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Thread: How do I get more exposure

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    How do I get more exposure

    I am at a point where I need to figure out how to get more exposure for what I am offering. I'm going to quickly go through what I am offering, and then how I am currently marketing my business.

    I offer electronic design to help people turn ideas into products. There are a couple of different sources of ideas,

    • Inventors have a new idea which they want to turn into a real product.
    • People see gaps in the market which they want to develop products for (this may not be a new invention, but furthers, or improves on something currently in the market)
    • Companies need to solve an problem and don't have the skills (or possibly resources) to create a solution.


    What I then offer is to take that idea/concept/problem and create a solution or product to fulfil their need. The process can be quite lengthy and complicated - it depends on the idea/problem. For example, I am currently working on a project which will improve the speed and reliability of pickers in a warehouse. The company I am doing it for had an idea on how to improve picking, but needed someone to implement the electronic design, and that is what I am doing (unfortunately can't go into the exact details at this time).

    I've gotten better at understanding the process, and am now offering a package which covers the first step of this. I take the idea/problem/concept and do a preliminary investigation into how it can be solved, and put down some of my own concepts about creating a solution for the client. This is the very beginning step, and provides info for further down the line. It also provides the client with info as to the viability of the idea, and affords them the opportunity to evaluate the path forward.

    I would really like to be doing more of those investigations and reports, as they funnel directly into further business. I also think they provide quite a bit of value at a low cost. That report is what I want to focus my marketing on.

    Currently I am marketing through a couple of channels,

    • My website (which needs work in my opinion)
    • My blog, which has been working well as a way of introducing myself and my ideas to people.
    • My network. I phone, visit, leave comments on other people's blogs and try my best to keep contact with as many people as I can. My network is slowly growing. So far this has been my most effective marketing channel.
    • The Forum SA. This platform is not directed at marketing myself, but it provides exposure through my signature and introducing me to various new people.
    • My Genius. I have a profile up, which has put me in contact with some interesting people. I've started trying to use this platform more to gain some extra exposure (only over the last few days though).


    What I am trying to figure out is what other channels I can employ which will be effective in yielding suitable prospects. What ideas do you guys have for me? Where can I market that exposes me to the right need? How else do I get people to know about me and what I can offer?
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Duncan, can I ask 2 questions?

    Do you have a marketing budget?
    Is your target market limited to SA?

  3. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    My thought: When people with an idea needs someone with your skills to develop it, where do they go looking?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    The one I can think of at 07h00 in the morning is that you need your own industry people to recommend you to potential clients....
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  5. #5
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster View Post
    Do you have a marketing budget?
    Is your target market limited to SA?
    No on both counts. The budget for me is more a time budget. I'm certainly open to the option of paid advertising, but don't really know of options that would be effective. So far selling my services seems to work best when I get a chance to speak to the prospect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    My thought: When people with an idea needs someone with your skills to develop it, where do they go looking?
    I don't know, but I would like to. I made contact with a patent attorney yesterday, and think that I should possibly make some more contacts like that (patents need to have a working prototype within 18 months of application).

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbiedle View Post
    The one I can think of at 07h00 in the morning is that you need your own industry people to recommend you to potential clients....
    This has been working fairly well so far (as a part of the network side of things). I do keep nudging my clients for other referrals, as well as keep my network informed that I exist so that they will mention me when the opportunity arises. How much of this happens is questionable, although most of my work has come through my network (which means it is working to some degree). I'm not really sure how to make it work more effectively though.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    With the little information I have, I will try my best to share a few ideas that comes to mind and the fact that you have plenty of knowledge in marketing already.

    • Have you tried Adwords before, with solid keyword research to target specific keywords?
    • Have you tried any conventional marketing options? Engineering magazines, newspapers etc.
    • Have you tried engineering websites. Advertising or perhaps some community forum?
    • Perhaps look into launching a viral campaign where people challenged you to solve their problem ideas or vica versa?
    • Launch a competition for unique ideas for school children in cooperation with some bigger sponsors like SASOL or Eskom? Perhaps line it up with current issues surrounding the Eskom power crises issue.
    • Issue press releases with regards to a possible solution to an existing problem or maybe identifying an urgent problem that people should be made aware about? Press releases send to radio stations can result in an interview, I know for a fact that it does work with Radio 702.


    Just a general observation in terms of your business, I didn't notice any branding, call to action or conversion factors on any of your websites.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Hmm. Thinking "online," I just did a google search on electronic prototype design. Looking at the results, substituting engineering for design wouldn't change things much either. You don't have much SA competition if you go chasing organic search results for relevant search phrases Google Adwords might be a different story. I see there is no shortage of paid for links.

    Think of a list of keywords and phrases that you think a searcher might use if they were looking for the services you offer. From there, you need some links with those phrases as the anchor text to relevant pages with your name/contact details easily at hand - your blog or business website.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    A great place to get great exposure and find work is www.elance.com if you haven't tried it already. The last I checked they had a section for Engineering; good thing is the site give you global exposure. Good luck!

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    By duncan drennan in forum General Business Forum
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