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Lately I’ve been in a quandary about what to do about this blog. I’ve been filling in with guest posts and trying to buy time while I figure out how to proceed. I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I’m a writer. I love to write. I write for my clients all day long, but when it came to writing for this blog I faced a brick wall of resistance. Then one day while I was listening to the Internet Business Mastery podcast, a little light bulb came on over my head.
Sterling and Jay were talking about the, “The 5 Most Common Mistakes When Choosing a Niche,” and I think the first one was not selecting a specific audience when you select your niche. I realized that was my challenge with this blog. When I started this blog back in 2007, the purpose was to be able to provide examples of my writing to prospective clients for my writing services. As time has gone by, the content has evolved into a few main themes: online writing, online/content marketing, and personal development. Lately I’ve expanded the focus to include indie publishing and ebook publishing, but I have yet to clearly define an audience.
So, I’m using my little dilemma to show you what not to do when you are creating a blog. Selecting an audience is a vital, foundational step to creating a successful blog. When you are clear on who you are writing for, it makes content creation a breeze. The content that you do create will also naturally attract that perfect audience because you will be speaking to their needs.
When you are in the process of selecting a niche and doing keyword research, don’t leave out the vital step of getting to the root of the wants, needs, hopes and fears of your target audience. I will be going back and doing that work so that I can re-launch this blog and start reaching the right audience. I’m grateful to my current readers and subscribers who have hung in there while I sort all of this out.
By Robert Middleton
One of my favorite marketing sayings is, “Writing is to marketing
strength as pumping iron is to muscle strength.”
So, if you want stronger, more effective marketing, you need to
write. There’s really nothing else that has that impact. But
writing, for most people, is a real struggle. That is, it’s not a
pleasant task. In fact, it can be downright stressful.
Let’s look at what makes it that way:
1. You don’t have a method or structure for writing that works.
You’re not sure what to say and how to put it all together so that
it has impact and makes prospects respond.
2. You are intimidated by your English teacher and all the formal
rules of writing. So your writing comes across as stilted or overly
formal, not connecting with your audience.
3. You are afraid that other people will judge you for your writing,
so you hold back, not wanting to make a fool of yourself. What if
your writing makes you look unprofessional or ignorant, or worse,
it comes across as hype?
All of those are realities I’ll address in a minute, but first, what if
writing wasn’t such a stressful chore, then what?
1. You’d have a tool immediately available to you to communicate
about your business with impact. Your prospective clients would
get the information they needed to make a decision and they’d
be motivated to contact you to find our more.
2. You’d build business relationships quickly. After all, when
people first hear about your business and want to know more,
you’d have that information readily available in an easy to
understand and digestible format. Good writing connects you to
your prospects in a way nothing else can.
3. Confidence with writing would enable you to do other
marketing activities much more easily as well. Presentations,
audio, and video programs all start with writing. Once you’ve
nailed down the formula for writing, none of these things would
be a mystery anymore; you’d know exactly where to start.
Let me give you the two most important tips that could transform
1. The place to start is with “conversational writing.”
One of my guest bloggers, Diana Kightlinger, covered that about
a month ago in some depth, so I won’t dwell on that here. Read it
if you missed it; it’s great:
2. Use Marketing Syntax in all your marketing writing.
This is simply the order in which you organize your writing. And if
you take a look at this article, you’ll find I’m following marketing
syntax to the letter. Here are the steps in marketing syntax that
work for articles, blog posts, web pages, presentations, sales
a) Start with a clear topic or issue in a paragraph or two.
Immediately make it very clear what you are writing about or
people will tune out fast. This may be either a problem that your
prospects face or a solution you’ve discovered. Sometimes a bit of
So if you’ve discovered a way to help your clients get more
“employee engagement” which will increase productivity and
retention, let your readers know that right away.
b) Follow that with some issues, concerns, or problems regarding
this topic. This gets you and the reader on the same page:
“Have you ever experienced times when your employees are
disengaged and can’t seen to move steadily towards your
company’s most important goals? Perhaps some of these
symptoms are familiar?”
That draws prospects right in. Everyone likes to discuss what’s not
working; they can relate to it perfectly.
c) Then talk about what it could be like. You don’t have to go
overboard here, however your possible outcomes should be both
compelling and believable. This creates desire in the reader to
know how to get from where they are to where you’re pointing:
“Not only is it possible to get your employees engaged, once they
become engaged the power of peer pressure will get their fellow
employees engaged as well, often increasing productivity
d) Next, you list a number of points of HOW you actually get
those results. This could be anywhere from three to five points,
depending on the medium. You are giving away specific, hands-on
and how-to information your readers crave.
As you see, this is exactly how I’ve outlined this article. It’s very
easy once you have this structure of Marketing Syntax. Let me
review it again:
1. Get attention with a relevant problem or solution.
2. Get interest by discussing issues they can easily relate to.
3. Increase desire by explaining how things could be.
4. Provide fulfillment by giving away some practical ideas.
5. Make a clear call-to-action.
Suggest a simple action the reader could take to turn your ideas
into results for themselves. This might be a link to your website
or a certain service, or perhaps a meeting to find out more.
The call-to-action depends on the context of the written
communication. So here’s my call to action for this article:
If you found these ideas useful, you might like to learn more
about marketing syntax, effective marketing writing, and a whole
lot more, that would help you attract more of your ideal clients
with less struggle.
I’d like to give you a free hard-copy of my new book, “Marketing
Ball – Lessons on Attracting Clients from the Marketing Coach.”
It’s yours at no cost or obligation if you try out a month of the
Marketing Club which contains a wealth of programs, courses,
expert interviews, coaching calls, client tracking software, and a
whole lot more to help you grow your business.
If you’re already a member of the Marketing Club, I’ll send you a
copy of the book if you upgrade your membership to quarterly,
yearly or lifetime.
Just click on this link to find out more:
Cheers, Robert Middleton
This post was written by Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit
Robert’s web site at www.actionplan.com for additional
marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional
For the past three days I’ve had very limited Internet access at home, which for me is a problem because I run my business from home. I called the cable company and they sent a technician out to fix my problem. While the guy was working, he was asking me a bunch of questions. You see, I told him that it was urgent that we get this problem fixed because I work from home. He wanted to know what the, “secret” was to making money from home. “How do you do it?” he asked me.
I told him that I work for myself. I’m a writer and web developer/marketer and I run my own company. He looked crestfallen and he said, “My wife’s been trying to find a good, ‘work from home,’ opportunity, but all she keeps finding is these scams.” I told him that if they were looking for a way to work for someone else, it would be a challenge to find a legitimate work from home opportunity. “My secret,” I said, “is that I started my own company and I get my own clients. It takes effort and energy.” He went on to tell me that he has paid over $1,500 for a website business that was supposed to be, ‘turn key.’ He’s got the website all set up, but nothing is happening. I told him it’s because he needs to generate traffic to his website. Nothing happens until you start attracting traffic. He was quite irritated at the prospect of how much time and effort he would have to put in to start getting a good flow of traffic to his site. He thought that he would just get the website built and set up and that the people would just end up there and buy stuff. That elicited a good belly laugh from me, but he was serious.
I shook my head and wondered to myself, “Did he really think it was going to be that easy?” The reality is, if you want to build a business whether online or offline in a brick and mortar shop location, you’ve got to market your business to attract traffic whether it happens to be foot traffic to your store, or search engine traffic to your website. Yes, you can make money working from home, but you’ve got to be willing to put in the energy, effort and commitment to making it work. Don’t expect that you can set up a shiny, new website and instantly have people visiting it and buying from it.
When I shared some effective website traffic strategies with my cable guy, he said, “No way do I want to do all that work.” I told him about PPC, but he said he’s not investing another dime in this venture. So, unless by some feat of magic a bunch of people happen to stumble across his website it’s not going to do any better than it has been.
In my business I create content for clients who are using a content marketing strategy to attract traffic and leads. Today I just sent off a report that I wrote for a client who is going to use it to attract traffic and new subscribers to her newly launched website. Content marketing is a proven, effective strategy where you offer value first and give your visitors just a taste of what you have to offer. If what you have to offer resonates with them and provides an elegant solution, they will be back and they will inquire about your premium products or programs.
Running an online business is not easy, but it’s incredibly rewarding if you adopt a resourceful mindset and if you’re willing to be committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve success. Contact me today if you need fresh content for your blog or website. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
By Yvonne Bynoe
As a coach or solo-entrepreneurs one of the biggest challenges that you have is that your income is directly tied to the number of customers that you can serve in a given day, week or month. For some of you, you’d literally have to work around the clock to earn a decent living. Rather than burn out, why not expand the ways that you can generate revenue.
There are three things that coaches and solo-entrepreneurs can do to “clone” themselves as a way to increase their incomes, without personally working with more clients.
1. Consider Hiring “Understudies”:
In the theater understudies perform when the lead actress is ill. It’s a concept that’s perfect for many businesses. For instance, in many upscale hair salons, the owner only personally services a handful of clients—the ones who are willing to pay a premium price for her time. In this business model the majority of clients are delegated to understudies; these stylists and colorists are trained and supervised by the salon owner. Coaches and solo-entrepreneurs can easily use this model by hiring and training other people to use their signature systems with clients (people the owner brings into her business).
The main benefits of this arrangement are:
1) the owner can still work with directly with clients; and
2) there is more income generated because there are more service providers.
The only caveat is that the business owner has to ensure that her understudies provide the same quality of service as she would. An array of businesses owners could use this or a similar model including: consultants, web designers, photographers, personal trainers, day spa owners, personal shoppers, aestheticians, virtual assistants, etc.
2. Create Service Packages:
Stop offering single sessions and instead create bundles of services or ”packages” geared toward particular outcomes. You and I know that single sessions rarely solve your clients’ problems. It usually takes several sessions to accomplish most goals. By offering a package you are actually providing more value to your clients by giving them a clear pathway to reach their goals. This strategy also allows you to ethically raise your rates; meaning that you receive more money per client. Your package’s rate reflects the transformation that the client receives not your “hourly” rate. Lastly, by offering packages you can request payment in advance; this alone could increase your monthly revenue by thousands of dollars.
To create packages think of 1-3 main goals or outcomes that your clients routinely seek. Then create specific multi-session packages that achieve those results. Be sure that the packages’ names clearly spells out the aim of the package. Some ideas: ”End Your Sugar Cravings in 30 days” ; ”Attract Your Soulmate in 90 days”; ”21 Days to a More Productive Home Office”.
3. Home study courses:
One of the things that entrepreneurs overlook is that many people want to learn in the privacy and convenience of their own homes. What this means for you as an entrepreneur is that there is a big opportunity for you to provide your guidance and expertise, without actually meeting your clients.
I tend you use the term “homestudy” loosely. A make-up artist can create a video (or video series) to teach women how to properly apply their cosmetics. Ditto for yoga, pilates instructors and personal trainers. There are “how to” books and ebooks on nearly every imaginable subject. If you’re not a fan of video or writing, then do a series of audio recordings could be just as effective.
Virtual classes and retreats are also a possibilities to work 1-to-many. You have the ability to work with a group of people around a particular subject for any length of time from a few hours to a few weeks.
Homestudy courses are a gateway to establishing a long-term relationship with your clients. Clients have the opportunity to test-drive your business—your methods and your results. If the client is satisfied, then she or he will want you work with you personally or will buy the next product that you make available for sale.
Yvonne Bynoe is an expert in holistic business and wealth development. She is the founder of the Business Alchemy System(TM). the proven, step-by-step program that shows you how to create a more profitable business…quickly.Click here to download her F.R.E.E. report “15 Secrets To Help You Charge What You’re Worth and Get It!” and to receive her weekly marketing and success mindset articles on attracting high-paying clients and catapulting your income.
I had a client meeting this morning with one of my ideal clients who is working on launching a new initiative for her existing business. We were talking about marketing and I was trying to give her some ideas for narrowing down her niche so that she could refine her message and reach the clients that she was trying to attract.
She is a personal trainer, so potentially she could serve many different kinds of people, right? But this trainer is different from other personal trainers. She has her own style and approach to fitness and healthy living that she has been refining over the 20 years or so that she has been involved in the fitness industry.
In the process of rolling out this new product offering, it is necessary for her to create a profile for her ideal client so that as we begin to develop marketing materials, she will know exactly who she is looking for, and those people who are in her target market will resonate with her marketing messages and come to her.
Here’s a round-up of some articles that tackle this issue of finding your ideal client:
How Psychographics Strengthen Your Small Business Marketing
by Lisa Mininni
“Know who your audience IS, not just what they want… to find the ideal client.
Whether you’re starting up your business or have been in business a while, you must be exact to attract your ideal clients. However, when the going gets rough small business owners cast a wide net hoping to pull in someone. They quickly become disappointed when their prospect pipeline dries up.
One tool to keep that prospect pipeline full is your ideal client profile.
Your ideal client profile is the description of the person you would be happiest to work with. It focuses on a specific kind of client. One that reads your materials and is so mesmerized by your message they keep reading. It means that when you speak to them, they are compelled to. . .”
Read more: http://bit.ly/xVN9H5
Two simple ways to find your ideal clients
“Wouldn’t it be great if you could find your ideal clients all in one place? What if they were gathered together for you? That would sure make marketing a heck of a lot easier wouldn’t it? The good news is that this is completely possible!
There are two basic ways to find your ideal clients and both methods work really well.
1. Find ways to pull your ideal clients toward you, inexpensively and in large numbers.
There is something you could offer, whether it’s a special report, a class or workshop you could create that your ideal clients would literally jump for. One important feature, is that whatever you decide on, it should be available free to prospects. This eliminates any. . .” http://bit.ly/yXc3Cv
How to Identify Your Ideal Customer
“Remember that Your Ideal Customer Lights You Up
You can start to narrow down your ideal customer by knowing who isn’t your ideal customer. Start by making a list of the “not so fun” customers you’ve had in the past. This could be someone you liked but didn’t connect with. This could be someone who seemed interested in your services at first, but always had an excuse as to why she didn’t follow through. What characteristics do these customers share?
What customer experiences have lit you up? I want you to stick with the experiences that have made you jump out of bed in the morning to start working, enticed you to. . .” http://bit.ly/wSj3Uq
How to Find Your Niche, Determine Your Ideal Client, and Target Your Market
by Online Business Coach Donna Gunter
“How do you find your niche, target market, tarket, niche market, ideal client? Whatever you call it, you need to define it for yourself to be successful in business. Whatever you want to call it, the way I define these terms is as follows: offering what you do best (your niche) to a group of people (your ideal client) who hang out together in some organized fashion who desperately need and will pay for what it is that you offer (your target market).
Most business owners are afraid to declare a niche or focus on a target market for fear of excluding people. Read this next sentence carefully: In order to be successful, your goal needs to be to exclude as many people from your business as possible. As a matter of fact, I do that regularly with my website. One of the primary goals of my website is to. . . “
Read more: http://bit.ly/wx9s2n
Who is Your Ideal Client? Do you know?
by Jennifer Bourn
“While getting started on brand strategy and design and website strategy with my clients, one of the first things I want to know is who the ideal client is. Who is the person the brand and website must resonate with and speak to. Who does it need to attract to my client?
How do you know who your ideal client is? Your Ideal Client is some one who:
- Has problems and challenges you can easily fix and solve with your eyes closed
- Sees you as a valuable necessity they treasure, instead of a necessary evil
- Likes you, appreciates your hard work, and will tell their friends, peers, and contacts about you
- Will pay you what you’re worth and will be happy to do so because they know you’re worth it
But how do you find out exactly who they are?”
Read more: http://bit.ly/A0Onw0
Once you have a clear picture of who your ideal client is, what they want, what they hate, what keeps them awake at night, what is the solution that they are searching high and low for, you will be able to create marketing materials that are a perfect match to that audience.
One way to begin to speak the language of your market is to create a survey and ask them some questions about what they are looking for in the product or service that you have to offer. Read their responses carefully and pick out some of the language that they have used so that your marketing materials are written in a way that answers their questions using their own language.
Have you discovered your ideal client? How has defining the psychographic profile of your ideal client helped you in your business? Please share in the comments.