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5 Steps for Simple and Effective Marketing

5 Steps for Simple and Effective Marketing

Using the Get Clients Now Marketing Program

The other day I heard business described as a leaky bucket. Simply put, your customers and their projects slowly leak out of your bucket and into someone else’s bucket unless you take steps to actively keep it full. As the owners, it is our job to keep the bucket full of water.

The only way to fill the bucket is through marketing and the sales. Marketing is the process of doing simple things repeatably over time to make people aware of your business. Coming from a programming background, I had no idea what I should do to fill my empty bucket. I did some homework (thank you Amazon) and ended up reading a book “Get Clients Now!” by C. J. Hayden.

I decided to do their program for 28 days and see if I get more customers. Looking back, I can say that the program worked great. I went from a wet behind the ears freelancer with one customer to a newly minted businessman juggling 6 customers in 28 days. What follows is a brief outline so you can see the process I went through.

1. Setting goals

In order to see what you want, you need somewhere to focus. To do this you will need to set your goal for this month. First, evaluate where you are and where you want to be in your business. In my case, I was billing under 8 hours a week and I really wanted to bill 25 hours a week. Why wasn’t I billing enough? Not enough customers. Frankly, I had to acknowledge I just didn’t know enough people to ask for work. So I made the goal of getting 40 new contacts before the month was over. Make sure your goal is measurable; counting contacts is easy, figuring out if you did “better” is vague and you will have trouble motivating yourself.

2. Rewards

Every goal needs a reward. Sometimes the goal is the reward in itself, but other times you need the helpful nudge of a prize to move you along. In my program, I choose a night on the town complete with dinner at a fine restaurant and a movie. To help motivate myself, I even printed out a picture of a great dinner and hung it on my wall. By focusing on the reward, I was able to pull myself through some rough spots and complete the process.

3. Picking your strategies

Now that you know what you are working towards, you can start to figure out how you will reach it. “Get Clients Now!” recommends you decide what strategies you will use. The strategies outline the overall theme of your marketing campaign. There were six different strategies:

● Direct contact and follow-up
● Networking and referral building
● Public speaking
● Writing and publicity
● Promotional events
● Advertising

The book recommended to only pick two or three. In order to do your best, you will want to pick the strategies which support your strengths. I am good at writing and helping people one-on-one, so I chose “Direct contact and follow-up”, “Networking and referral building”, and “Writing and publicity”.

4. Actions

Now that you know what you are working towards and when it needs to be complete, you need to figure out how to get there. The process calls for making a list of 10 actions you can do regularly to reach your goal. These actions work best if you tie them with the strategies from earlier. Some of the actions I picked were:

● Send emails to 10 new people every week
● Make two message board posts every week
● Post to my blog twice a week
● Ask for a referral once a week

5. Working the process

Now that you have picked out your tasks, all you need to do is to work on them every day and you will start to move towards your goals. The author supplies some worksheets that you can use to track your progress.

One thing you should keep in mind is that you shouldn’t punish yourself if you are not producing the results you want. I am naturally an introvert and shy, so getting 40 contacts was too huge a stretch for me. During the last week I saw I was really short of my goal, with only 6 contacts. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I swallowed my pride and lowered my goal to 10 contacts. The best thing about lowering my goal is that my energy and motivation came back and I was about to overshoot it by getting 11 contacts that final week.


The results last month were so great that I decided to try the process again this month. Since I was now meeting new people, I decided to focus on closing more sales this month. My goal for September became to bill 60 hours of work. I used most of the same actions from last month and added in steps to write more, including starting a free newsletter for my customers. So far, I am behind on my goal again, but I see the potential work almost at my doorstep (or is that the email inbox for us web workers). I just have to remember to keep marketing and I will reach the goals I set.

This was a very quick overview of the program “Get Clients Now!”. If you are interested at all, I would pick up a copy of the book and try it out for yourself. It is a very quick read, with about a third of the book serving as reference for other parts. When you start the program, post a comment about what you are planning to accomplish and I will try to lend a hand.

Eric Davis runs Little Stream Software, which helps small businesses create easy-to-use web software. He publishes a free newsletter that contains tips, techniques, and strategies about web development.