Monday, September 08, 2008

Evolve or Die.

The holidays came and went and with it, a new year began. 2008 marked my freelance company’s rebirth. A time to clean shop. A time to explore new directions and forks in the road. Out with the old and in with the new.

Truthfully, I was never happy with my website. It was clean and displayed my work nicely but that’s about it. I created it myself after taking a 6-week introductory Dreamweaver course and it didn’t really project the company image that I wanted to convey. There are a zillion advertising agencies and design studios competing on the internet. When I pitch new clients, I want to stand out. The internet is exploding with possibilities and there are many opportunities out there if you know how to market yourself properly. I decided that 2008 is the year that I grab that bull by the horns and hold on tight.

First, I decided on a complete make-over and spent over two months working on my new website. I proudly launched it last week. The question that remained is how to pitch it? How can I get word out that I have a new site and draw attention to it? Something I read while exploring this very site inspired me. In a recent “Ask Jancy” answer, they suggested that one should now look beyond “traditional media” for marketing solutions.

With this is mind, I basically went back to school. I spent a few weeks online, exploring internet marketing. I subscribed to webinars and read blog after blog about this subject. I took a course about doing business online. One thing that kept popping up is “bouncing sites”. There are several sites out there that will get picked up from other sites. A virtual domino effect for your entries. Let’s face it, the more pages you or your company display on Google, the more successful and important you are in today’s world. I started researching the competition. I started researching agencies. Many have not yet even begun to take advantage of this and according to a few internet Gurus, it IS the future of marketing. Don’t advertise your product directly to one audience. Advertise to all. Let people find you.

So I decided to take advantage of all this free internet marketing. The question remained…How should I do this? How should I market myself on the open airwaves of the world wide web?
I went back to the roots and created a 30-second, self-promo “TV” commercial. Nothing fancy. No million dollar production. Just something really simple that explains what I do. I figure, what’s better than a commercial running 24/7 on several worldwide “stations” with free air-time?

At the beginning of last week I sent out an email blast with the announcement of my new site and my promo video. I also uploaded the spot to a few of those bouncing sites I mentioned. I’ve already seen it “bounce” onto sites where I haven’t submitted it.
The same hour I sent the email, an American ad agency (that was on my list) called me with a decent sized project. One hour after that, a new client I’ve been trying to win over quickly signed to create a few ads.
Internet marketing works and I only scratched the surface.
I had a greater response off this quick blast than a direct mail piece I created last year and mailed out at a cost of over $1500.

Lately, I’ve been getting some business off “Facebook”. At my age, there are many old friends and connections that own companies and need work done. Yesterday I went onto the site and submitted my video to a few business groups I belong to. It seems that once you have a video created, you can upload it anywhere on the site and to any group with a simple click of the mouse. As soon as I uploaded it, I started getting hits on my website. Time will tell how this will pay off.

In the next few weeks I will explore these marketing possibilities even further. In many ways, I feel like a junior in new territory again. 2008 is still fresh and I’m slowly taking baby steps down this new path. I’m hoping that by the end of the year, I’m at a full sprint.

Here’s the promo…

Until next time…keep dreaming.

No comments: