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Old 04-08-2013, 08:59 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,899,603 times
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I was looking to find a marketing discussion forum on City Data, but there isn't one, and so I was directed here.

I've been traveling around for family reasons for the last few years, however now I would like to plant some roots, and I was wondering what would be the best way to market to potential clients with the least amount of cash. I don't have any start up capital/or word of mouth as I don't know anyone in this town yet. I am in Florida, and will travel throughout the entire state for my clients.

After receiving countless postcards of all sorts of sizes in the mail here...and noticing my habit of throwing them all in the recycling bin...obviously I do not want to end up in the same situation if I sent mine out; which is very likely.

I have signed up for an email list that is pertinent to my field, (I was told these folks "expect" to see emails from us), however I have yet to send anything out because I don't know what the target/potential client is looking to see. What is popular, what isn't...is the "75% OFF" an attraction? or the emphasis is put on quality? I offer a business to business service, so no freelancing, or work for credit...I have business costs, travel costs, equipment costs etc., I can paste a list so you get an idea of where we stand once working. But I don't want to waste anyone's time either, mine or theirs, so I am trying to figure out what is expected these days, and not what worked in 2000.

Someone said: "short and sweet"....that means nothing to me as I am "marketing writing" challenged; I am not a marketing professional, and while I would LOVE to enlist one to help me, I just don't have the finances for it. I am also new to this town, and obviously there are many others out there...not sure how many use the same list as I do, but still...

Any thoughts?

Thank you.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,879 posts, read 7,605,793 times
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The cheapest and easiest way to market services right now is using social media and you needn't be an expert to do it. Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. You can also take advantage of many cheap resources such as Mail Chimp for email marketing and you can find templates online for design ideas.

Are you marketing your photography work? Because that is very visual so you should have a lot to showcase. Do you have a website? Its pretty easy to get one up and running using Wix.com or some others.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:53 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,899,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Crabcakes View Post
The cheapest and easiest way to market services right now is using social media and you needn't be an expert to do it. Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. You can also take advantage of many cheap resources such as Mail Chimp for email marketing and you can find templates online for design ideas.

Are you marketing your photography work? Because that is very visual so you should have a lot to showcase. Do you have a website? Its pretty easy to get one up and running using Wix.com or some others.
Ok.

I have everythig related to my business all squared up; the brand, the images etc. However, I don't know what to say "writing wise". I am stuck on the writing part since it is not my strong point, and I can't tell what is expected copy wise.

Thank you.

I am on LinkedIn and Twitter, but not facebook because all my Facebook friends are from HS back some years ago, and 99% live in Canada, Europe and Asia.
If i use FB it won't be any different for me than using Google AdWords, and I have a specific audience, so I am not directing my advertisments at "everyone".
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,879 posts, read 7,605,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
Ok.

I have everythig related to my business all squared up; the brand, the images etc. However, I don't know what to say "writing wise". I am stuck on the writing part since it is not my strong point, and I can't tell what is expected copy wise.
I've done a good bit of copywriting. I could probably give you some tips. PM me if you like.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:06 PM
 
1,475 posts, read 2,336,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
However, I don't know what to say...
That is a major problem. *You* as leader of the company should be able to expound for hours on end about what you're offering and why the customer wants it. The idea of offering discounts or other things come after you "write your message".

You need to sit alone and write a hundred pages about what you offer and why it is great. Then you can start marketing/advertising.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:58 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 96,995,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
I am on LinkedIn and Twitter, but not facebook because all my Facebook friends are from HS back some years ago, and 99% live in Canada, Europe and Asia.
If i use FB it won't be any different for me than using Google AdWords, and I have a specific audience, so I am not directing my advertisments at "everyone".
Create a Facebook page for your business. Every major business is on Facebook. Search for Home Depot or whatever business comes to mind and you'll see. Your specific target is likely to have facebook pages too. Go check. Look around for them.

Do research. Find your local competitors and similar businesses around the country to see what they are doing with Facebook and Twitter. You'll quickly see what wording they are using too.

You need to tie all of your marketing together. The reason many businesses say "follow us on facebook and twitter" in everything is to direct potential and existing customers to their social media marketing tools. Include that in your emails, your business cards, etc.

It's really hard to advise without knowing what type of business you have. Are businesses that are complimentary to your business that you could approach to team with on certain projects?

You can get some free guidance on copywriting here on City Data via Miss Crabcakes or myself. You can also try to seek some help via the writing forum here. Those people live for writing. Although you don't have much money, there are inexpensive copywriting services on the internet where writers bid for the work.

Try contacting your local area community college business department and ask the director if he could incorporate your company into a marketing class exercise where the students to brainstorm ideas. Many instructors do these types of exercises with fictitious companies, and I know quite a few who use real companies as examples for their students.

Have you joined all of the professional organizations associated with your business area and your targets business area? Make sure to attend all the functions. Get those business cards out there.

You said you're new to the area. Create a media kit announcing your arrival to the area, and email it to local papers, even internet news like this one: Florida Small Business - The Guide for Entrepreneurs and Emerging Companies Research "media kit" so you understand what it is and how to present it. Trade newspapers and magazines for your target are great places to send your media kit. In addition to social media applications, traditional media is free marketing and advertising opportunities too. That's one reason businesses do volunteer work---it gets them free media exposure via stories. Journalists are always looking for inspiration for articles. If your media kit can inspire them to write about your new business in the area. Take the time to get it right and then get it out to every appropriate media as possible.

If you could be more specific about the type of b2b you have, we could really give more appropriate advice. For example, we can help you find the appropriate associations for your trade and the trade of your targets. We can also show you how to find prospects. All of that is industry specific so we need more details for that stuff.

Marketing your business is more complex than what words to use in an email. It's layers of strategies.

Check out the small business development services provided by your city and state where you can take free and inexpensive marketing workshops. I found the following that may be in your area:

Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida

Tampa Bay Small Business Development and Resources

https://clients.floridasbdc.org/Even...days=30&sort=T

https://clients.floridasbdc.org/Docu....aspx?doc=3294

Consulting Sessions | Small Business Consulting Services - Tampa Bay

https://sbic.hillsboroughcounty.org/

Search Results: SBA.gov Only
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:36 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,899,603 times
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Thank you Hopes.

This is a lot, maybe a bit too much because I would only be providing a service to a small group of businesses, not everyone, and I don't sell anything either (meaning we won't have "promotions" to speak off that we can send through FB).

Didn't know there was a writing forum...thanks. I will check that out as well.

Yes, it is.
Quote:
Marketing your business is more complex than what words to use in an email. It's layers of strategies.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,173 posts, read 68,146,695 times
Reputation: 37019
Marketing is little more than sales in a nicer wardrobe and a using nicer vocabulary.
The primary distinction w/r/t sales is time frame and with less immediate and ambiguous results.

If the focus is on what was done or sold this week or this month or this year... you're in sales.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:03 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 96,995,787 times
Reputation: 30495
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoProIP View Post
This is a lot, maybe a bit too much because I would only be providing a service to a small group of businesses, not everyone, and I don't sell anything either (meaning we won't have "promotions" to speak off that we can send through FB).
First, you might not sell a product, but you are selling yourself, a service, and the quality of your work.

You're not providing a service to everyone. You have a niche market. All of the strategies I explained can be applied to the niche. Just because you're not selling to everyone is no reason to not be on Facebook. Your niche market is there. You need to become part of that micro population to connect with them.

I worked for a trade newspaper and magazine for a specific industry. The people who subscribed were all somewhat related to that industry----the manufacturers and suppliers. Suppliers wanted to find the clients and the manufacturers wanted to find better suppliers. You are a supplier for your niche market. Actually, you have two markets (I know via DM). You need to find the associations, trade newspapers, trade magazines, trade blogs, etc. for those markets. That's where you want to try to get a media kit. That's where you might find a way to advertise. Some of these organizations have their membership lists public on the internet. If there is a convention, you might find it's worth investing in a booth.

It really depends on how far you want to take this, but these are ways to grow a business via marketing. You can do some of it or all of it, but you can't do none of it or nobody will find you.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:22 AM
 
Location: US
20,711 posts, read 20,274,831 times
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I would honestly start with Groupon. It's a great way to get new clients and hopefully, it won't cost you anything. If you can break even, think of it as free advertising. I know plenty of small businesses in the Bay Area from chiropractors to masseuses to dentists to restaurants to retail stores that sell 500+ or 1,000+ groupons within a very short time. Before you do a groupon, you should make a website. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it makes your business or service seem more reliable and trustworthy. At the very least, make a facebook page. Then, you should add your business to google maps, yelp, and trip advisor. All this can be done with less than $100.
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