Color Wheel Marketing: Tactics for Red-Orange and Red-Purple Tertiary Colors 6


Why Tertiary Colors?

Primary Colors represent the three key pieces of information for your business.

Secondary colors represent our first interactions with our ideal clients.

It is the Tertiary colors on a marketing wheel that allow us to play with the blend and create our personal palette of marketing strategy.

In the world of art, artists and designers define this as their personal palette, and these colors are easily recognizable in their art. Do they tend to use pastels, vibrant colors, contrasting colors, or neon colors?

The tertiary colors combine a primary and a secondary color. This is when art and marketing start to get more fun. You still have to start with the primary colors, but now you get to start playing with different marketing tactics, blending colors and strategies that make sense for your business and work for you.


There are Too Many Colors!

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Take a deep breath. All those colors might be starting to feel a bit overwhelming. It’s pretty easy to start filling those spaces with marketing tactics and tools, isn’t it?

Here’s the trick: When you stay focused on your primary colors, the mixology makes more sense. When you feel overwhelmed, go back to the center of the color wheel. Remember that our secondary colors were about how we initially connect with our prospects. The tertiary colors look more closely at the psychographic and demographic details of our prospects to understand more about who they are and where they are spending their time. The secret to marketing success and to profitable lead generation stems from two key elements: defining your target audience and understanding what its challenges are.


Red-orange: One-on-one referral tactics

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Red emphasizes who your ideal client is, and orange is your referral strategy. On a marketing plan, this would equate to the specific tactics you use to generate more referrals. This might include tactics such as:

  1. Asking existing clients for referrals on a regular basis.
  2. Attending networking events where you will get referrals from other business owners. People mistakenly believe networking is about selling to the room of people you are in front of. True networking is about getting to know people and trust what they do so that you can send them those lovely warm leads and receive leads in return.
  3. Building referral partnerships with other entrepreneurs and business owners who target the same market as you. Perhaps you are a graphic designer. A great referral partner for you would be someone like me who focuses on strategy, not design. Another great referral partner would be a wholesale printer who doesn’t have an in-house designer and wants to refer their printing clients out.

Your marketing should include all three of these referral tactics, but take your time. Start with your low-hanging fruit.

Ask your current clients or business relationships for referrals. Help them by being extremely clear about who you are looking for.

You are not looking for referrals to any warm body with a checkbook. You are looking for a specific client with a specific problem that you can solve.

Over time you will naturally begin to build additional types of referral tactics through your networking and connections in your community, both online and offline. Start by making a list of what type of business owner would make a great referral partner for you. Whom do you know already, and whom would you like to meet?

I encourage you to consider who you know and to think about who you want to meet so that you can start building a solid network for one-on-one referrals in your community. You can do this both in person in the city where you live and online with experts you are connected to.

Building and maintaining potential one-on-one referral relationships is a key marketing strategy that must have a place on your Color Wheel Marketing Plan™. Go ahead and color this section in on your wheel now and add a few names of people you are already connected to or would like to reach out to in order to build your referral network.


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Red-purple: Attending other people’s events


The red-purple tactics involve connecting with your ideal client and showing what problems you solve. In this section of your color wheel, you will focus on doing this in person by attending events hosted by other people.

Here are some suggested tactics for connecting with people. Just pick one that you like and commit to doing it this week!

When you attend these events, do NOT talk about what you do; rather, tell them how you serve others! People only care about how you can help them; they don’t care what techniques or tools you use. Practice your elevator pitch before you go so that you will be able to confidently answer their questions. Focus on the RESULTS you have created for other clients.

Types of Events to Attend

Attend Networking events with other business owners.

Find events like chambers of commerce, leads groups, associations, Meetup groups, or other places where like-minded business owners spend their time. Spending time with other entrepreneurs is a great motivator. You can learn from them, share woes with them, and create your referral partnerships.42090423 - white background with violet, pink peons and copy space

Speak at business networking events.

Speak at events like the ones mentioned above—local conferences, Rotary groups, corporate lunch-and-learns, etc. Speaking is one of the fastest ways to establish your expertise and get in front of a group of your ideal clients. This is a much faster way to attract cash and clients than just talking one-on-one with people.

Attend other people’s live events.

Find workshops, trainings, conferences, association meetings, etc. The goal is to connect with your potential audience where they spend time. I can guarantee you they are not all hiding behind their computers. Where are they? Go find them, meet them, ask them questions, be a great listener, and share how you might be able to help them. Remember that you are attending events to build relationships, not to sell to the room. Be heart-centered, be curious, be open.

Have coffee/tea with at least one new person a week.

This goes hand-in-hand with our previous strategy. You don’t know what people need, who they are looking to help, or how you might be able to help them unless you care enough to sit down and have a conversation.

Attend a Meetup group.

Find one that is focused on something you and your ideal clients love to do, even if it has nothing to do with your business. Love to hike? Eat out? Go to museums? Watch movies? Play board games? Make art? Walk your dog on the beach? Chances are there are many others who share your interests. Go meet them! You might be surprised how many clients you can attract in this seemingly random way.

But I’m scared!

Terrified of public speaking? I’m going to say this now, and it will sound cruel to some of you—get over it! I was terrified to speak in public when I started my business. I would be sick to my stomach, and my face would turn beet red, but I kept doing it and kept getting better at it. Speaking was one of the best ways that I was able to grow my readership and increase ad revenue for my publishing company! Consider Toastmasters or other groups that help you gain both confidence and experience with public speaking.

You might struggle mightily with this category on the wheel, but the truth is that to grow your business, you have to get out and meet new people. You can’t hide in your studio or office, hoping people will stumble across your website.

I’ll repeat, You can’t hide in your studio or office, hoping people will stumble across your website. That’s not a model for success.

Are you beginning to see the layers come together? As we build out the color wheel, we want to start to add the colors and strategies that work best for us and are most effective in targeting our ideal client.

Now it’s your turn again. Add the next layer to your color wheel. What one or two red-purple tactics are you willing to try?


This is Part 1 in a series of three blog posts. Here’s Part 2. Parts of this post originally appeared in Minette’s bestseller, The Artful Marketer.

Brad Dobson

Brad Dobson is a co-founder of the Path to Profit Academy, and husband of Minette Riordan. He handles all the techy stuff and shares parenting duties. He is a 2-time marathon and 3-time Ironman finisher and for some reason enjoys endurance athletics. After 25 years in the software industry he quit his job to become an entrepreneur alongside Minette.

About Brad Dobson

Brad Dobson is a co-founder of the Path to Profit Academy, and husband of Minette Riordan. He handles all the techy stuff and shares parenting duties. He is a 2-time marathon and 3-time Ironman finisher and for some reason enjoys endurance athletics. After 25 years in the software industry he quit his job to become an entrepreneur alongside Minette.

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6 thoughts on “Color Wheel Marketing: Tactics for Red-Orange and Red-Purple Tertiary Colors

  • Mary Murray Shelton

    I love thinking of this in terms of color! It makes the process of business planning and marketing seem much more manageable and personalized to what makes the most sense with me and my particular clients and business model. Do-able is important to me. When I feel overwhelmed by details and can’t prioritize, it’s easier to get caught in the “shiny object syndrome” you’ve talked about. I look forward to learning more about how to utilize this color model.

    • profitadmin Post author

      Hi Mary – so glad it’s working for you 🙂 Minette goes into this in even more detail in her book The Artful Marketer, and we use it as a teaching tool at our Path to Profit Summits. It is really effective for us creative folks.

      • Mary Murray Shelton

        I have the book and am reading it now. I was inspired by Minette’s time management book, too. I would really look into being with you for your Summit in September if I weren’t already assisting at the Thrive Summit that weekend. When is your next Path to Profit Summit scheduled in Santa Barbara? If you know the dates I want to get it on my calendar soon to save the dates!