Once upon a time, being a programmer, developer or any kind of specialist in IT meant you had to work for a big corporation and limit yourself to the needs of that company. It was a grueling, meaningless existence that many suffered through for decades. But now, we live in a digital world in which the need for IT specialists is increasing by the minute. This opens the door for independent developers and entrepreneurs who hope to break free from the rat race and be their own boss.
However, starting your own business means that you have to run a business, and that is not nearly as easy as it may have initially seemed. No matter your field of expertise or your level of expertise in said field, you will have to learn, practice and utilize entirely new concepts specific to the business world. One of these concepts is marketing your business.
If you hope to get the word out about your services, products and business, you will need to develop a strategy that implements various effective marketing techniques. Throughout a career of doing just that, I have developed several notebooks full of little strategies and techniques that have been effective. This little article is meant to share a few of the best tips, techniques and marketing hacks from my notebooks for independent specialists and small IT companies who hope to take their own business to the next level.
Marketing Tips for IT
1. Create a monthly or bi-weekly newsletter for your with recent news, up-to-date trends and cool stuff in your field.
2. Stay/Get involved in your community by contributing to local charities and events. Take advantage of any local events as an opportunity to grow your business.
3. Keep a list of your previous customers and stay in contact with them. Those who have bought your products/services before are the most likely to buy it in the future.
4. Develop a short, concise report that summarizes your services and your values. This should be sent to any new prospects, usually as your second touch, or the second time you interact with them.
5. Maintain ads in the Yellow Pages. These provide great value and are not yet obsolete.
6. Offer free eBooks, webinars, product demos and other digital items that can entice potential customers.
7. Contribute to blogs and websites relevant to your industry.
8. Offer free public clinics to teach your community about industry-relevant information. Clinics and seminars about cyber security can be greatly beneficial and are popular nowadays, and even if it is not your specialty, you can provide more details than the general public.
9. Create a podcast that is relevant to your field or IT in general. Bring in guest speakers and industry experts who can lend credibility and helpful information to your podcast.
10. Tweak, test and adjust your current ads to find the most effective message, format and medium.
11. Offer incentives to new customers, such as one free month, introductory prices, purchasing benefits and other rewards/bonuses.
12. Create regular incentive programs for new and current customers. This may include drawings and referral bonuses.
13. Always be on the lookout for effective marketing strategies including those of competitors, industry leaders or anyone with good ideas.
14. Barter for your marketing services. Offer free products or services (as opposed to money) in exchange for marketing.
15. Be willing to bring in new clients, even if it means taking an initial loss.
16. Create and manage affiliate programs that reward referrals and marketing.
17. Cultivate relationships with your vendors, partners, colleagues and even competitors. These relationships may prove to be crucial, especially if your business hits a rough patch.
18. Conduct polls, studies and customer satisfaction surveys. Some of your most useful information will come directly from your customer base.
19. Approach large companies, organizations and corporations, offering to be their exclusive provider at a significantly discounted rate.
20. Always learn from your mistakes and do not expect to do things perfectly.
Derek Pursley is an influencer marketing pro with brownboxbranding.com who is passionate about building authentic relationships and helping businesses connect with their ideal online audience. He keeps his finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving digital marketing world by writing on the latest marketing advancements and focuses on developing customized blogger outreach plans based on industry and competition.