I remember when we first started Authentic Education, one of the first biggest questions I had was “how are we going to get clients?”
I had all these great ideas but many of them were a complete waste of time and I would like to save you a lot of heartache and high expectations being shattered by going through what I call ‘Fools Gold’. So these are things that I believe you really shouldn’t try when it comes to marketing. So let’s go through them...
#1: OLD BUSINESS CARDS
Everyone’s got that box of old under their bed and just one day your going to type them all up and its going to be glorious! With these business cards, just go through them one by one... if you don’t remember them then they don’t remember you. There’s no relationship, there’s no foundation to build any type of marketing or business. So I would just completely forget about them. I know that’s hard to hear but I’ll explain why, because that goes into the second thing...
#2: OLD EMAILS
You may have a whole bunch of email contacts from a previous workplace or a bunch of business cards. I remember we had hundreds of those when we first started. I went to the trouble to type them all up, put them in an excel spreadsheet..but to cut a long story short I had to get rid of all them.
That's because a lot of email service providers like mailchimp, aweber, constant contact, what happens is if you send out one hundred emails , you’re allowed a maximum 1% unsubscribe rate. So If more than one of those people out of one hundred hits unsubscribe (which they will) because they don’t know you then that’s one strike, and it's three strikes and your account is gone.
That’s just the unsubscribe rate. The actual spam rate if someone hits the “this is junk” or “this is spam” its 0.1%, so out of one thousand people that you send to, only one of people is allowed to hit the “this is spam” or “this is junk” and you’re at threshold. So I wouldn’t do it at all, it will actually hurt you as oppose to help you in the long run.
#3: AFFILIATE MARKETING
This is where you say “I’m a coach” or whatever product or service you’ve got. I'm going to partner up with another company and if you sell my product or services for me, then I’ll give you a commission.
Generally that doesn’t work until later on when you’re quite a large company. So I definitely wouldn’t do it to start off with, perhaps later on. The reason is people are more concerned with selling their own products and services not really yours... and people who do make money full time with Affiliate Marketing, they want to see a proven track record (not someone who’s just starting).
#4 GROUP BUYING SITES
They use to be big, like ‘Groupon’, ‘Scoopon' etc.. what that attracts is the people that are price sensitive. You want a customer that isn’t price sensitive that will pay what you’re worth. These sites attract people that are bargain hunters and once the bargain is over in the course of a week or your month's special, the customer goes on to the next special that they find with the group buying sites.
#5 PAID EVENTS
What I mean by that is from a marketing point of view only. I wouldn’t have someone pay to come to your initial two hour evening or one day talk. I would do it 100% completely for free.
It’s a lot less work in admin, the second benefit is also that you get more people who come to the event, and more people refer their friends. Imagine “Mary” is going to your event tonight and someone at work says “hey what are you doing tonight Mary?” and she says “ I’m coming to this event by Cham, it costs $15 though”.
That person suddenly has all these questions and they’re not really interested; but if it’s for free then their friend would be like “ I’ll just come along, what’s the worst that could happen?” So with free events you’ll get a lot more people to register – sure a lot more are as a percentage won’t show up but you’ll still have them for later to market to, you can still build a relationship with them. There are many other reasons but paid events I wouldn’t do from a marketing point of view. Obviously you can sell your paid courses but just have an initial free (not paid) event to do that.
I just want to put a caveat on this... that is networking doesn’t have a lot of leverage long term. You can do it when you first start out and it’s great for that because you get to have feedback, meet people, talk to them, it’s easier to do, it doesn’t require any technology or anything like that but as a long term strategy I wouldn’t do networking for meeting individual clients. High-level networking (such as meeting potential Joint Venture partners etc) is good though.
#7: ANY SPAMMING
You might have a great idea, you found the details of a whole bunch of toastmasters on the toastmaster website, or you could private message people on linked on or Facebook or something like that. But once again there’s no trust, trust is the foundation of a relationship – especially a marketing relationship. So therefore it doesn’t work and it’s a waste of time.
#8 PAID ADS / EDMs
Paid Ads or EDMs (Electronic Direct Mailouts) – I wouldn’t really pay a website $2000 to do a mailout or someone who has a list $1000 to mailout when you’re first starting. Later on it can be good, but only once you’ve honed your marketing strategy and you know what’s actually going to work. Otherwise to pay $1000 for something that you’re not sure of right now I don’t believe is really going to be worth it.
#9: TRADE SHOWS
I remember when we went to the Mind Body Spirit Festival, it was quite time intensive, took money and energy to do – I wouldn’t recommend you doing a trade show at all, there are a lot better ways you could spend your time, energy and money than trade shows.
By the way if you are going to do a trade show, the goal of the trade show is to collect people’s details who could be interested. So what we did, we had a physical CD we’d say “hey would you like a copy of this meditation CD?” when they do, we said.. “I’ll email it to you – put your details here” and we start a relationship with them.
#10: BRANDING STUFF
I'm talking about branding water bottles, squishy balls and pens and anything else you think is going to be a great marketing thing... it’s not! It’s a complete waste of time! Do that later when you already have a following and when you already have clients and you just want to deepen the relationship with them and give them free stuff... then corporate branding on stuff is good.
I thought that I would go on to all these personal development forums or financial forums and then build up a reputation with comments and then they maybe every fifth comment or something would link back to my website…anyways it hasn’t got a lot of leverage so its not the best way to do it.
#12: SNAIL MAIL / FLYERS
Any kind of physical thing where you have to hand something out isn’t really the best when it comes to establishing a relationship with a new client, or forming a relationship with a new client. So I wouldn’t do snail mail or flyers, you can’t really track it properly as well. There is a lot of problems associated with it and I'd only do that if you 100% knew what you were doing and you’ve tried other “low hanging fruit” marketing methods instead.
So that’s the 12 things that didn’t work, but if you want to know one of the best things that works to attract clients from scratch it's Facebook ads...
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