If a 21-year old knocked on your door today and asked you to put most of your life’s savings into his care would you do it?
What if that 21-year old was Warren Buffett?
Today, Warren Buffett is the world’s 3rd richest man and one of the most admired people in the business world but in 1952 he was just a 21 year old looking to establish his future.
Thankfully, there is no evidence that Warren Buffett ever went door to door to attract partners for his investment fund. However, I used the question above to raise an important point. Knocking door to door for investment funding is not much different from many of the marketing tactics small business owners try to employ today…in a much more crowded consumer marketplace.
If you are an entrepreneurial professional or owner of your own professional service firm, depending on image advertising directed to an unqualified crowd of newspaper readers is today’s version of knocking door to door – ineffective and costly (in money if not in time and sweat). Don’t get me wrong. Newspaper advertising, when applied in the right way, can be very effective.
In fact, in 1952 when Warren Buffett began his career, he placed an ad in the paper. The mistake he did not make was to try to force a newspaper ad to sell a service that required an extensive education and nurturing process.
Instead, he leveraged the single most important marketing skill for a professional – the skill of public speaking.
To prepare for the investing classes he was advertising, the young Warren invested $100 dollars in a Dale Carnegie public speaking course. He understood that the way to find his dream client was to adopt an effective 2-step selling process.
Step #1 – Lead generation advertising
The newspaper ad he ran, advertised an investing class rather than any specific funding opportunity or investing opportunity. Granted, there may have been regulatory restrictions against public advertising of an investment fund, but the principle remains valid.
Step #2 – Prospect nurturing through education marketing
The people who attended his classes got a chance to change their mind about the nature of investing, and what constituted good investing. One of his early investors, Dr. Carol Angle ended up investing half of her life’s savings, about $30,000 dollars, with a still-young Warren Buffett. As she said later,
“He brainwashed us to truly believe in our heart of hearts in the miracle of compound interest.”
Today, her family’s holdings are reportedly worth over $300 million dollars.
Public speaking is one of the most powerful and most affordable ways to attract the attention of the right prospects for your professional services. In consulting with small business leaders and entrepreneurs, I generally recommend that they develop a core platform of speaking topics, and then market their businesses through a public speaking campaign.
Delivering speeches in a systematic combination of live and virtual events (Teleseminars and webinars) is a great way to build a funnel of dream prospects. It’s also a great way to nurture your leads and prospects until they are ready to sign up for your services or buy your products.
If you own a business and you have not yet begun such a campaign, I recommend that you start today.
Gogo Erekosima, The Small Business Digital Coach is the CEO and Lead strategist at Idea Age Consulting – a Denver Business Consulting firm that promises to grow your small business by 24% or more in 24 weeks or less using their customized Business Growth Action MAPS.
Sign up today for a Marketing SWOT Analysis. This consulting module uncovers strategic marketing and business growth opportunities. This Consulting Package is valued at over $1500 dollars.
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