Tech Company Start – Step Four: Marketing

Now that you’re in the arena, taking your lumps and (hopefully) giving it your all, you need to start getting some clients of your own. You do this through marketing and networking.

Marketing is where most of us stumble and fall. We can rip apart any laptop and get it back together again with no left over screws, but things tend to go sideways when we are trying to convince others that we can.

Lucky for us, there’s a skill called “literacy” that most of us have. Apply your literacy skills to learning the tips and tricks of marketing your business by investing in some literature on the subject.

There are hundreds of works on marketing spanning over a hundred years of wisdom, application and experience. Books like:

  • “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
  • “Have You a Strong Will” by Charles Leland
  • “Hypnotic Marketing” by Dr. Joe Vitale
  • “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris
  • “How to Get Great Freelance Clients” by Carol Tice

Your local public library will have some, if not all of the above books.

4B: Networking

Networking is a valuable part of marketing. It doesn’t matter where you live, you have access to a few entities that exist solely for the purpose of helping you succeed.

Introduce yourself to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and work with one of their counselors. They should have a good idea of not only what business networking groups exist in your area, but which ones work and which ones don’t. They may also have information on the local economy and market statistics.

Visit your local Chamber of Commerce and find out what they have to offer. They could have their own networking groups or events on schedule.

While you are out meeting and greeting, you will receive plenty of opportunities to work on your “Elevator Speech.” This is a short pitch that you give whenever someone asks you “So, what do you do for a living?” Do not hesitate to close your elevator speech with the presentation of your business card.

Prepare a few add-ons to your “elevator” speech and be ready to deliver them if someone expresses further interest in your company. For example, you can provide some details about your area(s) of expertise, the types of clients that you help and how you help them progress.

If you hit the five minute mark and they are still listening, they are clearly interested. At that point, you will want to propose a meeting.

Start with a simple script and polish it as you see fit. Here is just one example:
“I would love to tell you more, but I would rather schedule a meeting to give you the big picture. If it fits in your schedule, I can meet you at [DINER, RESTAURANT, CAFE, COFFEE SHOP, ETC.] to go over my services in much more detail. I’m available [NEAREST WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY IN YOUR SCHEDULE].”

Do this often enough, with confidence, and you will start building a clientèle.

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