Monday, November 13, 2006

Establishing The Right Marketing Tools

Like it or not, we are in the marketing business. No matter what our product or service is all about, we'll never survive without marketing. Establish appropriate marketing tools to fit the market or markets you are targeting to create a professional image. Note: Find a good graphic designer as well as a good printer.
* Business cards—Your business card should give the potential customer/client enough information so that they know what you do and how to get in touch with you. The card should be elegant in its simplicity.
* Stationery, second sheets, envelopes and address labels should all be the same stock, color and texture and consistent with your name, address and logo. You can buy customized labels that can be used for larger generic envelopes and packages.
* Create a client presentation kit, using a professional looking folder. You can have your logo and name on it, but keep it simple and elegant. It should have two pockets and usually a die-cut for your business card.
* Testimonials—Potential customers want to know you are capable of accomplishing what you say you can. Even if just starting out, you should be able to develop a handful of satisfied clients. Ask them to state the value they experienced as a result of doing business with you. Always include those testimonials in your marketing pieces, website, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, etc.
* Give workshops, seminars and speeches. In the area of services, whether it be business or legal, give talks and seminars. The more exposure you get the more you will be recognized as an authority in your field, whether it be in an industry or on a particular subject matter.
* Write articles and white papers—Write on issues in which you are proficient. Send them out to known business contacts and to organizations that publish newsletters and publications. When you write on subjects you know about, you are considered knowledgeable on that particular subject.
* Biographical sketch—If you refer to yourself as an expert in a certain field, you should have a biographical sketch that corroborates the source of your expertise. This is not a resume and should not look like one. It should be a brief description of who you are and what you specialize in, as well as what you have accomplished and what is being said about you. You will add to this as you experience new successes.
* Maximize your visibility—Try to contact everyone in your target market with constant communications on issues pertinent to their individual needs.
Most people don’t get this simple marketing truth: Marketing’s job is to facilitate the prospects’ decision-making process and cause them to say, “I would be crazy to do business with anyone but you…regardless of price.” People need to hear what they actually need to know: What makes you and your company special, what makes you different from the competition, and what value does your product or service bring to them over and above their investment. All of the above stated points will help you to differentiate yourself from the rest. Then you don’t have to sell anyone. Define yourself and your value and let them sell themselves.
Source: Jack Hoffmann ( is the president and founder of Milestone Solutions LLC, a consulting firm assisting companies of all sizes in maximizing and growing their businesses by improving organization and people performance.