Reaching interesting markets

In anticipation of the AIM Conference in May, Steve at Business New Brunswick asks:

Here is another offer for you to consider: We would like to find local success stories of companies using the Internet to export, or just using it in a unique way or to reach interesting markets. Do you fall into this category? If so, and you would like to be part of our pre-conference press program, give me a call right now or send me an email.

I’ll be speaking at AIMC on the topic of Marketing Yourself as a Free-Agent on the Internet about my own experience and also highlighting other free-agents and small businesses. I would say that a large part of my success as a consultant is due to my use of the web to engage in the multi-way conversations that it enables.

For instance, my website in its first year online (2003) had about 700 unique visitors. In 2007 there were over 1.3 million. I attribute that growth to the increasing use of the web by more people but also to this professional blog, started in 2004.

The only money I spend on marketing is for my website. I have never purchased advertising. By writing regularly about my fields of interest, my blog has helped me get speaking engagements, writing assignments and requests for reviews of books, businesses and software. Some of these are paid, but in no case did I have to lay out cash for what amounts to marketing.

I have had clients find me via search engines and then my blog gives a good idea of what I’m about. It also helps to weed out clients who may not be a good match with my skills and outlook. However, my blog is about much more than marketing and I would continue it just for my own professional development. The advantage is that I don’t need to spend money on someone else to sell my services.

How else could an independent consultant living in Sackville (pop. 5,000), New Brunswick (pop. 740,000) be able to work with clients and partners spread over thousands of kilometres? There are no great secrets to this and I’ll post my notes and observations after my presentation on 6 May.

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