Making Customers Come to You
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Even though he's a talented guy who can troubleshoot technical problems and whip up cool software in a flash, my developer lives project to project and his business often ricochets between feast and famine. Unfortunately, there's no list he can rent of companies with impending tech disasters or sites that are about to get hacked. And running ads on TV, radio, bus benches or in newspapers or magazines wouldn't be a cost-effective way to reach his target market.
That's why I suggested that he turn traditional marketing on its headand adopt a strategy that makes clients come to him. A locksmith, Iexplained, has no idea who's going to lock himself out of his house orwhen. But, by advertising in the Yellow Pages or putting a sign in hiswindow, the locksmith can improve the odds that, when someone in hisservice area does get locked out, he's going to get that call.
Thanksto the Internet, I told my developer, identifying customers' painpoints is pretty simple. Just make a list of the search terms thatbusiness owners and executives might type in when their site getshacked, their network gets infected by a virus or their customerdatabase gets hopelessly screwed up. Then design a web page for eachtype of problem that you solve and optimize it for the search engines.Once you see which pages get the most traffic, you may want to buy somekeywords as well. This way, at 3 AM or whenever the client's technologyfails him, you can ride to the rescue and charge a premium price foryour service.
It's clearly a strategy that works. Severalmonths ago, I sat down with the CEO of data recovery company who had animpressive list of Fortune 1000 clients posted on his site. He doesn'thave a sales force, and he himself hasn't spent five minutes makingcold calls. He reeled in all these clients using search enginemarketing. But, while he's managed to build a nice business helpingcompanies save the data on their hard drives and laptops, he now needsto figure out how to turn these individual sales into long-termrelationships -- the kind that generate monthly retainers and softwaredevelopment projects.
As for my web developer, the first step is getting his phone to ring.