Day #3 of spring but I wear my parka, hats and gloves when I step outside. Same thing I’ve been wearing since January. The upside is that days are longer and I LOVE that because my home office happens to be in my sun-room. Truly my happy place when the daylight sun pours through the windows warming up my creative space. So let’s just say that while spring may not be in the air it can be found right here, in my heart.
This time of year is when I begin networking. Getting out there to meet fellow entrepreneurs, potential new clients and fellow marketers we can team up with when a client needs something we don’t offer such as website development. So I attended the Evanston Chamber of commerce event at the Evanston Holiday Inn, which looked less like a chain hotel and more like a boutique hotel. It was a very cozy and friendly group. Perhaps La Kart Marketing will join them as a member.
Meeting so many small business owners got me thinking. What would an ideal approach be to engaging a firm to help them promote their business? After all, it’s a big investment of time and money so taking the time to team up with the right person is critical.
So, I came up with three steps to kick off your search for Marketing Services:
Have a crystal clear idea of what your goals are: Do you want to generate leads? Get more people into your restaurant? Promote a seasonal offering? Establish your credibility as authority figure? Knowing what you want and articulating it to the marketing consultant helps both parties: Avoid wasted time and chase-your-tail exercises (no one likes these), generate the best ideas and approach for your business, and lastly keep costs down.
Know your target audience: And anyone with a pulse is not an acceptable answer. When marketing budgets are limited you want every promotional dollar to deliver the message to exactly the person you want as a client. If you are a childcare business you just wasted your money by sending me the direct mail postcard. I have a dog not a kid. See what I mean?
Ask the firm to share with you: Their full range of capabilities, meaning what is it they do and are best at. This is especially true of you are dealing with a freelancer. I’ve had people yeah, yeah, yeah me only to find they lacked true experience in X, Y, Z. Ask for work samples and most important, references. If they have a string of happy recent clients there’s an excellent chance you will be as well. Based on knowing #1 and #2 you can now determine if the agency is the right fit to get your where you need to be.
So I look forward to planting many business seeds this spring and seeing new relationships take root and blossom when the weather finally decides to be spring-like.