Early in my consulting practice, a client asked me for the secrets of marketing, the hidden, special tricks of the trade that I rarely disclose – but would share with him.

Another client was convinced that the secret to getting work was having a project published in the Wall Street Journal and that getting publicity was the way to win clients.

And more personally, when I was a marketing novice, I would go to marketing seminars thinking I’d find out the secret sauce, as it were, of marketing.  No such luck. It was always information I’d heard before, but hadn’t yet taken in.

In all cases, no magic.

So let’s dispose of the idea that there’s some special way to circumvent the marketing process and still have projects in the pipeline.

Of course luck can play a part, but luck has to be earned.

Earned in the sense that – open to opportunity – you are willing to reach out to potential clients and make a connection.

That you know what sets your firm apart and makes it tick, and can articulate it in person and on your website.

And that you make a point of being visible whether it’s through e-posts, mailers, networking or client conferences.

Yes, some activities may be outside your comfort zone, so your job is to take that step outside and learn how to be comfortable with it.

And it may feel like work but consider that it’s the work of discovery, understanding, empathy and insight into both your own firm and your client’s world. It’s the same process you bring to every project.

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