A winning road map

The ultimate litmus test for your Road Map is that you can execute it at low cost while earning high profits for your practice. That is the primary objective here. A magic formula for a profitable map doesn't exist, but winners share seven characteristics. Your Marketing Road Map:

1. Helps you sell. Its primary purpose is to help you acquire profitable, career-enhancing projects. You will enhance your visibility, and thus your brand, as you execute your Road Map, but its purpose is to generate leads, not to create the next great consulting brand in the market.

2. Keeps you engaged. Unless you market continuously and con-certedly, leads can vanish, forcing you to scramble when your ongoing projects run dry. When your Road Map is an integral part of your practice, you'll always know the status and schedule of your marketing efforts. A map pushes you to market proactively and makes your marketing needs much more difficult to ignore.

3. Uses the power of focus. Great Road Maps aim squarely at targeted clients. Potential clients must be exposed to your marketing message multiple times before they even know your business exists, let alone call you for help. Guerrillas target potential clients with enough frequency and compelling content to grab their attention and get on their radar screens. If your message is on point, you will get through.

4. Creates confidence. Your Road Map isn't like a moon shot that launches once every six months. Use an assortment of marketing weapons in a continuous pattern to help prospects develop confidence in your business. Clients who frequently see your firm in a positive light will believe your firm is legitimate and can help them. Familiarity that is done well will not breed contempt—it will breed project opportunities.

5. Keeps your marketing tactics in sync. Deliver the full power of your message to the market through multiple tactics working in concert. Guerrillas simultaneously aim an array of weapons at their targets, and each weapon reinforces their core messages. Cross-promote relentlessly to bring as many impressions of your firm to your target markets as possible.

6. Builds your brand. Your primary objective is to use your marketing activities to generate project leads, but building your reputation in the market will also draw clients to your practice. Build your reputation brick by brick with outstanding client work and effective marketing. Your consistent identity in the market, compelling message, and assortment of marketing weapons will elevate your brand recognition several notches.

7. Clarifies visual identity. Create a strong and consistent visual identity and project it across every facet of your practice. It should express your style and declare that you are innovative, well organized, and professional. Develop a single identifier that is unique and distinctive, but is appropriate for the clients you hope to attract. Place that identifier on everything related to your practice so it will be quickly recognizable and remind others of you. For a minimum investment, even a small firm or individual practitioner can create a strong professional identity.

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