Today’s guest post comes from Jim Koscs, Marketing Mentor client and owner of AudaMotive Communications LLC, which specializes in PR and marketing writing for auto industry clients. It’s a fascinating look at the assumptions we make based on how we look at the new, "useful" tools we’re implementing, and a reminder to take a second look at them through the eyes of our prospects and customers.
I’m not a lazy person, but launching my web site last year (after eight years in business!) triggered a change in the way I marketed myself — and not for the better.
In a conversation about introductory marketing letters, Ilise asked if I send samples with them. I said no, because I had a web site to host a wide selection of work samples. Isn’t that what a web site is for, to save the time, effort and expense of sending out samples?
The first thing I did when I hung out my shingle in 1999 was to buy the shingle –- a domain. But for the next eight years, having the domain in my e-mail was the extent of my “online presence.” During those years, I sent marketing letters that detailed why I was the ideal automotive writer for a potential client. Each was targeted and succinctly written, with bulleted lists outlining my pertinent experience.
I would include 2-3 samples to match some of those bullets -– a press release, speech or brochure … whatever applied. That all changed when I put up my web site. “No need to send samples, I’ll just give them the web address, and they can download all the samples they want!” At the same time, I also shortened my marketing letters. Why fill up the page with details when they can read all about me on the web site? Marketing suddenly got easier, and, with no samples to send, cheaper, too!
How did all this work? Not very well.
As I finally realized (with Ilise’s help), I’ve been assuming that anyone receiving my newly abbreviated letters would be so intrigued with my claims that they’d visit my web site. Once there, the many samples and client testimonials would compel them to call me. Too bad web links in a printed letter are not clickable.
To visit my web site, a prospect would need to be at a computer and be willing to type my URL into a web browser. Recipients that do not make that effort are left with a brief, fairly uninformative letter, but no samples of my work and no way to know if I am for real. (I also do send e-mail to prospective clients, and those of course link to my web site.)
So, for my “new” strategy, I’ll be digging through my computer files for the “classic” marketing letters I used to send … and I’ll be including samples again. Now, I’ll say something like, “This is just a small sampling of my work. I invite you to visit my web site to see a full range of ways I have helped my clients.”