Marketing a New Small Business - Advice Needed!
Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on how to increase sales. I know there's no Rosetta Stone to how that works, but I'd like to hear your story as to what did and didn't work.
My story is this: in January of last year, a friend and I merged our small motion graphics companies together. We had an amazing year, and we did it all through word of mouth and old clients of ours returning. We considered last year 'Year Zero' to see if we'd be comfortable working together, and it was a success. However, about 70% of our income came from one client, and the rest from other clients that brought us jobs more infrequently. We're looking for a way to bring on more clients.
We were thinking about hiring a producer who has sales experience. The three of us here are designers, and we need someone to help us make phone calls, do research into people we want to work with and set up meetings. Our office is also in NYC, and it's a tough market out here, but there's always work floating around. We just need someone to reach out and grab it for us :)
Another idea we had was to contact Motionographer, Designinmotion, etc. and try and get some press. We figured increase awareness would help!
We also have a website that's going to launch later this week . . . I'll post the link when it's up.
Thanks for your help!
[Paul Waszak] "Another idea we had was to contact Motionographer, Designinmotion, etc. and try and get some press. We figured increase awareness would help!"
Motionographer is a great site but unfortunately is likely to rarely ever get anyone a job. It is designed for motion graphics artists to show off their work among their peers. Sure, the odd-ball job here and there no doubt gets awarded, but that is not the site's purpose. A very cool site and one I like to visit from time to time.
Designinmotion.com on the other hand, is a graveyard and you could shoot a cannon in there and not hit a soul. In fact, I just went over to their forum on 2-pop.com (towards the bottom of the list) and they have just 2 visitors online this morning, me and some other person according to the report. (But hey, that's two people better than their VFXpro forum, Cinematography forum, Editor's Net forum, and many others that have none.) Don't waste your time playing in graveyards if you are looking for business.
Craigslist.com may have a lot of flakes there but they also get people some real jobs too. Check out craigslist as I know many people that get jobs there -- some they regret, some they love. Be careful and use your head there, but in doing so you can get some real work at Craigslist.com.
Then the COW's job forums have some good jobs in them. Use your head here too, as there are some great jobs there but you can also find jobs you will regret taking.
There is no substitute for learning to sell yourself. If you don't, you will rarely be in control of your own destiny and when salespeople get the customers -- they're their customers, rarely are they yours. If they decide to go somewhere else, trust me, they will take the customers since they are the ones that brought them to you in the first place.
Learn to call, learn to talk to clients and learn to listen to them and offer business solutions not just graphic pretties. If you do, you will have a real business. If you don't you and your friends will have a hard time making your business a success.
There are tons of threads in this forum that you can go back through that dig into techniques and ways to expand one's business. Spend some time here in this forum going back through the threads with titles that look like they are applicable to your questions. You won't regret it.
There is no magic bullet.
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Got it Ron, and thanks for your advice!
One question though, we're planning on going after the major networks. Don't they appreciate being approached by a EP/Sales person rather than the designers themselves? The problem is, most of us don't have sales experience, so we'd like someone to handle the lifting for us, especially when it comes to the introductory part. We're busy doing the design part most of the time, so some help in that regard would be helpful.
Thanks again. That's why CC is my go to place for help and advice!