How to get clients: Mistake 4 (marketing channels, part 2)

OK, so you’ve read my previous article where I talked about what marketing channels are and how to identify marketing channels for your niche and your ideal client. However, there’s actually a good chance that you STILL struggle with how to get clients even after you’ve identified marketing channels and are working hard to tap into those channels.

The problem isn’t that you don’t have any marketing channels, but something else.

A story to illustrate

As a kid growing up in a rural part of southeastern Michigan, I spent most of my time in the woods, fields, marshes, and streams with my friends, only going home when our parents hollered for us to come for dinner.

Of course, like any kid those days, I also watched Bugs Bunny cartoons for hours on Saturday mornings–yes, on one of the 8 TV channels available.

Anywho, I still love being outside, and getting my kids outside to explore nature. I’ve taken my kids backpacking in some amazing places, and created memories to last a lifetime.Slot canyon adventure

Several years ago when my son was in kindergarten, I signed him up for Boy Scouts with his school’s pack.

If you’re not familiar with Boy Scouts, typically each school has its own self-directed group–called a pack–that organizes their own activities and is led by parent volunteers. Each pack is broken down roughly by age group–called a den–and each pack has several dens.

While my son’s den was OK, the pack–about 40-50 boys–was essentially out-of-control, and led by a handful of disorganized leaders. As a result:

  • Kids talked–and sometimes shouted–over adults during the large pack meetings. These monthly meetings were sometimes painfully loud, and there were times I’d leave the meetings with a headache.
  • The leaders scheduled virtually no outdoor activities–even though our school is literally 1 mile from a huge wilderness area. (Heck, even without wilderness, you can learn an amazing amount about nature in a city park or even a vacant lot).
  • During the annual campout, a group of scouts whooped and hollered late into the night–far past the campground’s quiet hours which started at 10 p.m. Eventually, I told a random couple of those kids to come with me, and took them to their parents (who’d been watching TV in an RV). The next morning, I got congratulated by a some parents and dirty looks from others.

After those experiences, we switched to a different Boy Scout pack.

The new pack was completely different than the one at my son’s school.

The leaders were organized, the kids were respectful and engaged, and there were more outdoor activities. It turned out to be a far more enriching experience for both my son and me.

What does this have to do with getting clients?

Even though some marketing channels might show promise, you need to test and evaluate as you go along, rather than blindly slog ahead and wasting time along the way.

If something isn’t getting you the results you want, change what you’re doing.

Although it’s possible to spend countless hours, days, weeks, and months trying to get traction within a particular marketing channel, periodically re-evaluate your results.

  • Are you getting any prospects?
  • Are you getting any clients?
  • Are you getting any interest at all?

If you don’t have any clients yet

The problem might not be that you don’t have any marketing channels, but that you’re focusing too much on INEFFECTIVE channels.

For example, for some niches, forums can be an excellent way to find prospects, establish credibility, and build trust.

However, I’ve seen lots of aspiring consultants spend countless hours answering questions, posting on forums, and interacting with forum members only to get absolutely NO RESULTS.

And after spending dozens of hours, weeks of your time, and untold mental energy on these forums, you end up drained, discouraged, and demoralized.

That’s just one example.

There are plenty of other fruitless ways to spend your time and energy, only to end up being frustrated, and thinking that there’s no way for you to get consulting clients. For your niche, it might be that cold calling, cold e-mailing, LinkedIn, etc. turn out to be time-wasters that get you no results.

But remember: the reason you’re struggling could be that you might be focusing on the wrong areas.

Like the saying goes: If you want to find gold, dig where the gold is.

How do you know the difference?

TEST, evaluate, and focus your energy on those channels that show the most promise and/or results.

Each niche is different, so you’ll need to experiment to see what works best in your niche.

Don’t assume something will be a good marketing channel. Test it out, experiment, pay attention to the results you get, then adjust what you’re doing.

If you’ve found this series helpful

If you’ve found this “How to get clients” article series helpful, comment below and/or take a second to tweet this article.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Stuart - July 1, 2013 Reply

Good thought starters, nicely written, enjoyable reading. Many thanks Greg.

    Greg Miliates - July 3, 2013 Reply

    Thanks, Stuart! It’s interesting, as I get so many e-mails from people, the problem of how to get clients is actually composed of lots of pieces–and lots of mistakes that people make along the way.

How to get clients: Mistake 4 (marketing channels, part 2) « Small-Business.BlogNotions - Thoughts from Industry Experts - July 14, 2013 Reply

[…] View Original Post at Start My Consulting BusinessRead Original Post […]

Leave a Comment: