The Most Important Marketing Idea

Several times people have asked me what the most important
marketing principle was. What is the one thing you absolutely
have to know in order to attract more clients?

Is it your marketing message or powerful marketing materials? Is
it the ability to persuasively speak about your services? Perhaps
it’s a killer marketing tactic that I keep under wraps. Or is it more
a matter of persistence and commitment?

Well, all of those are very important. But there is one marketing
idea that *is* the most important of all.

It might be exemplified best in this story I heard years ago.

Two friends were talking about another friend who was a great
fisherman. They related stories about how he always caught more
fish than everyone else, yet he didn’t really do anything different
than other fishermen did.

He used a similar boat, the same fishing rods and lures. He fished
in the same places and at the same times of day. So why in the
heck did he always catch more fish? What was his secret?

Well, his secret was pretty simple: He loved fishing.

If you love what you do, you’ll always be better at it. You’ll find
subtle ways to do things that others wouldn’t even think of. You’ll
read more about it. You’ll put your heart and soul into it.

So when it comes to marketing your services, I promise that you’ll
get better results if you love marketing yourself. But how do you
do that? What if you don’t like marketing at all?

Let me tell you another story.

I once worked with a writer who needed to market herself. But
the first time we met, she told me she hated networking and
wouldn’t call people she didn’t know.

So I asked her what she did love.

She told me that she loved her Siberian Husky, Mutombo. She
was nuts about that dog and talked my ear off for about half an
hour. Then she said, rather sheepishly, “I’ve been thinking of
sending out mailings to prospects with pictures of Mutombo
on them. What do you think?”

Well, on the surface, it didn’t seem like a great idea. But what
was clear was the love she had for that dog and the enthusiasm
she had for the idea. So I said, “Why not?”

She worked with her husband, who was a photographer, to create
a series of very innovative mailing pieces that featured Mutombo.
She then tied the pictures into themes about corporate writing.

Yes, it sounds like a stretch, but the mailings were an amazing
success. They were fun, attention-getting and different. People
started calling her. And she generated some very big clients with
this wacky idea of putting her dog on her mailings.

She was doing what she loved. She found a marketing approach
that she could really get into. And it was a huge success.

So what do you love? What would you enjoy doing? What could
you put your heart and soul into?

In my Fast Track Marketing Model, I point out that there are
essentially three effective marketing tactics or vehicles for
Independent Professionals: Networking, Publishing and Speaking.
But there are infinite variations on these three. My client used a
form of publishing through direct mail.

When I started my business, I started with networking. But my
style is to be an initiator, not just a participant. So I started my
own networking groups. I met a lot of people and I loved bringing
people together. So this was very successful.

Only a month or two after buying my first Macintosh, I created a
monthly newsletter. I also happened to love design and project-
oriented things. So I had a lot of fun with this, and also had very
good results. The newsletter also pulled people into the
networking events.

Finally, at these events, I had the opportunity to make
presentations and discovered that I loved to be in the front of a
group. (I think I’m a frustrated stand-up comedian at heart.) It
turned out that speaking was the most effective marketing tactic
of all for me.

I was lucky. I found three areas of marketing that I loved. But the
key was that I found my particular way of doing these marketing
activities that fit with my style and personality. Over the years
I’ve adapted these tactics to the online world through this eZine
and introductory teleclasses.

And you can do this as well.

Don’t worry about three tactics to start. Find one. And don’t fall
for some hyped-up marketing strategy that you read about on the
Internet that promises to make you kazillions of dollars. Trust me.
It won’t. (Unless you love it.)

Find some aspect of networking, publishing or speaking that you
can make your own, where you can express your authentic self,
that you can have fun at, and you’ll get better results than you
could possibly imagine.

The More Clients Bottom Line: Work at finding marketing tactics
and activities that you can really enjoy, something that you can
put your whole self into. I promise you’ll catch more fish.

What’s the most fun marketing activity that you do? Tell us your
success story on the More Clients Blog.

© 2006 Robert Middleton, All rights reserved.

By Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert’s web site at for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional
service businesses.