I frequently get a chance to work with one of the best copywriters in the business, Bob Bly. He recently sent this article to his Direct Response Letter subscribers about how to escape the “feast or famine” cycle so many professional service providers find themselves stuck in. I knew immediately that this was one of the best business coach marketing tips I’d ever read from a master marketer–and something I had to share with our subscribers as well. Enjoy. -Eric
Subscriber DC writes:
“I’ve been a full-time [professional service provider] for 21 years. It’s been great — but maintaining a constant flow of clients and projects has been harder work than I ever imagined.
“I know this is ‘feast or famine’, but it requires massive effort to overcome. Many business books (certainly not yours) gloss over this fact.
“Some books on freelancing show pictures of freelancers with laptops on the beach. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth!
“There’s freelancing myth and hype — and freelancing reality.
“I love what I’m doing; at 51 I’m a ‘veteran’ and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
“But it requires constant marketing and effort — more now than ever — which you rightly emphasize in your books.”
DC speculates the vast majority of professional service providers (including business coaches!) are not as busy as they would like — even though 95% won’t admit it.
So, how do you escape the “feast or famine” cycle — and stay busy and profitable all year long?
Introducing the Double Pipeline Method
The answer is my “double pipeline” method. It works as follows:
First, figure out how much marketing you have to do to generate enough work to meet your income goal. As an example, assume Joe, a business coach, generates his leads primarily via direct mail.
To keep the math simple, let’s say that his income goal is $120,000 gross revenue a year. His average client pays $1,000 per month and sticks around for 12 months. If Joe has an existing pool of 12 clients, he needs to add one client per month to hit his sales target–as each month one client will drop, and he’ll need a new client to replace them.
Now, say his direct mail package generates a 10% response rate, and he closes one out of every 10 leads on average. If Joe sent out 100 mailers a month, this would yield 10 inquiries and one client, meeting his income goal.
So 100 mailers a month keeps Joe’s lead pipeline full.
Take that Number and Double It
But my “double pipeline” method says you should calculate how much marketing and self-promotion it would take to meet your sales goal.
Then do DOUBLE that amount of marketing. If Joe’s calculations shows he needs to send 100 sales letters a month to meet his income goal, he should send 200 letters a month.
That way, his pipeline will not merely have enough leads to generate the work he needs. It will have twice the volume of inquiries required to generate the 120K in revenues he wants.
Of course, thanks to referrals, repeat business, and other sources of leads — social media, blogging, and what have you — Joe realistically won’t need to send 200 or maybe even 100 mailers monthly.
But the point of the “double pipeline” method is this: doing more marketing and self-promotion than you need to gives you an abundance of leads — more than you need.
Having the doubly full lead pipeline is your protection against slow times and virtually assures that you are busy, productive, and profitable all year long.
Try doubling up in your marketing, and fill your lead pipeline to overflowing. It’s your insurance against an unwanted slowdown in leads and work.
You can do it by following my “ABM” formula for self-promotion, explained in this short free video:
Looking for more great business coach marketing tips like these? Download our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star!