Care of Bob Middleton
You might define passive marketing activities as putting out
information about your service and then waiting for a response
from those who got your information. This is my favorite type of
marketing. You ideally want to develop enough visibility and
credibility so prospective clients call you.
I would define active marketing as all the marketing activities
that are related to following up with prospective clients. So,
active marketing can be everything from following up with
someone you met at a networking event to making a cold call
to a company you think would be a great client.
Finding a Balance
Good marketers work at finding a balance between passive and
active marketing. Passive marketing builds your personal brand
and your reputation. Active marketing gets appointments with
If you put all your time and resources into passive marketing in
the early stages of your business, you’re going to build your
business very slowly indeed. You’ll soon discover that it takes a
lot of positive exposure to get people to pick up the phone.
On the other hand, if you put all your efforts into active
marketing, you’ll never really gain any momentum. Getting new
business will always be hand-to-mouth, because your word-of-
mouth business won’t be supported by reputation-building
Combining Passive and Active
A good example of combining passive and active marketing
was my very focused campaign a few years ago to do
speaking engagements. I researched organizations, put
together a package, contacted them and got myself booked.
After giving my talk (and the talk has to be great or you’ll only
hurt yourself), I got cards and followed up with everyone who
This combination approach generated a lot of new business
for me in a relatively short period of time. If I had just waited
for people to call, I am certain I wouldn’t have landed nearly
as many new clients.
The smartest thing to do in marketing your business is to
combine passive and active marketing. Here are several other
ways you can do this:
* Send out mailings or individual letters to prospective clients,
and then call them up to discuss your services or to set up an
* Offer a complimentary coaching or consulting session to a
select group of people (by email or mail), and then follow-up
by phone to set up a time to talk.
* Participate actively in networking and meeting good
prospects, and then set up meetings with those who could
either be clients or lead you to prospective clients.