Blog logoMatthew Lang


A 4 post collection

Chain of thought

 •  Filed under Micro Post, Writing, Marketing, Freelance

Lately I've been thinking a lot about marketing.

While making my afternoon coffee I was running some editing changes through my head on a post I'm writing. And then it struck me.

If you're not writing, you're not marketing.

I've struggled with marketing my freelancing business in the past, but I certainly could start making a step in the right direction by writing more for my freelancing business.

What is my Target Market?

 •  Filed under By Me, SAAS, Products, Marketing

Continuing with the book, Book Yourself Solid, I've identified what my ideal client is, but what's my target market?

18 months ago if you asked me who my target market is then I would have to answer, "I haven't a clue". Fast forward to today and the answer is still pretty much the same. The reason for this is that I have two types of clients. My major clients are clients I work with in what I see as my target market, the healthcare sector, they're organisations and businesses that require deliver software for the NHS, GP's and other healthcare organisations in the UK. The minor clients are clients I do work for on a rare occasion. I might have provided a website or application for them and they never require much work to either fix or upgrade what they have. They usually require a single week's work every six months or so.

I'll be honest, I still don't know for definite what my target market should be. I'm still getting a feel for the kind of work I want to do and whether there's a long term future for me in that market. Ideally I would like to do consulting work for healthcare software providers or even straight to the healthcare businesses themselves, providing myself as a development consultant and resource, but I don't want to do this forever. There's two options I see ahead.

The first is looking into another target market. I have a few in mind but nothing concrete. The reason I am exploring other options is that while I have firm background in healthcare I also have some experience in other sectors. One area of work I did that was interesting was risk management solutions. I certainly wouldn't be adverse to working in this market again.

The second is building a revenue stream from a number of products that will provide a steady income over the next few years. It has to be years as anything short lived like a book or a screencast is only going to generate so much revenue over a short time frame. If I went down this road I would need to continue releasing books or screencasts every six months and I'm not sure that this plan is for me. Something more long term like a software product or service would definitely be something worth looking at however, getting the right product is a challenge to begin with.

I know what my target market should be and maybe that's enough for me to be going on with for the next few years. There's no rules to say I have to stay with that market. If it doesn't work out then I can always change.

The Marketing Alternative to Social Networks

 •  Filed under Social Media, Marketing, By Me

Marketing your product online has one bad rule. It's not a rule so much as a practice. Whether it's good or bad, I'll leave down to you to decide. Here it is.

In order to market your product effectively online, you at least need a presence on each of the major social networks.

I'm talking social network accounts here. Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Without a doubt the most popular networks out there, and if you want to market your product you need an account for each of these networks so that you have an outlet for your product. I'm aware that you don't need to be sitting on these accounts on a daily basis to monitor it, but it does require some maintenance. And that's my problem. Why do you need to have an account in these networks just to market your goods? Is there an alternative?

There is and it's probably been staring you in the face since you sat down at your desk this morning with your coffee.

It's email.

Long forgotten as the first popular form of sharing content, email has been increasingly replaced by social network forms of communications. It is one of the last remaining forms of open communication that just works. You can send a message to anyone providing you know their email address. It doesn't matter which email service you use, which client you use or even if it's self-hosted. Email just works and it cuts across the borders of social networks easily. Straight to the people that matter. The people who buy and could potentially buy your product.

You might be able to reach more people by managing a separate account on each network, but do you have time for that? I sure as hell don't.

Lately I've seen a resurgence in the use of email by others to market their products and services. Newsletters are an increasingly great way to market your product to others. Letting people know of changes and offers in your product keeps your customers up to date. A call to action at the end of the email is also a great way to encourage potential customers to check out your product or even buy your product.

The best thing about it though is that it's already there.
Waiting to be used. Marketing your product starts with an email to the right person. Sometimes that's all that's needed to start selling your product.