Truth be told, helping people with marketing their services was never something I aspired to do. It just kind of happened.
In fact, I never even wanted to run a business, let alone immerse myself in marketing. Had I wanted these activities, I would probably have gone to business school.
Throughout my many years of schooling, I never had what might have been call life goals.
As a result, I made far too many default decisions. These are the decisions that many of us make, not to achieve a specific goal or desired outcome … but to make decision of some kind, simply because some kind of a decision is required.
I was however guided by an idealistic, but vague, desire to help people. As long as whatever decision I made allowed me to help people, I was fine with it.
This all changed when I decided to leave my position as an employed lawyer and go out on my own, starting and running my own law practice.
From Schmoozing to Hitting the Wall
Even though I didn’t have a clue about marketing, I knew I needed clients.
So I did what lawyers had always done to find clients: I schmoozed. Lots of golfing, curling, socializing and participation in community activities generated plenty of new clients.
Once again things changed when I left the life of a small-town lawyer to pursue the new opportunities commonly found in large cities.
From a marketing perspective, this transition was not as smooth as my reinvention as a self-employed service-provider.
Long story short, I went from the comfort of schmoozing (aka networking) as marketing to a full-on collision with the horrid marketing wall.
Instead of generating new business by simply connecting with others, I was totally overwhelmed by the complexity of marketing services in a busy city.
Like a prospector of old, I chased after every promising lead, endlessly searching for those elusive ideal clients.
On far too many occasions, I allowed myself to become excited about having a potential client ask for a proposal … only to have that dream engagement disappear along with the newly incommunicado “hot prospect”?
Notwithstanding my frustration with marketing in general and networking in particular, I reluctantly stayed the course, fervently hoping that my persistence would be rewarded.
And finally — a good referral.
Through a mutual acquaintance, I was connected with Michael, a very experienced marketing consultant. Michael knew more about marketing than I thought humanly possible.
Throughout my entire career, designing and conducting training programs was something that I had always done. Thinking that this was a simple task that anyone could successfully undertake and complete, I never seriously considered its potential.
But to Michael, it was exactly the resource he was seeking. A firm believer in the concept that the business that educates the most wins the most, he wanted a custom-designed marketing course. And not just any marketing course: he wanted an MBA-level course based on his lifetime of marketing experience.
For each of us this was a match made in heaven.
My task was to review his archived material to find, consolidate and edit content that was directly related to the topics that he wanted. It was like having a private graduate course in marketing.
From this course, the one thing that stands out most is that marketing services is about developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Keeping this one thing in mind make most marketing issues easier…or disappear.
Over the period during which I was preparing the marketing course, I also took an eight-month certificate course in adult education. Taking this course was advanced training in the kinds of educational activities that I had loved so much during my entire career.
Another Book, EBooks & Online Learning
After completing the marketing course for Michael, I wanted to share my new clarity about services marketing services with as many self-employed service-providers as possible.
My plan was to share this new clarity through three main vehicles:
3. training/educational resources.
The obvious conflict that I faced regarding consulting and coaching services was the absence of any clients for these services.
Fortunately, the strategies and practices that I had learned while preparing the marketing course worked as well in practice as they did in the training room. Applying these tools, I was able to generate ideal clients for my consulting and coaching services.
I also had a problem as regards the training/educational resources vehicle. All the great new things that I had learned were in Michael’s course and my brain. How could I help interested students learn these great new ideas?
Having written, published or been otherwise involved in almost 20 books, my best and most logical choice was to write another book. So I did.
Writing the book How to Successfully Market Services was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Still unpublished, it has been the basis for oodles of eBooks and almost as many video lessons.
The End Result
A couple of years ago, I decided to phase out my consulting and coaching services in favor of more and better information products, such as eBooks and video lessons.
In addition to eliminating the need to work around the limitations of selling time-based services, this will make it possible for me assist more service-providers with their marketing.
Having refined how I go about sharing my experience has added a new and welcome sense of clarity to my life. And knowing that my work will help others meets another long-standing need.
All things considered, I am feeling more satisfied and self-fulfilled than at any point in my life. And this is a very good thing.