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Market Leadership Strategy #3: Marketing Leadership
Here's the third of my “Market Leadership for 2015” videos, this time looking at Marketing Leadership.
Hi, Ian here again.
This is the third of my market leadership videos, this one is about market leadership through marketing leadership.
What do I mean by that?
Well if you want to be seen as a leader in your marketplace and get clients seeking you out and get that insulation from price pressure we’ve been talking about then you actually have to be visible to potential clients.
All that brilliant thought leadership, everything you’re doing to build relationships comes to nothing if no one actually sees it. And, of course, that’s where your marketing comes in.
Now in the professions it’s been a truism for a long, long time that the most successful firms are the ones with the most successful rainmakers. People with extensive networks, who can get referrals or go out and do presentations and bring clients in to the business.
And in most firms, those skills are a rarity. The technical skills to do the job are pretty commonplace, but the rainmaking or marketing skills to win clients are pretty rare. That’s why successful rainmakers tend to get paid so much.
Now historically, those rainmaking skills have tended to be interpersonal ones. So business was won by networking, schmoozing, by entertaining, by being a great presenter.
Those are rare skills and they're also very time consuming activities so it meant that smaller firms – especially sole practitioners were at a disadvantage because they had to deliver the work themselves as well as win it.
Now, of course, the world is changing. Huge amounts of business are still won by networking, schmoozing, entertaining and dazzling people with your presentation skills. But for small and solo businesses the good news is that more and more business is being won or at least initiated online.
And online marketing, once you’ve mastered it, isn’t so time consuming because you set it up and it runs itself; and it’s also more outsource-able than personal marketing.
Now what I’ve particularly witnessed over the last couple of years is that consultants, coaches, trainers, even lawyers and accountants who have mastered some of the emerging marketing techniques quickly have been able to get a real edge and establish themselves as the go to people in their field largely because they were able to reach potential clients that others weren’t or reach the same people in different ways.
So if you’re doing personal marketing – you’re going out to networking events or doing presentations then it’s a relatively small market because it’s bounded by who you can physically reach.
And it’s also a very crowded market. I’m sure you’ve noticed that at every networking event you go to there are dozens of coaches and consultants, three or four law firms, a handful of accountants etc.
So if you want to make an impact with in-person marketing you have to be very, very good at it. Just showing up isn’t enough.
On the other hand, the people who mastered Facebook or Linkedin Advertising early, or who learnt how to do live webinars or automated webinars before their competitors, were pretty much playing in an an empty field where just doing that marketing strategy, even if they weren't brilliant at it, was enough to stand out.
Now obviously lots more people are doing online advertising, and lots more people are doing webinars these days so it can sometimes feel like you’ve missed the boat.
But the truth is that if you look at your direct competitors you’ll find that pretty much 100% of them are doing traditional marketing and I’m sure they all have websites…
But probably only about 10-20% are doing real online marketing where they’re using pay-per-click or social media effectively, they’re taking people to landing pages, they feed into a marketing funnel with email marketing, they use video and audio and webinars.
If you look at how much of that your competitors are doing you’ll find that most of them are doing very little. Which means you only need to roll in a few of these techniques to get much more visibility with potential clients and to really stand out.
Now of course, eventually your competitors will catch up and that’s what I mean by Marketing Leadership. It’s always being that one step ahead of the game.
So for example, I’ve been doing Facebook Ads seriously for about a year now and I’ve implemented a marketing funnel behind that that very few of my competitors have.
I'm far from the only one doing that but most of my competitors aren't. And I think it’s going to be at least a year or so before it gets more competitive.
So right now I’m looking at things like Youtube advertising to see if it might be the next thing I roll in when that happens so I stay a step ahead.
Now your market might be more advanced. But usually it’s fields like marketing that I work in that adopt new techniques quickly.
So the truth is that if you can master Facebook or Linkedin advertising or have an automated marketing funnel or get really good at regular webinars or video or podcasts then in most markets you can use that to establish a leadership position for at least a couple of years before it becomes crowded.
So simply by being better or more accurately learning faster at marketing, you can stand out in your field because you're reaching different people that your competitors can’t reach, or you’re reaching the same people in different ways.
Now if you combine that with the other market leadership strategies I’ve talked about: so if you’re ahead with your marketing and you’re ahead with your ideas and thought leadership and you’re better at building relationships then you really have a combination that can allow you rapidly grow, become the go-to person in your field, work with the best clients and protect yourself from price competition.
Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be sharing more details on implementing these market leadership strategies.
So if you’re a Momentum Club member you’ll get webinars and detailed training and if you subscribe to my regular emails you’ll get updates and ideas through that.
Now I’ve got one last thing for you, it’s a little bonus market leadership strategy. I wasn’t originally planning to discuss it but as I’ve been doing these videos it struck me that it was a great complement to what I’ve been talking about so far.
It’s the concept of Value Leadership, and if you’re an email subscriber you’ll get an email from me on Tuesday next week with a link to a video on that.
If you’re not an email subscriber, you really should be – you can sign up below.
So that’s it for this week. I’ve really enjoyed doing these videos for you. I hope you’ve found them useful. And I’ll see you again soon.