The Secret to Building New Clients in Remote Locations – New Business Development Series

Your Best Clients may not be in your Home City

They might be anywhere out there, and you’ll need a plan/strategy to reach them and work with them. Have you avoided doing this because you couldn’t visualize how to do it? Well, let’s fix that shall we.

Creating new clients in remote locations seems daunting and impossible for small business owners, yet many entrepreneurs and SMB owners have done very well at this. I’ve done it myself successfully  in San Diego, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver and London UK, and I want to be even better this time.

In fact, for some manufacturers and service providers, perhaps you, it’s an imperative to be able to find our target customers dispersed over the vast North American landscape.  Local just got a whole new meaning.

“they turned out to be great clients who generated the best times of my life”

I’ d like to help you accelerate your journey into new business development so you can acquire the best customers of your life. They’re out there, but it takes some smarts to find them. Forget the usual inhumane, high pressure sales tactics you’ve been bred on.

There’s a different approach here that’s better. And that approach is used by many of the people whom you see online and which you found to be fascinating people. You didn’t actually find them. They found you, and I’m about to explain how some of these super effective people manage to get crazy good clientele, one’s they could never get via advertising and cold calls.

You’re Their Dream Provider and They’re Waiting for You

For the sake of brevity, let’s cut to what really matters to clients from Boston or Charlotte to San Diego or Los Angeles. They all want to be served by providers who are relevant and who make them believe in their own mission and purpose. They’re looking for more than just technical competence – which is what everyone is trying to sell.

Through experience they may know that slick, scaled up providers can deliver a very disappointing business partnership.

If you focus on relevance, sincerity, credibility, and building engaging connections, clients will clamor to work with you. Even if you lack the expertise/capability they demand, they may still decide you’re worth working with, even if you’re thousands of miles away. And if you’re a master at what you do or have an outstanding product, then even better.

Don’t believe that they already have what they want or that it’s available. They probably don’t. They could be waiting for you to show up.

Reach, Relevance and Connection

But how do you get the message out about your company and its philosophy and then build relevance to target prospects in small communities such as Bradenton Florida, Oceanside California or Kelowna, Canada?

You do it through the 3 simple tasks of reach, relevance, and connection. And you do it according to an expert level strategy (we’ll get to that whole topic later).

1. Reaching Your Target Prospects in Cucamonga among other Places

Your target audience is besieged with phone calls, advertising, emails, and direct sales approaches. They tend to see all marketers as noise. Unfortunately, you’re included in that noisy ocean of blah. The medium is the message they say, so using aggressive ppc, email, and cold calling means you start right off the bat as someone they should avoid. First impressions are tough to overcome.

The best reach tool is a high subscription rate, web and content marketing campaign which may include your website, local media websites in your target cities, and local newspapers. The content is strategically written and designed to rank high Google searches, and to create engagement for specific industries in specific geolocations. That’s followed by a boots on the ground friendship and relevancy campaign by a business development/client success strategist who likes those kinds of clients.

2. Establish Relevance

With their noise filters on high, prospects have very defined ideas of what or who they should pay attention to. Your content, branding, and initial exposure needs to be well thought out — in other words very strategic. Your research will ferret out the attitudes, needs, gaps, failings, and decision processes of your target prospects. Then you can position your material and UVP to hit home emotionally.

And that content is so critical. Your choice of issues, news, technology, market events and perspectives tells them whether you’re tuned in to what they feel matters.  Topics, keywords, people, perspectives, and timing collectively send a message that you’re sympatico with them.

Think about how a provider would reach you best. They’d likely discover your business online, usually in an unguarded moment where they they’re surfing or they stumble upon it. It could be a mention on someone’s blog, an article on the local tv station’s website, or when they found you in a Google search. Something in that content hit a nerve. You need to know what that nerve is.

“When you advertise, their guard is up and it’s impossible to make the necessary emotional connection regardless of the carefully crafted success story you’ve prepared”

In the moment they found you, read your story, and identified the issues you discussed, they quickly realize your business is relevant to them. This is when they visit your Website, check you out on Linkedin, and Google you and your product/service to dig deeper. A simple process everyone follows today.

And when they find your web content, it’s relevant to them and they begin to open up emotionally to the idea they’ve found the right provider. It’s that “ah ha” moment and you’ve put your relationship on rock solid ground.

3. Build a Strong Personal Connection

I walked into a retail store in San Diego, created and developed a connection with the co-owner. Within 4 days, I was his new digital marketer. He had a sales issue along with concerns about the long term future of his business, which I didn’t know about.

In our conversation, I created a real, human connection, which gave me time to present my services in a casual, unthreatening way. Meetings became more progressive and targeted and I established my relevance personally (I had other San Diego clients, liked the same sports, and was enthused about being in his store and his beautiful city).

I understood his personal mission, beliefs and values, from his nieces to his business ambitions to where he originated from — the New England area. And I was a source of strength for him to work with his business partner.

I rediscovered that making friends with your clients is the essence of good business. These friendships bring a lastingness and positive expectations about ongoing growth and success and become the fuel that drives growth and willingness to take risk. These are human, personal things, not something a big, slick digital agency can help with.

Boots on the ground, means you’re there, personally and emotionally wired in.

Dig Deep and Travel to these Locations

If you want to do really well in a particular remote location whether it’s London UK, San Diego, Costa Rica, or the Bay Area and San Fran, ensure you know something about these regions, and that you like them. If you have a passion for these locations, it comes through in your online content, your tone of voice, and your personal disposition.

Typically, I target California, Toronto, and Vancouver because these are my favorite places. Your favorites might be Boston, New York, Charlotte, Miami, Houston or Seattle or even Cucamonga! They’re all good.

High Value – High Commitment

For B2B companies, this is vital because you’re selling a high value, high-involvement solution that can affect their business greatly. You must display a willingness to be there whenever they need, maintain good communications, and make them believe the time you’re back home is when they can flex their independence and growth muscles on their own.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

Making your absence an advantage is important. Quite a few companies don’t want someone local who is around to pester them. So your distance is a selling point.

With the right targeting, reach, impact, relevance, and establishing an emotional connection with the prospect, you’ve got a good chance of them becoming your next client.

Yes, they’re kind of your dream client, but in a sense, you’re their dream provider. It works both ways, and in generating a friendship with the owner or marketing manager, you’re creating a much higher level of trust and credibility that other local providers may not possess.

People like their friends and the commitment to success is higher among friends.

So with this in mind, you’re ready to begin doing more in-depth research on targeted prospects to create the kind of focused, high quality content that will act as your first introduction to your future high quality client.

I think after you’ve mulled this over a while, you’re going to recognize the vast potential of these other markets and that a new more organic approach is how you win today.

Explore New Markets – Focusing on the Best Cities in the US and Canada

Is It Time to Grow Your Business?

Surveys show many companies are happy with their digital marketing teams and sales performance.  The economy is booming and times are good.

While things are so good, and you’re most able to expand, how outlandish would it be for you to explore new markets in the US and Canada? And over the next 6 months, you’ve got some time to build your business. And it’ll be fun.

Big Changes are Afoot

Globalization is moving more economic activity into major urban centers. A good example is Canada, where only the metro areas of Vancouver and Toronto are thriving. It’s the same in Massachusetts where Boston alone is thriving and it appears to be the same for other major US cities. This is what globalization does.

When you’ve drained the last bit of revenue in your city, it may be the right time to explore Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, along with Seattle, Denver, Tampa, Miami, New York, Phoenix, or Boston.

Why burn yourself out in an exhausted market with thin margins? Fun, new, fresh and lucrative are better.

I’ve Done it Before Successfully. It’s Definitely Worth It

These are superb markets where I’ve served many clients in diverse industries.  The US cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, and San Diego in particular are a fantastic opportunity in volume and variety. An approach to deliver a fresh new service and approach they will love.

If you’re going to penetrate new markets, you must do it with focus on specific cities. A general approach, not adapted to the business and lifestyle in these cities won’t work.  If you want to capture Los Angeles, SD County, or the booming lower mainland of BC, you need to drill down and have someone there.

Certainly there are challenges in expansion, yet comparatively today, success is much more common. And it can be conducted efficiently, beginning with a strategic plan and testing approach. The payoff could be a 100% to 200% growth in sales. The growth in my own solo consulting business revenue was 600% with my best year at $180k.  For your business, the potential is obviously far higher.


From Los Angeles to Houston to Chicago and New York and Boston, to London UK, I’ve enjoyed developing new clients in many cities. It is a fun, fascinating and rewarding business opportunity.

Call me now at 416 998 6246 and to explore the opportunities.

How to Capture Your Market with Strategy

Basics of Strategy: Learning to Win Faster, Easier

We never question why the Amazons, Facebooks, and Googles of the digital world soar like they do. We might assume it’s money, and there’s no doubt that funding carries big advantages. However importants funds are, it is strategy that creates the win, not battle tactics, systems, or armies of staff.

These iconic brands have wasted money and learned from it. And they’ve also learned not to compete. Their strategy was to target a promising market, usually on the cusp of some technology trend, then dominate it with minimal worry about competitors. See this interesting post on CNBC about Google  and the type of culture they have (including the freedom to fail fast).

This post will be of interest to any marketing person or business owner who want to simplify strategy and use it to win a new job, win their market, or improve their own profitability. Mastery of overall digital strategy is a difficult matter – from plan to strategy design to execution and adopting systems to help you, there’s a lot to know. I’ve discovered that learning and staying on top of it requires a lot of energy and stamina.

“Everybody wants to talk about strategy and competitive advantage, but nobody wants to admit they don’t know what it is,” — Tim Lewko, Vancouver Strategy Consultant.

So why study strategy now?  That’s easy — there’s new software called Artificial Intelligence Marketing Software – a brilliant solution that goes way beyond marketing automation to give creative marketers tremendous power to be strategic. And to stay employed, we’ll need to be savvy with the new AI software and its power.

The onus to retrain, reposition, and upskill to stay current with AI will be ours. Businesses and government may not want responsibility for helping us discover how we’ll fit into the workforce in this new era of AI assisted business. This is the big struggle for us all.

This isn’t an article on AI adoption, yet it is difficult to talk about digital marketing or strategy now without AI coming into the conversation. When you have a moment, read this Marketingweek post on the implications of AI for marketing professionals.

Amazon Prime Air drones – more of a symbol than a serious solution. They may never be allowed to fly all over the place! Pic Courtesy of

With artificial intelligence software making headway in marketing departments, it’s the higher level skills of strategy and planning that will be in demand. Ancient Chinese War Lord Sun Tzu would agree entirely, that higher level strategy formulation is more important than battle tactics – that “tactics are the noise before defeat.”

You’ll find a 8 point plan of basic strategy below.

Western Business Philosophy: Attack Your Competitors Mercilessly

Western thought on business strategy is that you should attack your competitor’s strengths head on and crush them. Sun Tzu advised us to focus on and exploit their weaknesses. A new school of strategic thought is that you should avoid battle entirely – that competition for losers. This means all of your time and resources might go into understanding, engaging and winning the market.

In marketing, you have the ability to create a unique brand that battles for positioning in the customer’s mind. The only actual competition you might face is in buying Adwords and Facebook ads in competition with other businesses. That can be destructive to your budget.

Every once in a while, we may have to listen to some of Sun Tzu’s battle tips, yet avoiding direct warfare is better. And you do that through smart positioning (as Jack Trout wisely advises). As part of your digital marketing strategy, you can position your brand to ruin the value proposition of a noisy, troublesome competitor. In this way, you take control of the market without direct battle, just like Sun Tzu actually did advise.

From Rank Amateur to Beating a Pro

You can master strategy. Years ago, I enjoyed the challenge of chess which you may know is a game of thoughtful strategy. My friend Albert O was a chess champion from the Philippines. That was interesting that I became friends with an expert level chess player. He beat me quickly everytime without much effort (the first time in 3 moves). Embarrassed, I sought and found good chess strategy book from the library and I delved into the different master techniques.

Long story, short, months later, after 30 to 40 games I finally beat him.  Time spent on learning strategy is well spent and Albert was pleased that he had to try now to beat me!  I don’t believe I ever met someone with a better attitude.

Test to Discover Which Strategy Will Work for You

Interestingly, I found some particular strategies that worked best for me, after trying and testing a variety. I was looking for something basic where I could at least delay Albert from beating me. The Queen’s Gambit or the King’s Gambit seemed to work best against him and others. I don’t know why it worked for me. It could be that players don’t understand how to defend against particular strategies, not what I did.

Your strategy might be one unique to your skills, resources and capabilities, and not a particular thematic approach.  For instance, your AI marketing or marketing automation software may encourage you to do things a certain way, when it doesn’t work for your company in your market.

And the matter of resources vs skills is important too. Your strategy might change depending on how much money you have to hire a coach, your coworker’s skills, software and service subscriptions, advertising channels, whether you can improve your product, and with respect to the opportunity in your specific market.

Learn more about using AI marketing solutions in real estate.  The real estate market and Realtor professional is being tranformed by AI.

Today, because of how Google and Facebook have monopolized online marketing, business owners just pay to play, and they do it without much strategy. If you search on Linkedin or, you’ll discover little demand for the title: marketing strategist. Because the boss assumes he or she knows enough and can steer the ship. But we know a lot of CMOs are quitting their jobs because being the chief strategist is a tough job and they’re failing.

If you manage a business, you’ll have to learn strategy yourself, and improve, or hire a strategist to help you. If you’re a control freak, that’s fine. Hire them as an assistant. You’ll likely get more business and profit value out of this person rather than hiring another button pusher in your marketing department. With artificial intelligence software making headway in marketing departments, it’s the higher level skills of strategy and planning that will be in demand.

What’s nice about practicing strategy without big money, is how you’ll need to think and work harder. And you’ll certainly have less waste as you learn the ropes.

As handy as AI marketing software is, it won’t be able to plan your digital marketing strategy, social media strategy, SEO strategy, outreach strategy, or dream client acquisition strategy. This is your domain.

The 8 Basics of A Strategic Plan

  1. study market demand and the gaps in service
  2. build expertise in the market gaps you can win
  3. study your competitor’s strengths and learn how to avoid them or defeat them
  4. discover how to acquire and retain maximum value from customers/clients
  5. create a business model of success to give you market dominance
  6. shape your value proposition in a way that casts light on your opponent’s weakness
  7. identify the tools and resources you’ll use to build your UVP and unbeatable positioning
  8. carry out your plan with an integrated approach which also allows you to leverage your key strengths

Although you’re trying to avoid direct battle with the competition, your prospects are aware of them.  We all like to have options. For that reason, you would be wise to use the above 8 building blocks to get your audience focused on your strengths only – to build an undying preference for you.

You destroy your competition by how you present your strengths in relation to customer’s needs and your competitor’s weaknesses.

For instance, Google never bad talks the competition. Google is positioned as an internet service company that gives people what they want. Its competitors didn’t and still don’t. The competition’s weakness is that they needed revenue, but Google didn’t initially need immediate return. Google positioned itself on the word free, fast, and on fulfilling the web searcher’s quest without asking anything in return. It created sustained brand value.

Similarly, Amazon positioned itself as the fastest, most complete online shopping portal. Lots of products and fast cheap shipping has allowed Amazon to take marketshare from brick and mortar stores across the world. The talk of driverless cars and drone delivery bots just drives home the point that competitors can’t do what they can.
What can you do that your competitors can’t?

With artificial intelligence driven marketing software rising, companies are looking to jettison agencies and bring AI marketing in-house. A CEO looking at value and power might not believe an agency can build the necessary top-level skill and expertise in their industry. Nor can they bring the whole agency in-house.

Instead, the smart CEO will look to hire one or two skilled strategists with industry expertise to manage marketing campaigns with the new AI software. It’s both efficient and very powerful. Now more of the marketing budget and time can go directly into their campaign. We could be talking about anywhere from $50,000 to $300,000 more dollars to put directly into marketing campaigns and use AI marketing robots.

That points to a demand for the new type of marketing professional. When the AI tsunami hits, there will be a frenzy to achieve the above situation. Any company that has an extra $300k to put into their marketing will grow marketshare fast. Too much of the budget is going to wages.

Creativity and Innovation Will Make the Difference

Everyone will have marketing automation in place soon. What they don’t have is enough talented, creative senior people who do their work strategically. Let’s face it, if you have a staff of 5 marketers who are talented, your AI marketing solution can really power them up.

AI marketing solutions do the dirty work of testing, timing, and reporting. Your strategists guided by you, can find out if something like the Queen’s gambit or King’s gambit is the best strategy. Or perhaps, they’ll discover they have the power now to use an even higher level strategy, going up against IBM’s Watson system.

On that note, who will win the Marketing AI war? IBM’s Watson or a smaller solution such as Boomtrain or Albert? Whoever is the best strategist.

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