One-to-One Marketing for Consultants – The Message

The Marketing Message - Consultants

The fourth in a series of five articles on one-to-one marketing. If you missed the previous three, here they are:

  1. 4 steps
  2. The List
  3. The Offer

Once you have your list and offer in place, it’s time to think about your message.

When introducing yourself to prospective clients, you want to open by describing the problem your audience is likely having – the problem that you’ll be able to solve if they hire you.

This is the most visible part of marketing your consulting business, but it’s not about promotion and hype. It’s about communication.

Understand your objective

Because your objective is to generate leads, you don’t need or want to tell your whole story. Not yet anyway.

You just want to tell them enough to get them to request your offer.

You do want to provide some introductory information about yourself so there is some context for your offer, but this should be minimal. Save your full story for another time.

Focus on your prospects’ problem

As a consultant, you solve problems. When introducing yourself to prospective clients, you want to open by describing the problem your audience is likely having – the problem that you’ll be able to solve if they hire you.

There are many formulas for creating a lead generation message. Here’s a simple one that I like to use:

1. Describe the problem
2. Offer solution to the problem
(Optional: Present the offer as a first-step solution)
3. Expand on solution
4. Establish credibility
5. Call to action – Present offer

Highlight the offer

Although your offer comes last in the above formula, you don’t want to treat it as an afterthought. And you definitely don’t want to bury it.

It’s okay to put it in the closing paragraph as a call to action, but that shouldn’t be the only reference.

Don’t worry about being cute, or funny, or clever. Focus on being clear and straightforward – and delivering something meaningful and relevant to your readers.

You also want to place it near the top – maybe even part of your headline – and make it very visible. You may want to include a photograph or an illustration of the report cover to draw more attention.

Another option (as indicated above) is to make your offer the hero, or the centerpiece, of your message by presenting it as a first-step solution. With this approach, you dedicate almost your entire message in promoting your offer and you spend almost no time in talking about your expertise.

Content vs. style

When you sit down and start writing, remember that “what you say” is much more important than “how you say it.”

It’s easy to get bogged down in your writing style working over many drafts – and sure you want to get it right – but you really need to focus on your message more than your style.

Don’t worry about being cute, or funny, or clever. Focus on being clear and straightforward – and delivering something meaningful and relevant to your readers.

Outcome vs. process

As consultants, we have all developed our own processes for achieving our results. The process is essential to what do. It’s very important to us.

But it’s not important to your audience. You audience only cares about outcomes – what your process will do for them. You may want to reference your process to make the outcome more credible, but your reader is still focused on the outcome.

What outcomes can you promise if they hire you? Is it a meaningful outcome for your audience? Can you quantify it? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.

Segment your audience

One of the advantages of one-to-one marketing is that you can adapt your message to each individual to be more relevant to their needs.

Look at your audience and see how it might be segmented into different groups – by industry, by company size, by job title, by geographic location.

A brochure is not recommended in a lead generation mailer because it provides too much information too early.

If you work with different industries, change your language to reflect those industries. If you target different job titles, change your message to reflect the individual needs or demands of those job titles.

Choose a format

If you are using direct mail, you will soon ask yourself which format works better – a letter mailer or a self-mailer.

Letter mailers tend to be more personal and more business-like. Self-mailers, including postcards, are more graphically pleasing and are less expensive to print and mail. In my experience, letter mailers perform better than self-mailers for business-to-business communication.

For letter mailers, I would lean toward a more sophisticated package with a personalized envelope and letter. Reply cards are still a good idea even though many people prefer to go online to download the report. A brochure is not recommended in a lead generation mailer because it provides too much information too early.

For self-mailers, I prefer an oversized postcard (6×11) that will get you noticed. Make sure the offer is on both sides of the card.

And don’t forget your call to action

When you reach someone who is interested in your offer, you want to make it easy for them to respond. One way to do this is to provide multiple response channels – including reply mail, telephone, fax, email and website landing pages – and let your prospects decide.

Today, the most popular response channel is the website landing page (including personalized landing pages called PURLs). These are independent web pages developed for the sole purpose of lead capture.

One major advantage with landing page is that the entire lead capture process can be automated.

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Next Article in this Series … The Follow-Up

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Bob McCarthy is a marketing consultant/copywriter and the owner of McCarthy & King Marketing, a Milford, Massachusetts marketing agency specializing in direct mail, email marketing, website development and online marketing.

You can subscribe to his blog, The Direct Response Coach, at www.mccarthyandking.com. Bob can be reached at 508-473-8643 or bob@mccarthyandking.com

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  • http://twitter.com/sociablweb Sociabl Web

    This is “Don’t worry about being cute, or funny, or clever. Focus on being clear and straightforward” absolutely true.