Reflections on Playing the Marketing Game
By Sue Klefstad
Team Heartland met for our fall meeting and a workshop on marketing. To prepare to lead the workshop, I read some twenty-year-old marketing books such as Marketing Without Megabucks by Shel Horowitz and Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson (“Completely Revised and Updated for the ’90s”), plus a handful about the marketing of consulting services. They all said the same thing:
Then I turned to the Internet. My LinkedIn groups provide a steady trickle of links to marketing blogs. The Google machine, of course, was a gold mine of content on marketing. Is it any surprise that all of this content on marketing promoted generating content as marketing?
I attribute the phrase “Google machine” to David Letterman, who started using it years ago to refer to Google Search. By now the Google machine is a greater force of power than the Chicago political machine was in the 1960s. According to Search Engine Watch, about two-thirds of U.S. searches are via Google. Now check out what Google Places for Business says about itself: “Show up across the web. Be found on Google Search, Maps, Google+, and mobile devices.” The corollary to such a statement could be: “Don’t join Google Places for Business and don’t be found on Google Search, etc.”
Yes, I joined.
Want to know if anyone visits your website? Google can tell you, of course. Just sign up for their Analytics and Webmaster programs, put some code into each page on your site, and read the numbers. Google couldn’t put the code there themselves and are undoubtedly grateful that I and many others are willing to feed the numbers to them. (Maybe grateful isn’t the right word.)
As so often happens, it was close to home where I found the best sources of information on marketing: the ASI books published through Information Today. Marketing Your Indexing Services, edited by Anne Leach, is chock-full of valuable information on self-marketing for indexers and the marketing of indexes and indexing. See the review in this newsletter. Newbie indexers should be aware of Chapter 3, ”Getting Started: Résumé Strategies for the New Indexer,” by Susan Danzi Hernandez.
The ASI book Starting an Indexing Business, edited by Enid Zafran, has marketing tips and suggestions for finding clients woven throughout the text. Running an Indexing Business, edited by Janet Perlman, does not have a whole chapter on marketing, but there are three brief, though informative, sections—which you can find by using the index!
By far, my most valuable resource on marketing was the Heartland fall meeting itself. The synergy of the group (good phrase, Meridith!) brought out ideas, tried and untried, and sent me off with good energy. The inspiration is very much appreciated! Because now I need to come up with some indexing content for my website and an article on indexing to submit to my local paper and . . . Meanwhile, check out my website at SueTheIndexer.com and give me some metrics to analyze.