Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Self Marketing

Over the years I have offered ideas to promote yourself and services. There are tons of little things you can do to help your business. Here are three keys to help you market yourself & services.

Promote, Impress, Communicate. All three work hand in hand.

Promote: You always need to promote yourself, services and products. You can do this online and off. Business cards are the simplest way to promote your business. They are fairly cheap to have made and you can put one in the hands of a potential customer. You can even make them yourself. If you want to be more elaborate you can hand out DVDs or DVD cards.

The key here is to put something in the hands of potential customers to remind them of you, and give them a way to contact you. Make sure your card contains email, phone and other contact info. This applies to anything you put 'out there', including video posts of your work and posts on message boards and web sites. If you go there, leave your mark.

Also put this in the signature of your emails so any email you send has your info in it. If it comes from you there should be a way to get back in contact with you. Flyers, banners and any promotional materials are good to keep around and you can make much of this stuff yourself. Make up a tri-fold pamphlet and give those out. It can contain more information and is harder to lose than a business card. Plus it's impressive. See, all three keys work together.

Anything you can put your info on and give to a customer or leave for customers to see or take is a good thing.

Impress: Your work is your signature. It is your showcase. It should always look good. But you too are an extention of your work. You should look good too. Be professional. Impressing your clients with your work, services and presentation will always lead to more clients.
Use nice packaging when you can. You can find inexpensive ways to present your products.

Demos and promos are also a great way to showcase your work. Post them on UTube and as many other streaming video sites you can find. Grab the embed code and tag posts with it. Your video demo will appear in all the posts you make online. Get the direct link and put it in the signature of your email, enticing all who read your mail toward the video. If someone forwards your email you may have more eyes seeing it.

Nothing will showcase your video talent more than actually seeing your video talent. So get video out there for people to see!

Communicate: Keep the lines of communication open. Potential customers need to be able to quickly get in touch with you. If you leave your mark be sure it contains a way to reciprocate. Tag the info in the actual video you embed in case there is no way to leave a contact where you post it. If you have clients you service often or occasionally, call them just to touch base or mail them a card, a reminder that you value them.

Tell me and I may forget, show me and I might remember. Involve me and I will understand. B. Franklin

Balance & Availability...

Now, with all the aforementioned let me tell you something else you should do. Be yourself. Relax and communicate with clients. Do not be "all business." Nothing turns off a customer more than being so focused you loose the fact that they are people. You do not want to come across as a promotion machine. Yes, you are promoting your business but do it gently. If you don't you may run off more customers than you get.

There are times you need to leave the business suit at home and just go casual. No one likes a pushy salesman. Present your talent and make yourself available. Like the old saying, "You will attract more flies with honey than vinegar" the same applies here. You do not want to drive customers to your business, rather you want to attract them.

Marketing is just that, you are putting something on the market and making it available to buy. You are raising awareness of its existence by promoting, impressing, and communicating. You are not beating it into them. Marketing terminology can be very negative. If you are 'driving' customers or 'pushing' products then you are doing it wrong. This is too aggressive. Some seminars teach this and it may work for some but will likely fail for most.

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." If the horse is thirsty he will drink, if not no amount of promotion will make him.

If you go into a marketing situation thinking these negative concepts it will show. The client will pick up on it and saturating a market place with ads or promotion can have a negative effect. Balance is crucial. So relax. Present your talent and services and allow the client the comfort of deciding if he wants it.

You don't have to be a marketing guru to market. Mostly you just need to present the product in a nice way and make it available. You want people to be able to find it. So what you are actually doing is placing information where potential clients can see it. Like Johnny Appleseed you are dropping information seeds and waiting for them to grow.
Do that and you will find success.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Good stuff Jay. We seem to be on the same wavelength this week.