A client asked me the other day whether marketing online still works for people like us - coaches, trainers, consultants and other experts because he thought it was not as easy as it used to be.
My answer was a resounding yes to both questions. Yes, digital marketing is and will be a great idea for expert businesses like ours. And yes, for a lot of people it seems not to be working as well as it used to.
What that tells us is that it is time to innovate and these are some shifts that will disrupt the status quo when marketing your business on the Internet.
1. Communication Of Value Wins
My personal definition of marketing is communication of value. The world leaders from the past, the present and the future have been great communicators of value.
The first foundational shift for online marketing success is to uncover the value you bring to the table and unapologetically communicate it.
Here is a place where I firmly believe an expert business is set up to win because our contribution to the world is often invaluable.
The landscape is too crowded with people peddling “just a product or a service” but your audience attention is wide open for true communication of value.
2. The Client Journey Wins
Everybody is talking about funnels (and selling you the same funnels that everybody is using and failing at).
A foundational shift is to stay focus on your client’s journey. Where are they when they discover you? Where are you taking them from that moment on? How are you going to add value each step of the way?
People who struggle to market online concentrate on extracting value as soon as possible.
We, experts, have the opportunity to add value each step of the way.
NOTE: The word value is tossed around so here is my definition: to add value means to get a person closer to the outcome they desire.
3. The Obsession With Conversations Wins
When people think about marketing online, they get this obsession with automation.
Lots of things can be automated… except the all so necessary conversations with potential clients.
When people need to make a decision to work with someone and get help in crucial aspects of their lives, they usually need to have a conversation. (Pressing a order button to become a client is more than often NOT enough).
4. Producing Successful Clients Wins
An important shift is shifting from “online products and programs” to a relentless focus on the success of our clients.
Can marketing help produce successful clients?
If we embrace the shift into a kind of marketing that adds value and concentrates on championing the success of our audience, then… yes, it can.
Key to this conversation…
Happy clients don’t refer.
Successful clients cannot help but refer. (People naturally ask them how they became successful in a certain area and they naturally share you with those people).
This distinction takes away all the built-in pressure (mad sometimes nonsense) of working to make something to “become viral”.
5. Straightforward Answers Win
Your audience is not made up of experts in your field. What is a matter of great discussion and deliberation to you and your colleagues requires a straightforward answer to your audience.
Go back to answer those burning questions for them with straightforward answers. That adds immense value.
PRO TIP – Not sure what are the questions your marketing should be answering? Open an account at Quora and you’ll find the burning questions from your audience. You can start adding value there right away (and turning some of those questions and answers into valuable content).
I believe great experts, coaches, trainers, consultants and other self-employed professionals should win and… online marketing done right is one of the smartest ways to make it happen.
With love and online marketing