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Ad Hoc Marketing Does Not Work

?I?ve tried direct marketing and it doesn?t work.?

?I went networking once but it didn?t bring me any new clients.?

These are phrases that I hear on a regular basis. It?s a bit like saying ?I had one ice skating lesson and still didn?t win the first competition I entered.? Instead of falling over and hurting yourself, you need to invest in a number of lessons and do plenty of practice, to make sure that you reach the right standard. Sending one piece of direct mail without researching it first and doing any follow up afterwards is unlikely to get you any results. In the same way, going to one networking meeting isn?t enough time to allow new people to get you know you properly. When you provide a service such as coaching or consulting, your prospective clients need to trust you before they will share their problems with you and part with their money. You need to build up a relationship with them.

When I first starting helping coaches and consultants with their marketing, it was commonly thought that it took up to six ?touches? with a prospect before they would buy from you. This meant that a prospective client might, for example, meet you at a networking meeting (1), they might read about you in a press article (2), read an issue of your newsletter (3), hear you speak at a presentation (4), be recommended to you by one of your clients (5) and visit your website (6). With the development of social media, this number can be reported to be as high as 40 touches! Whatever the number, what it means is that you need to keep doing your marketing on a regular basis, using the right mix of activities, so that you ?touch? your prospects as many times as is needed, to build up the right level of trust, before they will buy from you.

When you?ve decided how many marketing activities you?re going to use to promote your business, you need to look at how many times you need to do each one and over what period of time. It?s about doing the right number of the right number of things. You can?t choose 10 activities and only do each one once.

Planning your marketing also means that when someone comes along with a great offer, for a one off activity ? such as an advert in a magazine or a stand at an exhibition ? you?ll know whether or not it?s worth you doing it. If you know that advertising in certain publications works, go for it. If you know that you don?t have an exhibition stand and you?re not comfortable standing around handing out leaflets, you?ll find it easy to turn it down.

Take a look at all the online and offline marketing activities that do. Are any of these ad hoc or can they all be done on a regular, sustained basis? Is it time to refine your marketing?

This is an excerpt from my book, Magnetic Marketing. To read more ongoing marketing that will help you grow your business, click here to order your copy.

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