Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Bidding for Services Online

Well, I finally have a teensy bit of confirmation (one case history) about my theory that all those cheap websites offering marketing solutions aren’t always worth it.  An entrepreneur I know went to a bidding site for logos.  He went three times.  The first two times he got back garbage – or results that were unusable and totally unsalvageable.  The third time was a charm – he was happy with the logo he received and is going to register it as his trademark.  The whole process cost him some time (close to three months in total) and some money (he didn’t share how much with me).  With no guarantees that each time he threw the line back in the water (or the credit card back on the website), that what he would reel in would be of any value to him.

And this is a savvy entrepreneur.  He had some background in marketing and was capable of judging the quality of the work he bought.

So, should you bid for marketing services online?  Well, ultimately that’s a decision up to you.


Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.

She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Making a Profit Online

Art: you make it, you sell it.

It’s not a well-loved mantra in creative circles or in art school hallways, but in order to live as an artist you have to survive. At the very least, one should be able to cover expenses and yield some profit. How is this done in a competitive marketplace where gallery space is limited and visibility is key?

Increasingly, artists are using online platforms to gain visibility and even sell their work. From Etsy to Saatchi Online, these platforms offer artists a way to network, promote, sell, and gain momentum as entrepreneurs with very little overhead costs. In some cases, retailers and other interested buyers are drawn to the established package that comes from DIY online promoting: a product with a defined brand and built-in audience. If you’ve already done the work of packaging your creative product, research alternative ways to facilitate your business outside of gallery circles– it might ultimately lead you back to them.

Here is a great list of 200 places to sell your work online:

http://www.artsyshark.com/125-places-to-sell/

Visual artists should consider Saatchi Online and the unique benefits of its social media-inspired platform:

http://www.saatchionline.com/promoting

Make yourself easy to do business with.

Make your product and services easy to find, easy for visitors to your website to stay a while, learn about you and follow through.  That’s what a medical cosmetics physician did and it worked for him (see link below).  The bottom line is he  got specific about what his customers wanted and gave it to them.  This included adding before and after photos of people who had used his services (this is equivalent to a demonstration of your product/services – one of the best way to get a customer). He also put a “Call to action” (what you want the customer to do for next steps) up front and center (ok to the right hand side of the home page but you catch my drift). And response improved.  He decided not to use a form because that would slow down and discourage follow-through.  While this worked for this particular physician and his customer population, another  physician who specializes in the treatment of pain did exactly the opposite.  He had a long form on his website in order to weed out patients who didn’t live in the immediate area (thousands of people have pain and he would have had to hire additional full time help just to deal with the inquires coming from his website), who had the kind of insurance he takes, and who had the kind of pain he could treat.

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Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

The bottom line is you have to customize your messaging in whatever format you deliver it, to your customer’s habits and wishes. This means you have to reach out to your customer base and find out how they want to be “told and sold”. What’s the single or couple of most important messages that they need to hear in order to move them from a visitor to your website?  Then give it to them.

If you’re in retail like dungarees.net (see link below) then you might want to solicit customer reviews.   Find the issue that, when solved, will not only keep customers on your site (or reading your materials) longer,  but also convert them from a visitor to a customer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/business/smallbusiness/three-keys-to-converting-web-visitors-into-buyers.html?smid=pl-share

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.