In theory, if you want a new client, all you need to do is make your case and ask for the business, again and again and again. Does that approach work? Well…sort of. Ask enough people and eventually someone will say “yes.” But in the process, you run yourself ragged. The time and energy you spend chasing clients could go toward improving other areas of your business. Worse, you end up on a demoralizing “feast or famine” rollercoaster—constantly in flux—where business is either booming or business is a bust.
“Too many companies rely on existing clients to send new business their way,” says Satterfield, author of the new book The One Week Marketing Plan: The Set It & Forget It Approach for Quickly Growing Your Business. “This strategy subjects you to the whims of fate. You’re at the mercy of whatever random company happens to come knocking. You must stop what you’re doing and chase the new lead, whether they’re really right for you or not. It’s exhausting—and, frankly, not very effective.”
In The One Week Marketing Plan Satterfield explains exactly how to end this perpetual pursuit of new business and bring high-quality prospects to your doorstep. He lays out a step-by-step, “set it and forget it” system entrepreneurs and small business owners can put in place in just five business days. And with his five-point philosophy, he dispels what so many business owners think about marketing:
- Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or confusing.
- You can have a highly effective marketing system up and running, doing what it’s supposed to be doing in a week.
- The key is to focus on a system rather than a series of unconnected activities.
- Ultimately, successful marketing is all about developing relationships first and selling things second. Anyone can do this.
“We’re told marketing is hard,” says Satterfield. “That it requires weeks of brainstorming, months of analysis, and years of consistent implementation. To succeed in marketing, you need the fortitude of General Patton, the genius of Don Draper, and the cash reserves of Warren Buffett. Wrong. One week. That’s all it takes for most businesses to dramatically improve their marketing.”
If you’re ready to stop chasing clients and get them to come to you, read on to learn more about Satterfield’s One Week Marketing Plan. Of course, in reality it may take you more than a day to execute each major step. And if it takes a bit longer, that’s not a problem. Just make sure you don’t let inertia place its hold on you.
DAY ONE: Choose Your Niche Market. In 2009, Matt Sonnhalter switched the focus of his advertising and marketing agency from B2B industrial manufacturing accounts to working only with companies that sell products to professional tradesmen. To further set itself apart, Sonnhalter Advertising created a new category of business: Rather than be a B2B company, of which they would be one among thousands, Sonnhalter dubbed itself a B2T or “business-to-tradesmen” agency. This niche focus has had a tremendous effect. It has brought in many new business leads, attracted business from large global brands, and earned Sonnhalter a spot on BtoB magazine’s top agency list from 2009–2012.
“Finding his niche gave Sonnhalter access to a wellspring of business,” says Satterfield. “Many businesses resist niche marketing because they think focusing on a niche will mean they’ll miss out on opportunities outside of that particular area. But the truth is, focusing on a niche helps you stand out from your competition and eliminate many of the potential objections people have about doing business with you. In short, the key to attracting lots of new clients is to have a marketing message that speaks directly to a specific group.
“When it’s time to choose your niche, the best place to start is with your current list of clients,” he adds. “Look for common industries and functions, whether one group is spending more on your services than another, who’s easier to sell to, who you enjoyed working with, and so on. Building on your current strengths is one of the easiest ways to become the predominant expert in a particular area.”
DAY TWO: Create Your Free Offer. Once you’ve chosen which niche market to target, it’s time to draw them in. A great way to do that is by giving them information they want in the form of a free report. Your free report is the first step in the client attraction process. It serves two purposes. First, it helps you build credibility and trust with prospective clients. Second, it allows you to provide prospective clients with enough information that they believe you know what you’re doing but not so much that they can do whatever they need without hiring you.
The first step to writing your free report is to choose an attention-grabbing subject. Here’s what you want to consider: What’s the biggest area of pain for your target audience? What are they most afraid of? What are they most curious about knowing? As you develop the content of your report, Satterfield recommends carefully balancing how much information you include. He says the best formula to follow is to tell your readers what to do and what not to do, but not precisely how to do it. Then, top it off with a compelling title.
“If you still need proof that this works, consider that it greatly improved the business of an online perfume retailer,” says Satterfield. “What could an online perfume seller possibly give away for free online to draw in customers? After all, you can’t download digital scents! No need, because this business owner knew his customers. He knew most online perfume buyers fear paying for an expensive perfume but being sent a cheap imitation. So, the owner wrote a free report, ‘20 Ways to Spot a Fake Perfume.’ And it changed his business. He now has an email list with 18,000 subscribers, 5,000 friends on Facebook, and more than 100,000 Twitter followers.
“Now, you might be thinking, I’m a business owner, not a writer! There’s no way I can write a compelling free report,” he adds. “For those who feel they can’t do it, I do recommend outsourcing this task to a professional writer. There are great websites, like Elance.com and Guru.com, that can help you connect with professional freelance writers.”