Marketing Ideas 101: Four Essential Approaches
Amelia Kassel, President, MarketingBase, shares four tips to kick start, or reignite, your marketing as an Independent Information Professional.
1. Start with an industry you know and with your contacts within it.
Familiarity reduces learning curves, and your list of “warm contacts” are more likely to respond positively and to support you in your business endeavour. Former colleagues can be wonderful referral sources. Former employers contract work to a former employee because of trust in his or her work. (Some employers have a waiting period policy.)
About two months after I started my business, a board member at my previous place of work referred me to her college library administrator. Two other colleagues referred me to a contact. We established an informal strategic alliance worked together during the next several years.
2. Attend general business meetings and conferences for exposure to a range of businesses and industries.
Attending chamber of commerce and professional association meetings is one way to meet, network, and build a contact list. I attended the meetings of the local chamber of commerce and other groups.
Being active provided several opportunities to give presentations illustrating how my services could bring value. I met a consultant at one such event who referred me to his client. That turned into a four-year part time contract.
As you network, learn about business interests, goals, and problems, and find out how information is currently found and used.
Your goal is to help clients solve problems, make better business decisions, and grow.
You must overcome negativity and objections by learning about prospective clients and being creative about how and why you can make a difference.
3. Identify hot markets interesting to you.
While most IIP business development requires time and patience, selecting an unknown market requires additional effort, including developing knowledge about the industry landscape, conducting market research, and expanding and sharpening knowledge of specialty databases, websites, and search techniques.
4. Use social networks and professional discussion forums.
Evaluate or re-evaluate your LinkedIn groups and contribute substantive answers. My contributions landed me a new account based on my expertise in databases. My participation in discussion forums over the years has led directly to new business and referrals from colleagues.
This post is an abbreviated version of an article originally published in the March 2014 issue of AIIP Connections.