Beware the tactics trap!
Beware the tactics trap
Michael refuses to offer a free trial consultation. "They
can read my articles or ebooks," he shrugs. His business
Marilyn offers her clients a full half-hour of free consultation.
She has few takers.
Michael and Marilyn send high-quality articles to ezines.
Michael's opt-in list is growing. Marilyn's opt-outs out-number
Michael and Marilyn promote ebooks on their sites with dazzling
"buy-me-now" sales letters. Michael's ebooks fly
off the auto-responders. Marilyn's gather cyberdust.
What's going on?
Michael helps clients make money on the web. He's been around
longer than any of his three major competitors. He promises
benefits like, "Double your sales in thirty days!"
or, "I'll help you write an ebook in forty-eight hours."
Ebook marketing is a top-ten "hot" topic on everyone's
Marilyn is a life coach, offering a me-too product in a competitive
-- perhaps saturated -- market. Even if she offers the ultimate
benefit -- a perfect life -- she'll have a lot of competition.
And "career strategy" or "life transition"
doesn't make anyone's hot-topics list.
Marilyn has to find a niche that truly values what she can
offer. Her target market may not be searching on the web.
She may be able to reposition her services to avoid competing
with the "perfect life" coaches.
Now suppose Marilyn asks Michael for help.
Ideally, Michael will say, "You're not ready to work
with me. I can't help you with a marketing plan. I know what
I did -- but you're in a different market."
More likely, Michael will take Marilyn's money. They'll wrestle
with web copy, ebook titles and sales letters. Michael will
encourage Marilyn to follow in his footsteps: no free consulations,
more free articles.
When Marilyn's sales remain dismal, Michael shrugs, "I've
done my part." And, in a sense, he has.
Tactical consulting works when you have solid evidence that
a market exists for your product. You know your target market
will truly value the benefits you offer and will express their
valuation by taking out their credit cards.
Before you reach this stage, a tactical consultant or coach
may actually harm you. Inappropriate tactics cost money and
divert your energy from more profitable paths.
Listen to your intuition. If you sense, "There's something
wrong with this picture," pay attention.
If you believe, "There's an untapped market out there,"
investigate further. Some markets have needs but lack motivation.
For instance, several million people relocate each year.
They make bad decisions because they're under stress. However,
moving makes people feel poor. They'll borrow a twelve-dollar
book from the library to avoid shopping at amazon. I learned
that the hard way with my own book, Making the Big Move.
Bottom line: Go slow and hide your credit cards. Until you
find a market that will buy what you have to sell, your best
advisor is your own inner wisdom.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.