Job #1: Confidentiality

PRIVATE MARKETING ORGANIZATION

PMcommunity.org is a relatively small, elite marketing umbrella for LOCAL cross-discipline professionals to serve each others’ clients whenever they are in need of the others’ services.

Unlike any other meeting venue, members only connect when there is a pre-qualified, sales-enabled REFERRAL at hand.  (more…)

Gray-Haired Consultants

Want to END Prospecting

FIND OUT HOW TO STOP LEAD-CHASING

Professional consultants and trusted advisors over 45 now have an excellent chance to cut back or completely eliminate LEADS and all that goes with qualifying, nurturing, and selling them! If you haven’t heard about Concierge Marketing yet, visit PMcommunity.org. (more…)

Who Needs Concierge Marketing

Most professionals (would like) to …


If you’re reading this you MUST BE an independent service provider in US/Canada serving the SMB space. This is all we cater to. We’re the ones who convert leads into sales-enabled referrals that are then brought to you by the fellow cross-discipline peer/colleague making the referral. Typically, all you need to do is to say ‘YES.’


Of course this sounds too good to be true! That’s because you are an outsider, a non-member, who isn’t familiar with our unique business model. Our platform is a highly screen/qualified members-only community. Confidentiality is our hallmark, i.e., we work entirely behind the scenes–out of view of the public, needy clients’ employees, his competition, his creditors, his customers. Our proprietary program is simply called Concierge Marketing. 

We sell no products. We have no clients. We have no corporate sponsors.
And, we do no advertising—online or offline!

Weird, huh? There is no comparable peer-to-peer & end-to-end marketing venue in operation today. Accordingly, we have no (direct) competition—just a gazillion competitors selling marketing products & services–online and off. Today, the marketplace is overrun with sources all huffing, puffing and clamoring to stuff everyone into the top of their marketing funnel. More than 80% of your email inbox reeks of spam, doesn’t it?

We have no traditional sales pitch beyond our Value Proposition. Our service is designed to [1] help members’ existing clients, and [2] facilitate acquiring new & better clients. Best of all, because of our closed-door policy (voted on by members), trusted advisors treat us as their Hidden Resource. Whenever one of their SMB clients needs outside assistance, a precise confidential solution (in the form of local Subject Matter Expert) is just hours away…without hassle, searching by member or client, or any cost!*

Here we go again, this sounds to good to believe, right? Hardly, once you take the time to check out what many local pros are discovering everyday. Concierge Marketing offers many members a unique opportunity to forsake “Lead Gen” and time-consuming prospecting for “done-for-you” “End-Stage” marketing.


REAL WORK TRUMPS ANY CYBER-SOLUTION

Concierge Marketing starts where most marketing venues (hope to) end up.

We qualify & verify the (member’s needy client) Buyers’ needs and then assign the project to a seasoned analyst to do the obligatory search/research. The goal is to expeditiously but diligently isolate the best available Subject Matter Expert (local member) who most closely matches the needy client’s requirements. This is not rocket-science. And, it is not done digitally—using a cyber solution, even the latest data-mining algorithm.

Rather, all work is performed, on-demand, by a small cadre of project professionals who personally communicate with members. This protects confidentiality and sets the tone for future work leading to optimum outcomes for their clients. The process is starts with, and is controlled by, the referring member, that is, the professional with the needy client. The solution-providing member (SME) is never disrupted or notified prematurely. She/he only gets involved once the Community’s analysts & project managers have completed their (marketing) function.

Sounds complicated? Why does a middleman need to be involved?
Isn’t it faster/easier for members to contacts members?

The answers to these questions are found in one of our copious FAQ Sessions. The short answers are this is much more simplified, streamlined, efficient and cost-effective (if time is money!). The Community is NOT a middleman (and earns no commissions). FYI–for decades we have studied the professional engagement process—as a buyer’s representative, seller’s agent, and advisor to agents, brokers, bankers, principals, and intermediary consultants.

Bottom line: traditional marketing has been [and likely always will be] fraught with wasted time, energy and money. A better way was formulated and launched in 2004; relaunched in 2007; refined in 2010 as Local Channel Marketing;™ and ultimately was perfected and renamed Concierge Marketing. Need more info? Check out our copious FAQ sessions; email info@PMcommunity.org, or call us 1-800-961-1800.  |  FR


Who Needs Concierge Marketing: #574. Please note that all PMcommunity’s Blogs & FAQ sessions are strictly for informational purposes. They are intended for independent service professionals serving Small & Midsize Business (SMB) clients throughout North America.PMcommunity.org has no clients (only members) and no corporate sponsors. It is not affiliated with Project Management Institute (PMI) although our Community wholeheartedly endorses their principles & practices. | © Copyright 2004-2016 PMcommunity.org; other trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners, as applicable.



Full Service Marketing

Niche Marketing Specialist

HUGE DIFFERENTIATION

PMcommunity.org does NOT provide traditional marketing services. It is NOT a Full-Service Marketing Agency. We are a NICHE marketing organization.

Even from inception, our “brand” of marketing was different. As members know our roots go back in the 1980s before PCs and the term “networking” had a whole other meaning! When we launched in 2004, we didn’t realize that our target audience wasn’t ready for a new, different & exciting form of marketing. → It took the better part of three years to get the message right. ←

Don’t compare us to other marketing companies. WE’RE NOT LIKE THEM!

In retrospect, our private marketing organization was just SO different that our Value Proposition was hard to understand let alone appreciated. Our niche audience: Independent Professional Service Providers [correctly] believed that marketing firms were supposed to lead to sales. But [incorrectly] they expected us to act like all others and PUSH their message to buyers. No one knew/accepted the fact that the marketing pendulum had swung!

In fact, the concept of (Sellers’) PUSH vs. (Buyers’) PULL marketing wasn’t known yet. It took another year or two for Hubspot to define “Inbound Marketing.” Hence, our first few years were spent adjusting, readjusting, trial-and-error, followed by more adjusting. Alas, Local Channel Marketing™ finally arrived in 2007; three years later it had morphed into Concierge Marketing. 

Relatively few are aware of our presence, BY DESIGN!

Confidentiality is our hallmark. Our early adopters loved the idea that the Community was private, exclusive, and highly confidential in practice. Since we’ve always been member-centric (members allowed a say in operations as well as fee determination), we rode the cresting wave of exclusivity and confidentiality. How? We agreed NOT to advertise (members would carefully carry the promulgation mission) and NOT to publish an open members’ directory (and agreed NOT to use Social Media as a form of self-promotion). Talk about invisibility!


ON SECOND THOUGHT …

It took until 2013 to ‘whip’ Concierge Marketing into the exceptional marketing vehicle it is today. Along the way, our detractors had their say. E.G., some folks refused to accept the fact that weekly meetings were as frustrating as they were costly. 

They still don’t realize that we actually encourage everyone to choose the best marketing mix possible. In other words, whatever happens to be the most-productive & profitable for each individual. After all, we are (should be) only a small portion of a successful mix. Concierge Marketing is complementary and truly supplemental in nature. That idea needs enumeration…

There are some members who buy into our “join & participate campaign.” This suggested that members could Stop Prospecting…altogether! As good as this may sound, it’s really only applicable to mature members who have a near/full-capacity practice or to those who are slowing down into retirement. Both of these types have gone beyond being PROACTIVE (aggressively seeking out new clients) and enjoy the genuine PASSIVITY that Concierge Marketing affords.


Hopefully, this explains why we charge so little for so much value added.


We could charge more. In fact, we used to charge more for services. But marketing-fee determination was turned over (by vote) to members—with admin approval, naturally. (Parenthetically, our business model works on a cost-plus basis.) Although private, our founders never intended the Community to be a true for-profit investment vehicle. FYI—they were all semi-retired execs looking to give-back.

Bottom line: today, PMcommunity.org is a most unusual, hybrid marketing organization/platform. It provides a high-value/low-cost service/program to a niche market (qualified independent interdiscipline professionals) using a local-market cluster delivery format. 

Our 3 members’ “watch words” are: private, exclusive, and confidential.



Full Service Marketing: #5688. Please note that all PMcommunity’s Blogs & FAQ sessions are strictly for informational purposes. They are intended for independent service professionals serving Small & Midsize Business (SMB) clients throughout North America. PMcommunity.org has no clients (only members) and no corporate sponsors. It is not affiliated with Project Management Institute (PMI) although their principles & practices are wholeheartedly endorsed. | © Copyright 2004-2016 PMcommunity.org; other trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners, as applicable.



Inside PMcommunity.org

Geared to Professionals 50+

PROS UNDER 30 NEED NOT APPLY

Back in 2004, PMcommunity.org proved convincingly that there really can be “too much of good thing” as well as “if you build it they WON’T come.”

Briefly, everyone’s entitled to make mistakes starting out. Murphy’s Law knows no boundaries or circumstances. Such was the case over a decade ago. We thought our “terrific new service” was going to be just what the Solopreneur Marketplace would be anxious to receive. Serious miscalculation!

We learned very hard lessons—until we created a brand new business model.

In 2007 our Local Channel Marketing™ PROGRAM arrived.  Sadly, it alone didn’t as slow to be embraced without closing all the doors & windows of our Community… creating a solid PLATFORM. This was the final lesson learned. The rest is history. In 2010 we rolled out Concierge Marketing ,,, in our inimitable fashion … under the radar! Only existing were invited to the part.

We continued our policy of not advertising, per members request. But, starting this April, we will be running twice-a-year Open Enrollment Periods.  This means that for two weeks during the year, a member-candidate does NOT need either an Invitation or a Recommendation! This does not mean everyone who registers will get in. (God forbid.) Rather, that anyone can apply…subject to our standard screening, qualification & vetting practices prior to entry.


WHO SHOULD JOIN?

Getting back to the age question, EVERYONE is welcomed to seek membership from 21 to 91. However, one must be in practice/business for a minimum of 5 years serving Small Business clients. Otherwise, she/he will be given a notice of rejection→“please apply later.”  Of course, each candidate must work in North America.

We suggest that members should be in their 40-50’s to join (okay mid-late 30’s might be okay)…because Concierge Marketing is a terrific passive income venue best delivered on a complementary basis. I.E. it is not meant to be a replacement for all active marketing methodologies. Those with established practices should already have a decent following/clientele/book of business. They’ll be looking to supplement their New Client Development activities with the types sales-enabled propsects that Concierge Marketing delivers!


PLEASE, NO OFFENSE INTENDED

PMcommunity does not wish to offend any person who does not qualify and/or may receive a ‘rejection notice.’ As a private organization, we must protect & defend existing members—in the first & last instance. To this end, admin invites those deemed not-qualified to state their case confidentially by writing to admin@PMcommunity.org for reconsideration.

Lastly, we’re continually asked about local “Clusters” and “Governance.”  Thus, Jim Mitchell will write an Insider’s Blog next week to address these two areas. | BV


Inside PMcommunity.org: #5653. Please note that all PMcommunity’s Blogs & FAQ sessions are strictly for informational purposes. They are intended for independent service professionals serving Small & Midsize Business (SMB) clients throughout North America.PMcommunity.org has no clients (only members) and no corporate sponsors. It is not affiliated with Project Management Institute (PMI) although our Community wholeheartedly endorses their principles & practices. | © Copyright 2004-2016 PMcommunity.org; other trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners, as applicable.



FAQ–New & Revised-2

More Community FAQs for Member-Candidates

Why restrict Concierge Marketing if it’s really ‘that’ good?

Members have debated this question since its predecessor Local Channel Marketing™ was introduced in 2007. The feeling has always been that since it took so long and cost so much to bring to market correctly, it should be ‘enjoyed’ by members-only and their personal recommendations. Most members consider it as a privilege … especially since it is opposite of lead generation. Where else could one go to get hand-delivered, exclusive interdiscipline referrals?  

Since you’re not an association, why do members run the show?

PMCommunity is a privately run Professional Marketing Organization that partners with its members to perform “transformative” marketing services–behind the scenes. We never have contact with members’ clients, only members participating in a Concierge Marketing project. This starts, on-demand, by one member with a SMB client in need and is completed when another member is matched as the precise Subject Matter Expert (SME) who can immediate fill the need.

Are all members considered Subject Matter Experts?

Yes, as qualified and vetted prior to admittance, all members are SMEs. In point of fact, they are registering as worthy candidates qualified to serve clients of all other members if/when the need arises…and they are matched by an assigned Community analyst. This means that of the few registered members available in the Local Area (Community Cluster), the “best available” to handle the project at hand is selected. She/he is interviewed and has affirmed availability.

Doesn’t the member get to choose who she/he connects with?

Of course. Members can always select whomever they think is best for their clients–whether another member or not. But when she/he doesn’t know anyone truly qualified & committed to act as a collaborating fiduciary, that’s when the Community is contacted to start a Concierge Marketing project. In other words, there is never any obligation to contact the Community, but when this happens, it’s always done ONLY when there is a pressing need or problem to solve.

Does the Community do anything else besides serve members?

The short answer is NO. PMCommunity.org has NO products or other services to tender except those that would benefit their members. This is clearly outline in the standard Community Marketing Agreement. The Community was founded in 2004 to provide value-added services which help members [1] to better serve EXISTING clients (first and foremost) and [2] to facilitate acquisition of NEW qualified clients in the form of an exclusive & direct referral of other Community members.

Who controls Community operations and governs activities of members?

The Community operates totally behind-the-scenes by performing agile project management transformative services. A marketing project would START every time a member reports that an SMB client needs outside (locally outsourced) help. The project would END when the reporting member is notified by the Community with the contact information of the precise, local Subject Matter Expert who is ready, willing & immediately available to serve. Governance falls to members themselves!

How are busy members suppose to “govern” themselves?

Busy professional-members.really do nothing except participate in Concierge Marketing whenever they want. There are no meetings, no weekly dues to pay, etc. The Community appoints certain members who volunteer to act as a County Coordinator (CC) to as a liaison locally–available to answer questions and help distribute referrals whenever called upon. Such CCs typically spend a few hours perhaps helping another member or, more likely, answering (email) questions of member-candidates.

Do members actually set their own marketing fees?

Once again the answer is YES. Every October, members complete a Survey that allows them to address all important matters that affect membership. They make recommendations; suggest new programs or modification to existing programs; speak to issues that concern them; and even vote on the next year’s marketing fees. The Community’s Executive Committee would review and decide all matters in favor of members’ consensus and sound business practices.


(more…)

Members Fiduciary Standing

Time-Out!

Setting the Record Straight

FIDUCIARY IN LAW OR IN FACT

Firstly, PMcommunity.org is not an association or any type of public entity. Rather, we are a private, for-profit, marketing organization that serves only qualified members and absolutely no clients. We have no corporate sponsors or hidden agendas. Our members are all independent professional service providers from North America who offer timely consulting, advice, and service to local Small & Midsize Businesses (SMB).  Got it?  Read between the lines:


4 private 4 not non-profit 4 marketing services only 4 members-only 

4 qualified trusted advisors 4 no clients 4 no corporate sponsors 

4 independent trusted advisors 4 local SMBs within US or Canada 


While it is true that members virtually run the Marketing Community (by voting on all important matters including their own annual marketing fees each year), as a condition of admittance into membership, each agrees to abide by the Community Marketing Agreement (CMA) at registration. 

The financial community at large is acutely aware of the great Fiduciary Debate and to whom does this standard apply. For the latest, click here for The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard (July 15, 2015). Our Marketing Community deals with many diverse professions—some requiring licensing, like Attorneys, Accountants, Financial Advisors, etc. as well as other value-added trusted advisors not regulated at this time—Project Managers, Management Consultants, Valuation Experts, etc. Some are commissioned or contingency workers (outsourced project workers) and others are strictly fee-for-service (majority).

MEMBERS FIDUCIARY STANDING

Accordingly, our marketing community does not speak (legally) to the issue of being a fiduciary. Rather, we suggest/recommend that all members, regardless of whether this legal standard applies to them or not, act with their shared clients’ best interest in mind. We do this so that ALL members when making referrals would feel comfortable working in an independent, but collaborate, manner. Note that every member has been qualified and vetted as necessary. This said, since professionals don’t (won’t) share clients with others who can’t meet the measure of being a truly Trusted Advisor, we try to keep everyone on the same page during our transformative marketing cycle.

For a legal perspective, as a third-party marketers, naturally we have no standing. Hence, the term Fiduciary to us, while very important, is used more as a shibboleth but hardly as a buzzword.


ALL INDEPENDENTS ARE ENTREPRENEURS

Looking down the Mkting FunnelDuring this hectic season, we usually don’t find time to catch up on our extraneous reading—with few exceptions. December’s issue of Entrepreneur Magazine has a featured article by Ann Handley (Marketing Profs) entitled “New Year, New Goals.” As usual she is right on point. Her 5 Point Marketing Action Checklist for 2016 starts with…DO LESS MARKETING.

Of course, this recommendation seems paradoxical for a marketing authority, but it goes on to admonishing not to gut your entire marketing effort, just focus on “becoming indispensable” to your target audience. How often have members heard us preach the same thing? We always promulgate that members should periodically (minimum: annually) examine their marketing mix to find the weak/poor returners to eliminate and, as prudent, replace with new & better sources. Obviously, the goal is to look at the proverbial big picture, online and off, to ascertain what’s best for you…not the supplier!

Sorry if this is redundant members: whenever you complete a marketing period, examine your ROMI.

Your Return on Marketing Investment will tell the story, i.e. the truth, assuming you know the metric and its components. Yes, this exercise is common in big business/enterprises but not very common “down of the farm” where SMB advisors toil. Essentially, the idea is to measure your variable expenses closely since advertising & marketing are your biggest culprits. The “New Goals” article concludes with a suggestion for us not to ignore mobile channels like Twitter’s “Buy Now” button.  

FYI-apparently the article didn’t make the online version of Entrepreneur, but for the record, it appears on page pages 28-30 in the actual magazine. You might also check out marketingprofs.com’s superior website since Ann Handley is their Chief Content Officer. It goes without saying that this is a terrific marketing venue for members interested in the latest tips, tricks and trends.  /  BV



Please note that all PMcommunity’s Blogs & FAQ sessions are strictly for informational purposes. They are intended for independent service professionals serving Small & Midsize Business (SMB) clients throughout North America. For the record, PMcommunity.org has no clients (only members), no corporate sponsors, and no hidden agendas. It is not affiliated with Project Management Institute (PMI) although we wholeheartedly endorse their principles & practices. | © Copyright 2004-2015 PMcommunity.org. Other trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners, as applicable.



Forest thru the Trees

Advanced Marketing Concepts

Everybody Loves a Winner!

MKTING 101 Leads Suck“WE’RE THE BEST … REALLY!” Just ask us.

In the SMB trenches far too many professionals agree with THE unofficial-official Internet Guru, Seth Godin’s pronouncement that All Marketers are Liars!

No one disputes the fact that marketing is a terribly inexact science—largely due to its grossly indeterminable (and costly) results. Marketing gets a bad rap in virtually every industry. Contrast this to the Sales function that is applauded universally. Most forget (or simply don’t care) that Sales are driven by Marketing. Others believe they are actually inseparable. And some folks really don’t care as long as the results are positive. FYI–the same folks would quickly blame Marketing if Sales were flat/down!

To those who appreciate or at least understand the Value of Marketing, this blog seeks to debunk the emphasis of Lead Generation. More commonly referred to as “Lead Gen”, it has enjoyed a decade or more of adulation especially with the tremendous growth of buy-side CRM software programs designed to fill everyone’s Sales Funnels. While the Marketo, Hubspot et al surely command a strong SMB following, the leader is still Salesforce. 

Know this: All CRM software was designed for a long-term marketing play.

From a specific niche perspective, LAWYERS still have the American Bar’s Practice Management’s Comparison chart at http://bit.ly/1GJFxYW.  ACCOUNTANTS have Randy Johnston’s ASW terrific pyramid at http://bit.ly/1kpxvtL. Consultants and the rest of us can always head over to the ever-popular Capterra.com at http://bit.ly/1kpxXYW.

We strongly recommend that readers stay with known programs for safety sake. There are altogether too many fast-buck artists offering the latest & greatest CRM solution. Beyond their products’ so-called “value” (even when it’s a freebie), it is the agenda that we’re concerned with. What is brazenly heralded [“marketed”] as a breakthrough—may turn out to be anything but! Obviously, due diligence is a must! The shinier & slicker the offering, the greater caution is advised.


→  BUT WAIT … THERE’S MORE  ←

Slick DudeRegular readers are familiar with this heading. We enjoy exposing bad guys and con artists whose mission is to grab the fast buck possible online & offline. Some in this crowd offer interesting programs & products; most do not.

The sad part is that once they have your money, the mission has been accomplished—UNLESS THERE’S AN UPSELL! The first offering can be the proverbial “come-on” to suck the unsuspecting buyer into the real agenda. And, the super slick may hold-back even more to entice [LURE] the buyer into the biggest gotcha of all. This is naturally a big-ticket item, i.e. course, program or system that can make you, too, a millionaire.

Before ranting about these guys, let’s back up lest there be a Doubting Thomas out there who thinks we’re calling the kettle black just to make others look bad, and by default, making us look good/great/superior in every way.

The fact that we’re been around for over a decade, cf., without anyone casting aspersions, may not be enough for some critics (competition). Because the Community literally operates in-the-dark and doesn’t disclose members identities, some suggest we must have something to hide. Quite the contrary, our modus operandi dictates that Confidentiality is our Hallmark. 

Members voted a few years back that they do not want member directories (we’re not an association), slick brochures or any marketing materials for themselves—because the Community is strictly a “Hidden Resource” for them. Whenever they choose to start a Concierge Marketing project, it is always done anonymously and in total confidence. (Note: clients’ identities are not needed). 

For more details, visit PMcommunity.org or if time permits today, read a few more blogs to learn why our Community may belong in your marketing mix.


Please note that all PMcommunity’s Blogs & FAQ sessions are strictly for informational purposes. They are intended for independent service professionals serving Small & Midsize Business (SMB) clients throughout North America. PMcommunity.org has no clients (only members), no corporate sponsors, and no hidden agendas. It is not affiliated with Project Management Institute (PMI) although we wholeheartedly endorse their principles & practices. | © Copyright 2004-2015 PMcommunity.org. Other trademarks are the exclusive property of their respective owners, as applicable.



Greedy marketing vendors