Feeling entrepreneurial? Better think through your marketing

marketingA new client is working with us on the development of an entertainment industry website that will help actors, backstage and producers get in touch with each other for gigs.

In the course of our work on the development of the site, which is pretty involved, there has been a lot of back-and-forth about the project’s viability.

“What is your sense of the market for something like this?” the clients ask, with the question taking various forms, but that’s the essence of everything that matters, be it this project in particular, or any business venture that any of us may make an effort at.

Will people want to buy what it is that I want to sell them? I’m reminded of the guy who came up with what he wants to call the World’s Best Ketchup, who spent years schlepping himself and his ketchup around to supermarkets and trade shows and not gaining any traction toward proving his point, or more importantly, gaining appreciable market share.

Launching a ketchup product on the market is beyond most of our imaginations. Trying to build the Facebook of the entertainment industry is also a pretty big undertaking. For you, it may be something as simple as opening a bakery in the corner space that’s just sitting there waiting for somebody to use it downtown, putting your graphic-design skills to use by getting some work for a few clients, finally publishing that self-help book that you think, with the right approach, could be a national best-seller.

Whatever your business ideas may be, you need to remember to pay attention to the market for what you are hoping to be able to offer, and along with that the marketing. If you determine that the answer to the question as to whether people will want to buy what you have to sell is yes, the next question needs to be, How do I let them know that it’s for sale?

The possibilities there are endless, of course. The web, social media, TV, radio, print, rack cards, skywriting: the means available to us in this day and age make it at the same time easier than ever and more difficult than at any point in human history to get the word out about what you have to offer the world. It’s easier than ever because we have so many ways to tell people what we’re doing; and more difficult than at any point in the history of the world because everybody else has access to those same means.

How do you get what you have to offer the world to the top of the heap? Finding someone who can guide you through the process (like me … hire me!) would be a good place to start.

Chris Graham is the president of Augusta Free Press LLC, a full-service web design, graphic design and marketing firm that offers services in video and audio production, search engine optimization and social media. More online at www.AFPBusiness.com

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