People often buy in bite size pieces.

That’s why I recommend a step by step marketing approach where you offer people a variety of low or no cost opportunities to experience you before they invest in your virtual professional services!

In our profession, a classic example of step by step marketing is the “two step” approach: market yourself in a way that sparks interest and then funnel the prospective client into a complimentary consultation.  The fact is, people are more likely to respond to a free, value-added offer then to a full-priced service.  That’s why offering the complimentary consultation works so well! Prospective clients get to know you and understand and appreciate the value of your service BEFORE they plunk down $   for your services!

Examples of the “Two Step” approach:

Example I

Step 1: Attend a networking event.

Step 2: Offer complimentary consultations to people you meet.

Example II

Step 1: Do a free one hour talk.

Step 2: Have a “complimentary consultation sign-up” clipboard in the back of the room.

Example III

Step 1: Send out a “grassroots marketing letter.”

Step 2: Make follow-up phone calls and offer complimentary consultations.

The list is endless!

While the two-step approach is a great start, I encourage you to consider using a more robust step by step marketing approach.

Specifically: Offer multiple, easy, low or no cost “entry points” for a prospective client to experience you.  Then, offer higher priced products and services (ie: your monthly packages) once a relationship is built

This is why electronic newsletters are so popular (and effective, IF implemented well!)

For example, in addition to offering a complimentary consultation you can also offer a free subscription to your newsletter.  This is a perfect entry point for someone you meet who isn’t ready to engage in your services at that time.  Through your newsletter the person has an opportunity to gradually learn from you, experience you and trust you.  If/when that

person is ready to for your services, whom do you think they will call?  YOU!

Examples of the “Step by step Marketing Approach”

Example I

Step 1: Offer a free teleclass on your virtual professional specialty.

Step 2: In the teleclass, offer a low cost package.

Step 3: While the client is using your low cost package, offer a complimentary consultation to discuss other packages.

Example II

Step 1: Do a complimentary talk for a local business association.

Step 2: At the talk offer complimentary consultations and registration for your free newsletter.

Step 3: In the newsletter offer a discount on your packages.

Example III

Step 1: Send a direct mail piece to your target market.

Step 2: Provide a link to download your free  E-Book from your website.

Step 3: In your E-Book reference your other products and services.

Step 4: One month after the E-Book was downloaded, send a “call to action” follow-up email with a special offer on your services.

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that the no/low cost items PROVIDE VALUE.  Nothing is more of a turn off than a sales pitch disguised as a freebie. You must genuinely want to serve people.  Give huge value and then offer an opportunity for people to experience you at a higher level, if they so choose.

As always, there is much more I could say on this topic, but hopefully you get the idea and can run with it!  The key is to provide value for your prospective clients.  Allow them to learn from you.  Be yourself and let your personality, knowledge and experience shine through.

This takes time, however and does not happen overnight.  Be patient!  And remember, there are people out there who are waiting for YOU. People whom only you can provide your services.  Go find them! Reach out.  Provide value.  Give them multiple ways they can experience you.  Allow time for a level of trust to be built.  People want what you have to offer and when they are ready, you will be the one they call.

Patty Benton