Posts tagged ‘Strategy’

January 24, 2012

How I Learned to Love Marketing

Marketing. It’s a word that scares most entrepreneuers and a word I admittedly knew nothing about when I started out. When I first started my writing business I knew nothing about how to adequately market my services. So I did what any young entrepreneur  in the technology age would do. I slapped together a website and portfolio and published it. Then I sat back and waited for the prospects to come running. The only problem was the people didn’t come running. It was more like a trickling of prospects a few times a month. So I decided it was time for a change and time to revamp my marketing strategy.

After doing some research, I found  the words that stuck out the most were social networking and cold calling. So naturally, I drafted a marketing plan that included Facebook and cold calling various businesses in the area. I even threw in some direct mail. Although I had some successes, the problem was I hated every minute of it. I have NEVER been a fan of Facebook and the idea of calling random people to sell them on my services was extremely nerve wracking. As a result, I struggled to push myself to actually do the marketing I planned on. But the I more I did it, the more I hated it. Until one day I asked myself why I was doing it. I was obviously marketing to expand my business, but why did I have to torture myself in the process?

The whole reason why I quit my job to pursue writing was so I would no longer have to do the work I hated. I  could actually LOVE what I do for a living. Wouldn’t taking on marketing projects I hate defeat the purpose? There was no reason for me to continue to dread marketing when no one was forcing me to do it. So I promptly discontinued the cold calls, direct mail, and Facebook to begin a hunt for different marketing strategies I could actually love or at least learn to love.

After I waded through Tumblr, email marketing, and Twitter I finally found my holy grail: In-person marketing and blogging. I also learned to love LinkedIn. Considering I work from home, I jump at the chance to leave the house and socialize with outsiders. And it only made sense to start a blog since I make a living as a writer. What’s funny is the choices seem so obvious now. I can’t believe it took me almost a year to figure this out. Ever since I implemented these tactics into my marketing strategy, I no longer struggle to make time for marketing because it doesn’t feel like work anymore. I actually enjoy doing it. I guess you can say I stopped marketing  since the strategies I chose tend to be fun. And can you believe I yield much better success rates now that I love how I choose to market. Guess my mom was right – Do what you love and the money will come!

It took me almost 12 months of hating my efforts to realize, if I don’t like something I should change it.

Did you have a similar situation? How do you market yourself or business? 

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December 21, 2011

Give the Gift of Thanks

If you are anything like the 77 percent of Americans who didn’t finish holiday shopping, you’re scrambling frantically for the perfect gift. With Chanukah here and only four days left till Christmas you are probably feeling hopeless; especially if you are a business owner giving gifts to employees or clients. The solution: Keep it simple by giving thanks.

It’s amazing what a (handwritten) thank you card can do. The gesture says so much more than any other store bought gift. Not only is it simple and inexpensive, it almost guarantees a smile by the recipient. It’s also the perfect excuse to buy pretty stationary and corny cards. While you can purchase thank you cards with a message, I prefer blank cards so I can personalize it. Giving each note a special touch makes all the difference… and it’s good for business. Clients really do appreciate the effort business people make in getting to know them and building a relationship.

Of course, this strategy isn’t only reserved for holidays. Sending notes all year is a great, fun idea. Try sending two thank you cards everyday. I know what you are thinking… “I don’t have time to send two cards to clients everyday.” Trust me. It doesn’t take a lot of time. I spend about ten minutes five days a week sending personalized thank you notes. And I must admit that they are ten minutes well spent; especially since I they seem to be well-received judging by the responses I receive. I also love the tingly feeling I get when doing something to bring a smile to someone’s face.