Is your marketing active or passive?

Have you ever struggled to attract a consistent flow of client work?

The main culprit and repeat offender here is a lack of active marketing.

Unfortunately it's all too common for expert service providers to spend time and money creating marketing tools such as websites to then forget about them – hoping they'll generate leads without needing any content changes. This is an example of passive marketing.

Another common example of passive marketing is only getting new business organically through word of mouth as clients happen to tell other people about your services.

I must admit, I can understand why small service providers fall into the trap of relying on passive marketing because they have very limited resources. This limitation often means they get caught up in the feast or famine cycle and only make time for marketing when they are short of work.

But not making time for marketing your offering is the number one cause of not having enough clients.

So we’ve established that service providers typically rely on passive marketing, but what is active marketing?

As the name suggests, active marketing requires you to actively engage with your target audience. It's about regularly putting yourself out there as opposed to waiting for opportunities to come to you. I like to think of this practice as creating your own luck.

When it comes to selling expert services, generating leads is all about consistently doing things to create conversations with your target audience.

Here are some popular active marketing methods available to expertise-driven businesses: 

  • Being active on LinkedIn (posting content, connecting with your ideal clients, and engaging with their content)
  • Writing expert articles for your website or third party sites
  • Emailing your list with useful content
  • Asking past clients for referrals
  • Routinely checking in with past clients to see how their business is going
  • Outbound prospecting e.g. phone calls, emails, direct messages to engage with your ideal clients
  • Hosting online and offline events
  • Speaking and / or networking at other people’s events

Now I know what some of you might be thinking after reading that list, active marketing could seem overly self-promotional – but try not to view it that way. Flip the perspective and think of it as your duty to promote your offering.

If you have faith that the benefits of your services are worth a lot to your clients and will improve their situation, you actually owe it to them to promote your services.

Conclusion and action point

The important thing to remember about promoting your professional services business is that you can't have too many leads coming in – it’s only when there's not enough that it becomes an issue. And marketing your offering shouldn't end as soon as you get busy with client work.

Now once you've chosen your active marketing methods, it's critical to make them habits and do these tasks on a consistent basis. Lead generation takes a constant effort and regularly putting yourself out there to achieve consistent results. 

So for today's action point, pick one marketing method from the list above and integrate it into your daily or at least weekly routine initially. Stick with it for a month or two and see where it takes you. My final tip is to actually block out parts of your calendar on a recurring basis to work on your marketing activity.