Yesterday I was sitting in a hospital waiting room and while waiting, I was doing some work. A person sat down next to me and opened up a laptop. She started talking to me and mentioned she was a photographer and also a web designer.. It didn’t take long before she started talking about how bad business was and she can’t wait for the economy to turn around blah blah blah.
She mentioned that her company had a “real cool” web site and had done some direct mailings to local businesses to try to attract some new business but because of the economy, nothing seemed to work. There were some other references to marketing attempts including lowering prices, pay per click advertising etc.
I can honestly say I haven’t used any of the techniques used by this persons company. In fact I made the decision a couple of months ago to not take on any new projects and instead concentrate on current clients and some of my own projects. Even before that decision was made I didn’t do any marketing. My companies web site is a bit dated (we designed it 4-5 years ago and didn’t really finish it back then and since then, have been too busy on clients sites to do anything other than occasionally update the portfolio page). We haven’t done any mailings or email blasts promoting our services. Never bothered with pay per click advertising or any other advertising.
So, the interesting part is while speaking with this person, requests for three new web sites came in via email. One was for a merchandising site for an internationally known comedian. One was for an annual event for a national sporting organization and one was for a local company. In each case, they were referrals from current clients and two of them didn’t even bother to ask about the price, they just want it done quickly and to high standards. The only problem with these new orders is they are behind 2 other orders from earlier in the week (also referrals) as well as behind current client projects.
Why does one company struggle while looking for new customers and another one gets customers even when not really wanting them?
I believe the answer is that I try to do the things I write about in this blog. Rather than trying to build the business from the outside (with new clients etc), I prefer to concentrate on current clients and they in turn bring in new clients. I try to help clients to move forward, make the best decisions for them. I’m not going to claim to always succeed but I have found, the more I apply what I write about, the more effective we seem to be.
Will this work for everyone? Probably not. Is this a technique to get big quickly? Definitely not. But if you are thinking long term, I do believe it will work for most.
How many of you who are reading this could benefit from writing this type of blog (or something similar)? How many of you would benefit from calling a current client and asking what you could do better for them? How many of you would benefit from networking with like minded individuals?
What is stopping you?
There is business out there, it’s just sometimes you have to do something different to attract this business. Personally, I don’t think traditional advertising is the answer. If you keep paying for big ads in the yellow pages and it’s working for you, GREAT. If it’s not working, do something different. If you are advertising in the local newspaper and you aren’t seeing any returns, put your resources into something more beneficial.
If nothing else, DO SOMETHING!
Have a great day!
PS, My disclaimer is that receiving three orders for new web sites in one day is VERY UNUSUAL and certainly not the norm, it just happened to work out that way. Also, I’m TERRIBLE about saying no so while I wasn’t looking for new business, we will take these clients on and find a way to work them into the schedule