Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can cover the best self-employment marketing strategies at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today I’m going to share with you the most effective marketing strategy that I’ve ever done in my whole life, and I’ve been self-employed doing a variety of things for decades and this is the one thing that I did that got the best result from a marketing perspective of anything I’ve ever done.

So, a little bit of background story. I used to do mobile notary work. If you’ve ever purchased a home, you’ll know that you have to sign a big stack of paper like that tall, a million different forms and some of them have to be notarized in order for you to buy your home and get your mortgage. So I used to pick up these escrow packages at the escrow offices, take them out to people’s homes, get them signed and notarized, and then bring them back the next day. And the question was, how do I get the business? How do I get these people to actually hire me? And when I first got my notary commission, I got business cards made and I literally just went out and introduced myself. I even handed out some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and just went in to say, “Look, I just want to introduce myself. I’m a mobile notary. Here’s my card.”

But then, here’s the kicker: When one of these escrow officers would hire me to do a signing, I would pick up the escrow package, go get it signed, and then when I would bring it back I would bring them a gift, and it was one of these little glass jars just like this. This is a little…one of these, you know, it’s got a clamp closure and this opens up, and it was full of Peanut M&M’s. These are Peanut M&M’s in here. And I used to give them this glass jar, just like this. I’d put them on their desk and say, “Thank you,” and then every Monday I would go around to all the different escrow officers that had one of these and I would fill them up with M&M’s.

So I even had this big Rubbermaid cooler, this thing right here, I had this big Rubbermaid cooler because it gets hot where I live here in California, so there was this big cooler because the M&M’s would melt in the summer. It was too hot, so I had to keep them cool. So I bought this cooler. And I was going through 19 pounds of M&M’s each week. Nineteen pounds. At one point, I had 37 jars in different escrow offices all over the San Francisco East Bay region, because I lived in Walnut Creek at the time and so I was doing business in the East Bay region. So I had 37 different jars in all these different offices and on Monday, every week, I would go around and I would fill up all these jars with Peanut M&M’s.

Let me tell you something: It was unbelievable. I mean, within four months I was billing two grand a week. That’s a hundred thousand a year. Within about five months, actually, but it happened very fast and word spread very quickly – I was the M&M guy. I was the M&M guy. I would go into these offices, and these escrow officers, they had some of the busiest, hardest-working people I’ve ever met in my life. And they would be on the phone doing all the stuff they’re doing, they would be busy, they wouldn’t have time to talk to me, and I wouldn’t say a word to anybody. I would just walk in and I would take the big cooler and I would fill up the jar, clank, clank, clank, clank, clank, all these Peanut M&M’s were going in, it was making all of this noise, and all the escrow officers in the office, their heads would come up, they would see me, and they would smile ear to ear, and I started getting work left, right and center. It was the best marketing of my life.

So, what are the implications? Number one, I was visiting them in a timeframe that was roughly similar to when they could hire me. In other words, I was going in to visit every Monday. That’s once every week. Meanwhile, they could easily hire me once a week or once every two weeks or twice in one week. It was a roughly similar timeframe. So if you’re in a business where they could only feasibly hire you once every six months or like, for example, I’m a speaker today, that’s how I earn my living, so people aren’t going to hire me every week—they might hire me once a year for their annual conference—so going in every week doesn’t make sense. There’s an imbalance there. It doesn’t make sense to do that. So you want to stay in touch with people and stay in front of them in a timeframe that’s somewhat similar to when they might think of you.

Number two, staying in touch is extremely important and for me, I am notoriously bad at staying in touch with people, and so this was a system for me. It was a system that allowed me to stay in touch in a very structured way. I went in every Monday and filled out their M&M’s. Sometimes I would walk in and out of their offices in two minutes not saying a word to anybody, but they all saw me come. They all knew what I was doing, they all smiled, they knew what was happening. It was immediate gratification. Food is immediate gratification. There was a grocery store that I worked with once as a marketing consultant and we had chocolate chip cookies which they gave away for free; you can smell them down the block. Well, you could get a cookie for free if you checked in on Facebook, and it was a huge success because, again, it’s immediate gratification. They get that cookie and they can check in in five seconds on their smartphone. So it worked really well. That’s a similar concept. They got these M&M’s, they love those M&M’s, and when I came by to fill those jars they smiled ear to ear.

So the question is, are you staying in touch with your prospects and your customers? Are you staying in front of them? Are you filling your jars? Whatever your metaphorical jar is, are you filling your jars? Are you staying in front of them and is what you’re doing from a marketing perspective, is it light? Is it fun? Does it make them smile? I’m not a funny guy. Some people have these brilliant senses of humor and they’re clever, and I’m so envious of those people because I don’t have that myself. But doing these M&M’s, it made it fun, it made it light and people smiled when I came in.

So what’s your trick? This was a trick. It was a marketing gimmick. But it worked like a charm. And if you’re looking for work or if you want to start a new business, let me tell you something: I didn’t like doing mobile notary because I was driving all over the place and working evenings and weekends all the time, which I didn’t like, but the bottom line is you could do this yourself. It works. Within four months I was so busy I couldn’t keep up with it and I was making great money.

So whether you use it in a literal sense or whether you use it in a metaphorical sense, how can you use this concept to beef up your own marketing? Staying in touch with people in a similar proximity to their usage patterns, filling the jars, doing something nice for them, keeping it light, keeping it fun. I hope you have some ideas that can help you in your business.

Thanks for watching this video. My name is Patrick, reminding you as always to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.