7 Ways To Attract More Professional Clients in a Down Economy

Let's face the facts. Despite a few glimmers of good news popping up now and then, we all know that the economy will not turn around for at least a year, maybe more.

That means it is going to be harder for professionals like doctors, lawyers, consultants, accountants and others to attract new clients or get more business from their existing clients. Everybody is tightening their belts and planning to keep them tight for the foreseeable future.

However there are a few steps professionals can take to still get business coming in the door, regardless of the economy:

  1. Create "bait" information pieces like white papers, tip sheets, ebooks, or videos that provide valuable, free information for prospective clients.

    These bait pieces are soft sell devices like, "8 Ways to Save on Property Taxes," "5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sued," or "How to Keep Your Children Well This Winter."

    But a hard sell piece like, "10 Reasons Goode, Hailey and Knight Should Be Your Accounting Firm" is not a good bait piece.

  2. Turn every advertisement into a direct response ad – even Yellow Page or directory ads.

    There are two types of advertisements, "awareness" ads and "direct response" ads. Awareness ads just tell prospects that you exist and if they have nothing better to do with their time, to give you a call.

    Direct response ads entice readers to take action, such as to call your office or visit your website in order to get your white paper or tip sheet. When you advertise this way, you can actually measure how effective the ad is, based on the number of responses you receive, and make changes along the way.

  3. Build a list. When people respond to your direct respond ads or request your bait pieces, collect these "opt in" leads to build a list. This concept is called "Permission Marketing" (based on the book by that name written by Seth Godin). This list of people who have requested your free information may become your most valuable resource, so take good care of it.

    Continue to give valuable, free information to the people on your list. Create an email newsletter that is a source of solid information.

  4. Start or maintain a business blog. A blog is so much more versatile than a static website. It is a great place to build your personal brand by adding useful information and content that your prospective clients will find helpful, much like the bait pieces mentioned above.

  5. Make your blog a resource for people who are prospective and existing clients. Don't be afraid to give away free information, but create more white papers, tip sheets, checklists, articles, videos, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and case studies about some of your clients’ success stories.

    It may sound counter-intuitive to give away free information, but you will find that it pays dividends. It gives visitors a reason to keep coming back to your site and it establishes your credibility as an expert in your field.

  6. Use Social Media. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to expand you online network and drive traffic to your blog. Every time you add new content, be sure to send a tweet to direct your followers to the new article or video. Use your blog to convert social media followers or friends to readers.

  7. Build a personal brand. All of these efforts are ways you can communicate your value to potential customers. The content your produce shows that you are a solution to certain types of problems, problems your prospects need to solve.

    And every time you add new content that your prospects find useful and informative, the more you make yourself stand out from the crowd of competitors.

For those of us who sell our services and knowledge, a tough economy is a time to roll up our sleeves and work smarter. But if you do work smarter, use social media, direct response advertising, build a list and create a blog that your prospects view as a resource, you will be rewarded while your competitors tread water.

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NOT USING NON-SPAM EMAIL MARKETING FOR YOUR BUSINESS YET? Learn why email marketing is the easiest, most effective and most affordable way to get new clients. Download my free ebook and receive tips, ideas and case studies to help you get more new customers at http://www.trafficwave.net/lcp/chbrown/emailmarketing/6604.
COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown
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