Do you need a marketing plan to grow your expert business? Are you doing reasonably well but want to do a lot better? Would you like a daily plan to follow that will not only prove your expertise but will also bring clients to you: consistently?
There is a way to do this. There is a plan to follow to grow your expert business. Let me guide you through it. It is pretty much the plan that I followed when I started my own expert consultancy business, except that it is now full of the things that I learned along the way, sometimes a long way along the way and also having spent a lot of money to learn them.
I have split the expert business start up marketing plan into different parts but what I would say is that regardless of where you are, you should read them all as you may be missing some fundamentals which could scupper your progress or worse still derail it completely.
Click the button below to receive it now:
Part 1 – The Marketing Essentials Plan
There are some things that you absolutely must have in place as soon as is practically possible, if not before.
These items must be in place if you are serious about growing a successful expert business. Let’s look at each of them in turn.
1. Email list
You might not have expected to find your email list as the first item on the list, but it very much is exactly where it should be. Yes, your website is coming up soon, but your email list is your most precious asset in any expert business.
Without it, you are very unlikely to sell anything. Ever.
By and large, people do not buy your services from your website. They might find you through your website, but to ultimately buy your services they need to believe that you are really the expert that they have been looking for. How do they reach the point that they believe in your expertise from not having known you?
Your regular email communications with them, that is how.
Every week they should receive something from you which proves beyond any doubt that you really are an expert. Once they believe that, the next part is to ask them to get in touch. Your weekly email will tell them the best way of doing this.
I told you at the beginning of this article that I will share my biggest and most expensive learnings with you. Well, this is the most painful. I didn’t start my email list for nearly 18 months when I set up my expert business. That mistake cost me tens of thousands of pounds of lost income. I don’t want you to make the same mistake.
Don’t worry about what you are going to write.
Don’t believe that you have no one to add to it yet so there is no point starting your email list yet.
Once you start it you will soon find that you are adding people to it on a daily basis and I can share what you need to write about.
I promise you that starting your email list now, today, will be the best thing that you ever do for your expert business.
If you would like to know the software that I recommend for email marketing, simply download the resources guide at the foot of this page.
Whilst you may have viewed LinkedIn when employed as a fairly painful toy to use, it can be a real asset in your own business.
The fact of the matter is that in the early days of your business your new clients are most likely to come from people who already know you. Maybe they are people that you have met through industry events who always liked you but had no way of working with you as you were already employed, or maybe they are friends or contacts of these people.
Now I know that a lot of experts feel that they want to make a total clean break from their past employed life, but if you want some money coming in, more likely than not it is going to come from or through people who already know you.
Rather than fight this, embrace it. LinkedIn is the place to do this.
First, set your profile up correctly. Work out the one area where you believe that you can add real value, then set a title that will appeal to people looking for that help. Don’t put out one of those bland “Looking for opportunities” titles. Be more specific.
For example, let’s say that you are a financial business expert and can save small businesses a small fortune by trimming their outgoings. You might have a title such as:
“Helping companies turning over £250,000+ to cut expenses by 50%”.
If you are a marketing consultant to accountants, you might say:
“Working with Accountants to double their turnover and profits.”
Tell people what you do to give yourself the best chance of success.
Once you have done that, make sure that in the details section you tell people what to do next. Do they need to connect with you on LinkedIn and then message you or should they visit a page on your website and download your free guide?
Once you have done that, set yourself a target of connecting with everyone you know on LinkedIn. Maybe this becomes a part of your daily plan, that you will add 10 people per day every working day (see below).
I give you access to my daily plan in the resources section below.
Next. You must have a website. When I say website, a website that exists on your own business domain name and one that absolutely does not say “Get your own free website from XXX” either.
Think about this for a moment. What does it say to your potential clients if you will not even invest a few hundred pounds in your own expert business? Why should they trust you to provide them with specialist advice when it seems you don’t value your own business enough to even buy your own website?
Now the point here is that it doesn’t have to cost thousands of pounds. In fact, it really shouldn’t.
From time to time I run training courses for Expert Business Owners providing them with a WordPress website then week by week showing them how to customise their website to make it completely unique. This course also explains the pages you absolutely must have, the plugins you need (installed for you form the start), how to write content that converts visitors into new clients and how to ensure that you do all that you can to get your website listed in the search results.
If you are interested in this course, please download the guide below and I will let you know when the next one is starting.
Once you have these three core parts of your expert business marketing plan in place, you now need to move to the daily growth plan to ensure that you continue to attract new clients.
Part 2 – The Expert Business Owners Daily Growth Plan
What is the one thing that stops most business owners growing their business to the size that they would like to deliver the lifestyle that they dream about?
Following a consistent marketing plan.
Whilst you would think it logical that if you have worked hard for someone else for many years that when you set up your own expert based business it will be easy to work for yourself, it is amazing how many business owners don’t achieve this.
When you were employed, you had a boss and he and you both knew what was expected of you. Now that you are your own boss, you need to know what is expected of you too.
What do you need to do as the owner of your business to ensure that it becomes as successful as you want it to be?
You need to follow my Expert Business Owners Daily Growth Plan which has three parts to it:
- Grow and share
However, before I move onto the plan, there is something that you need to commit to right now if you are genuinely serious about growing your business. It relates to the first thing that you do each and every day when you are running your business.
Please let me share with you a secret.
As simple as this is, I promise you that 9 times out of 10 it is the difference between a successful expert business and a failed one.
How you MUST start your day every day as an expert business owner.
You ABSOLUTELY MUST start every single business day of your business working on your business.
You ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT start every business day doing this:
- Checking your emails in the vein hope that someone decided at 3am that they must use you as their expert. That will never happen. Sorry. Tough love an all – but you need to know that.
- Checking your emails at all. As soon as you check your emails, your mind will wonder, your day becomes someone else’s day and you lose the opportunity of growing your business. You waste a day. We have so few on this planet, you cannot afford to do this. You have family or friends that rely on you. Don’t waste your time doing this.
- Going on any form of social media, even if you are a social media business expert. You will become distracted. You will waste time. More importantly, answer this question. How often do you go on social media and feel totally jubilant that you just spent 30 minutes ‘dicking about’ (technical term) and achieving absolutely nothing? I have the answer for you – never. Usually you leave with a feeling of overwhelm. You see business related things because you are a business owner so dozens of American’s try selling you the ‘magic pill’ to grow your business appear in your feed and hours later you leave feeling shattered. You can do nothing now but to sit at your desk with your head in your hands. Don’t do it. You owe it to yourself to be better than that.
This is so important, which is why I stress the point. If you tell me that you are serious about growing a successful and profitably expert based business but you spend the first part of every day wasting your time, you are kidding yourself and all of those that rely on you to provide an income. You are better than that.
Start work every day working on your business by following my Expert Business Owners Daily Growth Plan of creating, publishing and growing your reach.
If you are going to become AND be seen as the expert in your niche, you need to create content which is incredibly useful for your target clients. Without this you will never attract more people to your business and even if you do you will not convert them into new clients.
If you think it is hard to come up with ideas, don’t worry. It is really easy. For example, if I wanted to come up with some of my prospects most pressing questions I would head to Google and start typing “How do consultants/business experts/…” then Google would start giving me a list of common searches into Google. If I select one of them and carry out the suggested search, at the bottom of the page of search results Google will then provide me with another 10 suggested search terms under the heading of:
“People who searched for this also searched for these search terms”.
You now have 10 to 15 article titles or blog posts. If you prefer video, you have 10 to 15 video topics, although my advice would be to ensure that you include the transcript below video on your website otherwise it is pretty much useless in terms of attracting new visitors to your website. Why? Google needs words to work out what your website is all about. Whilst everyone else out there is fixated on video, words are still an absolute must. (Aside – this reminds me of one of my favourite mantras – “if everyone else is doing one thing, do the opposite”. Whilst all the other ‘experts’ are spending hours making video and advertising on facebook, I keep adding valuable content on my website to help experts grow their business and with that I grow my reach and my business…).
Ideally each new article should exceed 400 words and be as much as (or even more than) 2,000 words. Some people like to read a lot of content before deciding whether you are a good fit for them, others like to skim read headings and images. You have to please both types of you are ruling out half of your potential clients from finding you.
The other key point to remember is that you have to have enough words on the page to allow Google to work out what you do so that it can send more visitors to your website.
I can always tell when I have a call with a business owner whether they generate any business from their website or not simply by looking at the number of pages and the amount of content on each page.
When I speak with an expert who has five pages and about 1-200 words on each page I can confidently state “So you don’t get any business from your website then?”
They are always surprised that I know this, but when you know how Google works it is really quite straightforward.
A small expert website with very little content EQUALS no visitors and no clients guaranteed.
A large website with lots of pages all with 400-2000 words on will generate a lot of visitors and a lot of enquiries for services. If I speak with a client and I can see they have a website that fits this criteria but they tell me they are not getting any new clients from it I am always very excited. I know that with just a few simple changes (usually little or no cost) I can improve the website and make their telephone ring or their downloadable guide to be downloaded.
So spend your first part of every day working on creating the killer content that proves you know your onions. This article has been created on several of my ‘first thing’ morning tasks, creating content for you Mr or Mrs Expert Business owner. Hey, on that note, if you like it, please let me know. It makes it all worthwhile. Add a comment below for me and I promise I will reply to you.
There is much more of this…
If you like what I say so far, you will love the resources which accompany it, including a checklist and essential resources guide. Click the image and let me send it to you now:
2. Publish your content
This is your time to edit some of your previously written content but only takes place when you have spent AT LEAST 30 minutes writing new content. You must spend your first part of the day creating.
It may be that you edit content that you prepared on a previous day, or as you get quicker at creating content (it will happen, trust me) that you edit the content that you have just prepared.
If you are doing this, let me give you some advice. Walk away from your screen, stretch your legs, grab yourself a cuppa and then come back to editing. You need to move away from your content before you come back to edit it.
Once you have edited it, get it live on your website to give yourself one more chance of Google finding your website and sending new visitors to it.
3. Grow your reach and share your content
Now that you have your lovely new content, let’s grow your contact base and share it.
It should be in this order too.
First – grow your reach.
Second – share your content.
This might be as simple as finding five or ten of your perfect clients on LinkedIn and requesting to connect with them.
It might be emailing some people that you haven’t been in touch with for some time. My advice is to first ask how they are and how is business and then let a dialogue develop before inviting them to download your guide or set up a call.
The key thing is to do something every day to grow your network. Make this a habit and then in no time you will discover that each time you post some content and email it out to your email list (which of course is growing every day with your action) you will get someone contacting you or reaching out to find out more about your services.
Good idea, no?
Part 3 – How are you going to sell your services?
This next part is crucial. If you are now creating content every day, growing your network and sending them something of value via your email marketing newsletter, isn’t it time we got down to the nitty gritty of selling some of your services? After all, you are not going to have a business for long unless or until you sell something.
In the next part I will explain my biggest breakthrough in terms of the pricing of services, but now let’s look at how you are going to encourage people to ask you about the services that you provide.
First, let me break down some myths that you may have come across when looking for help online. It is important that I do this because if you are after a quick fix, selling millions of pounds worth of services that you don’t even have to deliver, you are definitely in the wrong place – see my home page for more on that.
This is not how you sell your business services:
- You spam the world with facebook advertising;
- You drive everyone to a pre-recorded webinar;
- You give a tiny piece of value; then
- You sell your services en masse without much effort.
In my experience (and I have a lot of it in this arena), even for those that sell this model it doesn’t actually work that well and more importantly requires spending tens of thousands of pounds every month to make it work at all. Even then it barely breaks even.
Nope. I am afraid I teach a model that involves a little more of your effort but which is proven and will allow you to build a consistent, sustainable business.
Here it is:
- Share your valuable content with your audience;
- Invite them to set up a call with you if they would like to learn more.
This is it in a nutshell.
Why does it work? Well, if you have done your job well and created content that has engaged your audience, some of them will want to discover more. Not all of them, only about 3% of the people on your email list will be ready to engage your services at any one time, but that will easily be enough to enable you to build a six figure expert business.
Therefore, when these people read your latest email, they will want to take some action, so you have to tell them exactly what they need to do next.
You might do it like this:
If you would like to discuss how this might work in your business, why not set up a quick “Name Of Your Call” with me? Simply reply to this email or Click here to schedule a time to talk
Notice that there is no hard sell; you are simply inviting them to discuss how what you have shared in your email could help them in their business. You are offering to turn your generic advice into specific advice which is very valuable to any potential client.
From this call you will not be hard selling but instead ‘hard serving’ your prospect. You will add plenty of value so that at the end of the call, if you have discovered that they are a good fit for your business as much as you are for theirs, your offer to take the next step is not a sell but simply a natural progression of the call.
If there is nothing else you can do for them at the time, you simply thank them for their call, follow up with a summary of your advice and then when they reply thanking you for the call, ask them if you can quote them on their thanks (which then encourages more people to have these calls with you).
Click the image below to receive the accompanying resources for this Expert Business Owner Daily Marketing Plan.
Part 4 – How much are you going to charge for your services?
What is it though? If don’t know – feel your way, but charge something. Ask what your perfect clients want. Don’t base on what other consultants do. Do it your way. You make the rules now that you are in business. Make it the business you want. Focus on your skills.