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.
I would meet with people from your city;s Chamber of Commerce, who should be able to point you in the right direction
You have to know who your customers are so well, that you know where they shop, entertain themselves, work, and where they live --- and you'll know how to meet them at the point of need, or at the point you would be their consideration. Maybe your customers are NOT at the meet and greet, maybe they're at happy hour after work. So maybe you can find a way to get in with that location, and somehow co-brand an happy hour event. Coasters or something.... depends on your industry, but you'll get the idea.
Create networks with other geeks. Start a networking group where geeks can meet, exchange notes and fill you in on where the demand for your services would be.
I am a software engineer and I took a unique approach to my marketing issue. I found a couple of non-profit groups that had big money contributors and built/rebuilt a free web site and set them up on social media. When the big money contributors saw the new site I built, the business started to roll in. I also partnered in with a Marketing/Graphic design firm and that lead to a long-term contract and a steady flow of business. Hope this helps
Hi George, this is the biggest challenge we hear from service providers, who are great at their area of expertise, but not professional marketers. This is one of the main reasons we started mosaicHUB. We believe that by sharing great advice, such as answering IT questions or writing an article on helpful IT topics will help you showcase your expertise to potential clients. And it really doesn't take much time if you set aside a little time every week. Also, as we grow, we intend to be the go-to place for businesses to search for providers like you in their area. A profile with client reviews and sample advice will really distinguish you from others.
Overall, you are doing the right things to get your name out there. Build an online presence in various places where your potential clients will be, be visible in your local community and ask your past/existing clients for testimonials, reviews and referrals. If you provide great work, your clients will want to help you out. Don't be afraid to ask. As for networking events, they are often hit or miss, but make sure you do research before you attend (see if you can get access to the attendee list if possible). You want to make sure that particular event will be worth your time. Also, you need to work the room. Talking to one or two people for long periods of time might be fun, but your goal should be to meet many people and the right people.
And to Joseph's point, what makes you different? While the green socks may or may not work (and I might just try that), having a compelling pitch will help you stand out. On your profile, I like the end where you say "We take techno-babble & break it down in terms you understand." I think a lot of small businesses though are still not quite sure how an IT firm can help them. When you are pitching, maybe provide some common examples or tell a story of how you have helped someone. You might help people understand why they need to hire someone like you.
What makes you different from all your competition?
Thats what you need to focus on and make known to everyone. You have to do some new and different. Make a splash and stand out from other the noise. Make a dozen Youtube videos and do some PR about your business. Stand out at those meet and greets and people will follow. Bright green socks and a funky business card will make you stick in people minds over other competitors.
Best if you can seek a partner with marketing/sales skills.
You may find clients by putting animated video for your website. Let this video do the talking for you to find new clients and get online sales.
Do what you do best and find someone who knows how to find and close your type of business.