In previous articles on this subject I have talked about how the internet – email and blogs and web sites – have given us a powerful marketing tool that was unavailable a decade ago. And that we would be crazy not to take advantage of them. I also talked about the importance of joining at least two associations – one writing-related so you can share in the wit, wisdom and warmth of your colleagues who are in the same boat as you are. And one association that has nothing to do with writing but everything to do with the niche market you are trying to service.
I suggested that there was futility in sending out unsolicited hard copy marketing materials willy nilly hoping to get a hit. Dumping your junk mail [and that’s exactly how your brochures/resumes/work samples/testimonials will be regarded] on someone else’s desk unasked is a big no-no.This takes us back to the basics of marketing, the purpose of which is to develop one-on-one relationships with potential clients. Because in the end of course, that is where your business is going to come from. A single individual making the decision to buy from another single individual – specifically and hopefully you.
Fundamental to gaining a meaningful presence in the marketplace is starting and continuing a dialogue over the long term. Like all relationships that are worthwhile you want to be in it for the long haul.
So how do we get to that place of dialogue? It is at once distressingly simple and maddeningly elusive. Whether you make a cold call, send a warm email, go to a networking event, or receive an overture from someone looking for services like yours, the first things that come out of your mouth will dictate whether you encourage an ongoing dialogue.
So choose those words wisely. Are they interesting enough to elicit an enthusiastic response and a question or two. Will they make you seem to be not only an interesting person but an interested person. Are they delivered in a way that shows you not only have a pulse, but a passion for what you do. And more important a passion for what they do.