Need More Clients? This Blog’s For You! (Liza Cichowski)

When I started my business five years ago, I relied on my network of professional relationships to bring me clients. It worked and I built up a roster of 20 companies. But, like many entrepreneurs, I realized that I can’t exclusively rely on my network forever. I needed to promote myself. 

If you’re like me, when you think about self-promotion, the general feeling is cringe. And to make matters worse, I’m a marketing consultant, so I felt like this should be easy for me! But self-promotion is not easy because it’s so personal. I can create product marketing programs for B2B SaaS startups all day long, but I am not a B2B SaaS platform.  

Self-promotion is as hard for marketers as much as anyone else, but there are some marketing best practices that we can apply to sell ourselves as fractional executives. I’m going to share a few foundational tips to get you started in a way that feels more strategic and less cringey. 

  1. Know Your Ideal Audience. Understanding the audience you’re trying to reach is the backbone of marketing. For example, it’s not enough to focus on B2B tech startups that work on AI. Get specific. Focus on reaching CEOs of tech startups working on AI in a specific industry. Then, identify the three problems that these CEOs are facing. If you don’t know or fully understand those problems, contact a few friends in that industry (whether or not they are potential clients) and ask them.

  2. Create a Clear Message. Get laser-focused on what you do, who you do it for, how you do it, and why. Write it down. Be concise and specific. Think about the value you bring to your clients and why they hire you. This can be a difficult exercise, but narrowing your message will help attract exactly who you want to work with.

  3. Map Out the Path to Purchase. We’re all familiar with the Buyer’s Journey framework. Look at how you’ve signed clients at each phase of the cycle. What’s worked? What hasn’t worked? Identify what you want them to do at each phase and figure out how you’re going to achieve it. That’s your marketing strategy.  

  4. Sell Your Value. Once you’ve identified your ideal target audience, created a clear message that addresses their challenges, and determined exactly what you offer, it’s time to let people know about it! Whether you’re using social media,  sending a newsletter, or writing for a blog, select one or two concepts and write about different facets of them consistently. For some people that will mean writing once a week and for others, it might be every day. The important thing is to make sure every post ties back to your value and to keep up a cadence. Go look at your favorite writers and creators on social media and you will see that they 1) post about different aspects of just 1-2 things they offer and 2) post consistently. 

I started the post by promising some tips to minimize the cringe factor, so here are a few ways to talk about yourself without giving the ick:

  • Use more “you” and less “I” to show your audience what’s in it for them. How will reading this help them?

  • Be genuine and real. Don’t get bogged down in being robotic and overly professional. You’re selling your personality as much as your expertise, so show who you are. 

  • Tell a story. Don’t just share the metrics or results of a project you worked on. Write about how it came to be, any hurdles you overcame and what you learned from it.

I bet you’re ready for those leads to come rolling in! Believe me when I say, I feel the same way.  It’s probably not going to happen overnight. But if you do the work to create more strategic awareness about your business, the right customers will find you.


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