Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Marketing - my arch nemesis!

  1. #1
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    362
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 63 Times in 52 Posts

    Marketing - my arch nemesis!

    As some of you might already know, I am a full time employed accountant with one private client on the side. I am at that point where it is time to focus my attention of building up a client base and starting my own business. Absolutely everything is in place, however my downfall is marketing. I have no real clue on how to get clients.... simply put my marketing skills suck! I have tried advertising on various sites (Gumtree, Kalahariads.net) which is a total waste of time as these sites are flooded with other hopeful potential business owners.

    Any suggestions, comments and advice would be most appreciated.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    323
    Thanks
    87
    Thanked 24 Times in 22 Posts
    Hi Kim,

    I also have my own business, sole prop IT.

    Marketing ideas could be:

    Cold calling
    Flyers ( distributed in post office post boxes. Handing them out at intersections just looks tacky )
    Attending business breakfasts ( I have attended these before. You only really get referrals once the group gets to "know" you. Meaning you'll have to subscribe )
    Word of mouth
    Asking friends & family if they need your services
    Sending out newsletters
    Radio ad's
    Asking for referrals from current clients ( You can approach your current clients, but that would be poaching. Waiting 3 months after you've left the company to approach them would be viable ).
    Advertising on Gumtree etc ( I know you've tried it, but keep on doing it. Doesn't cost you anything ).
    Facebook ad
    Website with SEO

    All of the above depends if you have a marketing budget. I personally have a marketing budget. The amount is R0,00 lol

    I do cold calling. Walking into SME's dropping off business cards ( See my thread "Calling all cold calling guru's" )

    Cold calling is tedious & horrible, but it DOES work. The flyer thing I also tried, and that is also effective. I'm soon starting the monthly newsletter, and from what I've heard, it's worth a shot.

    It really just depends on your marketing budget. if you have the cash then you could go all out & advertise on KFM or in the newspapers.

    I see you're in Cape Town, so am I. Drop me a private message telling me what you do exactly in your line of work, maybe I could throw some leads your way.

  3. Thanks given for this post:

    KimH (28-Feb-11)

  4. #3
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    362
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 63 Times in 52 Posts
    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for the amazing and detailed response.
    My advertising budget is pretty much the same as yours :-)

    Cold calling if done properly works like a charm, the previous company I was employed at did very aggressive cold calling, to the point where they would not leave until a client had signed the 24 page contract - certainly not the way I want to do business - I am kind of old fashioned in that regard and would have a hard time 'forcing' anyone into utilsing my business services. Word of mouth is most definitely the best form of advertising ever, the only drawback is of course earning the reputation in the first place.

    I think the most difficult and limiting part of marketing the business for me is the fact that I am still employed full time and you cannot effectively search for new business after hours, potential clients want to see you during business hours - I am very tempted to throw caution to the wind and do this properly - resigning and then going full speed ahead, the cautious side of me says this would be stupid. Aaarrrrrrrrghhhhhh!!

  5. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    323
    Thanks
    87
    Thanked 24 Times in 22 Posts
    Remember, clients HATE contracts that bind them for x-amount of months. They LOVE "month-to-month" contracts. Also, getting clients is obviously a process. I have this client that it took about 2 months of constant meetings ( which never happened because the manager is never there or is always busy ), but I got it. I used those 2 months to become the manager's right hand's best friend. He basically sang my praises every chance he got. When I finally did have the meeting in last week, it took 2 minutes for the boss to say, "No problem. Sign us up"

    Yes I drove out there a lot, but luckily I have a client in the same business park, so it wasn't that bad.

    I did exactly what you're afraid of. I left my job and went on my own. Was it hard? YES! Is it still hard? Yes, but not so much. Then again, I knew in my heart this is what I must do, and it's my passion, my dream if you could put it that way.

    Maybe ask someone you trust to market for you? Give them 40% of any lead that becomes an invoice. Obviously ask someone with an IQ higher than 5, otherwise they'll make your future company look like an idiot.

  6. #5
    Platinum Member Neville Bailey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Morningside, Durban
    Posts
    2,377
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 393 Times in 340 Posts
    Hi Kim,

    I can most certainly empathise with your situation, as I've been there before! Maybe it's a thing with us accounting types - we hate marketing.

    Speaking from my point of view, I don't like being pushy when it comes to marketing.

    I have found that, apart from referrals (the best form of marketing, in my opinion), you need to earn some credibility out there, and then the business will come to you.

    How do you earn credibility when you don't have a client base yet?

    What about starting a blog, filled with regular articles, with tips and tricks to do with accounting and bookkeeping, or even general office management? Something that show-cases your skills and knowledge, without any payment expected? You could promote the blog on TFSA, or on Facebook, as a signature link in your emails, or any other medium you use. The trick is to keep it updated regularly.

    You could even start a regular series of articles on TFSA - become known as the accounting guru here!

    When you get to the point where, if someone needs the services you offer and your name comes to mind at that time, you are on a winning streak!
    Neville Bailey - Pastel Accounting Consultant and Photographer
    neville@accountingsoftwaresupport.co.za
    www.accountingsoftwaresupport.co.za
    View Neville Bailey Photography

    *** 20% DISCOUNT ON PASTEL XPRESS / PARTNER SOFTWARE UNTIL 15 DECEMBER 2017 ***

    "Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value."
    WALLACE WATTLES (1860-1911)

  7. Thanks given for this post:

    KimH (28-Feb-11)

  8. #6
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    5,089
    Thanks
    336
    Thanked 808 Times in 642 Posts
    Kim - what service do you want to provide to your clients?

    Bookkeeping, admin?
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

  9. #7
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    362
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 63 Times in 52 Posts
    Apologies for the late response, payroll year end today and an uninteresed accounts clerk - what fun!

    Neville, you hit the nail right on the head in terms accounting types and marketing
    Blogging and a few articles sounds like a brilliant idea, providing of course that Dave doesn't mind.

    We do have a few business networking groups in my area that I plan on researching a bit more as well - time to take a big girl pill and rev up the old socialising engine. (another drawback of us accounting types, generally our social skills are a tad introverted).

    Adrian, my main aim is to start up a business management consulting firm - specialising in Business Management, HR, Information Technology, etc. There are thousands of accounting/bookkeeping firms out there, and the latter part of my career has been spent fixing small companies in trouble - I have decided that I can add much more value to small business owners that don't neccessarily have the knowledge or skill. Added to that the majority of small business owners can't afford the overinflated fees that bmc's generally charge - my fees would be calculated in accordance with the needs and affordability of each individual client.

  10. #8
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by KimH View Post
    Blogging and a few articles sounds like a brilliant idea, providing of course that Dave doesn't mind.
    Why on earth would I mind? Good advice and information is always appreciated.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  11. Thanks given for this post:

    KimH (01-Mar-11)

  12. #9
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    362
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 63 Times in 52 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Why on earth would I mind? Good advice and information is always appreciated.
    Thanking you most kindly sir.

  13. #10
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    362
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 63 Times in 52 Posts
    Eish!!!
    I decided to take out a paid ad on a popular advertising site, EVERY single response I received was other people trying to sell me their services and/or products!!
    Unsolicited marketing irritates me beyond words.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Marketing 101
    By duncan drennan in forum Marketing Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 16-May-07, 10:10 PM

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •