Will Your Business Get Downgraded Too?

Will Your Business Get Downgraded Too?

April 28, 2012

“You have to decide if you’re going to wilt like a daisy or if you’re just going to go forward and live the life that you’ve been granted.” – Kevin Costne

What a messy weekend. Heartbreaking news from Afghanistan, the S&P downgrade —  and now all of the resultant (and gruesomely predictable) political posturing. Oh, and as I write this, it’s no surprise that the stock market is “reacting” a bit.So how are you feeling about your business this week?I’ve got some marketing advice to lift your vision (very attainable, btw) and I wanted to send you these important reminders, during a storm:

Clark’s Key Reminder #1: The only thing certain about the stock market is that it’s volatile. So those of you with many assets resting there, don’t make moves out of panic. Sit down to discuss a tax-advantaged strategy … not a knee-jerk fear response.This is especially true in your business: do NOT panic.

Clark’s Key Reminder #2: What you choose to “ingest” over these next few days will greatly impact your state-of-mind. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. And, of course, the opposite is true–when you surround yourself with excellence and clear-eyed determination, you find that your heart and mind carry much greater strength. Temper your media intake this week, as they are (quite literally) merchants of fear.

Clark’s Key Reminder #3: The only thing you can truly control is yourself. You can’t control the market, you can’t control the US debt rating (unless, of course, Messrs. Geithner and Bernanke are reading this — perhaps you guys can!), and there’s a real sense in which you can’t even, really, control your salary and income, to a certain extent.And don’t believe that you can fully control your business, or your client behavior — that’s a clear path towards irrelevance and bankruptcy. But you CAN affect your business through effective internal marketing. But so much of what people do with their existing clients doesn’t work.

So I’ve put together some clear-eyed advice about what DOES work (and I’m speaking from personal experience here).Oh, and if you’d really like to talk this week (and I don’t blame you) I have EIGHT open tax-planning sessions. But I urge you to move quickly, as I sent an email to my non-business clients about them as well, and they’re going quickly. Send me a quick email, or call: 606-678-4372 to grab one.

On to making your current client marketing better…Mark Clark’s”Real World” Business Strategy Current Client Marketing For Increased Referrals How do your customers and prospects hear about you and your business? Chances are that you’re investing in plenty of new client acquisition advertising. But are you investing in the easiest kind of new clients to get? What are they? Referral clients.

And the best, most profitable way to stimulate those referrals is through a regular (monthly–or even weekly) newsletter. Email is great–print is even better, but here are some key tips to making sure that your newsletter is everything it could and should be–whichever the format.

You see, many companies produce “newsletters” for their clients and prospects. But after a while, the purpose of the newsletter is lost and so is its impact — the thing takes on its own kind of momentum, and businesses become blindered by their own (seeming) brilliance.

So, here are a few tips for turning your newsletter into a powerful marketing tool–instead of “just another newsletter”…

1. Determine what your readers want. Too many newsletters are used simply to boast. Although your newsletter should promote your business, it’s also a time to build your relationship with your prospects and customers. Be sure to discuss topics of interest and value for your customers and prospects.

2. Personalize your newsletter. There are hundreds of newsletters circulating on the Internet and in the mail. You need to make your newsletter stand out from the crowd. Making your newsletter “uniquely you” will make a difference. So be real. Feel free to include personality and emotion in your newsletter.

3. Make it look good…but not TOO good. The visual aspect of your newsletter can make all the difference. Make it brief. (You only have the reader’s attention for a few minutes.) Use bullets and appealing headlines. And include graphics. But don’t let it look like it’s some “off the shelf” pabulum that everyone knows is written by a third party. That’s a recipe for the trash.

4. Let your readers give you their opinion. Ask your readers to comment on the newsletter. They will tell you what they liked, disliked, or want to see more of. Additionally, the interaction with your readers draws you closer to a sale.

5. Include your contact information (!). The ultimate purpose of the newsletter is to get more customers (through name recognition, relationship building, and promoting your products). However, without your contact information, those potential customers will never appear. It’s incredible to me how many folks miss that step!

Create a newsletter worthy of your company and you’ll drive your readers to future sales. Make it simple, make it short, and make it a powerful tool that reflects you and your business!

Talk again next week. Remember that your customers WANT to hear from you! — especially in the midst of a storm, and when handled as I’ve described for you here.