In this line of work, there’s always a balance that has to be struck between the creativity and the administrative extremes of the business. It’s the whole right-brain-left-brain thing. You must produce good work for the client. That falls under “creative.” But you must also learn how to develop new business through networking and sales. That falls under the “business” side of things. If you have spent any time reading about selling, you have probably heard the little piece of wisdom that says to “know your target.” In other words, know who you are going after. Research those businesses. Who are they? What do they do? What do they offer? What do they like/dislike? It’s fundamental to many different arenas of life. So, I found it interesting when I received two emails this past week from the same company, offering me a particular service. And what were they offering? Video production. The email talked about how they could produce marketing videos for me and how I could increase my exposure and sales by using video. I had to write back and politely point out that I am not a good target for their services, because, you know what, I do the exact same thing. Know your audience. Take the time to do the research. It lends credibility to you, because it shows your potential customer/client that you respect them and their time.
Posts Tagged ‘business development’
Lead generation is tough, especially for business owners in a creative field. When the economy is bad and money is scarce, marketing and advertising budgets are the first to be cut. However, in a previous post, I pointed out how businesses who continue to spend on advertising and marketing during a recession are in a better position than their competitors once the recession ends.
However, not everyone will follow this line of thought, which means that in every business life cycle, there will come a time when you must invest time in finding new business. Now, there are a myriad of blogs, articles, books, white papers, podcasts, etc. that give advice on how to earn new business. Some people are firmly against cold calling (like Frank Rumbauska’s book Never Cold Call Again). Others feel that it’s a necessary part of doing business, so you need to know how to do it right.
I really enjoyed Rumbauska’s book and the creative strategies he recommends for earning new clients and customers. In fact, I employ many different strategies of attracting qualified leads. This blog is one example. However, I have spent time cold calling as well. I see cold calling as simply another tool among many lead generation tools. Is it the best tool? Probably not. I understand that there are better methods out there. I realize that ultimately, a referral from an existing client makes a bigger impact than a cold call. However, if you find yourself having to cold call for new clients, here is some advise I would give:
Yes, cold calling can take up a lot of your time, and you might not have a lot to show for your efforts at first. However, just two or three clients gained through cold calling can grow exponentially if those clients tell others about your services and introduce you to others in their network.