Creative Marketing Solutions: Fresh, Effective Strategies for Attracting Clients and Customers from Marcia Yudkin
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Insights From 25 Years in Business

by Marcia Yudkin

On January 4, 2006 I celebrated my 25th anniversary of successful self-employment.  Looking back, I've identified four lessons learned to share with you.

Lesson #1: Your first big success contains clues to a dynamic that comes easily to you. 

Figure out how to harness that strength, give it a good run on a regular basis and you'll experience a champion series of successes.

On January 4, 1981, my first published article appeared in the Sunday New York Times. One tantalizing sentence in my query letter to them two months before had opened that door of opportunity: "In January, I will be retiring from college teaching at the age of 28 and want to write about what it has been like to be a professor, compared with the way I saw 
professors when I was a student."

With that sentence, I promised an out-of-the-ordinary story skillfully told. This they wanted.

For me, words have opened doors over and over again. I'd be loony to forget this.

For others, impulsive calls or old connections sparked their first and later successes. Repeat what worked!

Get Your Facts Straight
Editors love it when you pass in scrupulously checked, error-free articles. Learn to separate truth from rumor, get crucial dates and spellings right and be able to back up your assertions. Safeguard your credibility! Take the online fact checking course.

Fact Checking Course

Lesson #2: Customer comments can contain pure gold. 

Many of my most in-demand services came about from a suggestion made by someone who wanted to do business with me.

A decade ago, someone emailed, "I want to learn how to be you. Can you teach me?" I emailed back, "What do you mean?" We worked out a tutorial program through which I passed on my marketing consulting skills. With minor updates, that training program has proved a consistent seller.

Years before that, a Harvard professor called and said he couldn't make my seminar. Could I present it to him at his office, privately? I met with him weekly and gradually realized what I was doing for him had a name: Consulting. Undoubtedly others would want that too, I guessed, correctly. 

When I started teaching seminars, the topics I knew the most about were already taken. The director of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education suggested "So You Want to Write a Book," a class that generated long waiting lists year after year.

Learn From the Masters of Powerfully Honest Copywriting
In 2013 and 2014, I convened the most articulate and experienced practitioners of no-hype copywriting for an exchange of ideas on writing copy that persuades without excessive showmanship or stretching the truth.  Order the recordings from these telesummits.

Lesson #3: Important strengths are not always obvious.

While I knew from the get-go that I had a knack for the written word, I had several misconceptions or blind spots that it took years to overcome. 

I believed I couldn't captivate an audience. In my family, I was the quiet one, the bookworm. To me, good speakers were extroverts like my uncle, known for storytelling and oratory. I taught reasonably well, though, and with practice, shone as a speaker and radio performer.

I also assumed I couldn't sell. I briefly had a business partner who excelled at schmoozing, but my seminars and referrals worked much better than her networking. Finally I understood that I did very well at bringing in business.

Only in the last few years, because so many clients and subscribers have mentioned it, have I realized that my moral beliefs and practices set me apart from some other marketers. It wouldn't otherwise have occurred to me that considering moneymaking in the context of honesty and service could be a differentiating factor.

Attract Ideal Clients Instead of Chasing Anyone and Everyone
No need to run yourself ragged trying to bring in customers only to discover that they’re a poor match for your offerings, your personality or the way you’d prefer to run your business.  Instead, consciously and deliberately focus on who you want to attract.  Put out the word.  Your reward:  happy, long-term buyers.  Attract more clients.

Lesson #4: Keep your feet firmly on the ground instead of getting swept up in what seems to be the hot new thing.

During the Internet gold rush, many of my peers scrambled to get their piece of the action. Some closed down dependable businesses in favor of unproven concepts or high salaries at companies that didn't last. 

I had job offers that would have required me to suspend the business I'd worked hard to build. So I said no. And I did not redefine my focus to online-only expertise, specializing in tactics that can quickly become obsolete. Consequently, my income dipped only slightly with the dot-com crash and quickly rebounded.

By understanding and applying the fundamental principles of marketing and persuasive communication - knowing who you're selling to, differentiating a company from competitors, generating targeted offers - I have competence that can't go out of date.

And unlike those who flitted around during the dot-com boom, I still have clients who've been hiring me and singing my praises to others for more than ten years.

Learn to catch typos

Improve Your Proofreading
Quick online course teaches how to catch pesky typos. Whether you check writing on screen or on paper, learn the stakes for error-ridden copy, the five best proofreading methods and the tools you can or shouldn't use to identify errors. Includes practice tests and answers. Proofreading Hacks course. 

Hire Marcia Yudkin to speak to your organization.

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No-Hype Marketing Online Courses

Create a Practical One-Year Marketing Plan

Teleteach for Profit: Set Up Profitable Teleseminars & Webinars

The Mighty Postcard Marketing Course

Marketing for Introverts


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