I hope you enjoyed last week’s conversation about what to do with our inevitable downtime. To keep from getting discouraged, we should look at downtime as an opportunity to build a closer relationship with our best clients, ask for referrals, and create new or extended services that are within our realm of expertise.
On to this week. We’re consultants. As such, our practices should have a profitable mix of 1-to-1 and 1-to-many clients (I wrote about this in an earlier post). But such a client mix implies two distinct audiences. So how do you market to two audiences? Differently, of course!
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
Writing this blog is one of my favorite things that I do each week. And it’s important for me to check in with you regarding what you would like to see me write about.
So, what’s the one thing that, if you were more effective at, would move the dial on your practice furthest, fastest this year? Email me and I’ll try to help … my inbox is always open!
A quick recap
There are two ways to deliver our professional services: 1-to-1 and 1-to-many. (Note: In my previous newsletter I said there was also a “1-to-masses” basket of work. For the sake of brevity I am collapsing this into 1-to-many.)
Most of us operate in the 1-to-1 world. We sell bespoke expert services to one client at a time due to the high level of personal attention that each one of them requires.
Then there is the 1-to-many world. We use our intellectual property to create valuable courses, toolkits, etc. that hundreds of users in our respective practice niches want to buy.
Why bother with 1-to-many
I think we build credibility, respect, and trust in the 1-to-1 world. Technically, it keeps us in the game. And there is tremendous satisfaction in building those personal client relationships and helping them solve their unique problems.
Unfortunately, we end up trading our hours for client dollars, which doesn’t scale if we’re a solo. And honestly, sometimes I find all the attention those 1-to-1 clients need to be personally draining. Do you find that to be the case, too? (Please don’t let it just be me.)
However, the credibility, respect, and trust we build in the 1-to-1 world can be radically leveraged in the 1-to-many world. And the ability to produce one book, course, or toolkit that can be sold many times, and help many people, is exhilarating!
Jim Hitchner is the shining example of practicing in the 1-to-many world in our industry. He sells newsletters, webinars, and toolkits and his clients are appraisers (many of them). If we want to talk leverage, there is no better potential than this world. Which is why we all should bother with this work.
And that requires different marketing
How you market to buyers of each basket of work will be different. Here’s how.
- Is high-touch and often low-tech.
- Uses tactics that put us in direct contact with those prospects, clients, and referral sources, such as sending personal notes, making phone calls, or meeting in person.
- Can be low cost, but requires a significant amount of our personal time per contact.
- Is low-touch and often high-tech.
- Uses tactics that are impersonal or indirect, such as public speaking to large groups, website pages, email blasts, webinars, or social media status updates.
- Can be high cost, but requires a small amount of our personal time per contact.
47% of the appraisers I’ve surveyed say they only spend 1-2 hours a week on marketing. That’s not enough for 1-to-1 marketing.
73% of appraisers say they are not using social media to grow their sphere of awareness and influence. That’s not gonna open the door to 1-to-many marketing.
In real life
As you can see, the marketing choices we have depends on what we’re selling. And which marketing choice is “better” depends on our goals.
I think a balanced practice needs both 1-to-1 and 1-to-many clients; thus, a balanced practice needs both kinds of marketing. You may not be there yet, but you will want to be. Sooner rather than later … especially as the forces of practice specialization, competitor globalization, and fee commoditization grind through our industry.
Let me know how I can help.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.