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Balancing Passive And Proactive Marketing Activities5 Min Read

Balancing Passive and Proactive Marketing Activities5 min read


Imagine this common scenario:

You are scrambling around like a mad fiend, completing that blog post, fine-tuning your website, returning a call from a potential client and sending out an email blast to your subscribers.

All at the same time. 

It may feel like there are dozens, hundreds, even thousands of things to do in your marketing. It can be hard to keep them all balanced and in action. And you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and worried that nothing is working.

OK, slow down for a moment. Breathe. 

You can gain some sense of control with your marketing if you realize that there are two kinds of marketing: Proactive and Passive. 

Proactive marketing is about actively promoting your business and services. Passive marketing is about building and maintaining an informational and social foundation for your marketing.

When you understand which is which, it’s much easier to balance these two different kinds of marketing activities. And it also results in more effective marketing overall.

Let’s start with Proactive Marketing

Proactive marketing is about doing a specific promotion for a program or service. 

Proactive Marketing consists of three well-defined steps:

1. Sending marketing communications that appeal to what your prospective clients are looking for. This message may be verbal, by email, or through a talk or other medium.

So you’d better be absolutely clear about whether or not your communication will appeal to your audience and generate enough attention and interest to get positive responses.

2. You next need to have an audience to convey your message to. It might be readers of your blog, people on your email list or a group of people attending a talk sponsored by a group or association. The people are out there, you just need to find them.

This one is a little tricker than the first one, but with some research and trial and error, you can find your audience.

If you do #1 and #2 well you will get some response from qualified prospects who want to know more and are willing to explore possibly working with you. The next step is:

3. Engage your prospects in conversations to discover if you have what they want and then find a way to work together that is mutually beneficial. This is generally called selling, (but that’s a nasty word we’d rather avoid).

This is, by far, the easiest part of the whole process. You meet, talk and explore until you come up with a way to work together that makes sense and looks fun and profitable.

OK, that’s three steps. Is it that simple?

Well sure, there’s a lot of thinking, planning, and action that go into those three steps, but yes, it’s pretty simple. I’ll talk about it a little more below.

You can think of proactive marketing as doing a focused campaign or promotion for a particular program or service. I do proactive marketing for both small and big programs.

Now let’s look at Passive Marketing

Blogging, ezines, web content and social media are Passive Marketing. Passive marketing puts your name and message out there but it’s not direct promotion that requires a response.

Passive marketing doesn’t need to be as urgent and as focused as proactive marketing. It just kinda sits there! You post a blog, improve your website, send out a regular eZine, or respond to someone on LinkedIn.

Don’t try to do Proactive marketing with Passive marketing tools. 

I see a lot of people doing this. They send email after email, post on their blog three times a day, and are constantly posting articles, links and resources on Facebook or LinkedIn and every other social media platform in existence.

But they are frustrated because they aren’t getting the results they hoped for. That’s because Passive marketing isn’t designed for response but to provide information, and build familiarity and trust.

So, relax and have fun with passive marketing. Sure, make your website better, write some great articles, and build your list by giving a report away on your website. Chat with your contacts on social media. Fit it in when you can. But don’t obsess about it.

And yes, once in awhile people will contact you as a result of your Passive marketing. Consider that a bonus.

Balance your Proactive and Passive Marketing

Things don’t feel so urgent and crazy when you put passive marketing and proactive marketing in their right places.

My passive marketing consists of writing this ezine/blog once a week. I do it each Monday and it takes a few hours. Then when I can fit it in I post on social media, update my website, etc.

My proactive marketing is planned well ahead of time. I write emails and sales letters and schedule talks and/or webinars. I put everything on a timeline and execute with precision.

But I only do proactive marketing occasionally these days. For my Mastery Program, it’s annually, for smaller programs I may do it a little more frequently.

And, with this approach, it lets me put my time where it’s most important: Working with my clients. 

Balance your Passive and Proactive marketing and you’ll have a winning combination and less stress.

Cheers, Robert,


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