Monday, October 15, 2007

low-cost marketing techniques - part one

I'm giving a talk on the subject of inexpensive marketing techniques this evening to the Toronto Chapter of Professional Organizers in Canada. The following posts are an outline of the topics I will be covering, as well as related resources and links.

How do I market myself as a professional organizer? How do I market my professional organizing business?

Before you begin marketing, it's a good idea to know - inside and out, right-side-up, forwards, backwards and upside-down - the product or service that you are selling.

1) Who am I?

A) As an exercise, make a list of the former jobs or businesses you've had, as well as your education, interests, hobbies and activities. Don't hold back - list it all.

When you've finished your list, take a look at these characteristics from a marketing standpoint. What do you have to offer potential clients? What are your unique skills and areas of expertise? What sets you apart from the hundreds or thousands of other people selling the same product or service that you are selling?

B) Based on this new appraisal of yourself, can you come up with ideas for new markets or specialty niches? Create a list of markets you would like to explore.

For example, my own list of characteristics would include the fact that I'm a classically-trained singer. I've studied voice for many years, and have spent a lot of time performing, both as a soloist and a choral singer. Because of my voice training and experience, I am comfortable getting up in front of large groups of people and being the centre of attention. It occurs to me that I could translate this performance experience into a sideline as a public speaker.

I've also suffered loss in my life, struggling with depression after the death of my brother by suicide over ten years ago. Through my own healing process I learned many helpful techniques and strategies for dealing with loss and emotional pain. As a professional organizer I could translate this personal experience into a specialty helping bereaved families clean out the homes of their deceased loved ones.

C) What is my type?

Several months ago I came across a website offering advice to actors, and I was intrigued by a post on getting good head shots. Actors and other performers need "head shots," or photographs of their faces, when going out on auditions or for publicity purposes. Having a good head shot is often key to being hired for the right role, and a bad head shot - one that doesn't accurately categorize you into a "type" that casting directors readily understand - can keep you from being hired at all.

Read the article here, scrolling down to the entry from Mark Atteberry. Then, as an exercise, try to figure out what "type" you (and through association, your products or services) are.

Are you trying to market yourself against type? Do your potential customers recognize your type immediately - and are you the type that they are looking for?

ACTION ITEM: Create a written description of who you are and what you do professionally. Commit to exploring at least one new specialty market from item B) in the next 30 days.

Resource: Hypnotic Writing by Joe Vitale

Suggested online search: "persuasive copywriting"

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