Tips of the Trade: “How to Build Your Own Marketing Machine”
By Ilise Benun
A marketing machine is a well-oiled system designed to get you the clients and the projects you want. Once you put it in place, all you have to do is keep it going and the prospects will start coming.
A marketing machine is made up of 3 things: a singular focus on a market, a couple of effective marketing tools that work well together and the attention of one person to keep feeding the machine.
Step 1: Choose a market:
Your marketing machine needs a focus on one market, which isn’t to say you can only work in one market. But it’s best to start with one, get it going and then add additional markets later. Using a variety of marketing tools within a single market means that your prospects will see your message in more than one place--at a trade show, in a publication they read, in their inbox--and it will have a much stronger impact. When it comes to choosing a market, start with what you know, especially if you’re going out on your own after working in-house or for another design firm. A marketing machine built on past experience will yield clients more quickly than one you built from scratch.
Qualify your market. Before you begin your outreach, make sure the market you’ve chosen is fertile ground for your services. To qualify the market, ask these questions:
1. What is the current state of this market? If it isn’t in a growth mode, this may not be a good time to get in.
2. What is the size and type of projects available from this market? Determine if you’re able to handle them profitably and if you would enjoy the work.
3. Are other service providers like you already working in this market?