|What’s a cat gotta do to get noticed?|
As a freelancer, I wear two hats – the floppy, creative one and the one that means business. I’m like a dual aspect room, only with headgear.
Similarly, my customers fall into two categories – the ones I know and the ones I don’t. So how do you write for a customer you don’t know? The same way that hedgehogs mate – thoughtfully!
On face value, having both products (existing books and content) and services (writing to order) would seem to suggest different approaches, but it all comes down to the same magical equation: outcome = income. Customers need to know about you – what you do and why they should choose instead of one of your competitors (okay, the pope, once installed, is an exception).
Let’s face it, social media will only take you so far; and sometimes it can all get a bit…well…sociable. Honestly now, how many businesses have you tried purely on the basis of their tweets and likes? Not many, methinks. I’ve bought books thanks to social media, but I’ve never booked a plumber. And how do you reach those customers who don’t sit glued to a screen all day?
Word-of-mouth, it seems to me, only really works when someone has something to talk about, which takes us right back to customers knowing about you in the first place.
The Internet offers a plethora (love that word) of ideas and approaches. Looking into just some of the options has given me food for thought about how I could reach new customers. Although, being lazy (funny how it’s always called energy conservation except when it’s a person…), I simply did one quick web search and found plenty of info at Discount Banner Printing.
In a word: advertising.
Clearly, the possibilities have moved on a bit since Bill Posters faced prosecution. (Remember him?!) At one end of my imaginary scale there’s the noble sandwich board – which, take it from me, is both inedible and tricky to convey on public transport. Alternatively, you could push the boat out and hire a plane to do some skywriting. I did consider it, but I’m very particular about my apostrophes. And money.
More practically, stickers or labels combining text and graphics put the message where it will be seen, either in a static location or on the move. You can also get window clings in vivid colours and detail.
I’m keen to promote my business, but I want results. For instance, I wouldn’t take up roller-skating just to advertise my wares. Given my sense of balance, that outcome would be out cold and inpatient!
I’ll leave you with this well-known, anonymous poem – it speaks for itself.
The codfish lays ten thousand eggs,
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what she’s done.
And so we scorn the codfish,
While the humble hen we prize,
Which only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise!