We are geeks, not marketers. How do we find new clients in a competitive market in Seattle?
We are great at our core business, but finding new clients is rather difficult. We've gone to a few meet & greets & have had a great time, but little to no effect on bringing in the bacon. All and any advice is appreciated.
Learn to love SALES... or show the love to someone that does! See my attempt at defining the elements of successful selling at http://bit.ly/TipsOnSellingOut
look at some of the more successful kickstarter campaigns, those that have gone 'viral.' you'll see that you can keep the tone of geek and reach a huge audience. here's one such campaign:
your best bet is word of mouth. you have to craft a message first (video about what you do, case study, web site) so people can understand what you offer (think layperson, but don't dumb down the message). then, drive it out to everyone you know on all social channels and get out to where your potential customers are for a handshake session, event, or press conference. what are you selling and what's in it for me? are the questions you need to answer from the perspective of your audience.
You need to position yourselves as experts. Look for speaking engagements (or create one) for your target market. Write an article for your local paper. You can even create an event where you'd invite your market to come to. In fact, letting your local media know via a phone pitch and press release will do wonders. You may be invited to talk about it on TV, radio and in the newspaper.
Create a unique selling proposition/statement about what you do.
By the way, the meet greets, how to you normally engage with prospects?
The reason I ask is that simply saying I am this or that doesn't get it. Instead, do it this way when asked what do you do: "You know how some people have this problem (fill in with a problem you can solve), well what I do is this solution (fill-in the solution).
Why not try making a presentation of your skills and what you folks can offer to potential consumers. you could have a Q and A session, videotape the whole thing, cut it down to smaller bite sized clips for social media.
You might think @ starting a podcast and invite businessmen who you know that have had a need for your type of skillset to 'set-up' a nice upsell for listeners. How about taking all the brain power and writing a 'white paper' and put it on your website, or blog in return for an email address and start to create a database of potential target consumers. - There's a million ways to skin a cat!
First of all, don't think competitive - think collaborative. With that change in mindset, so does your strategic thinking.
Know your self, your business, your culture, your mission, your values, and all this will set you a apart. Work with a model!
Knowing your market is the most important order of your day - not what others are doing. Align with your industry. AND hire an expert like me.
Being a saleman, I can tell you that prospecting and networking are never something things that work together! Networking events are great to attend and often fun, however you and the team need to pull key people that you want to identify with or business to network into at these events... Prospecting is your cold calling , shotgun email campaigns, or following up with the people you meet at networking events.
I wouls also look into BNI groups as they teach referral makerting, and build relationships with local business professionals
This is the Mission Link.. When you are a Geek Like myself, you need a Sales Team! There is no such thing as a Competitive Market! if you are good at what you do and know that your competition can not beat your product, then you just need to have that Voice for you! You need a Sales Team! if you need more info on that Ask me in a more private session! I don;t want to give away to many Details here! ha ha You guys Rock!
Short answer: When going to those meet & greets focus on giving away some of your knowledge for free - also, in stead of marketing your products & solutions, market what you believe in, WHY do you have this business - make sure to give value to anyone you talk to, without expecting anything in return - it will turn out, when you have this focus, that you will attract the right people and THEY will ask to meet with you:-) for inspiration, check out Simon Sinek on youtube
Asking your existing clients usually produces good results. if they are happy with your services they will be happy for their clients to use you.
Incentives are another good way, regular newsletters or e-newsletters, making sure you have data capture on your website, competitions on social media, press coverage.
There are many ways, they will work best if you have a plan of action, and get some help if you need it. Good luck.
I am using my intuition today when answering these questions. Please let me know if its useful.
If you are great at your core business. Have you got testimonials? Like attracts like...
I feel you are forcing it, so hence restricting the client to make their own decision. Its about trusting yourself more, trusting your business more, trusting that what you do is very valuable.
Is there any reason why specifically Seattle? Maybe your expertise is better used outside of Seattle or Freelancing.
You identified yourself as a Geek? Draw a picture --
a. Who is this Geek?
b. What is the typical day of this Geek?
c. What is the typical, problems, frustrations and core issues that need to be solved?
d. What does this Geek enjoy?
e. What does this Geek hate? (I would think a Geek would hate, being forced to buy)
f. what does this Geek Love?
Its about nurturing the tree in the right way. What soil does this Geek Need? What Water does this Geek need? What fertilizer does this Geek Need? What sunlight does this need? What air does this Geek need?
What fruit will fall from the tree when the Geek receives all its nutrients?
When you focus so much on bringing in the bacon, you forget all the other things that are required to bring in the fruit. When everything is in balance, things will prosper.
I really think George you need to think outside of the location. Think worldwide. How can my services really help people that I connect on forums like this, where it doesn't matter where they live in the world. I believe you are restricting your success by simply looking at I must get more new sales in Seattle.
Enjoy your day