Friday, August 29, 2008

Simple Marketing Plan Guidelines for Designers and Service Folks

Friends, classmates, and peers regularly ask how I acquire my clients.  I've developed a loose marketing guideline that has worked for me.  Below is a working document to start with... this is constantly evolving.  I appreciate any feedback and ask that you share your thoughts and/or suggestions. 

Marketing is a management process that focuses on strategy, processes, positioning and tactile elements of a product or service. The marketing guideline allows me to stay focused on whom to contact and how often, recognize opportunities and measure results. 

1. Determine Budget
Average spending is usually 5-10% of gross revenues
• ie. Revenue: $500,000 = $25K to $50K budget/ year

2. Determine Position
Are you specialized in a vertical or horizontal market?
• Vertical: by industry (only action sports industry)
• Horizontal: by skill set (only corporate identity design)

3. Determine Target
Pre-qualify your leads with the following questions
• Do they outsource?
• What type of projects?
• How much do they spend per season or year?
• How soon do they expect a need for your services?

Joven's Taboos (Try to avoid clients that are...)
• Spending their own money
• Smaller than your company
• Not in your industry or skill set
• Have no outsourcing experience
• Doesn't understand your company must profit

4. Determine Fit
Where are they in the buying stage?

Star System (determine how often to touch base and how much to spend)
• 3 star: Aware of you & have a need LESS THAN 6 months
– Touch base at least every other month or more frequent
– Receives the more elaborate promotions
• 2 star: Aware of you & have a need MORE THAN 6 months
– Touch base at least every quarter
– Receives the less expensive promotions
• 1 star: Unaware of you
– Touch base once a year
– Receives the less expensive promotions

5. Determine Vehicles
There are core vehicles essential to market your company
• Cold/warm calls:  most successful (plan 1 day a week to call)
• Networking:  cheap and effective
• Corporate Brochure:  discuss process, customer service (doubles as a sales tool)
• Website:  determine if site is a closer (used to confirm the sale) or opener (used to open the conversation). Keep it simple.
• Mailers:  (Promotion or E-Newsletter)
– Promotional (postcard, poster, mailer, etc.) Remember to budget printing & postage
– E-Newsletter: content is king, be compelling, do it right, and don't get on spam list
• Press Releases:  cheap, great exposure and helps with natural search
• Add others:  events, speaking gigs, networking, contests, etc.

6. Determine Monthly Budget
Take budget and spread throughout calendar year
• You should be touching base with your leads every month or so
– $25K = est. $2K/month
– $50K = est. $4/K/month

7. Determine Plan of Action with Calendar 
See Example:  spaces have been filled with goals or what's slated for that month (ie. goal: send 40 books) 
 – Your Plan will be customized to your own goals and promotions
 – Create a separate blank calendar and write in what happened at the end of each month
 – Remember to consider everything like postage, networking fees, etc.
– Remember you don't have to touch base with 2 & 1 stars that often 
– Spend more some months on a promo and send to ONLY 3 Stars

It generally averages a few years to land a large client.  The main goal of the marketing guideline is to stay consistent and branded so you stay “top of mind” with your potential clients and existing clients.   

Again, I appreciate any suggestions and/or feedback on the marketing guideline.  Other topics I'm working on is the freelancers’ transition to a firm, client base management and proposals.  Please advise if you want me to write on other topics.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Things Designers Don't Tell Other Designers

My name is Joven, Prinicpal & Creative Director for Joven Orozco Design. Over the last 13 years I've developed some strategies for managing and growing a design business. I had the opportunity to speak on some closing techniques for AIGA/OC. Now I'm considering putting some things together so I can share with my peers. Please let me know what you'd be interested in learning from my trials and errors.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Joven speaks at AIGA Juice: Closing the Deal

Thursday, August 14th, 8am - 10am

Special Guest Speaker: Joven Orozco

-Are you going for the wrong customer?
-Is your sell believable?
-Tired of revising proposals?
-How do you know if you're wasting your time with a lead?

Joven is going to share some of his expert pre-qualifying, selling and closing techniques that have worked for him for over 13 years.

Joven is Principal and Creative Director for Joven Orozco Design, a leading creative design firm for consumer companies. The Jovenville team is smart and passionate about design and its power of persuasion. They are committed to producing clever, functional and memorable design strategies.


Creative Juice is a series of monthly roundtable breakfast conversations for principals of creative firms. This is an exclusive forum to get together to learn and discover new strategies for maximizing your business, these meetings are not lectures but open discussions. Roundtables are small groups of 15-17.