Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

How to get more clients from your newsletter or blog

Leigh asked me a great question yesterday. She wanted to know why her newsletter, which has over 5000 subscribers, generates very few client inquiries for her consultancy.

As Leigh was making a mistake, common to lots of newsletter publishers and bloggers, I thought I’d share my answer with you.

Building your list

The root cause of Leigh’s problem, is that she is doing everything possible to build her list. This is the mantra of pretty-much every content marketing guru and newsletter / blogging course out there.

It’s also total, utter bullshit.

The numbers

If the purpose of your newsletter or blog is to generate business leads from prospective clients, then your focus should be on quality, not quantity. It’s about building meaningful, deep relationships with the right people, not shallow relationships, with a wide, vague readership.

For example: If you have just 50 engaged subscribers, who value your newsletter or blog and are a perfect fit for your services, you have a valuable list.

If, like Leigh, you have 5000 poorly-targeted people on a list, who you gained using list building techniques, you’re wasting your time and money.

An alternative approach

Get out of the list building mindset. Stop chasing the wrong numbers.

Instead, focus exclusively on earning the attention of your prospective clients. Learn about their most pressing challenges. Then, publish answers and ideas, which will help them. Become a valuable asset, before they need your services.

If you get too few client inquiries from your newsletter or blog, it’s probably because you’re building a list, rather than creating connections with prospective clients.

In short: Go deeper. Not wider.

How to get your marketing noticed by the right people

If you want to enjoy better response rates from your marketing messages, you need to know 2 things.

  1. Your prospective clients have never had so many people, fighting for their attention. Whether they are at work, at home or on the move, their computers, phones and tablets are feeding them endless notifications.
  2. You need to understand how they cope with all those messages. They actually do the same as you — They filter out the noise and focus their attention on those they can trust.

So, adding to the noise is not going to help you.

Earning the trust of your marketplace is a far better strategy.

Here’s something for you to think about

If building trust was the foundation of your marketing messages, how would it improve the way your marketplace feels about you and your business?

Tip: Here’s how to create marketing, which people want to receive.

How to be an overnight success

overnight success

Here are some proven examples, of how to be an overnight success.

  • Angry Birds creator Rovio became an overnight success, after 51 less successful games, 8 years of hard work and almost going bankrupt.
  • Harry Potter author JK Rowling, became an overnight success in 1997… though she started writing fantasy stories as a child, more than 20 years earlier.
  • The Beatles become an overnight success, after playing more then 1000 gigs.
  • The fastest selling Kickstarter book ever, was written by Seth Godin. Most people say it took around 3 hours. Godin said it took around 8 years. That’s how long it took him, writing blog posts almost every day, to build a big enough community to reach his Kickstarter target in 3 hours.

The overnight success formula

So, here’s how to be an overnight success in 2 steps:

  1. Choose the date you want your overnight success to happen.
  2. Work hard for years, leading up to that date.

Be extremely cautious of anyone suggesting otherwise.

A valuable business lesson, from Twitter!

Twitter

If you want to learn from the success of others, copy their strategy rather than their tactics.

Just like Twitter

Twitter succeeded because it was the first, mass market, micro blogging service.

The hundreds of start-ups who tried to copy what Twitter did, failed. They copied Twitter’s tactics, rather than their strategy. Twitter’s strategy was to create a unique form of communicating and connecting.

If those start-ups had built their own, unique way to communicate and connect, they would have created something with the potential to succeed. Instead, they failed, because the people who wanted a service that was just like Twitter… used Twitter!

It works like this

By copying the tactics of a successful business, we become a clone. A copy. Something unremarkable.

By copying the strategy of a successful business, we can create something of our own. A remarkable original. A valuable proposition.

Tip – Here’s the best post I’ve written on this subject: My name is Jim Connolly and I am a freak!

Puppies look cute when they beg, but business owners don’t!

When we see a puppy begging for attention, it looks incredibly cute.

When we see a business owner begging for attention, it makes us cringe!

We all need help at the start

At the very beginning, every business needs to push it’s message. No matter how remarkable, amazing or unique your business is, no one will know about it unless you get it in front of people.

Then, once you have pushed your business under the noses of friends and contacts, and advertised it to your target market, it’s time to listen. If your business is remarkable enough, you will see a snowball effect.

  • People will start talking about you.
  • They will share links to your website and pass your details to their friends.
  • They will call you, email you and ask you for more information.
  • As a result, more and more people will know about you, talk about you or hire you.

Or not.

So, what do you do if people hear about your business, yet it just doesn’t interest them enough to buy from you or talk about you?

When all you hear is crickets

If your business is more then 6 months old and your friends and your best contacts, along with those who saw your advertising, are not spreading the word, buying from you or you’re not attracting very regular inquiries, take heed. It’s time to find out why and fix it — to build a new proposition, which people are interested in.

Here’s what doesn’t work: Begging people to be interested in something that’s uninspiring. That approach is what happens when you refuse to fix the problem. It’s a low leverage, low profit, frustrating and reputation-damaging way, to slowly go broke.

  • Pestering people with unwanted phone calls.
  • Sending them emails they never asked for.
  • Sending needy messages using social networks.
  • Bugging people on forums and community groups.

These all have a negative impact on the way people think and feel about you.

The answer is as simple and as challenging as this

Instead of looking for new, cheaper ways to beg for attention, invest in developing a better proposition… something people will want to spend money on (and share).

Tip: Read this – How to build a successful business. It’s packed with ideas and examples for you to use.

Why the average business fails and how to avoid it!

Here’s what we know, for certain, about your industry: The average slot has already been filled. There are more than enough average providers, offering an average service.

Trying to out-average your average competitors

This represents a huge challenge, for those who want to grow an average business. How do you out-average all those average service providers?

Of course, you can’t.

This is why the average business goes broke within a few years and why those that survive, only do so because the owner has resigned themselves to working hard, for very little reward.

An alternative approach

Another way to grow a business, is to walk away from average. Average may feel familiar, but it’s not your friend. It’s hurting your business, which means it’s hurting you and your family.

Instead, get specific. Get specific about what you want to achieve and the kind of clients or customers you want to work with. Then, become obsessive about providing that valuable niche with exactly what they want.

It’s a lot more rewarding, than wasting another 5 or 10 years trying to grow an average business.

How to create marketing, which people WANT to receive!

Maybe one of the most important questions in marketing, is this:

Would people miss my marketing, if it went away?

If the answer is no, then your marketing is simply adding to all the noise out there. The challenge, is that people do everything possible to avoid the noise. So, your marketing is largely ignored.

However, it doesn’t need to be that way!

An alternative approach

Instead of selling, build a relationship with your prospective clients or customers. Become a valuable asset to them, before they need you.

How?

Here’s a tip: This blog post is marketing. Think about that for a moment…

How to find an extra 35 hours a week

By far, the question I get asked more than any other, is: How do you find the time to write as often as you do?

Here’s the answer

I don’t watch TV. The ‘average’ person watches between 5 and 6 hours of TV a day (it varies from country to country). By avoiding it, I have an extra 35 hours a week available. I use some of that time to write.

Here’s a great question for you: What would YOU choose to do, if you were able to find an extra 35 (or even 5) hours every week?

Bonus question: How would that improve your life?

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