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Thursday, March 26, 2009

IT Marketing Ideas that Attract More Great Clients

Are you looking for some IT marketing ideas to help you really get noticed by potential clients? Perhaps you should start looking beyond all the generalist tasks you are doing as a trusted technology provider for your clients … and start positioning yourself as a real IT specialist.

Why? Well, the truth is you don’t need that much industry experience to position yourself as an IT specialist. But specialization can make an enormous difference in your marketing results, your hourly billing rates, your sales call closing rates, and your clients' lifetime value.

Of course, there are a lot of IT marketing ideas that can help you position yourself as an IT specialist. But the key is identifying something you enjoy doing that many small business owners in your area need. Finding a specialty helps ensure you won’t just look like everyone else providing technology services.

Consider the following 5 IT marketing ideas to help you attract and retain great clients for your business.

1. Be Choosy with Your Clients. If you are like many others in the small business IT consulting field, you are probably doing everything for your clients, including tasks like network design, procurement, project management, dealing with phone companies, Web hosts and ISPs, deciding what to buy and inspecting it when it comes in, and doing configuration, testing, integration, customization, training and troubleshooting. Wow, that's a lot of hats to wear! Your Virtual CIO role as the person that does everything certainly makes you a generalist in some respects. But who says you have to be a generalist for everyone under the sun? IT marketing ideas that really work involve you being all things to only some of the people in a particular niche. You provide true IT consulting solutions and show your clients that the buck stops with you. You become accountable for everything your clients need. But most importantly, you must limit the scope of the kind of clients you pursue, usually by industry niche.

2. As an IT Specialist, You Can Market More Cost-Effectively to Your Niche. Marketing to a niche is actually easier and a lot more affordable than virtually any other IT marketing ideas. You will know exactly where to advertise when it comes to trade publications. You will be able to stop wasting time and money on generic ads in the newspaper, phone book or on the radio. When you understand your specialty and the needs of your niche, you will be able to come up with a marketing message that speaks directly to your target audience and really resonates. All of a sudden you become very valuable to potential clients and find yourself getting a warm response to your sales letters, postcards and any seminars you give.

3. Picking a Specialty Niche Doesn’t Always Require Extensive Experience. Finding your specialty and your niche can be as simple as having two or three clients, in the same or similar industries, who you’ve been working with for a year or two. Perhaps you’ve been doing a project such as migrating an antiquated MS-DOS-based industry-specific application to a 32-bit or to a Web-based application. As you go along, you may get to know a specific applications through work with a client or two. Now that you know that specific application, you most likely stand out from other consulting firms that those that use this industry-specific application could call.

4. Size Up the Market Size When You Think About Your Specialty Niche. One of the best and most important IT marketing ideas is to make sure you do your homework before you decide who you are going to serve. As an IT specialist, sometimes you will have to turn away potential clients, which may be counter-intuitive to the idea of growing your business. However, you are not really turning away any really viable clients. Instead you are making room for, almost like a kind of de-cluttering of your client list, and honing in on a segment that will be a good fit for your solutions and bring you a good source of high-margin, long-term, steady service revenue.

5. Develop a Marketing Message that Fits Your Specialty. Don’t try to speak to the masses with your marketing materials. You can’t possibly create a message that will resonate with everyone. And if you do, you will find yourself competing on price and reduced to a commodity. A well-defined specialty helps others know exactly what you do and for whom you do it. Plus focusing in on a well-defined niche avoids those prospects that would just call 30 companies they found in the phone book, looking for the lowest, dirt-cheap price.

In this article, we discussed 5 IT marketing ideas to help you become a specialist, so you can attract more great new clients. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients with more proven IT marketing ideas now at the attached link.

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