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Tinker Toys Marketing

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Author: Robert Middleton

As I was putting the finishing touches on my new "Web Site ToolKit" last night I realized how much that putting together any marketing strategy or campaign is like assembling Tinker Toys or Legos.

If you're not familiar with these, they're kid's toys with pieces or components that fit together to make something bigger and more complex - a machine you can play with.

And if everything isn't put together correctly, the machine doesn't run and do what it was meant to do.

On Sunday night I announced the Web site ToolKit to the InfoGuru Support Forum and discovered that in the process of people ordering the ToolKit, a few parts of my online "marketing machine" were broken.

They were easily fixed but it got me thinking about how everything in marketing is much like this: it either works flawlessly or it breaks down because some component wasn't properly attached to the other components.

This is one reason why so many marketing activities don't produce the result they were designed to do: attract more clients. We go through the motions; it *looks* like marketing but the "machine" has actually broken down and we don't realize it.

Here are three "marketing machines" you may be familiar with:

Networking - You decide to get into networking and spend a lot of time at events meeting people, but you attract very few clients. Are all your marketing components in place and working? Personal presentation, Audio Logo, asking questions, business card, article to send to potential prospects, the follow up call.

Speaking - You want to give talks to potential clients, but it's hard to book presentations, let alone attract clients. Which marketing of these components need work? Speaker's kit, phone call to organizations, talk promotion, the talk itself, overheads and handouts, a call-to-action, your follow-up email and call to interested prospects.

Web Site - You have a web site but you're disappointed in the results you're getting. Have you missed some of the components or failed to fine-tune them? Quality design and text format, page headlines, outline of problems, addressing prospects' issues, case studies, detailed service information, free information, eZine signup, optimized for search engines.

Every single marketing machine you create will usually work a lot better if you do the following things:

1. Do some research. Find out what works from someone who has experience. Books, manuals, online courses, consultants and coaches should all be considered. Don't try to make this stuff up, copy success.

2. Create a plan. What are you going to do and when are you going to do it? What resources do you need? What information do you have to assemble? What written or online materials are required? Do you need to rehearse or test before you "go live."

3. Give it your best shot. Pay attention to the details - all the components that need to fit together for the marketing machine to work. Fine-tune and adjust as you go. Try to look from the prospect's points of view. Be flexible while still making a commitment to do the best you can do.

4. Evaluate and readjust. Some things probably went well, some could have been better, and others were total flops. Document what worked and what didn't, so the next time you can do even better. Work at developing a bullet-proof marketing machine that gets results every time.

If you don't take these steps, all you can expect from your marketing is random results. You won't have a marketing machine that's designed to attract clients consistently. Your marketing will be like a broken tinker toy - useless and no fun to play with.

Think of your marketing as a machine with several essential components that all have to work in harmony to produce the marketing results you desire - more clients attracted to your business.

About the author: Robert Middleton, the owner of Action Plan Marketing, has been helping Independent Professionals be better marketers since 1984. On his web site find valuable resources, products and programs for attracting more clients. Get a free copy of his Marketing Plan Sart-Up Kit.

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