Marketing simplified

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Marketing has a lot of facts. Different things you can do to bring in business and earn more on the business you bring in. You can grow your practice by leveraging your existing clients and contacts or you can reach out to prospective new clients and the people who can refer them.

Another way to look at it is, you can either

a) build a list, through various reaching out methods (advertising, networking, blogging, speaking, etc.), or

b) work with people you know, seeking their repeat business and referrals.

Your clients have a list–their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and so on. Your professional contacts have newsletters, email lists, client lists, and personal and professional contacts.

Leveraging your existing relationships is more immediate because your clients and contacts know, like and trust you. They’re willing to hire you (if they need you), and send you referrals and make introductions. But their ability to do these things is finite and may not be enough to sustain you.

On the other hand, building a list by reaching out to people you don’t know is more difficult and takes longer. You have to attract prospects who need you now, or build a list and stay in touch with them until they do. You have to build trust and show them what you can do. You need to do the same thing with prospective referral sources.

But the list of people you don’t know is virtually unlimited.

So, what do you do?

In the beginning of your practice, you’ll obviously do more reaching out and list building. Later, when you have an established client base and relationships with other professionals, you’ll probably find it more fruitful to leverage those relationships.

If you’re somewhere between the two–not quite new but not yet ready to rely completely on repeat business and referrals–you should probably do both. And if you’re not sure where you are, keep doing both, until you’re so rich and famous you can do whatever you want.

Here’s the plan

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