Have you ever been a part of a leads or referral group? Leads groups are different than networking groups. In a networking group, you simply visit on a regular basis, hang out with the people there, and chat with a variety of people to hopefully find someone to do business with. With a leads group, you meet regularly – usually once per week – with the same people from different industries, provide your “1 minute commercial” over and over again, and hopefully build strong relationships with the members so they will find referrals for you. Leads groups are more time intensive, yet the rewards can be phenomenal.

We’ve belonged to a leads group for close to 10 years now and love the results.

Yesterday I attended a meeting and one member in particular stood out.

She got up for her 1 minute commercial. For one minute, she talked about having a Facebook page and how they are trying to build up their fan base. She asked if everyone in the group would friend her and possibly drop a testimonial on her wall.

1 minute.

She never said what she did. She never asked for any type of new client. She never stated how she’s looking for new business or what we can do to help her.

In 1 minute of time, she spoke to 30 other members and a handful of guests, asking them to follow her. Then the other 30+ got up to do their 1 minute commercial.

How many people remembered to friend her on Facebook? How many did it?

Yep, I’m betting the answer is zero.

A more effective 1 minute commercial may have been: (we’ll assume she was a photographer)

“Have you seen the spring trees and flowers? How would you love to incorporate them into a family portrait? If its been years since you’ve photographed your family and the photo hanging on your wall shows your now 17 year old when he was 10, its time for an update.”

That motivates you. It allows you to “see” something and think of who fits that description. Or maybe you could say:

“Who here knows a high school junior getting ready for his last year of high school? Senior portrait season is from May through September, and the best dates go fast. If you know a high school junior, send them my way.”

Again, its specific. We know exactly who you are and what you are looking for. It also allows me to quickly go through my list of contacts and think about who I know. Images can quickly come to mind and I can easily pass along the information.

The problem with many small business owners today is they try and be different. They want a different message, a different website, a different look. Why? I agree, you don’t want to “copy” another photographer. But you are unique. You are you. That will automatically come through anyway.

Your goal is to be very succinct with your message. Tell me who you are and what you do. When I pursue it to actually see your work, it should speak for itself.

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Do you have trouble coming up with your message? Is your weak point sales and marketing? Do you love to photograph but hate the process of bringing in new clients?

You may need a coach to get you on track with your message.

Right now I have a handful of openings for personal, one on one coaching. Whatever you need help with, whatever your weak points are, we can turn them around and help you get on track with your business.

It just takes a commitment from you. Are you ready?

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