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Open the Door to More Business with Your Ideas

Charlie Cook

Visualize your business as a building. Whether you are
an architect, lawyer, coach, graphic designer or
accountant, to bring in more clients, you need to make it
easy for them to enter. The more doors you create and
open the more prospects will come in and become
clients. Too many small businesses inadvertently put
up walls instead of opening doors to new business.

People buy products and services from firms they know
and trust. If you are trying to attract new business by
advertising, cold calling and direct mail you may be
creating barriers to communication instead of opening

Networking and referrals are a couple of doors that let
new business in based on familiarity and trust. The
problem with these two approaches is that they are
limited to the people you?ve met or worked with.

If you want to increase the number of people interested
in your business you need to find a way to open many
more doors. One of the most effective and low cost
ways to do this is to position yourself as an expert and
demonstrate your expertise through an article or series
of articles. Chances are you've got dozens of ideas that
would be helpful to prospects. Each time you put one of
these ideas in writing and share it, you open a door to
more business.

Articles help you attract people who are interested in
your services, establish your firm as experts, and, if you
give them at least one idea they can use in each article,
builds trust. A handful of articles can attract hundreds of
people interested in your services each week. If you
have a web site, incoming links from your article
placement are the best way to boost your ranking when
people search for you site using Google, Yahoo, or
AOL, bringing you even more prospects.

Of course your article needs to be well written and
effectively targeted and distributed to motivate
prospects to action. Use the following steps to build
more doors to let business in:

1. Target Your Market and Their Needs
Focus your article on the primary concerns and specific
needs of your market. To generate ideas for articles, jot
down your observations and reactions after every client
meeting or conversation. Cull your list of ideas and start
with the ones that will be of the most help to prospects.
If you can't come up with any ideas at all, use a survey
to ask questions that will generate more information for

2. Write Compelling Copy
No matter how helpful your ideas are, if you don't have a
headline that grabs your readers' attention, they won't
read it. Next, your lead sentence needs to capture their
interest so they'll read the rest of your article and let you
demonstrate the value you provide. Generally, you'll
spend 50% of your time crafting your article title, then
another 25% on your lead sentence, and the rest of the
time writing the body of the article.

Find someone to read your writing. Even great writing
can profit from editing. And don?t count on the 'spell
check' on your computer to find all the errors.

3. Distribute Your Article Everywhere Your Prospects
Sending out a copy to your existing clients is a good
idea but to attract prospects you need to get as many of
them as possible to read your article. If your market is
business executives, placement in Forbes, Fortune or
Harvard Business Review would be ideal, but isn?t
realistic for most authors.

Send your article to the hundreds of ezines,
newsletters, and newspapers that are looking for fresh
content they can use to meet publishing deadlines and
attract more readers. Online placement has the
advantage that with a link included at the end of your
article readers can easily be connected to your web

4. Motivate Readers to Take the Next Step
Motivate your prospects to take the next step to learn
more about your business. At the end of your article,
offer something they will want for free, and tell them
how to get it. For example, a short report or tutorial that
provides inside advice or research will entice them to
contact you.

Most small businesses mistakenly lock out many
prospects with their marketing. Instead you can turn
your ideas into articles and open doors to new
business. Once you've written and published a handful
of articles you can use the same content to become a
featured speaker, demonstrate your expertise in
person, and open even more doors to attract prospects
and convert them to clients.

2003 ? In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights

The author, Marketing Coach, Charlie Cook, helps
independent professionals and small business
owners who are struggling to attract more clients. To
get a copy of the free marketing guide, '7 Steps to Get
More Clients and Grow Your Business' visit
www.charliecook.net or write ccook@charliecook.net

Copyright © 2003
All rights reserved.
Newsletter Access,
In Mind Communications, LLC

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