Well, the last couple of months have been an education… Better than any course could teach… Seeing how a business needs to have a marketing strategy or some other gimmick to attract potential customers…
I’ve had to learn that attracting potential clients isn’t as easy as you’d think… If you aren’t an established name, companies don’t look twice… So my marketing strategy has had to be to use social media and a local Facebook group and offer services for free to build my portfolio…
So I chose to advertise services for free (while building my portfolio)… This strategy has attracted several different potential clients: one person outside catering company to small local café/bar to national business… This has prompted a lot of face-to-face meetings, emails & telephone calls… And I’ve completed one project… YAY ME!
Below I’ve put together, in no particular order, some nuggets I’ve gleaned from my interactions with clients:
1) When having a meeting, know your stuff. They are expecting you to be able to answer questions & come up with ideas.
2) Prepare any questions you have before your meeting so you can show your client you know what you are talking about. Do a list, that you can refer to & make notes on.
3) When arranging meetings, give yourself and your client some extra time – things come up and if they’re running a business, emergencies happen.
4) Be flexible/accommodating/easy going – circumstances change from one day to the next/from one hour to the next, be willing to change appointments should problems occur, understanding the business your client runs should help you accept these changes.
5) Make sure you have any paperwork to hand to let your client know what is expected with your collaboration – nasty surprises might impact on future relationships. Particularly regarding copyright & image usage.
6) Be professional/look professional – this shows you are someone to take seriously.
7) Take your lead from your client – they might have something they want to show in the images that is part of their image. But if that won’t work, say so. Ask about alternatives.
8) Give your client your undivided attention whilst you work/meet – no taking of telephone calls while you are supposed to be working for or meeting with them, after all you don’t want to jeopardise any future relations.
9) Be timely in the way you work – if you give them a timescale, stick to it. Excuses are not a good idea, unless unavoidable. But don’t expect repeat custom.
10) Be polite and charming without being creepy – the client needs to know you have some highly developed interpersonal skills… This is important as you are the gave of your company… Skills mean next to nothing if you aren’t someone they can talk to…