Expertise not business cards

In today’s tight times we should all be on the lookout for free, or at least low cost marketing. I thought the following article by Gihan Perera contained some useful ideas.

As an expert, your most powerful marketing tool is not your business card. It’s not your glossy brochure. It’s not your Web site. It’s not your client testimonials. It’s not any of your collateral material.

As an expert, your most powerful marketing tool is your expertise. It’s your knowledge, your ideas, your intellectual property – and the way you apply it to your clients’ lives and businesses to make a difference.

So the next time you’re doing any marketing, think about how you can demonstrate your expertise, not just advertise your products and services.

For example:

* At a networking function, instead of just exchanging business cards, offer to send a special report to the people you meet.
* At networking functions, offer to enrol people you meet in your e-mail newsletter.
* When you create a new program, training course, or other presentation, first write an article about the problem that it solves.
* To keep in touch with clients, send a tip sheet of ways to improve (in some way related to your area of expertise).
* Write a book on your topic area, and use that instead of brochures and flyers.
* Record some of your ideas, and create an audio CD that you send to your best clients as a gift.
* Get a video recording of one of your presentations, find five minutes of high-content material, and create a video clip on your Web site.
* Give your top clients a complimentary half-hour telephone consultation with you.
* Instead of advertising in an industry magazine, write a regular column for that magazine.
* Find a colleague who deals with the same market that you do, and write an article for her e-mail newsletter (and vice versa).
* Conduct an information seminar to educate people about your area of expertise.
* Make your Web site a resource centre, not a promotional brochure.


Credits: My friend Ian Berry highlighted this useful article in his Differencemakers newsletter.  There is a lot of other useful stuff on Gihan’s blog.

Bob Bradley

Bob is a specialist in running high value added service businesses, having run five such businesses as General Manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive. His last employed role was as Chief Executive of a £16M, 200 person family owned business having previously been Chief Executive of an AIM listed company for which he raised £5M funding and which he grew from £4M to £12M in three years through two acquisitions and organic growth, and a corporate PLC subsidiary where he was Managing Director responsible for delivering £10M profit on £45M turnover through 450 staff.

Bob is now following a portfolio career providing entrepreneurial business leaders with mentoring and coaching around business leadership, business growth, merger integration and exit planning.

Core to his portfolio is MD2MD. Having experienced for himself the value of having a strong sounding board of fellow Managing Directors he founded MD2MD in 2004 to provide groups of business leaders with a confidential environment within which they can support and challenge each other to raise their game as leaders and by doing so improve the success of their organisation.

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