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September 10, 2010

Choosing your markets

Often your markets choose you, you don't get to choose them.

I am presently working diligently on three market sectors that I am hoping to dominate within the next few years.

The reason? They appeared to be under-served, and for a variety of reasons:

  1. They are in inhospitable locations. The types of places that suffer 25% + turnover rates of people. 
  2. They aren't the "big spenders" of the market. So everybody else seems to be going for other, larger targets. 
  3. And lastly, they are recovering from the in-housing "We can do it all" sort of foolishness that occasionally grips companies.
Some things I have learned over the past few years, but sharpened as I became a very small organization. (Just me right now)

1. Don't go after the top of the town. (Ever) You need to know them, touch base with them, establish relationships with people in them, but do not get too hung up trying to chase work there.

There is a lot of work available in these companies, and there are a lot of competitors vying for it with lots of sharp elbows. Sure, you can pull off an upset. And an upset with a large organization can be a company making move. But in general, it is frustrating and something to put down as a long term goal. 

2. Cold Calling still works. I wrote on this previously and have written on it several times since. But cold calls work, and they work best when you can follow up with an in person meeting. 

Before you start whining that this is hard and expensive - my clients often live around 5,000 miles away. The goal is to try to work it into the day to day work that you are carrying out when possible. 

3. It may not be where you think. I started out wanting to deliver services to the oil and gas sectors as my work history would lend itself to. My best options, through almost totally random events, appeared in very obscure sectors of the mining industry. (Uranium, Manganese and Mineral Sands)

4. Display ads work. NO matter what people tell you, or what Seth has to say on the matter, the raw facts are that display ads do work. Even if it is only to get your name known as a household (and therefore trusted) name in the game. 

I have some display ads out now, and I am going to run a  few internet display ads in the very near future. I will link to them here so you can see what I am up to directly.

I hope this helps, I will be writing the tips I learn and my adventures into this blog on a regular basis.