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Thread: How do you market your services?

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    Default How do you market your services?

    Hello all,

    This is a general question I have. Including anyway of marketing, from websites, to social media, to online/offline ads, referrals, what is the most effective way to market?

    Which way do you market that gives the most bang for your buck?

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    You will get a million different answers. But for me, it's simple:

    A good website, combined with an aggressive adwords program, does the trick.
    Dan Furman - Copywriter, Business Author, Entrepreneurial/Business Consultant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Furman View Post
    You will get a million different answers
    Thats kinda what I was looking for. I was looking to figure out what are the most cost effective vs. expensive less return methods.

    I have seen people trying post cards, pens etc, but wondered how effective they were. Or does Adword advertising actually work.

    I have a client that could use some marketing advice, and I was trying to gather some ideas, to get a get return on investment.

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    There is no one most effective way to market. I think you have to look at your business model and your own skills and personality when you're a small business. To me the whole concept of marketing boils down to a few things. You need to find communities that have interest in what you're offering. You want to figure out where that community spends its time and then build a presence there. You should be doing what you can to build your brand with that community and naturally be able to deliver on your brand promise.

    Your business is obviously similar to mine. Start with your own site and services and think about what it is that you can really offer. What is it about you that differentiates you from all the others offering the same services. Think too about who would be interested in hiring you. It's easy to think that anyone who wants a website is your market, but that's too general. Look for specific groups within everyone who wants a website that would be more likely to hire you and think about where those people might spend their times. If many of them read the same magazine it makes sense to have an ad in that magazine. If many of them spend time on one or two social sites you should also spend time on those social sites.

    One thing to consider is that given the nature of your business you don't need a lot of clients. A few dozen and you'll be doing well. So you don't have to think of it as a numbers game in the sense of needing more and more traffic. 10,000 visitors a day isn't really your goal. Better to get a few hundred people to your site that are honestly interested in your services and convincing a few of them to contact you. If you picked up one client a month for the next year you'll likely be doing well.

    At the moment what you need is more content on your site. Your site doesn't have enough info to convince people to hire you and so your efforts now toward bringing people to the site isn't going to result in anything meaningful. As your building out your site more think about what you can offer that others can't and try to keep that in mind on every page you create for your site. Don't worry if you don't get it entirely right at first. Do your best to understand what differentiates yourself and reevaluate it over time.

    While you're building the site more you can look into many of the sites that have projects for freelancers. When I first started I spent time looking at the ads on Craig's List. Most of them were garbage, but here and there I'd find one or two to respond to. I picked up 2 lowing paying jobs from the site in those early months. One led to a small payment and a site for my portfolio. One led to no money (we worked out a trade), but a contact who has sent me more business over the years.

    Keep looking for ways you can connect with people. For example you offer application development. Many web designers don't. One market for you could then be web designers who need programming. Even more specific might be WordPress theme designers. If you can write a few plugins and offer them freely on your site, you'll pick up traffic from people wanting the plugins and build a brand around the idea that you're an application developer for WordPress. In time people will contact you to create custom plugins for a site or help them customize a free plugin. Next thing you know that same person will be asking you for more development work.
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    It totally depends on what kind of business you have. I'll assume you want answers that apply to a website design business - so my answers wouldn't apply.
    Steve B

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    Yeah I think it depends on the type of business.

    My clients find me mainly through referrals and some through direct mail.

    My recent new client she said she received my flyer over 3 months ago. She hung on to it even though she already had a different person doing her work. Just last week she found out her guy moved away from the area, so she called me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rezzy View Post
    Or does Adword advertising actually work.
    Yes, it does, but here's the caveat: You have to spend $$ on it. Both in the ads themselves, and perhaps on your own site.

    For an ad itself, if you aren't landing on the first page, the effectiveness goes WAY down. For some industries (like yours and mine), it's not cheap. So that's step one - pay enough per click to get on page 1.

    Then, your ad has to get people to click it. Test, test, test.

    Lastly, your site has to convert those clicks. Harder than it sounds. If you are getting 100 qualified people to your site, and nobody is contacting you for business, your site isn't good enough.

    Work backwards here - make the site a converting machine first. Then buy ads for it.
    Dan Furman - Copywriter, Business Author, Entrepreneurial/Business Consultant
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    I'll have to agree with everyone who's said the best form of marketing depends on what the business is and the industry it's in. One of our companies has had success with blogging and contributing to forums. Another company operates in a completely different industry and there aren't any forums or blogs to be found. You have to adapt to the environment.

    The biggest thing is knowing where your customers are and being there as well.

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    Just want to echo what Dan said. AdWords works for him, but there are a few caveats. First he has a site that can convert visitors to clients. Without that no amount of traffic would be meaningful. Second, while I haven't seen the specific ads Dan has written, I'm sure they are well written and effective and generating clicks. And third I'm sure Dan has figured out how much money he can spend on ads to still be profitable based on how well his site converts.

    And yes work backwards. You have to have a site than can convert before any advertising is going to really work.

    One more thing to add. I've never used AdWords at all for my business. It's not that I think it can't work. I think it can. But I've been able to attract clients in other ways without having to spend on the clicks. Doesn't mean I won't use AdWords in the future. I probably will. All it means is there are many different ways to market your business successfully. Don't look for the way to market your business. There is no one single way.
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    I agree that in most cases marketing techniques are specfic to your industry. I think there is something to be learned from others, because we all want the same things, customers to purchase our products/services. There are some marketing techniques that fail, no matter what market you are in. IMHO.

    For instance: Has anyone tried direct mailings? Or email spamming? Or cold calling?

    Have these methods worked? Or do you get more hangups then contacts?
    Last edited by rezzy; 04-06-2009 at 01:54 PM.

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