Marketing your professional services and your efforts to attract new clients to your business could be called “The art of honest influence.”
First, a few definitions:
Art: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.
Honest: free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere; fairly earned, especially through hard work.
Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.
So, in marketing professional services, the art of honest influence is the creative and sincere work to have a positive impact on someone (i.e., your clients).
I think you’ll agree that this is a good thing, something you’d like to be able to do more effectively in your business, right?
So, how exactly do you do it?
First of all, the successful application of any art takes time, dedication, and persistence. Art is not a flash in the pan, it’s not overnight mastery.
You can stop reading now if that’s a turnoff to you!
And honesty is a developed characteristic you learned in your family, through education, and in working for a living.
If you don’t know what it is by now, it’s probably too late!
However, influence is a set of skills that are actually pretty straightforward and can be learned systematically.
If you are onboard with art and honesty, influence is a lot simpler as it doesn’t employ deception or subterfuge.
The means of influence include (but are not limited) to the following:
Education and Explanation or providing accurate and useful information to the client and answering questions the client has to help them understand the value of your offering (what’s in it for them).
Demonstrations or Presentations, essentially “show and tell” where you present to the client exactly how your offering works and the benefits it delivers. Demonstrations are live and interactive, unlike written materials.
Familiarity and Relationship where the client feels they know, like, and trust you. This happens through ongoing contact, interaction, and communication over time.
Yes, these three are the keys to the art of honest influence for self-employed professionals.
If you can do all of the above, you can be a very effective influencer. But you also need to choose and then develop the media to deliver these elements of influence.
Here are the media that I’ve found to be the most effective:
Conversations with prospective clients and those who can connect me to prospective clients. Everyone who becomes a client ultimately has a conversation with me. And I apply all the above elements of influence to that conversation. If you think you can influence as a self-employed professional without conversations, you are deluding yourself.
An Email Newsletter. I integrate all of the elements of influence into my email newsletter. I educate and explain, above all. I draw from my years of experience in my specialty. Most importantly, I build the know, like, trust factor over time. Ultimately, most of my clients are readers of my newsletter.
Presentations such as Webinars. Although I used to do a lot of live talks and presentations, I now only offer webinars. In a webinar, I educate, explain, and demonstrate my ideas and offerings. And doing a live webinar is very powerful in building relationships and trust.
These three media for influencing potential clients and ultimately winning new clients is a simple but powerful three-step system.
The newsletter influences in a low-key, accessible way. This leads to subscribers signing up for webinars. Then webinars lead to conversations. And conversations lead to new clients.
Currently, I don’t do ANY other kind of marketing. No videos, social media, networking, or publishing. And I do it all virtually from my home office at the top of a mountain in a redwood forest. I don’t even own a smartphone!
Can you influence this way? Can you write an email newsletter, do webinars, and have influential conversations with prospective clients?
I’m sure you can, but like anything in life, it takes intention, commitment, study, work, and persistent application.
But, in my experience, this approach to the art of honest influence is certainly easier and more straightforward than any other approach to attracting clients that I know of.
And, as you no doubt know, this is what I’ve been helping self-employed professionals do day in and day out going on 38 years.
In other words, this stuff works!