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Business Marketing Workshop Topics

Marketing a service business is a bit different from running a retail store. You’re selling yourself, your time, your talents, your ability to improve people’s lives — far scarier, harder, and more intimidating than hawking a physical product! Make sure you’re not selling yourself short (see what I did there?) with this assemblage of “getting-comfortable-telling-total-strangers-how-awesome-you-and-your-mad-skillz-are” seminars. The content is based on my book, “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career” — however, these workshops are appropriate for all consultants and freelancers (from organizing to coaching, from accounting to graphic art, from personal training to interior design, from corporate training to project management — and everything in-between). If you’re an independent contractor who sees clients (and plans on maybe getting paid for your services) — this educational series is for you!

Each can be scheduled for any size professional group as a live private teleseminar/webinar or an in-person event — I’m prepared to give you anywhere from 90 minutes of my life to several days in a row, whatever it takes to make sure you understand the concepts you need to succeed. I’m also happy to shorten, lengthen, cut-and-paste, moosh together multiple topics, or otherwise customize the content to suit your attendees’ schedule, interests, and budget. And if you’re one lone entrepreneur flying solo in the world, you can certainly purchase a pre-recorded download of the program to listen to in the comfort of your own home/office. (Just as soon as I get a chance to tape it fer ya!)

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceA Perfect Match:
Finding (And Marketing To) Your Ideal Clients

Who’s your ideal client? (And the answer is not, “Everybody!”) Life as an entrepreneur is much more pleasant and rewarding if you decide to only work with folks who are an 11‐on‐a‐10‐point‐scale fit. This workshop shows you how to hit your marketing target by taking dead aim at a specific population — instead of using the spray‐it‐everywhere‐innocent-bystanders‐be‐damned “scatter gun” approach:

  • avoiding the nightmare situations
  • identifying the cream of your own personal crop
  • knowing what your potential clients want and need from you
  • figuring out where to find these people
  • painting a picture of that perfect customer
  • customizing your marketing message for that group

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2The “You” Behind Your Company:
The Importance Of Branding In Business

A powerful and lasting brand is a reflection of you — what you stand for, what you’re fighting against, why you started this venture in the first place. The only marketing theme that will make you truly stand out amongst the crowd is being honestly and authentically yourself. Remember, every action sends a marketing message — this workshop offers foolproof instructions for living your brand every day:

  • why it’s always “personal” in business
  • figuring out the core values behind your services
  • authenticity sells, disingenuity smells
  • standing behind your brand at every step
  • what it means to differentiate (plus 10 ways to do it better)
  • 27 creative ways of telling your story

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceGetting Your Message Across:
The Key To Connecting With Potential Customers

“Sales” might mean high-pressure-smarm-fest on a car lot — but for consultants, selling is synonymous with confidence. You have to believe (passionately and unshakably) in the benefits you provide customers — and be able to clearly articulate the value you bring to the table. This workshop explains how to sell yourself more effectively through authentic, engaging, and ethical marketing communications:

  • why “marketing” isn’t the same as “selling”
  • focusing on benefits, not services
  • condensing it down to an elevator speech
  • a more effective way to answer the question “what do you do for a living?”
  • how to sex up your promotional writing
  • crafting compelling headlines

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2First Impressions Are Everything:
Effective Graphic Branding For Your Business

Imagery elicits a faster gut reaction than language — visual stimulus registers more quickly in the brain than words (which must be read, then interpreted). That means your logo needs to catch folks’ attention in the first 3 seconds — this workshop guides you toward creating an enticing ensemble of colors, fonts, and shapes that can merge and mingle and hula together, reinforcing the brand you’re building:

  • how you want to represent your company
  • graphic design basics, the psychology of color, and potential color schemes
  • collateral materials (a.k.a. “why it’s important to have something to hand folks”)
  • an attention-grabbing business card
  • other printed promotional items you might have forgotten about
  • success is in the distribution (plus 15 nearly free “guerrilla” distribution ideas)

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceIt’s All About Relationships:
Networking Done The Right Way

Experts (who claim to know such things) say that it takes an average of 7 contacts with a prospect to create a sale. For this to happen, folks need to hear about your company every time they turn around — but it’s hard frigging work, touching a person that many times all by yourself! This workshops explains how you can have a whole sales-force campaigning on your behalf, if you learn how to network correctly:

  • what networking really means
  • 20+ ways to get comfortable with attending events and meeting new people
  • moving beyond the first meeting into the land of “follow up”
  • teaching folks how to pass you a quality lead
  • the value of closed lead networking in building a self-sustaining business
  • learning how to show folks what a good lead for you looks like

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2Using Advertising To Your Advantage:
The Pros And Cons Of Paying For Media Attention

While word‐of‐mouth recommendations carry inherently more weight with service shoppers than the commercial hard-sell, paid promotions can still serve a valid purpose in your business. This workshop looks at the right time/place to buy (either print space or air time), the options available in each market, the process of creating an effective consumer message, and how to maximize even limited ad dollars:

  • does the cost outweigh the benefit?
  • be careful what you offer (in this litigious society)
  • 7 simple ways to save money on local advertising
  • 9 creative (and nearly free) guerrilla advertising ideas
  • 10 formats for creating an effective print ad
  • 10 ways of structuring your message for “show and tell” on radio or TV

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceThe Power Of Publicity:
Getting The Media To Pay Attention To Your Business

If you worry about the cost of advertising, I’ve got good news — you don’t have to pay for exposure to get it. Every form of media offers endless opportunities for free PR. (Remember, reporter‐editor‐producer‐types are in business to find interesting stories.) This workshop teaches you how to become the media’s best friend — doing these folks a big favor by handing them steaming piles of fresh content:

  • the 8 most powerful reasons to send out a press release
  • designing a meaningful media kit (both offline and virtual)
  • figuring out your story’s unique and compelling “hook”
  • understanding the mechanics of asking for publicity
  • 10 things to consider when  preparing for an interview
  • building lasting relationships with the media

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2Marketing By The Numbers:
Quantification Is The Key To Success

Knowing whether or not your promotional activities are succeeding means measuring technical details like “conversion,” “response rates,” and “return on investment” (which aren’t as complicated as they sound). But before this can happen, you’ve got to get clear about your overarching marketing motives. This workshop will help you figure out where you want the hype and hullabaloo to take you, what steps will lead you there, and how to engage in valid analysis of your efforts:

  • laying out your marketing plan
  • strategy versus tactics
  • developing a marketing budget
  • creating an annual marketing calendar
  • calculating the cost of customer acquisition
  • tracking your results

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceRunning A Business In The Digital Age:
Deciding On A Web Plan For Your Company

97% of consumers use the internet to research before buying — tell me your company doesn’t need to be online! But before you think about design, hosting, or content, you need a virtual business plan. This workshop guides you in the right direction as you plan for a site that educates and informs, increases your visibility (while boosting your credibility), generates leads, qualifies prospects, and brings in revenue:

  • a cyber-glossary for beginners
  • figuring out what you want your site to do
  • knowing when (and when not) to hire a web designer
  • controlling your own site with a content management system (like WordPress)
  • choosing a memorable domain name
  • what your hosting plan should include

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2Standing Out Among The Virtual Crowd:
Kick-Ass Website Design For Non-Techies

It’s time to play “cyber‐Frankenstein” — are you ready to create your own internet monster? This workshop looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly of web design — reviewing common elements every effective commercial site should include, examining examples of great composition (for ideas and inspiration), and checking out a few “web pages that suck” (so you know which pitfalls to avoid):

  • navigation in a nutshell
  • laying out pages like a pro (even when you’re a rank amateur)
  • web-based graphic design issues for non-designers
  • creating interaction for your site visitors
  • 20 elements that your professional service site might include
  • launching your site the right way

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceGive Them Value And Win A Visitor For Life:
Why Content Is King On The Web

Your website is not a selling tool, it’s a relationship‐builder. Users only buy once they feel they know you, but they only get to know you if they spend time on your site — and they’ll only spend time if you give them something of value (besides a sales pitch). This workshop demonstrates how to hook folks by providing them with relevant, interesting, timely, and entertaining advice — so you can then reel them in:

  • your most effective web marketing tool
  • 10 different types of written content
  • blogging like a fool
  • adding multimedia to the mix
  • allowing your content to be shared
  • open access versus membership-based

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2If You Build It, Will They Come?
Understanding How Traffic Gets To Your Website

If you think that the world will beat down your door as soon as you slap up a little HTML code — you’re in for a whole motherboard full of electronic disappointment! Your virtual presence is only as effective as the effort you put into marketing it. Without online promotion, that URL is no better than a billboard on a deserted road — but this workshops explains how to make sure your site is seen by the masses:

  • taking search engine optimization with a grain of salt
  • the mystical world of keywords
  • tagging and linking the right way
  • the wild world of internet pr
  • don’t forget about blogger outreach
  • making use of online promotions
  • tracking your traffic

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceBuilding Your Client-Base Online:
Harnessing The Power Of Social Media

Web 2.0 (as the social networking revolution has been dubbed) is about creating proximity. Sapiens are programmed to trust folks with whom they come into contact more than they do strangers — and a web connection makes it that much easier to engage in regular real‐time communications with your user base. This workshop illustrates the many ways in which you might use social media to build your business:

  • creating a profile that wows
  • determining your connection strategy
  • quality versus quantity in your posts
  • becoming a joiner (a.k.a. “why a little give and take goes a long way”)
  • absolute social networking no-no’s
  • friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, connecting on LinkedIn

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2Moving Beyond “The Big Three:”
Utilizing Other Social Networking Options

Making social networking work is a matter of deciding what purpose each platform can (and should) serve in your business — but a lot of that determination comes down to personal preference. You’ve got to play around, figure out what works best for your business model and personal communication style. This workshop offers some advice once you’re ready to move past Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:

  • don’t forget about the lowly listserv
  • reading (and commenting) on other blogs as a promotional tool
  • the Pinterest revolution
  • everyone’s a Scorsese with YouTube
  • social bookmarking as a resource and a way of sharing
  • assessing your level of influence

Clip Art -- Speaking ConferenceAvoiding Online Overwhelm:
Time-Saving Social Networking Strategies

Social networking is like exercise — you have to do it regularly to see results. Posting 5+ times a week keeps your name in the forefront of followers’ brains, but that’s a lot to ask of a busy businessperson — and it’s easy to let updating consume your entire day. This workshop teaches the fundamentals of time-management for social media — especially the setting of limits and creation of tracking systems:

  • social networking doesn’t have to consume your life
  • those notifications are there for a reason
  • dealing with the flood of e-mails
  • social media aggregators as a business tool
  • letting RSS feeds do the work for you
  • your daily/weekly social networking routine

Clip Art -- Speaking Microphone 2In-Boxes And Spam Filter:
Staying In Touch With Your Customers Via E-Mail

Turning random visitors into loyal customers requires a consistent and reliable way of staying connected — something other than blogs, social networking, and online promotions (which are all vaguely passive marketing methods, requiring the user to come find you). This workshop looks at creating a direct route to that net-junkie customer’s in‐box and mainline your message into each consumer’s veins:

  • the mechanics of electronic communications
  • giving folks a reason to sign up
  • the legalities of data collection
  • creating a newsletter or e-zine that people will want to receive
  • branding, themes, and templates
  • open, read, respond

PS: Wanna instantly rack up some serious virtual cred? I've made it easy for you to share this content with your social networking friends, e-mail it to your peeps, or republish it in your own blog (thereby showing off how smart you are) with these links.

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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