[Legacy post: Small Business Talent] My guest on the podcast is C.J. Hayden. She’s the bestselling author of Get Clients Now!: A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches and The One-Person Marketing Plan Workbook.
For more than 20 years, C.J. has helped solo professionals like us to get clients, get strategic, and get things done. C.J. takes a highly practical approach to everything she does — teaching her clients what really works to successfully market a professional services business.
C.J. has taught marketing courses for John F. Kennedy University, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Mills College. In addition, C.J. regularly writes on sales and marketing for a variety of publications, including RainToday, Eyes on Sales, and About.com, to name just a few.
In this content-rich interview C.J. and I discuss:
- Her inspiring story of overcoming adversity to become an entrepreneur
- The often overlooked mistake that will crush marketing productivity
- How independent professionals can create a marketing action plan
- Ways to get unstuck and start connecting with more ideal clients
The bottom-line? If you want to discover the critical ingredients to successfully marketing your services, then this interview is for you! (Scroll down to the Podcast Player below and listen now.)
There’s a major trend that has been unfolding slowly but surely for years now. It’s having a significant impact on self-employed professionals everywhere.
This trend is driven by an escalating corporate obsession. That is, an obsession with creating efficiencies through the use of technology, aggressive outsourcing and cyclical corporate downsizing.
As a result, more white collar professionals than ever have been forced to take the plunge and work for themselves. Many others have decided that job security is essentially dead. They’re testing the waters and preparing to leave the corporate world and start a business of their own.
What’s the impact of this trend on you and your professional services business or solo practice? You’ll be seeing more and more new competitors pursuing your best prospects and clients. This is a situation that can’t ignored.
The real challenge? You’ll need to stand out among an ever growing number of professional service providers in your field or face increasing commoditization and decreasing profit.
My advice to you is heart-felt. If you’re in this for the long run, commit now to continually growing your sales, marketing and business knowledge and skills.
Along those lines, I have some resources to recommend. Here are Amazon links four books that have been extremely helpful to me as a business owner:
Market Research – The New Business Road Test, by John Mullins
Some people will tell you that real entrepreneurs don’t rely on market research; they just fly by the seat of their pants. Unless you have time and money to burn, ignore them. This is the best book I’ve read on the topic of market research, targeted to entrepreneurs.
Business Model – Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder
Your business model is how you bring value to the people you serve, while keeping your costs under control and staying profitable. There are a lot of wordy and confusing books written about this subject. But you won’t need them if you buy this incredibly innovative and useful book.
Business Planning – The Plan-as-You-Go Business Plan, by Tim Berry
You could waste a lot of time writing a formal business plan. With that said, it’s still important to think through the basic elements: what your goals are, why they’re significant, and how and when you’ll achieve them. I recommend the flexible, informal approach in this book to any independent professional.
Sales – Same Side Selling, by Ian Altman and Jack Quarles
If you sell professional services in the business-to-business space, then you know how challenging it is to engage prospective clients, gain their trust and prove that you’re different from the competition. This book delivers a unique and powerful approach to selling that will bring ideal clients to your side of the table.
The ideas that all these authors share are innovative and results-oriented. Every independent professional can benefit by reading these outstanding books.
Of course, I realize you may want guidance that goes beyond these book recommendations. I would be happy to point you toward additional new business development approaches and high quality resources that I’ve come to trust as a business owner over the past 14 years. If that might help you — send me a confidential email at firstname.lastname@example.org with some basic information on your business, the target market you serve, and your current challenges. I look forward to hearing from you!
[Legacy post: Small Business Talent] Today my guest on the podcast is consultant, writer, speaker and coach, Leanne Hoagland-Smith. I met Leanne through her Increase Sales Blog and it quickly became clear to me that her forward thinking perspective, willingness to challenge the status quo, and ability to simplify complex sales issues make her a rare find.
Leanne works with a variety of entrepreneurs like us, as well as top sales performers and small to medium sized businesses to help them break through to their next level of success. As Leanne points out, all of us can learn to more efficiently qualify prospects and acquire more of the high potential clients we want.
If you’re ready to stop wasting time handling needless sales objections and obstacles, then you’re going to find Leanne’s advice refreshingly different and powerful. Scroll down to the Podcast Player below and have a listen now!