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Archive for October, 2013

Call to Action for Trainers, Consultants, and Professional Coaches

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Every online marketing campaign should have clear calls to action.  But commonly trainers, consultants, and professional coaches will say, “I’m not sure I have a good call to action.”  That’s a big problem, it’s like giving people directions without picking a destination.  You’ll get somewhere but probably not strategically toward a sale. There are five common calls to action that most trainers, consultant, and professional coaches have or can create fairly easily.

  • Events
  • Whitepaper/Report Downloads
  • Trial Training Session / Free Initial Consult
  • Contest
  • Easy to Purchase Product/Service

When providing this list we’ll often hear, “But what about my suite of products and services?”  Calls to action should be fairly simple.  Most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches have sophisticated programs that require analysis to find what solution properly fits a potential client.  That level of interaction is almost impossible for a call to action without an advanced web application.

These five types of call to action are feasible for most firms and provide a good first step with potential buyers.  In coming posts we’ll analyze each type and in which cases they are best suited.

Online Marketing: Publish or Perfection?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

ID-100149444Trainers, consultants, and professional coaches tend to strive for perfection. On the surface that seems like an asset but it can become the undoing of their online marketing.

The problem with perfectionism is it often becomes fruitless debate or nit picking. Gradual improvement is admirable but requires testing not nit picking.

At a certain point in online marketing timeliness runs up against perfectionism and timeliness should almost always win. There are certainly ways to avoid this conflict with marketing matrices and calendars but sooner or later revisions, improvements, and tweaks will bring you to the brink of a deadline.

And the rule should be to meet the deadline. Inevitably when relaying this message someone says, “But there are exceptions like blatant mistakes, inaccurate information, or poor quality communications/layout that need corrected.” That’s competency not perfectionism. Competency is meeting basic requirements of professional quality and clear messaging.

The best piece of marketing that never gets released is ultimately a waste of time and effort. It’s OK to refine and tweak but don’t hold up your marketing processes debating which image is most striking or what color is most appealing. As long as the communication is of a professional quality it’s better to get it out. Use the time you save debating and spend it on analyzing and testing your results. Then your next campaign can take what you’ve learned and apply it, rather than getting stuck in a cycle of “perfection”.

Image courtesy of  -Marcus- / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Consistency is Key in Online Marketing . . . Repetition, Not Necessarily

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Consistency is often the lacking feature in an otherwise solid online marketing campaign.  Strategizing and planning tend to be what trainers, consultants, and professional coaches want to tackle but consistent execution can be elusive.  That said consistency can become repetition which is a sure way to lose audience interest.

Consistency is born from a marketing calendar and a company brand outline.  Following the template and schedule generate consistency.  The content can also help generate cohesiveness through follow on topics or offers that build on one another. Consistency is a proven advantage in that many potential clients will need many touches (for most people it’s 7 or more) before credibility is built up to a point where they will consider calls to action.

Strive for consistency but be wary of message repetition.

A client of ours ran monthly events.  They had a particular topic and a set way of doing their event.  Truthfully, it was a powerful topic and an impressive presentation.  The problem was that the marketing material was just as repetitive.  The description and the bullet points would change some but the title and calls to action were always identical.  What was initially a very successful promotion became tired.  By the 10th time they ran the event the email list and social followers completely tuned it out. Registration was poor and something needed done to rejuvenate their attendance levels.

So the event was revamped.  We didn’t go back to the drawing board, we just modified it: New title, new incentives, new target audience.  The consistency remained in that the landing page, email invitation, and social posts were all recognizable as part of our clients campaign but interest was renewed because the audience perceived it as something different.

Consistency is good but it can lead to a lazy approach which results in repetition.  Have a close eye on metrics and if you see interest has plummeted in a recurring offer or message, it will need to be revamped.