Following on from last weeks blog, where I hope you will agree I established that actually, with my 20+ years experience, and natural creativity, I do actually know what I am talking about.
Every now and then you need to take stock and give yourself a confidence boost.
So back on track I am going to talk about the advice letter I got from Nigel Botterill (Entrepreneur Circle) in response to submitting my marketing flyer for his critique. (this was part of my EC membership).
Nigel pointed out that selling graphic design “off the page” is (as I am quite aware) a particularly difficult thing to do.
How many people wake up in the morning and think – I need a graphic designer today.
Actually some do, and some of them are my customers, sensible people.
However I also meet many “monkeys with mice” (not my term but very apt – http://www.graphicdesignblender.com/4-ways-designers-can-survive-in-a-world-where-everybody-is-a-designer)
And plenty of people (even with proper serious businesses) who think they don’t need a professional designer. And when you look at their “logo” and websites…… I just despair.
Nigel has hit the nail on the head when he wrote to me:
“The truth is, most business owners do not understand the importance of good design”
So how do you convince these people to change their minds, get them to call me, and listen. And how do you get the rest to switch from their regular designer to me.
How do I:
• Find the businesses who do understand the importance of good design
• Persuade them to have a chat with me
• Educate the “monkeys with mice”
• Create a need for graphic design, when they clearly don’t have one
And so that my friends, is the hub of the challenge that I am facing.
But once you have your problem established, then you are halfway there to solving it.
So here’s what Nigel says I need to do.
• Get under the skin of potential clients and think like they think
• Tell lots of stories, (we all love a good story) about how good design has transformed my other clients businesses.
• Trigger the need, the curiosity.
• Sell the phone call, the free chat, my personality, instead of the design service.
And here’s how Nigel says I should do it.
• Network like crazy within 20 miles of my home city.
• Collect business cards, to build up my network of potential clients
• Build relationships with everyone I talk to.
• Make sure I get reviews, feedback and stories from all my clients
• Tell those stories of all my great designs, and how they have transformed the businesses of my other clients.
So the result I am aiming for is to become (in Nigel’s words) “the go-to-gal for graphic design”.
So while the first reason for all of this is to build my business, the second and third reasons are for me to get to know people in the area and to make new friends, and make available an exceptional service.
And while new clients mean business for me, of course the ultimate goal is that I can do what I love, am passionate about, and what comes pretty easy….
which is create wonderful original designs that will (in return) mean more business for your business.
I hope you are enjoying my blog. I hope it is helping you to understand my personality. I hope it is developing some feelings of trust, knowing and belief.
Trust in my ability, knowledge in my integrity, belief of my certainty.
I hope that when you are in need of any design, you will know your business strengths, but be ready to acknowledge your area of weakness, and not be a “monkey with a mouse”.