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In real life with Jeannie

If you have read my book, you'll hear me talk about three types of marketing: Brand, Advocacy, and Paid. For today, I want to help you understand advocacy as it relates to creating advocacy in your market through prospective clients (PCs) – not just with your existing clients.

And for me, as a bookkeeper, that is a bit of a mind blowing concept. If you had come to me ages ago and said, did you know that you can create advocacy for your brand for who you are and what you do, with people that aren't even working with you? I'd be like, What??! Right? And so today, I want to give you a real life example.

Jeannie setting her advocacy marketing into motion through a prospective client

I am literally looking at an email from a PC who has never actually pressed go, and I kept in touch with him. He's cool, we vibe, I'd love to work with him, but we haven't yet, and he has referred me onto someone else.

He actually has gotten to really know and trust me, and he is quite happy to be out there as my sales and marketing team, telling people that I'm awesome and that if they need a great bookkeeper or even better, strategic bookkeeper, they should use me.

And so I want to link this to database and give you simple strategies for using database. And also, to a really high value resource that you can get access to which is our Profit-first Playbook – a FREE training on how to build and maintain a highly profitable practice. Because, for this blog, that is front of mind with regards to what I'm going to share with you on advocacy and action steps around database.

But just to segue for a minute, I'm going to tell you the two books I recommend to everyone that revolutionised my health. One is called Deep Nutrition by Dr. Kate Shanahan – heavy duty read, like 12-hour audiobook. And then, Deep Science – I'm a whole different person because I read that book, plus with the revised version of Dr. Mosley's The Fast 800 Diet. It's only three and a half hours audiobook. And so with that little tip around health, I just want to tell you to always keep in mind to be the healthy bookkeeper as well, okay?

So going back to our main topic: I'm looking at my little notepad and there are three things I want to cover and give you action around. I really want you to do your best attempt at taking action immediately after you read this blog, or as soon as you can reserve a tiny bit of time. And then, as I mentioned, I want to make sure you access the Profit-first Playbook: How to maintain a highly profitable practice – 100% free bookkeeper training.

And if you haven't read my book, you must read my book. If you're more of a hardcover person or audiobook person, you can get that too, because I'm going to share with you a little, but the book is going to give you a lot more.

Now, advocacy is the main form of marketing that you want to use. I was just actually talking to Matt Wilkinson from Bizink, our website partner. Nobody globally does websites for bookkeepers and accountants better than Matt. And, he was saying that he loves to talk about leads to loyalty, and this is definitely about leads to loyalty as well. I've just received an email, and this person, let's call him Justin. He and I connected about a year or so ago and we had a good chat. I did a needs analysis and a proposal to take over from his existing bookkeeper, who he wasn't entirely happy with. Now, even though I followed up and we've kept in touch, we haven't been able to proceed. There was even a time when he got one of my emails and he said, "Jeannie, good timing."

So to be clear, we have automated emails that go to him, and I also send the occasional text message. The automated emails is what I call passive nurturing. And then, when I've got my business development hat on and I just send a nice text message, that's what I call manners marketing. It's good manners to keep in touch with people. And, in the Profit-first workshop, I share with you this incredible mind map that I've done that tells you exactly how all this fits in.

So, Justin got one of those emails and he said, "Oh my goodness, good timing, Jeannie. Absolutely really want to go ahead in the next couple of weeks", but it didn't happen. And that's okay because as you may know, if you've read my book, Justin is going through the customer journey – the windy road with twists and turns of digesting a lot of content on average 7-11-4: 7 hours over 11 touch points and 4 platforms.

Basically, think of it this way – if we remove the marketing language and take it back to basics: Justin and I have spoken on the phone. I've texted him, he gets emails from us, he listens to my podcast. Do you need a podcast of your own? No, you don't. But if you want to launch your podcast, go for it. I will let you know that in the program, we have a Done-for-You podcast. I'm just rejigging it as at November 2023 to make it a little bit more powerful for the Tribe before we formally give them more assets around how they can use that to promote themselves.

So in terms of the 7-11-4,

7 hours, 11 touch points, four platforms,

if we go backwards, the platforms he's been on is the podcast platform, the email platform, the text message platform, these, again, marketing language platform.

But let's take it down to basics.

If you talk about touch points: watch, read, listen, do. He's listening to the podcast, he's reading my emails, he's having dialogue on the phone, he's reading my text messages, he's following our social media. So there's lots of touch points here.

And don't worry, you don't have to be a marketing expert to make this work for you, but I would recommend that you use my podcast and my book to slowly but surely educate yourself just little by little on these concepts. I promise you, some of them you're already using in the real world. You talk to people, you text people, you email people. So it's just kind of a step beyond that. This is the deep science and art of it, but don't be overwhelmed.

In this case, we have sent an automated email, so this is all kind of on autopilot,

but you can do this even without all the stuff in place. And literally, I'm looking at my email and he just sent me another email – I'm doing this in real life for you right now.

I've sent an automated email, which you can do exactly this as a manual email as a pivot to action. I'm going to tell you what I did, and you can consider, I'm going to sit at my computer and do exactly what Jeannie did, just that I don't have my database maybe as organised, and it's not going to be a preset auto. I'm going to go in, and I'm just going to email all my prospective clients, anyone that I've ever kind of talked to about the possibility of doing services, my past clients as well, and my inactive clients.

So anyone who you could categorise a PC, you could send them exactly what I sent Justin. The subject line is, "are you behind on the books or BAS?"

Pretty simple – relevant to all your prospective clients, no reason you can't send that out. If you are sitting there thinking, oh, I don't think I really have my database in order, well, whatever accounting software you are using, your clients are in there – but all your past clients and inactive clients are in there too! So some of your prospective clients are in there. Technically, you could go in, export, and just take the clients out and everybody else is a PC. If we were doing fast furious or as I've heard it put before, quick and dirty, you probably don't have a million clients. You might have 10 clients, five clients, 20 clients, you can quickly extract them and everybody else is a PC.

Now, if you only send this message to those people, you are on fire, my friend, these are the most engaged. They've done business with you before. Now, if there's anyone in there that you never want to speak to again, just take them out. I want to give you ways to simplify this stuff so that you can actually take a small piece of action immediately with the potential to get results.

Now, segue for a minute, I did actually consider having this blog exclusive for my paying program participants only. But, I decided I wanted to give this to everyone because I could definitely find ways to help you inside and outside the program – but more so when you're in it, actively participating with the rest of the tribe.

So in terms of the email I sent Justin, and which you could send out as well, you could use the nine-word email formula. Now, I just did a private podcast on that for my paying members. For you, all you really need to know is you could Google that, but I don't recommend you do because you'll go down a rabbit hole of how it's used for all different industries.

For bookkeepers, I like to call it the nine-word email, text, or phone call. It could just be a really simple email that said, Hi, name. Are you behind on the books or BAS? That's it. It's an email of nine words or less, that simply seeks to pick up where you left off. So in terms of all these people that are either past clients, inactive clients, or if you know where your database is of anyone that you've ever sent a proposal, or anyone that inquired but you didn't send a proposal, import them in and you can send it out to them. All you need is this in Microsoft Excel, and technically you could even not use MailChimp.

You can import them into MailChimp pretty easily and send out a nice mail, merge with their name, but you could also kick it quick and dirty and just go. I do recommend you use their name, but if you are doing zero now, anything is better than zero. Version one might be using Microsoft Excel and you're just using your Gmail or whatever, and you're just sending it out. You're going, you know what? I'm just going to take action. But version two and version three is going to be a bit more organised, all right? So I recommend you just use the nine-word email and you just send that.

I love nine-word emails in this age where we have limited focus and we're also time poor.

It's awesome. Mine kind of said, "Hi Justin, as always, I'm sharing this with you for one reason, which is to help you do better in business."

I've also done it in what's called sales page format. Sales page format seeks to do some of the copy is in bold, centred, and also in a larger font. And what that does is when you get an email like that, oftentimes you only read that. So if he only read the stuff in bold, I'll tell you what he would read,

  • do better in business

  • up-to-date accurate numbers is globally recognised as pillar one for success

  • optimise your business performance, your profit, and cash

  • How can I help?

  • Free of charge

  • Back in the driver's seat, you'll have the floor

  • I'll share insights freely

That's all he would read. But basically, because I'm kind of a version 10 already, mine talks about, so last time I touched base, I wanted to know what your gut feeling around your numbers was.

This time, I'd love to know: are you behind on the books and BAS because up-to-date accurate numbers, blah, blah, blah. It's what we call numbers 101 and it goes on and on, and then I actually give this person an opportunity to book in a complimentary 90-minute strategy session. Now, I like the nine-word email as much or better than I just told you. In sales and marketing, things are always evolving, and right now, I love the nine-word email, so please don't feel like you have to be doing my version 10, okay?

Now I want to pivot back advocacy and how it works. So I've shared the story of when we met and so far, a bit of our communication. So then, I got an email today and it says, "Hi, Jeannie, I've referred to you, (let's call him) John Smith. Reach out to him as well. He has thousands of followers in his coaching business.

And here's the message from this. John Smith says, does anyone have a great bookkeeper who's on the Gold Coast where I am or in Brisbane? I need a few hours a week, please. So basically, based on this friend of his wanting a bookkeeper, he's referred me even though he's not a client, even though he's never given me money, even though he's a prospective client. He has such a high opinion of me, that he's happy to actually tell people around him.

This is the power of creating advocacy in your market, not just with your clients. We absolutely always think that advocacy only comes from working with someone because then, they become a happy client – and a happy client advocates for you. Well, these days in the economic and the tech landscape that we live in, the exciting thing is that you can and should be creating advocacy in your market for your brand, rather than just focusing on your clients. And, the book and free training is definitely going to help you with that.

One of the most powerful things that you can start doing is keeping in touch with your prospective clients and your clients. With your clients, you need to make sure you're on the phone having dialogue once a month, and you might be thinking, but what if they don't have any queries?

Get on the phone, once a month, ask, hi, how are you?

Trust me now, believe me later. There is going to be a magic that happens.

In my program, the tribe members often say, Jeannie, there's a magic that is happening. Well, there is a momentum that is happening, and it's through marketing layering, which I talk about in the Profit-first Playbook workshop.

So, make sure that those quiet clients that you never hear from, you're calling them once a month. "Hi, Jeannie the bookkeeper here. We haven't spoken this month. Do you have a moment? Just want to find out how's things." Powerful, powerful, powerful. It will deepen retention, referrals, everything. Not to that mention you might have the opportunity to find out that they have other problems that you can solve.

The power of keeping in touch is in having conversations.

Now I'm going to tell you exactly my reply to Justin's email. I said, "Hi, Justin, thanks so much, and please call me anytime during or after hours on my mobile number, even if it's just to chew the fat on business generally. Always happy to be a sounding board. Hope you're looking forward to Christmas with the family."

Now, there's a science and art to what I put in there. So why would I say please call me during or after hours? Well, my father has a saying that I love and it goes open the doors and give the people what they want.

Sometimes, the time that a prospective client might think of me is actually after hours.

And if we think about the reason for that is that, they've had a long day or a long week or a long month, and what they're thinking about is, I wish I had some more help in the business, and their brain is just tossing and turning things over. And then because I keep in touch, I pop into their head and they think, oh, pretty sure that girl could make my life easier. I would be quite happy with this person. And then, he's going to think, she always says on repeat all the time, please call me anytime during or after hours. So if I wanted to, I could just call her. She's already making my life easier and we're not even working together. Imagine if I gave this person some money.

Now, how many after hours calls do I get a week? Zero.

How many do I get a year? Two.

I am more than happy to see a missed call or to receive a call if I'm not busy tending to the kids or Latin dancing. I have no problem. I 100% embrace the entrepreneur's journey. I'm not trying to have the best benefits of a 9-5 job and be an entrepreneur, and I recommend that you don't either.

And then why do I say, even if it's just to chew the fat on business, generally, always happy to be a sounding board – it's because whenever we talk to a PC about where they're at and what's happening for them, we are doing more needs analysis. This is why it's really important to keep having conversations.

And then obviously, hope you're looking forward to Christmas with the family. I remember him telling me about his family and how he just moved here. This is ages ago, and I love that, and I hold him in my mind, and of course I'm thinking about his beautiful little children and enjoying time with them. But the science and art here is, as I say in my book, people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and everything that I've talked to you about today leans into the why.

So call me during or after hours, even if it's just to chew the fat on business generally – I want to know his why. You know what I mean? What are your wins? What are your losses? What are you struggling with?

And I'm telling you, literally 15 minutes ago, he sent back to me. "Hi Jeannie, appreciate that. I'm going through an acquisition of a practice at the moment, but hopefully we can connect in the new year." Basically, he's telling me I haven't started using anyone else. I'm still with the bookkeeper I'm not happy with.

I did a podcast on relationship, convenience, and price – the three buying triggers. Now, he is only staying with his existing bookkeeper because it is inconvenient to leave them. That bookkeeper doesn't realise this client is holding on by a thread and will leave, will run from his practice, the minute that he has the space to do so, but it is inconvenient to change bookkeepers. So this business owner is telling me, I absolutely want to work with you and I'm going to. All I have to do, with my business development hat on, is keep in touch with him.

I actually talk about this more in the Profit-first Playbook, free training. I give you some more information on how you can do that in there, but to keep simple: Imagine if, every day, you reached out manually to a past client with a text message, or an inactive client, someone who hasn't said yes to a proposal, right? Keep in touch. Somebody that's six months ago said yes to somebody else just to say, "Has it all worked out? Are you happy? Call me anytime to chew the fat on business. Generally happy to be a sounding board."

What would happen in your practice? You would eventually say, gosh, I just seem to have a pipeline of leads now.

So if your head's spinning now, just remember, you can re-read this blog anytime. I'm going to tell you that embracing the diamonds at your feet—

your database will revolutionise the results you get in your practice.

After you finish this blog post, if you have a past client or an inactive client, just send them a text message which seeks to understand where they're at, which is also the nine-word email that picks up where you left off. So, Hi, Sally. Haven't heard from you a while. How's things? or, Hi, Sally, you just popped into my head. Are you keeping up to date with the books? If you're not, please just sing out during or after hours.

So there's two messages you can send. I can tell you right now that two weeks later, I'll get a reply that just says, "You're such a gem for thinking of me, Jeannie", and this is authenticity and manners marketing, my friends.

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