Critical Thinking and How it Gets You More Clients

At this point in time, the Internet is more about volume than value. So it can be difficult to be heard in so much noise.

Before the Internet, the publishing of literature and marketing materials were the protected domain of academics and highly skilled copywriting professionals. People who spent years crafting their writing skills and ability to emotionally persuade through words, backed by logical structured argument.

Today, the Internet is littered with strange articles and content - created part by person, part by software (article spinners) that adds volume without value.

Among this cacophony of information there are real businesses that offer real value & services attempting to break through the noise and let people know they exist so they can assist with people’s problems.

Increasingly we need help with our online marketing strategies so that we can cut through the information blizzard, and ironically most of us turn to the huge library that is the Internet for answers despite the rising tide of nonsense information.

Finding the truth and facts in expert advice is now a matter of using your ability to think critically.

I recently read an article intended for a professional services audience – Lawyers, Financial Advisers and Health Experts such as Doctors. The article recommended that these professionals use the ‘trusted expert’ strategy as used by Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss to attract clients.

The article suggested that the way our professional service providers were to go about becoming a ‘trusted expert’ was to do it the way Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss do it. To write their own tips and information for a blog and perhaps even pen a weekly email newsletter or record a few videos. What on the face of it, appears to be sound advice.

Marketing theorists would say that modeling (or copying) a strategy used by someone successful or from another industry is a great way to differentiate your marketing message in a saturated market… and it is.

The question is, when you are reading the advice of others are you really getting the full picture?

Do you understand the why, what, how and when of the strategy, concept or idea, so that you can take it and make it really work for you?

Imagine for a moment that you’re a Doctor who has just read this article about attracting clients the Seth Godin & Tim Ferriss way.

Your priority is likely to be to heal as many people as you can and so you need to have a full appointment book. Doing this requires some sort of marketing strategy.

On the surface of it, by doing what our two self-employed authors have done (writing blogs, recording videos & webinars and sending emails) to attract clients you’d get – More people to know your name plus possibly get some celebrity status and this would lead to more sales.

At a high level all is sounding fantastic!

More people to heal and I’m a celebrity! The idea of being a celebrity makes me all warm and fuzzy inside as does the thought of healing lots of happy smiling grateful people.

Is this the full extent of the strategy that Time Ferris and Seth Godin are using though?

Has the article writer given us all the facts so that we can get these spectacular marketing results too.

Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss as you may guess are fulltime authors. Their priorities are to research & write books and then to do what ever is necessary to market those books so that they sell. Basically, when they’re not writing they are marketing.

This is OK for our Doctors, because when they are not seeing patients, they too can be marketing.

But how exactly are the authors doing so much marketing and still getting enough time to write every day?

Are they really writing books AND doing ALL their own marketing plus writing blogs, emails and doing videos and webinars (working late and on into the early hours of the morning, on weekends and in between appointments)?

When you look a little deeper into how our authors are actually achieving their results from the 'trusted expert' strategy, things look a little a different.

A quick Google search and you discover… They hire Literary Agents to sell their next book idea to publishers (Tim Ferriss uses Stephen Hanselman from Level Five Media and Seth Godin uses Lisa DiMona from Lark Productions), Media Advisers (Tim Ferriss has used Dicks & Nanton) to develop relationships with the media and help with presentations, messaging & preparing materials and PR companies (Tim Ferris uses All American Speakers as well as Celebrity Talent Promotions and Seth Godin uses Greater Talent Network) to co-ordinate advertising & social events such as speaking and autograph signings, or appearances and endorsements.

Without all this external support the authors would be physically unable to manage the huge number of tasks involved in marketing themselves and their books let alone make time to write new ones.

In fact they’d have exactly the same problem that anyone with a professional services business would have… there’s not enough time or shortcuts to get everything done yourself to achieve the great results the authors are getting.

Our Doctor being in a totally different industry may not even know that these types of people exist to assist with all these jobs. Certainly the Doctor is unlikely to be hiring these types of people.

By superficially evaluating the marketing strategies of these authors the article writer has missed the real opportunity of creating value for her professional services audience.

The real value of the strategy (hidden just below the surface) - become a trusted expert by hiring people to promote you to clients, arrange media appearances and social events to attend.

In other words hire people who do the marketing for you.

This is a strategy anyone can borrow… you can use it to attract clients to you and to get you seen and heard within the vast and sprawling tangle of information that is the Internet.

Software finds and matches. Humans learn, explore and think... critically think.

It’s not until you look at the article proposition with your critical thinking turned on that you’re able to detect that there’s a flaw in the idea being presented.

Whether through haste to get something online because your strategy requires something, anything, go on your blog/website every week or because you were multitasking when you wrote it, the information you publish is either adding volume or adding value.

Google is constantly changing algorithms so that information with value shows up first on SERP (search engine results pages). That means that if you want to continue doing well with SEO and getting traffic from the search engines you need to begin thinking about the value of what you’re contributing.

And as the war for hearts, minds and traffic between Google and Facebook continues to intensify your thinking about the Internet and online marketing will need to change to.

Where once you created content to appeal to ‘dumb technology’ (the bots that indexed your web pages so that they could be found on search engines), with ‘social marketing’ (the type of marketing that Facebook, Twitter and others are creating) we’re back to creating content that appeals to people… and that means keywords are out and meaningful information and real value are in. Bringing us back full circle to emotional persuasion through words, backed by logical structured argument.

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