What’s Your Most Effect Way to Find Clients?

A dialogue about finding clients, viral marketing, best marketing methods and other related topics.  We have some “differences of opinions” here.

What’s Your Most Effect Way to Find Clients?

I ask only because after doing this now for 7 years, I have learned there is no silver bullet.

Answer:

You’re right! There’s no magic bullet. But things can change, with practice:

  1. Introverts can become more extroverted, with practice at tasks like cold calling.
  2. Writers can become very good sales people, if they practice at it for 7 years.
  3. Folks in the US can consult small business development centers (http://www.asbdc-us.org/) and SCORE (http://www.score.org/index.html) networks.
  4. Within 7 years, one can learn many marketing methods, to improve their chances. They can become very savvy at SEO, Social Media, Cold Calling, Internet Marketing, Blogging, Teleseminars, networking, etc.
  5. In fact, at one SBDC training on marketing, the instructor handed out a spreadsheet. There must have been over 100 ways to market.

But some preparation can be helpful. One can develop a sound business plan, which includes a marketing plan. Perhaps one might read other writers talking about running a writing business. Folks like Lucy V. Parker, Peter Bowerman, Steve Slaunwhite and Kelly James-Enger.

But let’s get back to the over 100 ways to market. I’m sure that while folks might try several ways, they will find 1 or 2 where they excel.

Absolutely nothing is more effective and more powerful than focusing on face-to-face in-person contact. Most everything else is worthless.

Answer:

Before you can build a personal, business or brand reputation, you need to first market. But even after you build up a reputation (i.e. whether you are a million dollar + copywriter, like Clayton Makepeace or Ben Hart – or you’re a well known company, like Coke or Niki – you still market).

If reputation was everything, then I wouldn’t still see ads by Coke, or Internet marketing ads by Ben Hart or Clayton Makepeace. Coke would just need to say – “we created this drink – drink it (i.e. New Coke).” Ben and Clayton would just need to say – “I put my stamp of approval on this product – buy it.”

I agree with you on reputation. But even after you build it, you still need to market (i.e. 100 + possible ways). Unless you are happy being where you are.

Having said that, let me add this – If the Yugo were reintroduced, it would be a “long time” before anyone would buy it – regardless of how much advertising dollars were sunk into it.

Absolutely nothing is more effective and more powerful than focusing on face-to-face in-person contact. Most everything else is worthless.

Answer:

As I read this statement by you:

“Absolutely nothing is more effective and more powerful than focusing on face-to-face in-person contact. Most everything else is worthless.”

It got me thinking again. Since we live in a “virtual” world, what happens to freelancers that have worldwide clients? They don’t meet face-to-face, if their client is in England and they reside in the U.S..

What happens to folks like David Carroll, who had an incident with United Airlines? They broke his Taylor guitar. All he did was put 3 videos on YouTube (i.e “United Breaks Guitars“). One generated over 8 million views. In his third song, he says the videos launched his music career.

Or take a company like HubSpot. They say the key is viral marketing and even sell software, to accomplish that goal. I do know they are doing well and so are some clients of theirs.

So back to my original thought. How do you focus on person-to-person contact, when potential clients exist worldwide? I know some business would come from referrals – but not all.

I do not agree with your premise. We do not live in a “virtual world”.

Answer:

It’s like the old joke. Get 2 XXX people in a room and you get three different opinions. So how would we determine who is right, when two people have different opinions?

1. We can resort to logical argument. But if that solved everything, then all the world’s philosophers would agree on a common philosophical foundation.

2. We can resort to statistical samples. Perhaps we ask a sampling of what different marketers feel is the best way to market. But then, we get into questions regarding how the data was sampled, etc. Reminds me of poll statistics from the Republican and Democratic sectors – showing different results.

3. Etc.

If you are a large enough company – with deep pockets – then you can hire the sales and marketing staff to do the face-to-face stuff. But for small companies – unless they wish to confine themselves to a geographical area – it’s hard to do.

Don’t know if your way is the best, Bill. Don’t know if mine is any better. How would we settle that difference of opinion? I don’t know.

It would probably be as futile as arguing the famous middle aged, philosophical puzzle: “How many angels can dance, on the head of a pin?”

But we do share common ground. Having worked for a large company, is a great asset. For me, it allowed me to wear many different hats and function in a variety of diverse roles.

At heart, I am a pragmatist. What works best in healing medical problems? Modern medicine, alternative medicine, or spiritual solutions (i.e. prayer)? Don’t know. Probably the proper combination of all three. But if I have a headache and someone alleviates it – I don’t care. My problem is solved.

What about the guy who feels face-to-face marketing is the ONLY and BEST way?

Answer:

Let’s assume for a moment that some objective authority – God, Truth, omniscient narrator  (after all…aren’t we all characters in some type of cosmic play?), or the Philosopher King (i.e Plato) – made a ruling. Suppose they said that face-to-face marketing and/or selling skills, are the ultimate way to get clients. And suppose everyone bought into this.

Guess what? It opens up an entirely different can-of-worms.

What psychological or personality traits would make one person more successful than another, in this arena? What genetic and/or environmental factors would play a part? It would seem to me that even if we bought Bill’s premise, there would be considerable experimentation within psychology, to find the right combination of factors constituting optimal success.

Summary:  Guess what?  This person agreed with a couple of my arguments.  Despite this – along with the fact that other forum posters disagreed with him – he continued with the view that face-to-face marketing is the best way.  Here’s what he said to me:

“And I completely agree with you, Randy. I completely agree with your last two (full) posts. When two people have different opinions, by what metrics do we determine which is correct? As you wrote, ‘There would be considerable experimentation within psychology, to find the right combination of factors constituting optimal success’ ”

 

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One Response

  1. Sorry. I don’t know how to fix it. It’s either a feed from http://www.wordpress.com, or from Feed Burner, which is now owned by Google. Since Google also owns Chrome, it’s ironic it doesn’t work there.
    Randy

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