mardi 4 décembre 2007


You did it, you're in Business! Congratulations. Now what? Well, you'll probably want to sell your services-goodies-gizmo. That is, if you want to stay in your new position!

Let's talk about your first promotional tools (promo in short). First off, as mention in a previous article, you'll need to do a market research before investing in any promos. You're in business to make money, not to burn it or trowing it away in useless tools!

So first off, let's ask the real questions:

1- Who is your targeted market?
2- What are their buying habits?
3- When do they buy?
4- What are you selling?
5- What Tone is appropriate for your overall look (I'll get to that later)?

If you haven't got the answer to those questions, then there's no use to create empty promo tools. Get your market-study going, then come back later to read this :)

Have you notice that I haven't ask what were your taste visually? What the on going trend was? Thought it can be useful to know, keep in mind that Promo tool are all about your future clients, their needs, their buying habits. Your promos are kinda like what we French folks refer to an «avant-goût» which literally translate to a before-taste, or Tongue teaser. Which now you can tell why knowing what your clients like is meaningful: you don't want them to say «yucky» while «tasting» to your tongue teaser!

Next? Well, you'll have to make choices! If your a freelancer, small business owner or even a big company owner, I guess you're on a budget! Especially when talking about marketing! So to help you make those choices, here is a round-up first-promo-list.

1- The business card AKA your best marketing friend.

Business card SHOULD BE your FIRST promo EVER. Easy choice huh? There's A LOT to chat about business cards. Like a whole post. Coming soon, I promise!

2- Website

Websites are costly and they DO NOT guaranty sales. If you're not HTML-CSS savy and that you don't have the budget to hire a webmaster/web designer (1000 up to 25000$) then some cheap solution exists. You can open a free account at Blogger and create a business blog to show off your talent-services-goodies. You can also set up an Etsy shop if you sell handmade goods. You can go to Ebay also. There are tons of «portfolio» websites where you can have a webpage. Some are free, some demand monthly fees. But I do recommend that once you have a budget for a website, that you hire a pro to do it. You DON'T want to have an unprofessional image overall, or to have a non-user friendly website (ie: malfunctioning cart, weird navigation system).

3- Mailout and Newsletters

I've put those in the same group: Mailout and Newsletter are WORTHLESS if they are not sent to targeted clients. I'm not a strong beleiver in purchased newsletter or mail-out lists (yes, those exists!); when I receive an unwanted newsletter or ad in my inbox (and I receive them by the hundreds) I am bothered by it, and think SPAM (thanks God for Spam filters!). The same goes with the weekly Mailout I receive which go directly in my recycling bin. What a waste! BUT, and this is very important, if you manage to make people want to subscibe to your Newsletter or mailout, then we're talking! Picture this, those folks want to know the wereabout of your goodies/services! Che-ching!, if you excuse the expression!

4- Etc.

And by etc, I mean all the remaining promo you can thing about. It can be an ad in your local newspaper, a pen with your sparkly logo on it, Postcards, Radio ad, a look-book... Really, the sky is the limit (or most certainly your budget!) Be intelligent in your promo sending though: target to whom you will sent them (do your research! How many people read the magazine you want to place an ad in?), target the moment you will sent it (don't send your promo for an editorial on your Chrismas lights in December! Too late!), target your promo to the right person (don't send your look-book to the receptionnist!).

Wow! This is a long article! Ok, I'll finish this one with the Tone of your promo. What I mean by this is that different people will be interpelled by different images. Think of it as a bait (sorry for this terrible analogy, I coudn't find a better one!). The tone acts as a bait to attract the right customers (like your targeted customers, hopefully!). Time for some visual example you say? Okay!
Example 1:

Example 2:
Ok, so these are basic Letterheads, logo and business cards with the same information on them (Truc Muche means Gizmo in French). Now, see the difference? Colors, fonts, layout. They give a very different vibe to the promos, don't they? That's the tone. Different markets and customers, different tone.

I hope this was usefull for you! This was a crash course, I've only scrached the surface of it! I'll chat more about promo in the futur. Feel free to ask questions in the comment area or simply put some comments or request. Anything you would like to know or chat about in a futur article?