing<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    10. 10. Permission<br />Content: industry information, strategies, tips, techniques, other experts, product/service offering, special announcements<br />Tools: Ezines, printed newsletters, postcards, mailers, phones<br />Database <br />Keep in Touch<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    11. 11. Start Slowly, Build<br />Commit to It<br />Schedule the Time<br />Templates & Tools<br />Systems<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    12. 12. Systems<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    13. 13. Magic 7<br />GroupsEvents<br />Associations<br />Social Media<br />PR<br />Materials<br />Emails<br />Calls<br />PostcardsDR ads<br />Newsletter<br />Email <br />Offers<br />Tips<br />Other experts<br />Direct Outreach<br />Current Clients<br />Friends, Colleagues<br />COIs<br />Reward<br />Hot topics<br />Publications<br />Repurpose<br />Author Resource Box<br />Presentations<br />Demonstrations<br />Tours<br />Teleseminars<br />Conference calls<br />Articles and tips<br />Irresistible free offer<br />Email capture<br />Clear pathway and call to next action<br /> // Lori Nash Byron<br />
    14. 14. Systems: Your Key to a <br />Steady Stream of Clients<br /> Lori Nash Byron<br />
    15. 15. Lori Nash Byron<br /><br />Follow Me onTwitter: @LoriByron<br /><br />