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Mind Your Business: Big Mouth Marketing

In this months Mind Your Business, Mark Simon screams out to readers the ins and outs of big mouth marketing.

Your best marketing tool is a big mouth. All photos courtesy of Mark Simon.

What do you do? What do you offer? What? I cant hear you! Speak up!

Marketing is the sum of all the different ways you let people know about your product or service. Having a great talent or product isnt good enough. You have to let people know what you can do. YELL it out to the world.

The most basic form, and often the best form, of marketing is your mouth. The best sales tool is your passion for what you do and what you offer and personal contact with potential clients. It is whom you know. You may not like to schmooze, but it is your best form of marketing. Learn to do it well.

However, there are many other types of marketing that help as well.

One of the laws of marketing is repetition sells. Many marketers say that people have to see an ad at least three times before they will be moved to make a purchase. So if you are placing ads in periodicals for what you offer, one ad will not allow you to judge its value. You need to place it at least three times.

If you use direct mail, send out pieces on a regular basis. You dont have to do it every month, but a few times a year will be loud enough to remind clients you are around and what you offer. Consistency also shows stability. Every time I send out a new set of postcards, we get flooded with new jobs.

You also need to place your marketing in the place your clients look for the services you offer. For instance, if people tend to look in the yellow pages for services you provide, place an ad in the yellow pages. If the broadcast networks are likely to find your services in the pages of AWN, make sure they can find you there as well.

The Web is a favorite marketing tool for most. The cost is low and the coverage is worldwide. The biggest problem with marketing on the Web is the amount of competition. To cut through the clutter, you have to market your web address and design your site to rate high on the search engines. Make sure every piece of paper and every e-mail you send out has your web address listed on it. Get your site listed on as many search engines and relevant listing services as possible., and are great examples of places to list your company and services.

I have found one of the best uses of our websites has been to speed up business and lower our overnight freight costs. When a potential client calls, we can direct them to samples of our work online and close a deal during the call. Just a few years ago, we had to send samples overnight to every potential client at a cost of around $35 each.

There are a few tricks to determining your best marketing approach. First, step back and pretend you want to find the same product or service you offer. Where would you look for it? Make sure you place your marketing there.

Another idea is to look at how your most successful competition is marketing, and do the same thing. Where are they finding clients? Where are they placing ads? What associations are do they actively participate in?

To help you determine how you should approach your marketing, Ive developed the following worksheet. Each question builds on the previous question, so fill out the answers in order.

Throughout the worksheet, I will be using a few terms, which should be explained.

Prospective: This term is used in reference to those people or businesses to which you will be directing your marketing. They are prospective clients. Once they do business with you, they will be your client. Until then, they are your prospectives.

Attribute(s): This relates to the items or services (talents) you have to offer.

When answering the questions below, don't be satisfied with your first few answers. Try to come up with at least five answers for each question. Seven answers if you want to make sure to market in a way your competition hasn't thought of yet. The last few answers are the ones that will likely do you the most good. If the all the answers were easy and obvious, everyone would be doing the same boring thing, or everyone would be making much more money.

1. Who is likely to want what I offer?







2. If I wanted the attribute I offer, where would I tend to look for it?







3. What might I be doing, or where might I be when I need this attribute? (i.e., if Im on a golf course when I need it, I should market on a golf course or on the golf cart.)







4. What might I be doing just prior to needing this attribute? (i.e., if you are about to refurbish your home, you will probably look through decorating magazines and go to your local parade of homes before starting the work. Buy ads in those magazines and/or sponsor the parade of homes.)







5. What do the prospectives I'm looking for have in common? Do they all belong to the same club or association? Do they all go to the movies? Do they buy the same magazines?







6. Where would you find a list of these prospectives? Is there a local film guide, periodical or association with a list you can use?







7. How and where are the successful people and businesses in your field advertising?







8. If I was looking for the attribute I offer, what would I want to see? Credits? Samples? Awards? Accolades?







9. Of those things, or others, what is most likely to impress me?







10. What keywords would you use to find your service during a search on the Internet? Fill out as many as you can and circle the top five. Use those top five in the text on your sites index page and make sure all the keywords are in your metatags.










Your Resume Sucks!, a new book and résumé service for the arts and entertainment industries by Mark Simon, Jeanne Simon and Dr. James Irvine.

Once this form is complete you will have a great picture of your future marketing campaign. The answers will act as a map, guiding you to proper placement of your marketing.

Now go on out there and speak up loudly!

Mark Simon is an award-winning animation producer, storyboard artist and lecturer who is also the author of books for artists, such as Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists, Producing Independent 2D Character Animation, Storyboards: Motion In Art and Your Resume Sucks! His books may be found and purchased online along with custom résumés and free industry budgets, forms and podcasts at He may be reached at