Self Promotion Is Easy and Fun

By: Michael Port

Stop thinking of marketing in the traditional sense of advertising – the thousands of ads interrupting your day via mail, spam, television, radio and now even movie theatre advertising. These messages seedily creep into our lives and personal space and we resent it. Your self promotion activities will look nothing like this! This is not the kind of marketing I recommend, teach or want you to be doing. Relieved?! Good.

The traditional form of marketing is ‘Interruption Marketing’ because it is designed to interrupt you to get your attention. And isn’t this how most of us view marketing? On the other side of the coin is ‘Permission Marketing’. It’s very different. It’s a term that was coined by marketing guru Seth Godin. Visit him at www.sethgodin.com.

Permission Marketing is all about selling yourself and your services with freedom and integrity. And, I hate to even term it marketing or promotion…it’s all about building trust with potential clients and customers. It’s optimally effective when your clients’ and customers’ needs and wants are put first and you are a solution to their problem.

Permission marketing is the ideal business building strategy for you, the solo-professional. In fact, it may be the only type of marketing you can afford! The law of permission marketing simply states that you are looking to build a relationship with your clients and you will continually offer products and services that will improve their life! Think of a great dining experience you’ve had. Not only was the food fabulous but I’m willing to bet the service was impeccable. Did the server talk about the chef’s specially prepared items and make recommendations? Did they check back to ensure the quality of the food. Were they there to recommend wine, dessert or coffee? Yes, of course, they were. And they always asked for your permission to make suggestions. That way you were anticipating them… and their suggestions were based on your tastes and interests – which they learned over the course of your time together.

You are not a door to door encyclopedia sales man looking to make a quick buck…you are looking to create value for potential prospects long before they start working with you. You wouldn’t expect them to pull out their check book and take a risk on you until you’ve created some value in their life.

Now, here’s the key…. You continually provide more and more permission to contact them until you are servicing their needs in a very deep, expansive and personal way. The focus is directly on your ideal client and their needs. Once your clients’ see the benefits they enjoy as a result of receiving your expanded products and services, they will allow you, scratch that, ask, plead and beg for you to boldly go forward and cater to their specific needs.

See how mutually beneficial this all is? The following strategies will help you service clients first so you can continually court and contact them through a wonderful mutually beneficial relationship. Eventually, they won’t know how they ever lived without you.

There are many fun and easy self-promotion strategies that you can use for maximum prestige and profit. These quick action oriented strategies will educate, inform, and service your existing clients and book you solid with clients that will stay with you for many, many years to come. For the purpose of this article I’m going to investigate the first of these strategies only – Making Invitations

 Free sessions, services or products

Keep it plain and simple…no mystery here. Invite prospective clients to enjoy one service free. You risk nothing (except your time) and have so much to gain

 Conference calls (party lines)

Let’s say you’re a coach or an accountant or web designer… you have so much information that people would love to have. So, prepare a topic that is relevant and timely for you ideal clients and invite everybody you know and meet to join you for a 30 or 60 minute Q & A. www.freeconference.com is a company that will give you free conference call telephone lines for up to 100 people at a time. You can put more of course, but that will cost you. I still do this every Monday at 12pm Eastern. About 150 show up each week for a free conversation on thinking bigger about who they are and what they offer the world. I’ve titled it the Think Big Revolution and it totally rocks. It gives me an opportunity to meet lots of new people that I can help and also provides a forum for me to learn and grow with others. If you’re not a member of the ThinkBIG Revolution join us now by going to www.michaelport.com.

 Demonstrations

Create some excitement and organize a service demo that gets prospective clients involved. Have anything you’ve written available, free reports, etc… Invite existing clients who will speak positively about their experiences. Show off effective techniques, new technologies or improved performance methods you use. One of my clients does this. He’s the Fit Foodie – a personal trainer and chef all in one. He helps people who love to eat but still want to fit into their skinny jeans. Once a month he offers Fit Foodie cooking and eating demonstrations at his house. He invites everybody he knows and they invite their friends and it’s a big party. He teaches people how to cook health food that makes your mouth water and then they celebrate into the night. It’s a blast. Oh, and he has his books available for people to see and browse when they are at his house… and sure he sells some books during the “party" but he’s not hawking them or pushing them. It’s not a natural occurrence b/c he’s offering so much value and not asking for anything in return.

 So take this concept a little further and do Retreats/Seminars

Do a no-cost or low-cost half day retreat on a Saturday. Be playful and adventurous…it doesn’t have to be expensive…just creative. Allow clients to escape for a relaxing educational morning getaway or serve an easy brunch. Do a personal development dinner or an outdoor park BBQ.

You can also do this type of stuff by forming alliances with like minded professionals. Invite professionals with like minded but non competitive businesses to come together and share the powerful benefits of the services they offer. Teach clients some basic techniques that they can implement and experience immediate results. Don’t forget to invite existing clients too so they can mingle and talk about the great success they’ve had working with you. Oh, and delegate some of the responsibilities Other professionals will love the idea and space you’ve created to meet potential new clients…they’ll be happy to contribute…and you’ll know you’re not in it alone.

And why not shake up the location a bit and meet on a grassy knoll, in a park or on a lake. It’ll feel so refreshing for you to get outside, connect with nature and may even inspire a completely different focus from how you typically respond in an office environment. If you want to be outside enjoying the day, why not take a group of four or five with you for a little social outing that they’d enjoy too? Start a niche club that meets the first Saturday of every month. Maybe it’s a stroller saunter for moms…a coffee talk walk… a senior promenade or a doing cool stuff club.

 Product previews

If you are developing a product or already have one…do an exclusive product preview and provide samples of your work or physical products to try out. It involves more of the senses and your prospects can see, taste, touch and feel something before they start working with you. The more valuable, honest and helpful the information, the more likely it is that the person will seek out more information and become a client.

Come up with three ways that you can add value to your clients by way of an invitation.

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For more easy and fun self-promotion strategies join Michael Port live for a three day inspirational business building event called The Self-Employment System. To learn more go to http://www.coachvilleconference.com/selfempsystem2004.html

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