One of the easiest ways to drive new business is to provide a seminar or webinar for potential clients. Large companies provide free Webinars (think MIcrosoft’s Live Meeting for small biz customers)–where they get an expert to give content for free and at the same time, pitch the benefits of Live Meeting. (Disclosure: I’ve been a presenter for Microsoft in the past). A few years ago, this was a novel approach-now it seems ‘free’ webinars are available for nearly every topic and demographic out there. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective at building businesses.
Whitney Keyes, proprieter of a marketing/pr agency does both. She speaks (for free) at traditional forums such as the local universities, Startup Junkie and her own classes. It works great for building her client base. “People who hear me speak and click with my philosophy about “partnering to tell your story” call or email mefor a first-time marketing and media brainstorm meeting.” Then she provides marketing and media relations consultant and helps clients ach in order for my clients to meet their business goals.
She also doubles as a partnering strategist. “One of the top strategies I recommend to ALL of them is partnering in creative ways to maximize their marketing and media efforts. I help them identify the right partners to help them better promote their businesses, get the media’s attention and ultimately be more successful.” On this note, I can attest to her skills. When I first launched my first children’s fiction book, Whitney got the attention of TV and print media, as well as pitched and got events at some of the premier locations around Seattle. That was over two years ago, and she’s dramatically expanded her business since then.
Today, connects the dots between lead generation, free consultation to a paid engagement seamlessly. “I meet with them to do an analysis of where they are in their business, help them set some new marketing and media goals, and brainstorm with them to give them a mini marketing and media plan they can put into action right away. I do that for a flat fee.” The entire procee can take as little as a few days from the time of the event to her first check. One company that heard her at a seminar and hired her shortly thereafter is allweatherwoobee who said she saw her at a forum, took her up on the idea to meet and was more than impressed. “When we met for our two hour consultation Whitney was ready to share the latest information and marketing ideas that would help me reach my short and long term goals.”
One thing I think is especially creative about Whitney is her flexiblity in terms of contracts. She did away with my-way-or-no-way approach-and entertains adjustable programs, or a graduated approach that small businesses appreciate.
“They can continue to hire me for weekly or monthly “check ins” to see if they are making progress on their marketing and media activities, if they need any other support, resources or advice.” This is in addition to the flat fee, retainer or project based programs. “That way, I always help people connect with other service partners – like graphic or web designers, writers, business consultants, accountants, etc.”
She also takes to heart the advice she gives to her clients about leveraging skills and building partnersips.
“I don’t think anyone can be successful in business doing it alone. Even though many people are sole proprietors, it takes a team of people to help all of us succeed.” I have a litanny of quotes about Whitney, but suffice it to say, people seem to hire her because she’s a good listener and can help them imagine possibilities for their business.
If you want to see her in person, you can attend Guiding Lights coming up on Jan 26th.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.