Finding clients as a local niche?


2

I recently (read: last week) started the following business:

[Business Name] is a small business IT consulting firm. We specialize in the
use of Open Source Software by small businesses. Open Source Software
allows a small business to lower their IT costs, while keeping their
productivity the same. In fact, in some cases the change to Open
Source Software can actually increase a businesses productivity.


You may be asking "What is Open Source Software though?". This is
what The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has to say on the subject:


"Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the
power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The
promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more
flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in."


~ The Open Source Initiative (OSI)

As you may have noticed, this is a local, niche business... At the moment, no one in Austin, TX (our location) knows this business exists.

How do I change that on a shoe-string budget? I already tried posting to Craigslist, but the post was buried in less than an hour, and I didn't get any calls/emails.

Marketing Niche Local

asked Sep 30 '11 at 12:49
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Kevin Soviero
180 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • How do I pick just one answer as "correct"? They all have useful information... – Kevin Soviero 9 years ago
  • So you're a software consultant specializing in open source software solutions? Maybe explaining it in a way that businesses will understand. – Dustin Davis 9 years ago
  • It seems like you're a hacker who's missing the marketing gene. Try [marketingforhackers.com](http://marketingforhackers.com) – Hartley Brody 8 years ago

2 Answers


2

There is potentially a very long list which summerises as "find prospects who are local and put your pitch to them".

Working out who is going to be interested ... thats a big one and another set of questions from you, the rest assumes you know who your target market actually is ...

Some ways to go about finding local prospects :

If you are on LinkedIn their advanced search allows you to specify "within 50 miles(80 kms) of me". You can put in job titles and some other "qualifiers". This will give you a starting hit list, which you can use to start with. If you save the search LinkedIn will email you any new people within your 3 degrees of seperation. For each real candidate create a semi-personalised spam (i mean message) and either email (cheap) or mail (generally more effective). Part of the message is that you will give them a followup call next week ... you ring, you ask for the person by name, you get a chance to book a meeting. (Don't try to sell over the phone it won't work, your local, be local).

Networking

  • Have a look on MeetUp.com for networking events in your city, turn up, talk to people, hand out lots of business cards. If there isn't one try starting one.
  • Ask on Twitter for events and meetings in the local area, they will start to show up for you.
  • Local councils often have events that you can attend, as do universities.
  • There area a lot of startup events springing up everywhere, these usually cost the non-presenter but they are a good source of leads.

Tell all of your friends (but not constantly), a bit about what you do but more who you are looking for ... it might trigger something for someone.

answered Sep 30 '11 at 13:21
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Robin Vessey
8,394 points
  • The Twitter point might not work for him because that would take him longer to get customers. His first focus should be getting some customers first! Also, startup events might not be a worth it. Everything else however is very applicable. – Bhargav Patel 9 years ago
  • I wasn't using it as a messaging platform, just the starting point for who to target. The advanced search tells you enough so you can take it from there outside of linked in – Robin Vessey 9 years ago

1

You are a consulting firm? Why are you scared of meeting people in person? You should meet your potential customers in person. Goto their office and pitch what you have to offer.

Do some research, study case studies how other companies profited from switching to open source. Collect some data, present it in a visual way.

THIS IS A LOCAL BUSINESS, YOU SHOULD START LOCALLY! You don't even need to have a website like a user said when you get your first couple of clients. Make your website when you have something to display..

If you decide to make a website even though you have no clients, put the presentation and the data I was talking about on the website.

answered Sep 30 '11 at 13:27
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Bhargav Patel
784 points

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