Marketing Monday — April 19, 2011

How to Start Targeting

With taxes behind us, we can now focus on marketing again. What are you doing today to work “on” your business? (Tell us in the comments.)

I’m working on a feature article for the next HOW Self Promotion issue (out this Fall) on the topic of how a creative business evolves. So far, I’m learning a ton from everyone who’s shared their process with me, especially in this discussion on the CFC LinkedIn Group!

Here’s an idea,  from an interview with one of my long time clients, Jennifer Neal of K9 Design in Toronto, that may or may not make it into the article.

Over the past 3 years, K9 Design has narrowed their focus to the magazine publishing industry and the decision is paying off with more and more work from that market (a market that is supposedly not doing so well). How did they start targeting?

Says Jennifer, “If you think it’s time to niche but you don’t know what the first step is, start gathering a list of prospects. Even if you don’t do anything with it for a year, collect email at least and maybe phone and address. Throw them into a spreadsheet and let them pile up. As you move through this process, you’ll find something to say to your audience. When you do, you’ll have a list ready to send to it. I don’t care if it takes you 2 years to send it.  Be organized about that. Pile them up and eventually you’ll have a use for them.”

Anyone doing this? Or have other tips for exactly how to start targeting a market?

BTW: How to choose a target market is one of the main skills I’ll be teaching in “Intro to Marketing for Freelancers” at the Creative Freelancer Conference, June 23-24 in Chicago. Early bird deadline is now May 1, so if you are still on the fence, now’s the time to jump!

One thought on “Marketing Monday — April 19, 2011

  1. Alisa Bonsignore

    I think that a lot of people assume that “niche” means “I’ll only do work within this niche for the rest of my career.” In my experience, that’s not true. Sure, I market to my niche companies and convince them that I’m the person who can make sense of their complex ideas, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the only ones that I work for. Sometimes I like a little bit of variety. I do some nonprofit work when it speaks to me, and even unrelated corporate projects for financial companies or Web 2.0 social media clients. That’s the beauty of being independent: I have the flexibility to do whatever inspires me!