Why Speaking Is Potent Small Business Marketing

Jerry Fletcher, Speaking in Colombia“I get paid 2 ways for speaking,” I said.

Rob, our Georgia peach branding guru, drawled, “Yassuh, too much and way too much.”

“Bubba,” said Kate, coming to my defense, “You are way out of line on that one. I saw him a couple weeks ago and by the time he packed up his computer and took some overtime questions the meeting planner had enough positive feedback to ask him to schedule them for next year. He can be difficult I know but he’s a real pro on the platform.”

“Thanks Kate,” I said. “The two ways I was about to mention were:

  • A chance to sell a concept, or approach, a solution or a scenario that can lead to a product or service sale
  • A check for becoming more of an expert.”

Chris, our young digital mastermind grumbled, “The problem is I’ve seen people at small conferences that were doing straight sales pitches instead of providing some information I could use.”

Kate responded, “That is a problem. But once you figure out how to make send the audience away glad they saw you, speaking is one potent sales and marketing tool.”

Bubba said, “Potent like how? Is it like one of those Long Island Ice Teas or more like some of those corn squeezin’s from the south forty?”

Mr. Direct Marketing, Rick couldn’t resist. He lifted his glass, looked through the liquor at Bubba and said huskily, “It’s potent like a brand that has been tenderly fermented, aged in oak and then poured from aloft splashing and frothing into the light.”

Gail, the resident writer began clapping and the others joined in. She said, as things quieted down, “Speaking gets you in front of a crowd of people that want to see you, want to hear what you have to say and now consider you an expert simply because you accepted an invitation to share your insights.”

“That, is one superb reason,” I said. “Even if a small business owner or entrepreneur is not being paid for being there, getting in front of a bunch of potential customers is wonderful.

Most of us fill up our days doing what must be done. But when a speech is imminent we shift gears and begin taking the ideas we’ve been working through for days or months or years and start refining them.

Learning kicks in at a higher rate as well. We discover that we now understand better because we have to be able to convey the information more effectively.

But there is another reason that maybe just as important.


Think of it. There are 50 or 100 of them in the room that you don’t have to chase down in a series of cold calls and appointments and visits. Getting to talk to that crowd is a real time saver and increases your potential sales geometrically.”

It’s like P.T. Barnum said, “Behind every crowd there’s a silver lining.”


Jerry meets on line and in person in the Americas to change the marketing of small companies. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with well under 500 employees. Learn more at: www.JerryFletcher.com

He has spoken professionally on three continents on his three specialties: Personal Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic www.NetworkingNinja.com is his speaking site.


How Do You Build An E-mail Marketing List?

“That’s the question for all of us that want to sell products on line,” I told my brain trust.

E-mail List buildingThe two most familiar with digital marketing spoke first. Rick, our direct marketing guru said, “Buy one.”

At the same time Chris the digital Marketing Director said, “Build one.”

Rob, our Georgia-born branding expert sighed and said, “Y’all want to dance?”

“Sounds reasonable to me,” I said. “Why don’t you two have at it. I’ll referee and if the rest start piling on, I’ll encourage them. Just remember we want solutions for the little guys that don’t have a ton of money or time.”

Rick said, one of the most successful ways I know to build a list is to buy an e-mail list of people that have bought something in the same arena you’re selling into. You just have to be sure that you get good recency and frequency information.”

Rob asked, “What does that mean?”

“Bubba,” Rick said, “list brokers, particularly those that work with retailers keep data on how long it has been since someone made a purchase and how frequently they buy. Those are selects, ways you can have them parse their lists for you so you get people with a track record for buying the kind of thing you want to sell them.”

Chris chimed in, “And you can do the same thing if you want to build a list. What I’ve done is buy regular mail lists because it is usually cheaper and there may not be an e-mail list of the customers I’m looking for. Then we send out post cards to them to get them to respond on line usually for some information they want or to sign up for an educational webinar. We’ve been running 5 to 7% sign up each time we mail.”

Kate’s bracelets were clanking as she gestured no at both of them. “Look guys, Fletch said limited time and money. As a sales consultant I run into this all the time. You gotta find a way to put people in the pipeline now, without spending a bundle. What have you got for folks like me?

“I can speak to part of that,” I said. Start with what you have:

  • Contact your current clients/customers and ask what they are looking for (and then sell it to them and put them in your customer list)
  • Contact your current prospects to determine where they are in the process (Sell ‘em if it makes sense, toss them or put them in your list for futures)
  • Pull that pile of business cards out of the drawer in your desk and go smilin’ and dialin’ as Bubba would say. (Same triage: Sell ‘em, List ‘em or Toss ‘em)
  • Or, if you have the right integrated CRM in place put out an Opt in message that is connected to a benefits landing page that automatically puts something of value in their hands via download, puts them in your list automatically and can even begin a drip campaign based on their stated interests or concerns.”

Kate said, “Instead of trying to sell a product sell them on the idea of staying in contact with you. I can tell you the process works. I’ve been doing it for years only not as regimented as I should.”

Gail, our copywriter said, “Don’t forget a call to action. Always give people a way to contact you regardless of whether it is an article or an interview, a video or an association meeting. It’s just like Fletch’s story about fishbowl marketing where the customers put their business cards in a fish bowl by the checkout.

“Don’t forget, Gail” I said, “that’s the client that found she had to put a sign in register by the fish bowl for all the women that were her best customers that didn’t have business cards.”

The real question is what will work for you? Do you have hard data on your attempts?


Jerry Fletcher meets around kitchen and boardroom tables to change the marketing of companies in the Americas. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with 1 to under 500 employees. Jerry’s consulting web site is www.JerryFletcher.com

Jerry speaks professionally on three continents on how to craft Trust-based marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy…on and off line. His speaking site is www.NetworkingNinja.com



How To Do A Home Page Video That Builds Business

Chris, the digital marketing director said, “The websites you build videos into keep people on the site longer, get better click through and higher signups. I want to know why.”

Video can hook people on your website“Yeah,” Kate said, “Tell him the formula, Fletch.”

“It’s simple, I replied. “It’s a combination of selling like Kate coaches people to do and a marketing trick I’ve learned over the last 25 years. All you have to do is make a video of your 30 Second Marketing conversation.”

Gail asked, “Is that the thing you came up with to replace elevator pitches?”

“Yes,” I said.

She continued, “The one that is intended to answer the question what do you do?”

“Yup. The answer is what I call a hook. The four elements of the formula are:

  • Hook ‘em
  • Hold ‘em
  • Pitch ‘em
  • Close ‘em

Rick said, “I’ve heard you speak on this. As I recall the hook is hard to come up with but once you’ve got it you’re more memorable and people want to talk to you if only to find out more about you… but that’s in person. A video on a web site is more like direct marketing and that is my bailiwick. How does this work there?

“Hooks can be found or developed in a lot of ways, I said. Here are just a few that have worked for me with clients over the years:

  1. Review customer testimonials for simple descriptions
  2. Try to put what you do in terms a first grader could use to explain what you do to his or her classmates.
  3. Think about what you do from the customer’s viewpoint. What problem do you solve for them?
  4. Put it in words that will force them to want to know more.

“But y’all got to be careful of your brand,” said Rob, our branding big brother. “You can’t say something that is gonna hurt you long term even if it gets their attention today. I reckon tha’s wheah the rest of the formula fits in, right?”

“You’re right Bubba,” I said. “the hook is what everyone remembers but what makes 30 Second Marketing TM work is the rest of it. In order to hold ‘em, you have to find the words that come after You know how That means you have to know the problem that brings your ideal customer to you. When I train people to do this I try to get them to know the top three problems that their ideal customers are trying to solve. The pitch always starts with the words What we do is… and then explains how you solve the problem for your ideal customers. The close is a specific Call to action.”

“And, Y’all don’t want to be flappin’ your gums too much either, said Rob. Make it quick. If you go much more than a minute and a half they’ll be gone faster than a fox when a beagle bays.


Jerry and the marketing lunch bunch will be back next week. Their discussions are always about small businesses marketing tips that are low or no cost.

www.JerryFletcher.com is Jerry’s consulting web site He meets around kitchen and boardroom tables to change the marketing of companies in the Americas. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with 1 to 500 employees.

www.NetworkingNinja.com is his speaking site. He speaks professionally on three continents on how to craft Trust-based marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy…on and off line.


Why You Need A Video On Your Home Page

“The client doesn’t want to do a video for the home page of her web site, Chris said.

Home Page videdo“Why not?” asked Rick. “I don’t know what her company does but I can tell you all the kinds of operations that videos have worked for in direct marketing. With that he started listing them:

  • Consultants of all kinds
  • Professionals like CPAs and Lawyers
  • Health care providers—Doctors, Dentists, etc
  • Personal Care folks like beauty parlors, nail salons and the like
  • Any brick and mortar retail establishment
  • Manufacturers, Distributors, etc

“Whoa there Bre’r Direct” said Bubba, our southern fried Branding expert. “Y’all could just as easily said every company stead o’ running yourself round the pasture.”

“I agree that video seems to work,” said Kate. “But the question is why?”

Bubba continued, “All those first ones he mentioned are situations where the person is the brand and there is no way to be more convincing than for y’all to tell your story the same way you would in person looking right at the camera. Manufacturers and Distributors many times are hooked up with the guy or gal who started the business but the words of someone in the business that speaks to the brand can be just a powerful even when theah name isn’t on the door. ”

Kate nodded in agreement and said, “Cognitive Psychologists tell us that way down there in bottom of our brains each of us is still programmed to respond more positively to human faces than any other thing we see. We’re just wired that way.”

“We give videos time,” I said. “We spend up to a couple minutes without clicking to jump to another screen. That builds Trust and as Rob would say builds your brand. Comscore reported that the difference was over 60% in time spent on a site when there was a video.”

Chris said, “The thing my client is confused about is the cost. She believes she has to have ‘movie grade’ video to put up on the web site. I’ve shown her the level of quality you can get with a home camera and editing software that is free but she’s not going for it.”

“She’s being a woman,’’ Gail said.

Kate snorted and all the guys looked perplexed.

Gail continued, “Women worry more about what they look like on camera than men. But they also have an advantage. If you display the faces of male and female models with equal grooming side by side, men will look at the woman first. So will the women. In other words, women know they will be looked at and either like it or dislike it. She doesn’t like it.”

“But if she is concerned with the ROI of her marketing efforts, She might change her tune given some facts. Video provides the second highest return on investment you can get on-line just behind featured articles with direct links to your site,” I said. “On top of that if you want to know what visitors are really interested in on your site, start tracking the videos they watch and then personalizing from there.

It all starts with establishing Trust and telling people what you do. That short positioning video on the home page can make a web site up to twice as powerful at building business.”


Our ”Little Guys” Marketing brain trust will return next week. See you then.


Jerry Fletcher crafts Trust-based marketing strategies from his offices south of Portland, Oregon for companies in the Americas and Asia. Learn more and see a home page video at www.jerryFletcher.com

Jerry speaks professionally on three continents on Networking, Trust-based Marketing, and Contact Relationship Magic. Click on a home page video at www.NetworkingNinja.com