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11 Benefits of Building a Private Coaching Program Around Your Expertise

  
  
  
  
  

Here's a training module (it's #1 out of 3 available FREE here) on why and how YOU can create, promote and profit from private coaching programs built around the expertise you ALREADY have - whether you consider yourself a "coach" or NOT!

To get the rest of this FREE "Private Coaching Success" video series, click here.

Shazam!!

Please post your comments and questions below. Hit the "Like" button above so that you get notified via Facebook when I post more videos.

How NOT to Create Your Private Coaching Program

  
  
  
  
  

Private Coaching Success free video training seriesI hate to embarrass people in public. Even if they deeply and richly deserve it. And I’m not about to start now, even though this story about an otherwise respected professional who wanted to start a private coaching program (for all the wrong reasons and with zero preparation) may send chills down your spine. All names have been removed to protect the goofy.

By the way, if you want to cut to the chase and find out how to do this right from the get-go, check out my new FREE video training series "Private Coaching Success" - grab some popcorn and go here

Back to our story... It all began with this exchange (via Facebook message) between me and a successful international keynote speaker with whom I am friendly (and who earns in excess of $20,000 per speech):

  • HIM: hey you do ongoing coaching type programs, right? 
    like you get clients that pay you X per month or year for telephone time or something else?
    im asking because i was approached recently by a CEO who wants me to do executive coaching/mentoring for him.  do you have some sort of outline i could follow please? i havent structured a deal like this before

  • David Newman
    I do marketing coaching, not “executive coaching” but many of my clients DO - usual structure is 2-3 phone meetings per month with email access to you in between and for CEOs I wouldn't charge less than $5k per month. 7500-10k per month if the meetings are in person. Normally you'd lock them in for a 6- or 12-month commitment.
    That's all you need to know to close the deal. Boom - you owe me a Pepsi.

  • HIM: lol thanks. but what do they get for their money ? in terms of time commitments etc and i dont have any formal program structured. or is it pretty informal? they call and you just shoot the shit?

  • David Newman
    If the content of the expertise you're trying to sell isn't in line with what the CEO needs or expects, you're toast - you can't just charge for something and "wing it" - don't mean to be harsh, bro - but are you playing to your strengths here??

  • HIM: he approached me, not the other way around
    he was in my audience recently and came over to me and said he wants to hire me to be his executive coach
    so i certainly havent promised him anything i cant deliver
    but i dont have a bunch of papers and programs and checklists or any formal program, because this is not something i normally do.

I’ll stop there simply to spare you the pain and embarrassment of more.

What’s wrong with this picture? I could go on and on but I promised myself this would be a short post.

PLUS I want to hear from YOU in the Comments section below about your reactions and advice in avoiding this type of train wreck.

Here’s my 6 cents on what is dangerous and crazy about this exchange:

  1. Someone who can deliver a killer keynote speech (regardless of fee level) does NOT automatically qualify as an executive coach. Totally different skill set. It’s like hiring a virtuoso pianist to build a custom stereo - yes, they both make music. But the similarity ends there.
     
  2. “Do you have some sort of outline I could follow?” Imagine this question coming from a jet fighter pilot, a brain surgeon, or a trial attorney. There is no outline -- it’s a skill set that is a combination of serious expertise plus deep experience. You don’t “follow an outline.”
     
  3. “I don’t have any formal program structured.” Here’s your first clue, Sherlock Holmes - if you don’t have a formal program for what you’re trying to sell, then you have no business selling it. Holy cow, do I really have to spell this out? Shouldn’t this just FEEL wrong? Apparently not...
     
  4. “They call and you just shoot the shit?” Umm, no. I just gave my friend some pricing guidance that a high-level executive coaching program is at least $5,000 per month. And he asks me if that money goes toward “shooting the shit”? Seriously? Meanwhile - there are serious, committed, high-value executive coaches that just read this and their foreheads are about to explode. And I don’t blame them.
     
  5. “But Dad - HE started it!” OK, that’s not exactly what he said. It was “he approached me, not the other way around” as if THIS makes it OK to charge money for a service that my friend is neither qualified nor prepared to offer. But wait. we’re not quite done - it gets worse...
     
  6. “I don’t have a bunch of papers and programs and checklists or any formal program, because this is not something I normally do.” Again, let’s transplant this statement to a different profession - forensic accounting, cancer research, or defusing bombs. You’d probably want each of these professionals to show up with more than “a bunch of papers and checklists” to fulfill their responsibilities, correct? And you might even be more nervous to learn that “this is not something they normally do.” The lesson? THEN DON’T DO IT!!!

Tell you what - if you'd rather do this faster, smarter and better - then check out my FREE video training series "Private Coaching Success" - you can grab it right here 

You'll be very glad you did. I guarantee it. 

7 Quick Truths of Business Coaching

  
  
  
  
  

business coaching1. Most business coaching isn’t really “coaching” - it’s much more 1-on-1 consulting or training or mentoring. The traditional coaching model assumes that the client has the answers  - the coach shows up only with questions. In most business situations in which you as a speaker, author, consultant, or independent professional would be asked for “coaching” - what the prospect is really asking for is 1-on-1 access to you for both questions AND answers

2. Setting up a coaching or 1-on-1 mentoring profit center can be fast, easy and lucrative - When I started adding 1-on-1 marketing coaching services to my offerings back in 2003, I was working hourly (huge mistake). Even then, I would make between $500-$1500 per month per client. And it took me zero prep because clients were paying to tap into knowledge and expertise that I already had! Today I sell three sessions for $2,500 and 90 days for $8,500. Crazy, right?

3. Coaching is a commodity and most coaches are broke - While this is true (sadly), that doesn’t mean that you can’t break the mold. And also remember that this fact is about traditional life coaching or success coaching - NOT business coaching. According to surveys by the International Coach Federation (ICF), the median annual income for coaches is $29,100. That means that HALF of all coaches make even LESS than that! So obviously, this is NOT the private coaching model that I am recommending to you. Instead…   

4. Adding “private coaching” (really 1-on-1 consulting/mentoring) to your business model can vastly increase your earning potential as a speaker, consultant, author, and high-fee expert. Before I started my marketing coaching practice, my sole source of revenue was speaking and training. Clients and audiences would ask me, “What’s next?” and my answer was limited to “What’s the next seminar or training class you need?” Today, the answer is a scalable, high-profit series of private coaching programs. For each of the past 6 years, I’ve generated over $200,000 in private coaching income. That’s over a million dollars during that time - and that’s in addition to my other revenue streams.  

5. You do NOT need to be a certified coach and work through hundreds of hours of training to offer 1-on-1 private coaching programs - All you need is a well-packaged program, a systematic and repeatable process, and some structure for how you want to deliver value in a highly-personalized 1-on-1 relationship with your very best clients who will happily pay premium fees for direct access to you and the expertise you already have.  

6. People WANT to take you home. If you’re a successful speaker, consultant, author, or high-fee expert, buying private coaching from you can be a huge ego-boost for high-achieving executives and entrepreneurs. If your private coaching program is systematized, well-marketed, and well-documented - it will be extremely well-received by clients. Yet so many folks can't quite crack the code of how to add private 1-on-1 coaching to their professional practice…

7. It’s both easier - and harder - than it looks. Read this post for a cautionary tale about a completely unethical and incompetent way to offer private coaching programs. That is NOT the path I recommend. Rather, you need to sit back and strategically decide how to create, promote and profit from private coaching programs you can build around the expertise you ALREADY have. If you want some fast-track help to make the planning, implementation, and monetization way easier, faster, and more profitable, check this out.

p.s. Join me for the Coaching Revenue Roadmap FREE teleseminar on 7/31. Details are waiting for you here:
http://www.doitmarketing.com/coaching-revenue-roadmap 

What do you think of adding or expanding your private coaching offerings to YOUR clients? Please use the COMMENTS area below to chime in with your advice, insights, and experiences (whether you currently consider yourself a “coach” or not!)

short blog posts

77 ideas to boost sales (30 gifts, 300 leads, plus an award!)

  
  
  
  
  
YOUR Birthday Gifts + Leads

My book's birthday is today and YOU get the gifts... 

  

If you order the book today, you will get over $747 in business-building bonuses and you'll also get a terrific book jam-packed with savvy marketing, sales and business development strategies, tactics and tools.

 

To check out the 30 bonuses you'll get immediately when you buy today, visit:

http://doitmarketing.com/book-bonus (The 2nd bonus is 300 free sales leads!)

 

The book has sold over 10,000 copies and earned overwhelmingly positive reviews. On June 4, 2014 (yesterday!!) the book won "best marketing book" in the 2014 Small Business Book Awards.

 

Here's what SmallBizTrends had to say about it:

 

The Practical Marketing Smack-Around That's Been Missing in Your Business: This is an ideal book for anyone remotely responsible for sales and marketing. Do It! Marketing will give your marketing a real workout - but the only thing you'll be moaning about is what to do with all the new customers you have.

 

Here are just a few other people's opinions...

 

=====

"Do It! Marketing has cracked the code on marketing success. And the code is simple - there is no code! Rather, David shows you step-by-step how to own the marketing process and get results. No matter what got you here, this book will get you there."

-- Marshall Goldsmith, Author of "MOJO" and "What Got You Here Won't Get You There"

 

 

"Wow! This is a terrific book - loaded with practical, proven and often surprising methods and techniques to dramatically increase your sales."

-- Brian Tracy, Author of "High Performance Selling"

 

 

 

"Packed with a gazillion smart ideas you can use immediately to supercharge your marketing. But beyond all those great ideas, Do It! Marketing shares key concepts and simple systems that will bring you more business with much less struggle."

-- C.J. Hayden, Author of "Get Clients Now!"

 

 

"Do It! Marketing is for every business owner, entrepreneur and executive who wants more focus, more momentum, more clients and more business. As David says, 'only action creates results.' Acting on the ideas in this book will help your business - and career - run the gauntlet, grow and thrive."

-- Jeffrey Hayzlett, global business celebrity and host of Bloomberg Television's #1 rated show, "The C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett"

=====

 

When you order today, you'll get more than $747 in instant-access bonus material from some of America's TOP business experts. Everything is waiting for you here:

http://doitmarketing.com/book-bonus 

 

Plus you'll also get 300 free sales leads via our partners at SalesDog and LeadFerret when you buy the book today

 

Grab your copy from amazon NOW and you'll thank me later. After you make your purchase, visit this link to claim your 30 bonuses and 300 sales leads. 

 

p.s. Happy Birthday - you don't look a day older!

What do YOU want to know about book marketing?

  
  
  
  
  

book marketing surveyAlright, you talked me into it... 

I get a ton of questions about book marketing - how to sell more books, how to market your book, how to do your book launch, yadda yadda.

Example FAQ's: 

  • How can I market my book as a first-time author?
  • My book came out X years ago - is it too late to launch it properly? (Answer: NO!)
  • Do those amazon bestseller campaigns that cost $5k or more really work? (Hint: NO!!)
  • How much should I pay a publicist to help with my book launch?
    (Surprise: Zero)
  • How do I let my email subscribers and social media followers know about my book without being a pushy jerk?
  • How do I get celebrities and famous people to endorse my book?
  • What do I need to do before, during, and after my book comes out to ensure sales, media attention, and tons of great reviews?

And the list goes on...

And I love it because I'm ridiculously passionate about book marketing and I'd love to see YOU and your book enjoy the same massive success that my book has had...

So I'm going to take the bull by the horns and ANSWER your questions in a series of short videos.

Please click here to take this ONE-question survey.

Let's DO this:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Book-Marketing

You're awesome. Thank YOU!!

Beware the marketing coach who does not DO

  
  
  
  
  

Beware the coach who does not DOOK I have to say it...

I'm getting really REALLY tired of these so-called gurus and coaches who are supposedly teaching people how to "make millions as a [fill in the blank - speaker, author, infomarketer, coach, etc]" yet they have never earned a $5k+ speaking fee, they've never sold more than 1000 books, they've never sold more than a few thousands dollars in infoproducts, and they've never coached more than a few dozen people.

Here's the deal, people - ASK your next coach, guru, teacher, or mentor the following questions based on the subject you're enrolling to learn.

For example...

1. Speaker marketing coach:

  • How many times a year do you speak FOR MONEY? 
  • At what fee? 
  • Who are five of your most recent paid speaking clients?

2. Book marketing coach:

  • Is your book self-published or with a major publisher? 
  • How many books have you sold? 
  • If you claim "bestseller" status - what lists and for how long were you on the list? 
  • Where is your book TODAY in amazon sales rank (less than 25,000 is good)

3. Group coaching/online course creation guru:

  • How many group coaching programs or courses have you run? 
  • Since when have you been filling your own groups? 
  • What's your average enrollment? 
  • At what price point? 
  • Can you show me the sales page for three of your recent programs?

4. Infoproduct coach:

  • How many infoproducts do you currently sell? 
  • What's your monthly sales volume on your top 2-3 products? 
  • Can you show me the sales pages for several of your products?

5. Private Coaching guru:

  • How many private coaching clients do YOU currently work with? 
  • What are your coaching packages and fees? 
  • Do you charge by the hour? (It's a BIG red flag if they say yes!) 
  • What percentage of your coaching business is repeat and referral? 
  • What's the average amount of time and money that clients spend with you?

6. Marketing/business growth coach:

  • How long have you been running your business? 
  • Do you have other sources of income besides this business? 
  • What are they? 
  • What are the typical outcomes clients get from working with you? 
  • Have you DONE what I want to do - or do you just teach it? 
  • How many clients have you worked with? 
  • What separates your successful clients from your not-so-successful ones? 
  • Then check out their recommendations on Linkedin and their client testimonials on their website (how specific are they? how many? how credible? Full attribution with person's name, company, position, etc?)

There are a lot of people out there who LOOK like they have it going on - pitching their "Million Dollar" this and "Million Dollar" that...

Sad to say, a LOT of it is smoke and mirrors. Motivation, inspiration, pretty websites, great photos of smiling, jubilant bootcamp or retreat attendees, a big social media footprint, great looking videos...

But scratch the surface and the gold glitter starts to flake off in big chunks as you realize you've just been taken for a ride by a very pretty or handsome con artist and suddenly, you're out a few thousand dollars (or a lot more) with nothing to show for it except that empty feeling in the pit of your stomach that you're not any closer to achieving your goals for your business, your bank account, or your lifestyle.

Don't follow the herd - you're not a lemming or a sheep.

Find the people who are the REAL DEAL, who only preach what they themselves practice, invest wisely, and choose carefully.

That is all. Rant ends here.

And next time - we'll tackle the rant of the CLIENT who does not do. (That rant might be even juicier than this one, don't you agree?)

What's been your experience with coaches, consultants and mentors? Do you think they need to DO - or just teach and coach? Please use the COMMENTS below and let's discuss...

marketing speaker marketing coach

The Crazy Goodness of Short Blog Posts

  
  
  
  
  

short blog postsThey are hard. 

Never mastered them. 

Probably never will. 

Wait... 

p.s. Notice how nobody's ever been called "SHORT-winded"?

What do you think? Use the COMMENTS area below to share your advice, insights and recommendations on writing shorter, punchier blog posts. What's hard about it? What approaches do you use? 

short blog posts

17 vital differences between a market and an audience

  
  
  
  
  

17 vital differences market audienceAs a speaker, consultant, thought-leading executive or entrepreneur, you may have heard about the importance of building an audience for your work... Sounds great. 

But it's nowhere as important as developing a market for your expertise. 

Here are 17 vital differences between a market and an audience.

You can spend YEARS attracting and serving an audience that is NOT your market. And that's just sad, painful, and frustrating. 

These are as pernicious as they are deceptive. 

WHICH of these has been holding you back - confusing you - or set you to wondering how come you're not making more money?

Let's go down the list... 

  1. An audience listens - A market pays attention
  2. An audience wants entertainment - A market wants to solve problems
  3. An audience values an experience - A market values expertise
  4. An audience wants to watch - A market wants to act
  5. An audience wants information - A market wants implementation
  6. An audience reacts - A market responds
  7. An audience wants their questions answered - A market wants their answers questioned
  8. An audience wants you to be popular - A market wants you to be right
  9. An audience asks “What can you do?” - A market asks “What’s next?” and “What else?”
  10. An audience says, “Great show!” - A market says, “Great job!”
  11. An audience tells their friends - A market tells their boss
  12. An audience buys your book - A market reads your book
  13. An audience likes your ideas - A market implements your ideas
  14. An audience wants your autograph - A market wants to give you their signature
  15. An audience applauds - A market refers
  16. An audience says, “Thank you” - A market says, “Thank goodness!”

and finally - most important of all - read this next one as often as you need to...

17. An audience will HEAR you - A market will PAY you (well, often, and gladly)

Expert marketers not only build an audience - they develop a market for their value, ideas, products, services, and programs.

The next Expert Marketing Workshop starts soon if you would like to find out how YOU can do the same for YOUR business.

What do YOU think about building your audience vs. finding your market? Use the comments below and join the conversation... 

doitmarketing email out of office message

Marketing for Experts: The Real Deal

  
  
  
  
  

Marketing expert marketing speaker og adThe ad above first appeared in Business Week in 1958 – 56 years ago!

The moral of the ad’s story was relevant then and it is even more relevant today: establish expertise and build relationships before you try to sell.

The good news is that experts win on value and generalists die on price. 

The bad news is that we live in far more cynical times than the sellers of the 1950’s; but more good news is that YOU have so many more tools available to help you address the problem.

If you're investing in "Expert Marketing" (it goes by several other names like inbound marketing, thought-leadership marketing, and content marketing)... then you've probably asked yourself: 

How (and when) will this generate a sale?

And that is completely the WRONG question.

By the time you're done reading this article/ rant/ manifesto, you'll see exactly why - AND you'll be able to ask (and answer) much better questions for your business right away. 

Asking when expert marketing will lead to a sale is like filling up your car's gas tank and asking, "Why aren't we there yet?" 

Answer: Because filling your car with gas is a NECESSARY but NOT SUFFICIENT step to getting you to your destination (a new customer or client).

Do you have a chance of arriving now that your gas tank is full? You bet.

Did you have a chance of getting there with your tank on empty? No way. 

Let's move on... 

Insight #1 You need to sell the same way that YOU buy.

Look at your email spam or bulk email folder. Yes, you. Yes, right now. I'll wait... 

tap... tap... tap... tap... You're back. Excellent.

Did you see that spam email from the toner cartridge company? Did you catch the pitch from the SEO firm that filled out your website's "contact us" form? Did you respond to that great deal on vacation cruises? NO? 

OK now pop over to your paper mail pile on your desk. Did you check out the latest "triple play" offer from Comcast (or whatever hellacious Cable Satan runs in your neck of the woods)? How about that compelling cell phone offer from Verizon? The Wall Street Journal subscription offer under that postcard? Or how about that postcard - you know, the one from the home heating oil company? NO? 

When's the last time you gave your credit card number over to a cold caller who interrupted your family dinner? NEVER??

I'm shocked...

Because you seem pretty excited about YOUR cold calls - and sending out YOUR spam - YOUR offers - YOUR postcards - YOUR sales messages.

The problem with doing it this way? In four words...

Zero. Value. For. Prospects.

And hello? YOU don't BUY this way. What in the world makes you think your prospects DO?

Look once more at the ad above - and answer one simple question: 

Question #1: What VALUE have I ADDED to my prospect's world in order to EARN the RIGHT to INVITE them to a conversation and OFFER my solutions to their urgent, pervasive, expensive problems?

Insight #2 Referrals are great - but they are neither deaf, dumb, nor blind

Next, you'll say that you don't NEED "expert marketing" because 99% of your business is repeat and referral business and it's always been that way and you don't see how this "newfangled marketing" is going to move the needle in closing more sales.

Do you seriously think that referrals don't check you out online before picking up the phone?

What messages are you sending to your valued referrals with...

a. Your outdated website (articles from 2008 are outdated, friends. And from 2003 even more so. And design aesthetic from 1997 most of all.)

b. Your sporadically updated blog that you leave dormant for 2 (or 4 or 6) months at a clip.

c. Your abandoned Twitter account you set up because someone said "you had to" and that now has 37 followers while your competitors have 3,000 (or a whole lot more.) 

d. Your sketchy, bare bones LinkedIn profile that has 300 connections but only 2 recommendations (From 2005. From people with the same last name as you.)

e. Your "glory days" articles and TV clips and PR placements from 20 (yes I'm serious), 10, or even 5 years ago. Nothing screams "has-been" like old media.  

Make no mistake: Getting repeat and referral business is great. But don't kid yourself that this absolves you from having a top-notch web presence, social media platform, and body of knowledge that is ultra-current, super-relevant, and obviously abundant.

In fact, you are leaving yourself open for EMBARRASSMENT if your advocates hear back from their referrals and find themselves in the awkward position of having to DEFEND you to them because your web presence has fallen behind and now casts your professional expertise into doubt.

Question #2: Does my overall web presence REASSURE and REINFORCE the referrals I earn with the most current, credible and relevant expert marketing messages, positioning, content, resources, and value that will make my advocates LOOK BETTER - not worse - for referring me? 

Insight #3 Expert Marketing is a 4-layer enchilada (aka You don't get to eat the delicious golden-brown cheese without first layering on the meat!!)

trusted advisor marketing DOIT

The first layer - at the core of the matter - is your Reputation. Your work. Your track record. If you stop there, you'll have a VERY hard time attracting NEW leads and prospects to your doorstep. "My work should speak for itself" is what a lot of very smart people say - smart people who have a hard time making their mortgage payments.  

The second layer is Amplification. Ways to make your "expert signal" stronger. Enter social media marketing, niche PR, article marketing, blogging, keyword research and search engine optimization. This is the key to spreading your ideas and broadcasting your expertise.

The third layer is Leverage. This is where you begin to capitalize on your "expert marketing" assets such as articles, blogs, videos, podcasts, interviews, white papers, special reports, book excerpts, and other value-first marketing tools. You can now reach out to high-probability prospects both individually (on LinkedIn for example) and collectively (on your blog for example). This is where your job becomes putting the right bait on the right hooks in the right lakes to catch the right fish.  

The fourth layer is Gravity. Just like Jim Collins talks about the "flywheel" concept in Good to Great (it takes a long time to get it spinning but then is very hard to stop because of the power of momentum) - this is where you start to see payoffs. More leads, better prospects, bigger opportunities, more conversations, higher profile alliances, more invitations to speak, publish, guest post, contribute, teach, and (drum roll please...) more invitations to do great work at premium fees for great clients who NOW know you, like you, and trust you enough to hand over 5- and 6-figure checks because their level of confidence in your expertise is pretty damn close to 100%.

Question #3: Do you want to make more sales to strangers? (Good luck with that). Or do you really want more people to recognize, respect, and request YOU by name when they have a need, project, or problem that they instantly see has "your name written all over it"? If that's your goal, then expert marketing is for you. 

Re-read the McGraw-Hill ad above and let's do a 21st century spin on it together...

  • I don't know who you are.
  • I don't read your blog. 
  • I don't subscribe to your newsletter.
  • I don't see your name in my industry's publications.
  • I don't hear my peers spreading your ideas.
  • I don't come across your content in Google searches.
  • I don't connect your solutions to my problems. 
  • I don't feel the gravity of your credibility or credentials.
  • I don't have any tangible way to gauge your expertise or experience.
  • Now -- what was it you wanted to sell me? 

So here's the ultimate (and most important) question for YOU: 

How can you realistically expect to SELL anything by NOT setting the necessary pre-conditions for ANY sale with Expert Marketing?

The answer is as simple as it is obvious: you can't. Just like you can't drive your car from Denver to Sheboygan just by filling up your gas tank. You need to get behind the wheel, plan your route, use your GPS, add more fuel along the way (and probably some beef jerky and Sno-Balls and root beer) AND put in the hours and the miles to get you to your destination.  

Nobody -- and I mean N-O-B-O-D-Y -- hires speakers, consultants or professional services firms sight unseen. You wouldn't. I wouldn't either.

And the facts prove out that today's buyers are just like YOU and ME. 

Expert marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. And as any marathoner will tell you - the best (and only) way to run a marathon is one mile at a time. 

What do you think? Please post YOUR COMMENTS below and... 

trusted advisor marketing for speakers, consultants, experts

Professional Services Marketing: The Four Levels

  
  
  
  
  

four levels of marketingThere are four things that you need to focus on in your professional service marketing, four levels if you will.

The four levels are strategy, tactics, initiatives and action steps.

When you go to a conference, when you ask your mastermind group for help, even when you start searching the web for answers and resources to grow your business, the number one source of overwhelm is when we've heard a whole bunch of strategies, a whole bunch of tactics, a whole bunch of initiatives, a whole bunch of actions steps and we don’t know the difference.

  1. We can't do them all.
  2. We can't even prioritize or figure out how to start to think about them.
  3. We can't even distinguish which is what and why and how it might work for us.

So let's unpack this for your business...

Let's talk about level one, strategy.

A strategy is a big picture area of your business.

It could be a marketing-focused strategy. It could be a sales-focused strategy. It could be a financial strategy.

Let’s say you come across someone who tells you Twitter is an amazing marketing platform and you’re really missing out if your business is not on Twitter.

He's using it and it fits his business beautifully, of course and you respect this person and you admire their successful business. And now you’re thinking, "Oh man, it's all about Twitter Twitter, Twitter. This guy built his business on Twitter, so I can probably build my business on Twitter."

Well, all right, let's back that up and analyze that as far as the four levels of marketing.

Internet marketing is the strategy. Internet marketing is the big umbrella over Twitter. So you ask yourself, to what extent am I going to use an Internet marketing strategy in the sales and marketing and business development aspect of my business?

Internet marketing is the strategy.

The set of tactics under that would be social media. There's a lot going on via the internet, folks, that's not social media.

For example, search engine optimization, your website, the structure of your web presence, blogging, email marketing, dozens of internet marketing strategies. Social media happens to be one bucket under that, so social media is the tactic.

An initiative would be "I'm going to start using Twitter." This is level three now.

I'm going to start using Twitter. I'm going to start understanding it. I might read a book. I might go to some websites, I’m going to grab a copy of Twitter 101 or Using Twitter for business, all those fabulous resources that are out there for free. I'm going to become educated on that -- on that initiative.

Now, the action step - here's level four, the action step always takes the form of verb, noun, date.

  • Set up my Twitter account by Wednesday.
  • Load my first 30 tweets in Hootsuite by Friday.
  • Find 100 influential people to follow in my industry by Monday.

Those are action steps. And the action step can also go on your calendar.

So this approach really takes it down to "What am I doing today?"

What's on my priority to-do list today? Not what's on my to-do list because your to-do list could be 50 things, but what are my top three most important things that I need to do based on the strategies I've selected, based on the tactics that I’ve chosen, based on the initiatives that I've designed, what are the action steps to put on my calendar and get it done?

So let’s follow this through with a complete example -- let's say I'm in the insurance business. (I'm not but let's say YOU are!)

You're selling into the insurance marketplace, insurance companies and insurance agents, general agents, insurance associations, insurance publications, and you’re looking to become a dominant resource in that world.

Your action step would be "I want to follow 300 insurance industry folks on Twitter by April 13th." That's your action step.

Does that fit into an initiative? Yes. The initiative is aggressively grow my Twitter following targeted to the insurance industry.

Does that fall in to a tactic? Yes, it does. It falls in to the social media tactic or set of tactics.

Does that fall under a strategy that I decided to use? Yes, it falls in to my internet marketing strategy.

So right there, just unpacking those four levels, you've got some "A-ha" moments, some insights you can use to start to filter and sort all of your old ideas, old notes, all of those conference sessions that you may have gone to, all of those tactics and tools and light bulb moments, all those nuggets and sound bites that you may have swirling around in your head or on your “someday, maybe list.”

If you start to sort them in to these four levels; strategy, tactic, initiative and action step – you’ll get a much clearer blueprint for ALL your marketing going forward this month, next month and next year!

What do you think? Leave a comment below and join the conversation...
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About the author: 
David Newman is a marketing expert, professional speaker and founder of Do It! Marketing, a marketing strategy firm dedicated to making thought-leading entrepreneurs and executives more successful. Free resources including David’s 97-page Strategic Marketing eBook are available online at www.doitmarketing.com. Contact David directly at david@doitmarketing.com or call (610) 716-5984. Order David’s book, "Do It! Marketing," and get over $747 in business-building bonuses at http://bit.ly/doitbonus.

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