Mark Satterfield, Founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing, Inc.

Mark Satterfield, author of the forthcoming book, THE ONE WEEK MARKETING PLAN, has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, consultants, and other professionals develop marketing approaches that have turned their businesses into solid successes.  

Mark Satterfield, the founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing, Inc., is joining us today, thanks for the time and we are thrilled to have you here.

Without further ado, let's start with the questions:

1. Without a solid marketing strategy, the majority of businesses fail within the first five years. There are a lot of businesses out there trying to figure out a good marketing strategy. How can your new book  “THE ONE WEEK MARKETING PLAN”  help them out?

The unfortunate reality is that most small business owners think that marketing is too complicated, time consuming, and expensive, so they get overwhelmed and never get started. That’s a shame since if you follow a roadmap, there’s no reason why anyone can’t have a highly effective marketing system up and running in 5 business days for less than $300.

2. Why did you decide to write this book? I’m wondering who or what inspired you? What was the motivation behind this book? What do you wish to achieve?

I wanted to write the book I wish had been available when I first started out. There are lots of books that tell you what you should do, but none that tell you precisely how to implement the marketing plan. My goal with the book is to enable small business owners, consultants and entrepreneurs to achieve the dreams they have for their businesses by showing them how to attract consistent streams of new clients.

3. So what can small business owners expect from the book?

The book walks the reader through a step-by-step blueprint for how to develop and implement a highly effective client attraction system. If you follow the advice in the book, you’ll have a very effective marketing system up and running in just 5 business days.

4. What was the most memorable lesson in your experience that you would like to share with our readers?

When I started my business I thought that referrals and word of mouth would be enough for me to attract all the business I needed. Unfortunately I was wrong and as a result I went through huge “feast or famine” business cycles. These were devastating both emotionally and financially. When I did do some marketing, it tended to be labor intensive on my part, which meant that once I got more business, the marketing stopped. I needed a system that would work whether I was busy or slow, 7 days a week, 12 months a year. After literally years of testing and trying ideas, I developed the program I describe in The One Week Marketing Plan.

5. What do you think was the biggest factor that attributed to your success?

Without a doubt it was taking action and implementing the marketing system. It was initially frustrating for me because, when I did my research on how to attract new clients, I quickly acquired a lot of information but then got overwhelmed when I tried to implement it. What I finally learned was the importance of putting in place a simple (but highly effective) system and then bolting on other tools as time went on. The biggest barrier for me, as it is for many small business owners, was how to implement a marketing system that would work consistently and reliably. Addressing that issue is the key focus of the book.

6. Why entrepreneurs should embrace niche marketing, instead of trying to be everything to everybody?

It’s an incredibly noisy world and unless we see a message that is directed specifically to us, we tend to ignore it. That’s the power of niche marketing. Getting a prospect’s initial attention is perhaps the most difficult part of the process, so making sure that your prospective client sees a reflection of him or herself in your marketing materials is crucial.

Selecting the right niche, the one that is most likely to be hyper-responsive to your products or services is extremely important. One of the things I go into in great detail in the book is the criteria by which to determine whether a niche will be a goldmine or a dry hole.

7. How can social media act as a lead generation tool?

One of the most powerful ways that social media can be used to generate leads is to offer great information for free that can be obtained by going to your website. Make sure that you are really giving away great free advice, tips and ideas in your report or video and that it is not just a disguised sales pitch.

8. What are the most effective ways for businesses to grow their sales with social media and which are the least effective?

The least effective way is to blatantly promote your products or services. Remember, the key is to build a relationship first, before you try to sell someone something. It is hard for many businesses to resist trying to sell something immediately.

A highly effective strategy, and an advanced one that I discuss in the second half of the book, is to post “teaser” copy about your blog posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and elsewhere. If you set up your blog page so that it prominently features the free information that people can receive in exchange for their email addresses, you’ll quickly add new prospects to your list.

9. How direct mail can be more effective than ever as people are being overwhelmed by a flood of emails?

Direct mail may sound old-school, but it is still a highly effective workhorse.  As email increasingly becomes the communication vehicle of choice, there’s less snail mail than ever – meaning a mailed sales letter can truly stand out.  Moreover, there’s more engagement with physical mail than with email.  And, by buying the right mailing lists, you can pinpoint your target audience with laser-like precision.

10. Why should video marketing be part of every marketing strategy?

We are increasingly a society of viewers not readers, which accounts for the power of video. For businesses that offer services, a simple “talking head” style video is extremely powerful for building credibility and trust. If you aren’t comfortable being on camera, creating a narrated slide presentation using PowerPoint can also be very effective.

Thank you for the interview and wish you luck with your new book.