The Fast Way to Win More Clients. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 102, Jacob talks about Marketing. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Good day, Blackborders! For every business of 20, 50 or 100 staff that I walk into and talk about vision, strategy, culture, growth plans, I get three times as many questions from businesses who say, I need more clients and I need them fast, what do I need to do? Now, they’re all looking for a magic bullet and of course, there are no magic bullets.
However, I often point them in the direction of this process because I found from my experience in my businesses and from applying this in more than 20 businesses around the world, that this creates sustainable lead generation and clients for your business.
This is most valuable if you’re a startup, if you’ve got a new product that you’re releasing to market or if you’re taking your current product or service into new territories. However, any business that needs a bit of a marketing push without a spend on advertising will find benefit from implementing this research-lead marketing approach.
It’s critical at this stage that I point out for this to be successful, for you to genuinely get results from this, you do authentically need to focus on the research, not just the marketing. However, clients dropping out is undoubtedly one of the side effects and I’ve not yet had somebody who’s gone through this process and not found themselves almost full with clients as a result.
So where does it start? Well, it starts up here with your business, your product or your service which you think is a solution. It’s actually going to help some people out there in the marketplace.
There’s too many businesses that are created in a basement that are actually a solution in search of a problem. They don’t know who they’re working for, what problem they’re really solving. They’ve just built something that they think’s pretty nifty and they’re wondering why nobody will buy it. This definitely applies to them.
Even if you’ve got existing customers, if you’ve proved the concept that you’ve got, this is a way to magnify the reach that you’ve got. What you want to do is go out and learn more about those target clients, those ideal customers that you want to work with,you want to put your solution into. Because they will invariably be experiencing some sort of pain that you can solve or facing some kind of change in their industry.
One of the joys of being in a fast-moving technology environment, is that there is always change going on. So the first thing you need to do is work out who you want to go and do this research on? Who are those ideal clients?
The second thing is to work out what the focus of your research is going to be. That may be as simple as saying that for professional services that have a lot of experienced staff, technology is facing some change. Put the word change into any business and you will find business owners who are aware of it and they’re a little bit concerned.
Your focus is understanding those businesses, understanding the nuances of your target market. That’s what you’re researching. Your next task is to go out and talk in person to at least ten of those target clients. You are not allowed to sell in those conversations.
You will get those meetings by picking up the phone, not by sending an email, by picking up the phone, introducing yourself and introducing there search that you’re doing. Hi, I’m Jacob Aldridge from businessDEPOT. I work with a lot of professional services businesses and I’m doing some research into what impact technology change is going to have on this sector and I really appreciate your help. Help is the magic word here.
Again, you have to authentically be seeking to understand what’s going on for them, not using it as an opportunity to go and sell. Great business owners and they’re the ones you want to work with will make themselves available for you to come out and for them to share their experience, for them to help you with your business, with your research.
So talk to at least 10. Now, some of those in those meetings, they might actually engage. They might say, hey how could you work with me? What do you do? Tell me more about your services? The best case scenario I would advise you to park that conversation for a separate meeting. Look, I’m out here today doing this research. Why don’t we catch up next week and have that conversation.
Now, research talking to ten will give you some useful information and for some people I’ve done this with, that’s as far as they’ve gone. They’ve got useful data from ten people to be able to go out to other ideal customers and share those stories, share those experiences. Hey, I was talking to someone in a similar business three suburbs away last month and they were saying that this was going on. Are you experiencing the same thing? Bang, your expertise is coming through now just as a result of having those conversations.
If you’re going to pursue the full research project, you really want more quantitative data as well. Find a way to actually ask a few survey questions of at least 100 people within that sector, that industry or that target market.
From a scientific perspective, only talking to 100 people through an online survey is not going to give you data that’s going to end up in a peer-reviewed journal but that’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking to promote your business, to get your solution in front of more of your ideal clients and getting this much data is going to help you do that enormously because you’re now going to be able to use that information.
The qualitative from your ten interviews, the quantitative from your 100 plus survey results to start putting together some documentation. What are the findings, what are you hearing? What are the most common concerns, pain points, what change is actually going on in that industry? Can you put together a bit of a white paper that might be eight to ten pages nicely laid out with some graphic design that communicates those findings?
Stick that on your website for a free download or even put it behind an email sign up so people have to give you their email in order to read that white paper massively valuable for your ongoing sustainable marketing engine.
You could leverage that to PR and I’ve put a percentage there. This is one of the joys of having more than 100 responses is that you’re able to say things like 87% of professional services, business owners, are worried about the impact AI is going to have on their business in the next 10 years.
The media, journalists, newspapers, other bloggers love things that have got that kind of 87% thing in there. So even though 87% of statistics are made upon the spot, you will get more PR mileage as a result of having some of that data, not just being able to spin a yarn. If you really do a great job and you really want to build a business around this product or solution, I would definitely encourage you to take that white paper, to take the findings in the data and to actually launch it at an event or even to run an event around your region, around your country where you share those findings.
Send out those invitations. You’re going to have to invest a little bit in a venue and some drinks, but suddenly, you’ll find yourself standing up in front of 10 or 20 or 100 of your ideal clients and saying, this is what I found, this is what’s going on. Guess what? I have a solution.
That’s not going to be something you can create in a week. That’s not going to fix the cash flow crisis if you can’t make payroll on Friday. If you’re growing a sustainable business, this is a way to actually demonstrate your expertise. You know what I also have found? Is that often, at the end of that process, the solution that that business, that your business is offering has changed, it’s evolved.
It’s no longer what we thought was the best way to do it or the best marketing message to get that out, now that we have a better understanding of the sector, of the different needs, changes, pain points that they’re going through, we can provide a slightly different or a dramatically different solution.
A better solution demonstrating the findings that you’ve discovered through your research and actually adding value through how you communicate those findings, that positions you as an expert, that makes your website so much more optimized from a search engine perspective, that helps get you in front of those ideal clients every day even when you’re sleeping. Now, that’s a way to find more clients and to find them fast.
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