What's on the iPod: Eyes Wide Open by Gotye
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Interesting day yesterday -- interesting in that train-wreck sort of way. It seemed I couldn't get my head cleared long enough to focus on a minor technical thing that ended up frustrating me needlessly. Turns out it was something small I was doing, and that the links I was frustrated with were working just fine. Time to walk away from the computer and breathe.
I gained a new client yesterday, so I had some work to do right away that occupied my afternoon. I still had time to do my personal writing, which is coming along nicely. I'm hoping to get something in front of a publisher soon. A lot of somethings, but that's another story.
While this has been a blessedly slow week, marketing has paid off for me. However, it's not marketing I've just done that's scored an assignment with a new client: it's marketing I did a year ago. Never give up, and don't stop following up until they tell you it's pointless.
That being said, there are ways to screw up marketing if you're not paying attention. It's not too easy to suck at it, but some people tend to excel at meeting all the criteria. So as you're putting to action your marketing for the day, avoid these tactics:
Flood the airwaves. Show of virtual hands -- how many of you have stopped following someone on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or even their blogs because they just can't shut up about themselves? Learn from the mistakes of others. Don't overshare and don't toot your own horn too often. The more you shout, the less people hear, and the more likely it becomes that you'll be ignored.
Spam them. You really don't send to people who haven't requested your blog update or e-news, have you? If so, stop it. Not only are you annoying the hell out of strangers, you're also breaking the law.
Show them your biases. We all have opinions, and we love sharing them. However, potential clients may be scared off by your political leanings or your hard-assed attitude, or maybe even the way you gun down people who don't share your opinion. Temper it. Pretend your highest-paying client is reading. Act accordingly.
Use inconsistent messaging. From graphics to wording, you're being judged by potential clients. Your messages should have a unified theme, and your image should be consistent. If you present yourself in one way -- say as a comedic writer -- and use that same image to gain business clients, no one will be laughing. Well, not laughing with you.
Confuse them. You send them a brochure that tells them you're a writer, then proceeds to go on about your background from cradle to grave, including pictures of your goldfish and your children. Uh, why would they hire you exactly? You've not shown them your skills nor explained how you might benefit them. Instead, they feel as though they've just read excerpts from your annual Christmas letter.
Refuse to build a relationship. We talked about this in the last post comments briefly. Marketing includes sales, but if you put sales ahead of all else, you'll be struggling to find work much more often than if you lead with relationship building. Clients should be treated like humans -- hey, they are human. Show them the same respect and interest you would a friend.
What examples of sucky marketing have you seen?