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17 Ways to Market Your Services
...even if you're short on time and money.
I have so much to do…that I can't get anything done!
I have to confess; I have a dilemma.
I have so much to do that I feel like can't get anything done…sound familiar? And one of the most important tasks I keep putting off is marketing.
Now if this sounds a little crazy coming from a marketing professional, you're right, it is. I know that smart companies never stop marketing. I know that a rebounding job market is the absolute most critical time for aggressive marketing. But what can you do when there's no free time?
- Stop making excuses.
There's never free time. If you let being busy get in the way of consistent marketing, it won't be long till you're no longer busy.
- Make a commitment to marketing.
- Book an appointment with yourself to do marketing. Set aside a half-hour a day or a couple of hours a week specifically for marketing activities.
- Limit your e-mail time to a couple hours (or less) per day and turn off the phone while you're doing project work. You'll save an hour or two each day…time you can then use for marketing.
- Set specific goals for your marketing activities and assign ownership of these goals to someone in your organization.
- Leverage your time.
- Make marketing part of everyone's job - give them a script to make calls, a box of greeting cards to send, an article to mail, or anything else they can share with clients, candidates and friends.
- Get a temp! Bring in your own admin support to free you for a few hours of marketing. (Hey, you could even use this idea as a promotion to your clients!)
- Hire an intern. They can be great for conducting surveys, compiling prospect lists and researching the competition.
- Ask service people to send follow-up e-mails to warm prospects. Ask them to do a little brainstorming as to how, specifically, your firm could help each prospect and then send a brief e-mail to introduce themselves and share the ideas they developed.
- Focus your marketing more tightly. In a down market you have to broaden your reach to bring in business. In a growing market, you can invest your limited time on a more targeted prospect pool.
- Formalize intelligence collection procedures in your candidate screening process. Use your interviewing time to gather leads on business opportunities and ask for more candidates referrals.
- Use tactics that are easy to implement.
- Postcards - an easy way to keep in touch that can be very inexpensive and when used REGULARLY can make a big impression. (FYI, we're currently sending bi-weekly postcards to about 2,000 people. While the first three cards produced zero results, the fourth and fifth have created a steady stream of new prospects).
- Have a lunch time letter writing campaign. Write a simple personal letter to clients and prospects to share useful information or just your perspective on the local job market. Bring your whole team together for a lunch-time folding and stuffing party.
- Use "Success Cards." Design a template for a Success Story postcard. Then, each time you have a success story you can share, have the cards printed with your new story and mail them to your prospect list. I know a search firm that does this after every placement, and they get tons of business from people who think "you must be really good with all these successes."
- Transform your company newsletter into a shorter format. Mail less content more often.
- E-mail. While unsolicited commercial e-mail is a really bad idea, permission-based e-mail is an ideal way to nurture relationships with clients and warm leads. Use e-mail to share news, useful ideas, tips and tools that help make your clients' lives easier.
- Get help!
- Call a marketing specialist who can provide you with the support (and maybe even the discipline) you need to get a consistent marketing plan implemented (yes, this is the sales pitch part of this article J).
- Join The Idea Exchange at the new haleymarketing.com. Here you can ask questions of your peers and get input on marketing, sales, recruiting and other challenges from a panel of industry experts…all for free!
- David Searns
David Searns is president of Haley Marketing Group. For more ideas for growing your staffing firm, visit www.haleymarketing.com or call 1-888-696-2900