Divorced, downsized and still dedicated
Other than my daughter, my consulting practice has been the single on-going relationship in my life. Yes, clients have come and gone but the tenets of marketing I discovered on this journey, added to the knowledge imparted by 25 years prior in the advertising trade have stood me in good stead.
I’m still standin’
Z-axis Marketing was incorporated in 1990. It has been my primary business since then and was profitable enough to help put a daughter through college as well as put food on the table, a roof over head and an SUV in the driveway.
That is still the case.
Getting back on track
My marketing has changed over the years responding to on one hand the whims of the moment but on the other to constant monitoring of results. If I had to cite one book that put me on this path it would be Claude Hopkins’ Scientific Advertising. It provided the inspiration for this mantra:
Test, Measure, Reset…Test, Measure, Reset Ad Infinitum
Long ago and not so far away
I identified myself as a Consultant and Speaker as far back as 1993.
That’s when I helped found the National Speakers Association chapter in Portland, Oregon. Speaking, as I now coach the consultants I work with, is a superior way to reach more prospects and get to trust more quickly than any other way I’ve found.
The key to getting booked to speak is to provide information of interest that will help audience members take skills away with them that can help build their business. Networking was what I centered my speaking on back then. After waiting 7 years to scoop it up, I owned the Networking Ninja URL, built my speaking web site and, overtime, updated it several times.
Because my one-on-one consulting practice kept getting bigger I reprinted the cards with the consulting identity on one side and Networking Ninja on the other.
That’s when this phrase first appeared:
“Trust-based strategic marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy…on and off line.”
Confused, cross and convalescent
I was speaking internationally by now but a health problem, later diagnosed as Thyroid snuck up on me and sapped my energy. Airports, traveling to speaking engagements, became for me a version of the Bataan death march. I stopped promoting myself as a speaker and coped with having to rest after just a couple hours of work. Finally, I subjected myself to a battery of tests that required drawing six vials of blood. Both my oncologist and my regular doctor reached the same conclusion. I had a thyroid problem.
Now, I take a pill the size of a baby aspirin each day and I’m in the gym daily during the work week. It took a little over a year to get back to normal.
I decided to, once again, go back to speaking. A fellow speaker suggested I check topics on Google Trends to determine what folks were interested in these days versus the past.
It wasn’t pretty. The younger generations are not relationship oriented. For them, networking knowledge is not something they covet. Brand, particularly personal brand was trending up. That was about a year ago. I switched to identifying myself as the Brand Poobah. The story is here: https://jerryfletcher.net/2018/12/brand-anew/
SEO to success
I received my copy of the book Choose from Ryan Levesque, who is the founder of The Ask Method. I proceeded to read it and then over Independence Day follow the advice between the covers.
My assumptions regarding the search terms that would profit me most were only partially true. The approach I had taken is here: https://jerryfletcher.net/2019/04/what-are-the-key-words-of-your-brand/
Choose lays out how to decide what your keywords should be if you want to sell education and expertise on line. The advice is straightforward and the tests easily accomplished in a day at your computer after some initial brainstorming.
Power in a pickle label
I generated over 50 possible keywords and proceeded to test them with the process Ryan had developed.
My selections didn’t even get through the first round unscathed. I stepped back and tried again. On the third try I put in two phrases copywriters would call “pickle labels.”
Both met the test requirements…all of them. That’s why my consulting website has been rewritten. That’s why my profiles on social media have been updated. That’s why the ID at the bottom of the page is changing.
The moral of the story
I’m not getting any younger. I still like speaking because I can see the lights go on in solopreneur’s minds when my advice hits home. I still like one-on-one consulting and I’ll continue to do it. The thing is, clients and others keep asking me to put some of my advice on line and to provide ways I can work with more folks.
I can do that best by concentrating my efforts in one thing: Consultant Marketing. That’s why I bought the URL and a new website is on the way.
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing and Brand development advice that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy.