This is part two of my exercise in exploring setting marketing goals for 2008. In part 1, I explored what business I am in and what is my product versus my commodity. The larger story of this piece is my new series called Manifesting your Dreams which explores ways to bring your goals into manifestation. I plan to share my process and my progress throughout 2008.
I am no longer in the web design business. I am in the business of assisting web masters build web designs. At least that is my first blush at a new business direction. I discovered that what I really wanted was a design partner, a collaborator. I am currently testing out this theory with a good friend, P.
This is exactly what I was hoping for when I wrote my prescient hope, “I also am interested in more collaborative projects where I partner with graphic designers and theme developers for example.” And almost immediately after posting part 1 of this series P contacted me.
I built the XML to iCal application for P last summer. This time he asked me to help him pull together a web design proposal for one of his clients. We are waiting to hear back on that proposal and today he had another one he wanted to discuss with me. Yay!
This makes sense considering the marketing phrases Ishtar and I played around with earlier.
In my business plan I wrote exactly about the problem I am trying to solve without realizing their larger implications.
“Specifically, my customer is the web person within these organizations who are tired of hand crafting their site and want something easier to update and maintain. So the problem I am solving is the problem of keeping your site up to date easily.
Many folks have to hand off the updates to the web guy instead of just entering the new info themselves. And the web guy is spending a lot of time, cutting and pasting text into existing templates instead of finding new ways to improve the overall effectiveness of the site.”
Well guess what? My customer is that guy, y’know, the web guy. And P is a web guy. He is a web ninja and web hero to several organizations. And P needs my help.
What I also rediscovered is how much I like working with creative people, especially creative geeks.
So my marketing goals so far involve several actual business goals, like raising my prices. But I also need to call in P or folks like him when I get customers like G. So building a network of web designers to call on plus advertising my services to web people makes a lot more sense.
Amber Eyes Marketing/Business Goals (first draft)
- Raise prices to reflect my hourly rates
- Write more technical blogs to attract web folks as readers
- Create templates, wire frame themes and a live test bed so I can build sites faster
- Answer requests for short term Drupal assistance on local job boards
- Attend networking events like the local Drupal Meetup
This whole process has illuminated another hole in my marketing plans. I need to consider marketing for Reflections, Connect DC and Katrina Messenger as well. Most folks would prefer to call it outreach or publicity instead of marketing in these instances, but that seems like a game of semantics to me.
I need to advertise outside of the purely pagan communities. Most of what the school offers is applicable to spiritual seekers of any faith. The public ritual group has been ripe for more publicity for several years. And I am not even going to mention the deep, dark pit of fear associated with putting my name more out there, but it is needed nonetheless. sigh ...
And so, I am making (gulp!) marketing goals for the other side of my life as well.
Outreach/Publicity Goals (first draft)
- Advertise Connect DC Rituals in Washington Post Religion section starting with Summer Solstice. (This has been in the works for a looong time!)
- Create winter and spring brochures of Reflections public classes
- Create a Reflections Mystery School brochure
- Post the Connect DC Palm Cards at local establishments
- Advertise classes and rituals in local newsletters such as the Hill Rag, DC North, Takoma Voice, etc.
- Advertise annual Reflections intensive in regional and national publications
- Let more folks know that I am available for out of town classes, workshops, festivals and conferences.
- Do public readings of material as I finish my (damn!) book
Of course several of these Outreach, Publicity and Marketing goals have costs associated with them, so I will need to set a marketing budget for each area. I also need to identify which of these goals I will commit to for this year.
And finally, I have resolved a dilemma that haunted me for a while. I decided that I am a shaman who does web design on the side, and not a web designer who is a shaman on the side. My motto is more like, “Chop code, carry water”. Hah! Go ahead and moan. It works for me AND is kind of twisted at the same time – perfecto!