Expert Interview with C.J. Hayden
Topic: “Get Clients Now!” the new 3rd edition
About: C.J. Hayden, MCC, CPCC is a business coach and the author of Get Clients Now!, The One-Person Marketing Plan Workbook, and 50 Ways Coaches Can Change the World. Since 1992, she’s been helping independent professionals get clients, get unstuck, and get on purpose. C.J. has taught marketing for John F. Kennedy University, Mills College, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and SCORE. Her articles on marketing and sales have been published internationally with Home Business, Selling Power, RainToday, and About.com.
C.J. Hayden started as a productivity coach, and today, she coaches small business owners on how to market their business and attract clients. One of the major things she found talking to independent professionals is that most small businesses needed more business; they wanted to know how to get more clients. Her book addresses those questions and the new third edition of her book “Get Clients Now” has just been released.
Mike Rafati – MR: So what are the common mistakes that most coaches, consultants, small business owners, and service professionals make about marketing their business?
C.J. Hayden – C.J.: There are several areas. For example: They don’t pick a niche, or they talk too much about the process that they use and too little about the results and benefits they help their clients create. Also, they don’t use their time effectively, so they don’t know what to do or how to market their business, so they waste their time. With “Get Clients Now”, professionals pick a set of activities and they do it consistently. Solo professionals make marketing too hard. When using the Get Clients Now system, coaches and consultants can decide on what to do and focus only on a few things that they must do to get the results that they want.
MR: you are so right, marketing can be much simpler. So what can solo professionals, coaches, and consultants do to better market their business?
C.J.: The best marketing activities are those that put you in direct contact with your target market, such as speaking directly to their clients, talking to them on the phone or in person, writing personal letters, networking, and public speaking. Those are some of the ways that you can market effectively. This is better than writing and sending email to people that have never asked, or posting on your business page where all your posts are promotional. These are things that most professionals do.
The exact activities that you do to market your business depend on your business, but also it depends on you. So, you have to choose the marketing tactics that you are good at, can actually do and follow through on. Otherwise, it is not a useful strategy for you. But if you don’t enjoy that, then select activities that will get you referral business like writing articles for publications. You need to plan activities that you can do now. When you choose marketing strategies and tactics that are more natural to you, then you will be more effective because you will get them done.
MR: So what you are saying is that we need to figure out what we are good at, and then do what we are good at, because that is our strength and produces the best results. What challenges have you seen those independent professionals, coaches, consultants, and other service professional face in marketing themselves and what stops them from being successful?
C.J.: Sometimes we like to point our fingers at challenges that are out of our control like a lack of money or knowledge, but here are the big three challenges – Fear, Resistance, and Procrastination. We are afraid to be rejected, so we don’t ask for business, or we think we should not have to market if we are good at what we do. Or we spend our time rearranging our cabinet drawer, or we choose to hide out behind our computer, or hide out behind marketing strategies that do not involve direct contact with customers, and working directly with our clients. All of this, so we can avoid being rejected. This is what’s behind us wanting to spend all our time online because this is much easier than spending our time directly speaking to our clients. For most people this is not an effective strategy. We need to deal with our fears and stop doing ineffective marketing strategies.
Most people that have fear think that is only happening to them. However, it is important to recognize that courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to take action when you are afraid. We can do that and the more we do that, the more skills we develop. When you are marketing packaged products, then it may be easy to do that, but if you are selling your expertise, then hiding out may not be the best way to go.
MR: People buy from people, and we need to create the like and trust factor and that is much harder to do when you are hiding behind your computer. So, C.J. what type of marketing plan do you suggest that independent coaches and service professionals create for their business?
C.J.: The kind that you don’t want is what big business uses: the type where that they talk about lots of things and marketing theories, but they are not specific, or the type that lists a bunch of marketing activities without considering how you will execute them. That is exactly what most marketing books do. What most professionals, coaches, and consultants need is not a marketing theory plan or marketing idea plan. What most business owners need is a marketing action plan. That is the idea behind the “Get Clients Now” system; you pick a few marketing activities, and then you decide how often you are doing to do. You want to focus on only a few marketing strategies and a few tactics to do it and you must do it consistently.
What is the difference between tactics and strategies? A Strategy is an overall approach; a Tactic is a specific activity that you will use to employ the approach. For example, networking may be the approach, but tactics would be calling and talking to people you know about business, identifying networking places that you can attend, create an online network and so on.
What is new in the 3rd edition of the “Get Clients Now”?
Get Clients Now! (TM): A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches, came out 3 months ago, and C.J. has added 3 more categories to book to make it more beneficial for coaches, consultants, and other independent service professionals. The first category is social media marketing and how to determine if it is needed for your business and how much effort it deserves. The second category is about high touch marketing in the high tech world, and how coaches and other service professionals can establish credibility and expertise, build relationships, and position themselves in the market. The third category is more about how to manage and overcome your fears in order to deal with rejections and other mindset related challenges.
What is C.J. Hayden’s current favorite book?
She has so many of them, but her current favorite is “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done” by Peter Bregman.
What is C.J.’s favorite tool for her business?
Her favorite tool is Everrnote – you can do so much with it. You can use it for so many things and it is free.