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What Doesn't Work4:32 with Paul Boag
Paul dispels some preconceptions about how marketing works by discussing various strategies, including cold calling and networking events.
[Paul Boag] So let's look at the issue of marketing and promotion. 0:00 I want to start by doing something slightly strange. 0:04 I want to look at what doesn't work, 0:06 because I think there are a lot of misconceptions and preconceptions 0:09 surrounding how to market your work. 0:13 Let's look at some things that don't work well. 0:16 In my experience cold calling, advertising, 0:19 bidding sites, and networking events don't work very well. 0:24 Now you might be thinking, "Well they work for me," 0:29 and I'm not saying they never work. 0:31 I'm just saying that I don't think they're the most effective way of working. 0:33 So why don't these things work? 0:39 Let's apply some of the principles of user centric design 0:42 by putting ourselves in the place of our potential prospect—our potential client. 0:46 First of all let's look at cold calling. 0:53 The problem with cold calling—by picking up the phone and just ringing someone 0:56 you want to work with—is that you have to call them at exactly the right time. 0:59 They have to have a project that they want to work on there and then in order 1:04 for your call to actually be useful. Now think about it for a minute. 1:10 What are the chances of that actually happening, 1:14 because if you're not calling them at exactly the right time 1:18 all you're going to do is just annoy them, 1:21 and they're certainly not going to want to work with you in the future if that's the case. 1:24 Then there's advertising, isn't there? 1:28 The problem here is that there's just too much choice. 1:31 There are too many people out there clamoring for attention, 1:35 going, "Look at me! Look at me! Hire me!" 1:38 The trouble is that you'll find that advertising gets really expensive, 1:42 and you're just going to be one voice amongst a million clamoring for attention, 1:47 and the problem is as well from a user centric point of view 1:52 is that for most clients buying a web site— 1:56 paying for a web design agency to come in and build them a web site 1:59 is an important purchase and it's too important a purchase 2:02 just to kind of go along to Google and click on the first ad. 2:06 It's something that needs some kind of recommendation behind it. 2:11 Then there are those bidding sites, aren't there? You've seen them. 2:15 You go along to something like Elance 2:19 and you enter in your details and you ask web designers to pitch, 2:22 but my problem with those is it's all about price. 2:28 They're the only things that define whether or not you win the work, 2:31 so it all becomes a race to the button, 2:34 and your profit margins will just evaporate into the air. 2:36 Finally, there are those networking events. 2:42 My problem with networking events—a lot of people really like them 2:46 and enjoy them, and they are great fun. 2:49 It's great to meet other people working in different industries and sectors, 2:51 but my problem with them is that everybody is selling and nobody is buying. 2:55 You'll go along to these events hoping that someone will buy your service, 3:00 but if everyone is selling then how are you going to win any business through it? 3:04 So the big one is about hiring a salesperson. 3:10 Should you hire a salesperson to do all of this stuff for you? 3:14 Well that's a tricky question, and I have to say 3:18 I don't think hiring a salesperson is the answer. 3:22 After all, how do you motivate them? 3:25 Do you put them on commission?—but commission on what? 3:28 Is that commission on sales or commission on the profit that you make on the project? 3:32 If it's sales, then they're just going to promise the earth, aren't they? 3:38 "Oh yes, we can do all of these really complicated technical things 3:41 on your web site for 50 pence" because they want to win the project 3:45 so that they get their commission on that project. 3:49 They don't care that you're not going to make profit on it. 3:52 If however you provide them with commission based on profit margins, 3:55 well that's a bit unfair on them, because your profit is so dependent 4:00 on things outside of their control. It's not their fault if the client is badly managed. 4:04 It's not their fault if you get stuck on a particular technical problem. 4:09 So it's very hard to motivate an external salesperson. 4:14 So what is our conclusion from all of this? 4:20 Well, basically, traditional sales and marketing approaches just don't work 4:23 when it comes to promoting your web design business. 4:28
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