What if instead of constantly calling on prospects to drum up business, you got prospects to come right to you? Even better, what if they already understood and liked your product or service so well by the time they arrived that they were essentially ready to buy?
That's the basic idea of attraction marketing -- a simple, elegant and hugely appealing way of transforming your business from being a hunter of new clients to being hunted by prospects eager for what you offer.
Entrepreneur Mike Dillard is an attraction marketing pioneer, and he recently spoke with AES Nation about his top strategies for success when it comes to pulling clients to your doorstep (whether real or virtual).
1. Clearly define exactly who you want to serve. A common mistake is to market yourself to everyone by appealing to the lowest common denominator. That might generate lots of leads, but chances are many of them will be low-quality ones that you don't want in the first place. To avoid that, narrow your focus to appeal to exactly the type of prospects you most want to serve -- ideal customers to whom you can bring tremendous value and who will pay you well for that value. Keep in mind: Your market doesn't have to be huge -- it just has to be the right one for your skills and interests. Once you have that insight, it will help you make your marketing efforts extremely targeted and effective.
2. Be a hero to your market. How can you deliver an amazing experience to your well-defined market and be seen as a hero by its members? Identify the major problems the market faces -- the gaps between where they are today and where they aspire to be down the road.
You can gain that knowledge by doing research and interviewing your market's centers of influence (the key influencers among the group). Or you might take a more personal approach and be a hero to others by being a hero to yourself, as Dillard did. "All of my businesses have been founded upon my own problems that I wanted to solve -- how I could be a better salesman, how I could be a better investor and so on," he says. "I've come to realize that if I have a challenge, there are enough other people in this world that have the same challenge to build a business out of that."
Indeed, The Elevation Group, which Dillard launched in 2010 to learn and teach the money management habits of top investors, attracted 8,600 members in its first week and went on to generate $10 million in revenue during the next 12 months.
3. Align your image with your audience. Great advice alone won't necessarily attract clients to your offering these days. With all the noise in the marketplace, even the best ideas can go unnoticed. That's why Dillard uses a strong personal positioning strategy at every touch point with prospective clients. "I put images on my website and other marketing materials that reflect who I am and my lifestyle, and that I know will resonate with exactly who I want to serve -- things like pictures of me racing cars, firing an AR-15 with my Navy SEAL friends and so on," he says. "That will help attract the audience I want and probably turn off the audience I don't want, which is just fine."
4. Create content that works while you sleep. Create marketing content like white papers, articles and ebooks with information, insights and messaging that will speak to your audience -- don't make it all about selling. Then post the content on the Web, where your audience can review it whenever the like and from wherever they are in the world. This allows your marketing to attract clients 24/7 (and gives you more time to focus on other areas of your business). For example, Dillard's initial pitch for membership in The Elevation Group was a free 90-minute automated webinar that people could watch at any time -- unlike a live presentation that Dillard would have had to deliver time and time again himself. It was a true a-ha moment that showed Dillard how automated content could pull prospects right to him. "I had no idea if that webinar was going to convert or not, and it just so happened that it was the best converting marketing piece that I had ever put together," he says.
5. Keep it fresh. Even the best marketing offers have shelf lives of no more than two to three years. To keep generating quality leads -- and to continually show your prospects that you are the go-expert for their needs -- you have to release new information-based content regularly. "If you're not putting out at least one new piece of content every month, then you're just setting yourself up for a very painful period," he says.
For more sage insights, bold ideas and proven solutions from some of the world's leading entrepreneurs, check out all the interviews at AES Nation.