Not all marketing approaches are equal when it comes to your personal history business. Traditional print advertising, for example, isn’t that effective. Few if any of us could sustain the major expense of an ad campaign. And we engage our clients at a very intimate level which requires that they know, like, and trust us before buying our service.
So if not all marketing approaches work, what does?
The collective wisdom of personal historians who’ve built successful businesses suggests that these 5 approaches are essential.
Having satisfied clients sing your praises to their network of family and friends is pure gold. A colleague of mine gets most of her clients by word-of- mouth. If you’re starting out, it’ll take some time before you’ve built a critical enough mass to ensure a steady flow of clients.
This doesn’t mean you can’t begin the process with your very first client. If that person is really pleased with your work, don’t forget to ask for referrals. Check out my previous post Lousy at Getting Referrals? Here’s Some Help for more help.
If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful. ~ Jeff Bezos, founder Amazon.com
engage your community
Because our profession is a very personal business, potential clients want to be able to see, hear, and be inspired by us. So put yourself in the middle of groups where you’re likely to meet face-to-face with potential clients. You can do this by volunteering, agreeing to sit on boards of community groups, and networking with business associations like BNI. I’ve written more about this in What Do Fishing and Personal History Clients Have in Common?
I know this can strike fear in the hearts of the bravest souls but don’t pass up a great opportunity to promote personal histories. I’ve some help for you in How to Get Control of Your Pre-Presentation Jitters.
Remember that your presentation isn’t about soliciting business but about educating people on the wonderful world of personal histories. Work up a variety of presentations that can fit a 15 or 30-minute time slot. You can read more about honing your presentation skills in my previous article Do You Want to Bolster Your Presentation Skills?
Next, contact groups in your community who might be interested in personal histories such as church groups, genealogical societies, book clubs, and service organizations.
build referral partners
There are a number of businesses which serve some of the same clients as personal historians. These include life coaches, wedding planners, financial planners, and eldercare transition specialists.
Over time you can extend your reach by cultivating such referral partners. Read more about this in You Can Do It! Get Referral Partners Today.
talk it up
Don’t underestimate the value of mentioning your work whenever and wherever the opportunity arises. Don’t be shy. Always carry a few business cards.
See your supermarket, bank, library, dentist office, and public transit as full of potential clients. Chat with a stranger in a line up or with a receptionist or librarian. It works. I’ve been asked for my card by a cashier at our local grocery store and by my dentist.
You just never know where your next client will come from.
Make it happen!
Don’t turn the chance to go anywhere. Join clubs, do anything you can to get out there and meet people. You are your product. Advertise it.
~ Max Markson, Australian marketing expert
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