1. Make this the year you get over your fear of “selling.”
Most professional service business owners (not just marketing) are so afraid of the concept that they can’t even say the word out loud. Instead they say “new business development.” The thing is, sales and marketing (including PR) are inextricably intertwined.
My sales vet significant other describes it this way: Sales without marketing is like a motorboat with no one at the helm. Marketing without sales is like a boat with a captain but no motor. Now part of the motor might be automated (read: conversion focused website) but eventually someone has to talk to the prospective client and close the deal and if you’re the deal closer, guess what, that makes you a sales person. It’s okay!
2. Create more enduring content for your blog.
Even if that means you issue fewer press releases. Expertise-based content will pay dividends long after that press mention is forgotten. For a great crash course on blogging, check out the videos of Brazen U’s Blogging Bootcamp with Penelope Trunk. If you’re going to pitch, subscribe to MuckRackPro and find out who is writing about what so that your chances of connecting are better. Good rule of thumb: Follow on Twitter. Retweet some of their posts. Then reach out.
3. Buy and read “A Website That Works” by Mark O’Brien.
Then seriously consider implementing his advice in converting your online brochure to a conversion focused sales machine.
4. Get your content rich newsletter out like clockwork.
Also focus on building your targeted email list. Here is a great resource for contact information, Lead411.com. (Mind the CAN SPAM guidelines.)
5. Hire a “personal trainer” for your marketing efforts.
When you hire a communications consultant, make sure you hire someone who also will work hard to keep you engaged in and excited about the process. In every case, my clients could do for themselves pretty much everything I do. But they don’t. And without me, most know they won’t. A good practitioner also is part accountability coach, and can help you keep up the energy and enthusiasm up as you work together toward your goals.
Thank you for making my 2011 awesome and I hope you have a very happy new year and a prosperous 2012!