Want the secret to getting clients in a way that doesn’t feel icky?

You can sell your services without a confidence-wrecking overcomplicated process – with marketing and branding designed around your talents and strengths!

This book guides you step-by-step through creating – or recreating – your marketing process. In one afternoon, you’ll discover:
■ The ONE THING you should focus on in your marketing
■ How to figure out precisely WHO you should market to (and it’s not everybody!)
■ The research to conduct to KNOW HOW to connect with your ideal clients
■ What to say – and when – to guide prospects through your marketing journey
■ The best way to reach potential clients, based on your personality and income goals.
How the right marketing gives you rock-solid, success-building confidence.

▼ ▼ ▼


You Can Do This

Imagine how it would feel
for your company to be an
overwhelming success

  • Your job is your dream life … every day you get to do the thing you do best, that you enjoy most
  • Your clients love you … and they’re the exact kind of people you want to spend your work-days with
  • Getting new clients comes naturally to you … you know exactly what to say to connect
  • All of your marketing feels like an extension of your personality … and it’s working.


You Can Do This

As business owners, we have the freedom to choose our lives. And that’s the best feeling in the world.
Except for when it’s not working. If you’re struggling to find the right clients (or any clients at all), fear can suck the very life out of you.
I was there, only five short years ago …

Fear had me in a stranglehold.

“What if I don’t have what it takes?” That was all I could think of as I sat at my desk, wracking my brain to think up a way to ‘be seen’ in my latest online group that I had joined.

I remember it like it was yesterday. The pressure in my chest, the dread in my gut. It was the 48th group I had tried, looking for ways to connect with potential clients. The coach in charge of my group cheered me on. “Get in there and get attention. Make sure to show off what you know. Remember, being obnoxious gets you noticed! You’ve got this!”

I got noticed, all right. That day I was thrown out of, and banned from, two groups that I liked. I felt like a failure. And worse, I had paid $10,000 to join the coaching group, who promised to show me exactly how to take my successful ‘real-world’ marketing business into the online world …

How did I get to that point?

I’m Leslie Walters Smith, owner of Heron Design. I’ve worked in marketing and advertising for over 30 years. Twenty years ago, I started my own company.

I was so very fortunate that when I quit my job to start my company, I had mentors to guide the way – and a solid marketing plan. I was able to hit the ground running with paying clients. But all my business came by word of mouth. It was steady, enough.

But five years ago, my marriage started crumbling. With two kids still at home, I needed an income I could count on, month after month. Getting clients by word of mouth was not going to provide the security we needed.

I had a website – it’s part of what I do for a living – but I didn’t have the time or budget for what I knew it would take to be at the top of Google. So I chose Facebook ads. I set up three different ads, picked my target market, and started my ad campaign.


It’s hard to ask the right questions when you don’t know what you don’t know.

I now know that online ad campaigns require testing and tweaking, every step of the way. To get it right, and start seeing results from the very beginning is like hitting a hole in one. It happens, but it’s rare. But I didn’t know that then. And everywhere I turned, there was another ‘expert’ telling me why online marketing required a very different skill set than the traditional marketing I was so familiar with (and good at).

After several weeks of stops and starts with Facebook ads, I was getting nowhere. So when I came across a free webinar on how to market your company online, I signed up immediately. The two guys on the webinar seemed to have all the answers – and a stream of clients to prove it. Their program was pricey; when I heard $10,000 it almost took my breath away. But, I figured, if I sold two consulting packages as a result, it would pay for itself. A no-brainer, right?

Those coaches were very good at marketing their company online. And if I could have followed their system, I would be too.

Except their system involved spending three or four hours a day in other people’s Facebook groups, answering questions to prove their expertise, mocking other ‘experts’ whenever they could, and generally being sarcastic and snarky. They pulled it off well.

I am a somewhat introverted 50-something-year-old. I’m neither sarcastic nor snarky, and I don’t have three hours a day to spend in Facebook groups. When I complained that their system wasn’t working for me, the coaches not-so-gently suggested that my ways of doing things weren’t going to cut it online. If I wanted to be successful, I couldn’t be me.

In the end, it was a disaster. Ten thousand dollars down the drain. Even worse, my self-confidence crashed down right along with it. In its place, imposter syndrome flooded in. The marketing strategies and branding guidelines I had built my career on didn’t work in this new world, and I didn’t know what I was doing. Or so I thought.

The uncertainty rocked me to my core, and it affected every part of my business. Instead of building an online marketing empire, even my sales in the real world fell off. I was terrified of losing everything. I was about to be a single mom, and I needed the income and the flexibility of being my own boss, now more than ever. The last thing I wanted to do was close my company and go to work for someone else.

Never count out a mom on a mission.

One day, a friend on LinkedIn reached out to me about his new program. A lot more wary this time, I quizzed him endlessly about his system. As it turned out, it was completely the opposite of the first program I had signed up for. He relied on reaching out to new contacts in a caring way – finding some way to be of service before he ever asked for their business. Like the first two coaches I worked with, he had a steady stream of clients to prove that his system worked.

Fortunately, this time I asked enough questions to learn that his program wasn’t right for me, either. But in the process, it hit me: BOTH systems were perfect for marketing businesses online – for their owners. Because they had been designed around the business owners’ strengths and personalities.

My personality was nothing like any of these men’s. Which is why their systems wouldn’t work for me. I wasn’t a failure – I was just trying to use the wrong tool for the job. I was trying to fit a square peg (me!) into a round hole. It was painful. And expensive.

I knew there were plenty of people successfully marketing their businesses online, so I dug in and started studying everything I could find. I ignored coaches and consultants who swore that their way was the ‘only way.’

I didn’t just study online marketing. I read as much as I could from other business owners who had truly reached the top, including self-help expert Tony Robbins. Robbins believes that the owner’s confidence is the key element that determines the success of a business. As he says, “Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.”

As I learned how to build my marketing system online, this idea from Robbins helped me tremendously: just because something hasn’t worked in the past doesn’t mean it can’t work for you now.

“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” -Tony Robbins

What this meant for me, and possibly you, too, is that what we’ve tried in the past and failed at has prepared us for that very moment when we can shine.

About this time I restructured my company. With that and everything else that was changing in my life, it was time for a new look. I completely overhauled my own marketing strategy and branding. For the first time, I went through the same process I take my clients through. I chose a narrow range of services I wanted to offer, carefully selected who I wanted to work with, researched the message I needed to send, and became very selective about the mood and tone of my marketing. As I went through the process, I began to get my confidence back. As it turned out, the things I was doing – learning new skills, surrounding myself with people who had accomplished what I wanted to do, and taking action – were exactly what Robbins and others prescribe to build the kind of self-confidence that leads to success.

All the research I did made me believe even more in the services I offer: Marketing based on psychology and research is just as effective now as it was 30 years ago! The kicker came when I sat for a photo shoot. In the 15 years I had owned my company, I had never been the focal point of my marketing. Even though I had directed dozens of photoshoots, I hadn’t been the subject of one since my wedding two decades earlier.

Looking through my photos afterward, I realized that I looked the part. Professional. Knowledgeable. Confident. My brand colors were even worked into each shot. As I placed the images on my website and created content for my calendar, I had never felt more sure that I was on the right track.

In designing my marketing plan, instead of following a system built for a coffee shop squatter in his 30s or a middle-aged former used car salesman, I built something that fit me. Writing, reaching out to a small group of women at a time, going live in my own Facebook group. Getting in front of strangers using ads with the right message, instead of shouting for attention. Designing my branding completely around my personality – with photos of me that I love and language that I actually use – made me feel like Cinderella.

I was ready for the ball.

From that point on, everything changed.

When a small business owner – especially if that business owner is a woman who is the face of her business – designs her marketing and branding around her own personality, and builds in things that use her own strengths, it’s almost magical. Because not only have you created a system to attract your ideal prospects, you’ve done it in a way that shines a light on your very best qualities. It gives you confidence from the inside out. It’s transformative.

And that, my friend, is the secret to success. Learning how to show up, and knowing what to say – and to whom – opens the door to a whole new world. You show up as you, not in some cringey way that makes you feel like an imposter, but as your own version of a superhero, ready to help your clients change their lives. It IS life-changing, both for your clients and for you.

That’s why I wrote Marketing Alchemy. It takes you through the exact process that I take my clients through – the very same one that I went through for my own marketing plan.
You Can Do This

Good marketing is based on science.

There are psychology-based methods, backed by research, to attract clients, and the ‘best’ way is different for every business.

As the owner of your company – especially if you are the face of your business – every part of your marketing process should align with your personality. The best marketing system for you will incorporate your strengths. Then, ‘marketing’ your business feels natural. You shine – and attract the very people who need you.

There are hundreds of ways to design a marketing system. Organic (non-paid) marketing, Facebook groups, blogs, paid ads, podcasting … it’s a long list. Some of these will be a good fit for you. Others won’t. The key is to choose what works for you.

“My friend Leslie is a marketing genius. I know from first-hand experience. She’s a small business owner trying to help other women thrive. Please check this out. I promise you will be glad you did.” –Hallie M.

“Leslie is teaching us so much, and clearly has such a passion for empowering women entrepreneurs!” –Genette R

“I value you and your work so much! You are spot-on in connecting our branding (or in my case, the lack thereof) to confidence, what I call imposter syndrome. Thank you so much for encouraging me to find my voice, and my look. I’m still shy when getting online, but I get more confident every day. And the best part, people are responding!” –Donna F.

When you get the basics down first, everything else can fall into place.

Turning a stranger into a client requires a process:

You need a memorable way to make certain strangers aware of you.

Then you lead them through a journey that allows them to get to know, like, and trust you.

Along the way, some will become interested in what you offer and decide they want it.

They take action – becoming clients and paying you for your services.

That’s the marketing process in a nutshell. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

However, for your marketing system to work, it needs to be based on solid information. Without research and a solid grasp of where you need to go, it’s easy to create a marketing system that doesn’t work. Marketing Alchemy teaches you how to discover what will work for you.

What this book WON’T do

Online programs are notorious for overselling and underdelivering. So in case you’re wondering, this book isn’t a textbook-length course on marketing. It will not:
✘ Teach you how to set up Facebook ads
✘ Show you how to make money from a Facebook group
✘ Build your website for you
✘ Explain in detail how to create a podcast
(It will, however, help you decide whether you need any of these things.)

What it WILL do is help you discover:
■ The one thing you should promote in your marketing, and why it’s important to focus on just one thing
Who you should market your services to, and how narrowing your focus will improve your marketing, your sales, and your work-life
What you should say in your messaging and when in your marketing you should say it
■ How to find the mood & tone you need to set with your marketing, and why it’s essential to get this right before you create your logo, your website, or any of your other branding
Which marketing elements – social media, blogs, email, podcasting, paid ads, networking – make the most sense for your personality and your business
How your marketing can build your self-confidence from the inside out.

Good marketing helps you land clients.
And more. (So much more.)

Over the past three decades, I’ve worked with hundreds of organizations. Over the past several years, I’ve shifted my focus to working with women business owners. As I discovered for myself, when we go through the marketing process, find our voice, and design our marketing & branding around that, it changes us from the inside out.

When your marketing shines a light on your best qualities
And you use that to attract your ideal clients
It gives you success-building rock-star confidence.

The right marketing can turn dreams into reality. Are you ready?

“I finally feel like a real business owner! I was terrified, but I did exactly what you told me to do … I called people to talk about their problems, then used that to create posts on Facebook and people reached out to learn more about my service! I’m in tears; this is actually going to work. I am so excited, and thank you!” – Kim L.

“I signed on two new clients JUST WHILE DOING THE RESEARCH you showed me how to do!” – Patty B.

You can sell your services with a confidence-wrecking overcomplicated process.

Learn how: download the book today!

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