I have spent some considerable time trying to focus on exactly what my services are, to whom. I have met many professional people who also describe themselves in more than one way, for example “I am a trainer, consultant and coach”. Or they answer my question of “What do you do?” with “Its complicated”. I am still mastering my own strategy but I found the following useful in fine-tuning the options. I call it the 3 Ms of marketing success.
1. Market. To whom are you offering your services? Describe your ideal client by title, profile, size of business (turnover, employees), geography, their need, problem, challenge or goal.
2. Message. What is your value proposition? Your service, its features and the benefits to the customer. I found it helpful when a friend asked me “what are you leaving behind when you complete an assignment?”
3. Medium. What channels are you going to use to reach your market? Tip. Identify and test all of them. Referrals, networks, advertising, trade associations, press releases, direct mail, email campaigns, social media, presenting at seminars, workshops and conferences. Are there any in this list that you are not currently using? Try and test.
You should complete the 3Ms for every service offering you have. This then becomes your marketing strategy, helps you focus your efforts and budget and allows you to continue to fine-tune according to what is working. It does not stop you responding to ad-hoc opportunities, however it will help when you are answering that question “what do you do?”.
Here is the video of 3 Ms to Effective Marketing
The Week: I seemed to have caught up with my networking activities this week by attending four different events! I started with Enterprising Women and another useful free workshop “Marketing on a Shoestring”. This covered theory and techniques. http://www.enterprising-women.org/. Sadly I had to dash off at the end to join the KPMG Luncheon Club. Wednesday evening saw me in the Grand Jury Room of Colchester Town Hall attending a CIPD event “Organisational Development in Practice”. This was interesting in that the main part of the workshop focused on the importance of change management in the process. www.cipd.co.uk So home late and up early the following morning for a a regional IOD breakfast with a presentation by Stuart Tootal DSO on “Leading in Complex Environments”. www.iod.com Stuart led the 3rd Para Regiment representing our first entry into Afghanistan. His wise words included “Managers do things right, leaders do the right things”. Part of the proceeds from his latest best-selling book “Danger Close” goes to The Afghanistan Trust www.afghanistrantrust.org to help returning injured soldiers and their families. On other days, I prepared and sent off my direct mailing (whew) and now eagerly await the results of my Telemarketing professional!. Also preparing for the London Highflyingdivas Forum on Tuesday 22nd Feb, hosted by HM Revenue & Customs. http://hfdlon.eventbrite.com.
Reading for the Week: “Kickstart Your Business” by Robert Craven was recommended to me this week. Apparently it is an easy to read, practical guide to dramatically growing your business. Part 1 words, Part 2 worksheets.
Lighter Reflections When we lived in The Netherlands, I took my dog Baron to Dog Agility. Although he is rather large and “big-boned”, his bouncing style did get him around the course quite quickly – with my poor self puffing and grunting along behind. So, I suggested to my friend Paul, who owns Baron’s girlfriend Pebbles, that we might find a local Club and go together. Paul offered to take us all in his taxi. So, I sit in the front and the dogs are ferried around like royalty in the back of the cab. Baron sits on the seat with Pebbles on the floor at his feet resembling a scene from ” The King and I”. We have been a couple of times. The first time, there was a very large grey Labradoodle called Ridley. The following week Ridley appeared to be there but looked slightly darker. I asked his owner, “Is that Ridley?”. He replied “No its Albert, Ridley belongs to my brother”. Now it says a lot that Ridley and Albert looked similar but their owners are identical! Very interesting when they all appeared on the third week. Baron resumed his agility practice from where he left off. That is, we stand side by side at the start and I run in one direction, following the course, and Baron takes off in a completely different direction to jump, climb or run through whichever obstacle he likes the look of. Pebbles has a different technique. She looks to Paul to assist her through the course. She is, of course, far too beautiful to be expected to do it all on her own. This means that when she runs up the ramp of the A-Frame, she stops, looks behind and waits for Paul to lift her over the top. Needless to say, he does.