In A256 – Where do you find freelance clients? we talked about the watering holes, those places where your clients come together to talk business.
Today’s episode goes a little deeper into that topic to talk about the context and intent of your client at these watering holes.
The human behavior part of this equation is what I’m fascinated most with.
I’m not the first, nor the last person who will talk about context when it comes to marketing.
In fact, it’s the very first personalization that was done in advertising and marketing.
It’s why restaurants put their side dishes next to entrees on their menus. You are going to order a potato and veggies with that steak and they know that. So they aren’t going to put sides on the last page, they’ll put it directly after that filet mignon that you plan on ordering.
Ad platforms these days put context on steroids. We have more information at our disposal about someone than ever before.
We can target a specific employee at a global company in a certain town that has a hobby of white water kayaking.
But what do you do with that information? Often you will jump all over that by pushing an ad out to come to sign up for your service or book a consult or something of that nature.
While that’s all fine to do, they may be looking at the photos of their niece’s dance recital.
That’s not the most opportune time to pitch your abilities to build them a new website.
To make this even more concrete, in the case yesterday where we spoke about the medical industry, you wouldn’t walk up to 10 doctors sitting around a table ordering a steak and pitch them even though that’s where they all are at the moment, right?
If the content is king, then context is queen.
As in the last episode, getting into the head of your client and then understanding the context and the intent of them in a specific setting can increase the likelihood of success of your strategy.
In the context of my former employer, they bought booths at events that specifically spoke to marketing, technology, and business growth in the industry.
At events that were smaller or not specific to the mindset where the doctors and organizations would be thinking about their website or marketing, my former employer would be there anyway, but in a different way. The sales team would be there to build relationships, set meetings up with clients and leads and of course network, but there wasn’t a big push for sales.
Ariel, The Urbanist, on a podcast, shared some insights in his strategy on this. His objective was to land gigs with big travel brands and online publications. Instead of creating ads pitching what he did. Instead, he created content as he normally would, then targeted those key individuals of the companies he wanted to work with so that he was sure that his content would be seen by them.
Then when those individuals were looking for content that he does, he would be front of mind.
He admitted that he couldn’t directly connect a job to a specific ad this way, but he did admit that he got work from some of the brands and companies he targeted.
In your case, if you are looking to inject some personality into your brand, how about creating a piece of content that’s centered around you and your family, or your mission as a business to help a charity, or why you are in business for yourself, and then put that piece of content as an ad in front of your ideal clients while they are looking at those recital photos.
It may not get that click, but if you do it consistently, when that person who is extremely family oriented, is looking to redo their website, best be sure that they’ll remember that they saw “something about some designer who was playing with their kids talking about websites” and go look for you. Not Wix or GoDaddy.
Here are some further resources that you'll want to check out that directly relate to the show.
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