By Andrew Neitlich

Back to the THREE fundamental principles of a sound marketing and sales strategy

By Andrew Neitlich


Your excellent comments in the previous blog (see link above) suggests that it is a good time to return to square one of marketing and sales strategy.

To succeed in business development, it is essential to have three fundamentals in place: content, process, and context. Let’s look at each, and you can assess how you are doing.


Content: You need to be excellent at what you do. Otherwise, you will not get repeat business. You know this, but there are lots of hacks out there in web design and development. If you happen to be one of them, it’s going to be a long, hard road for you.

Process: You need a process to get visible, stay visible, delight current customers, and follow up to get more business. Too many IT Professionals sit behind their desk waiting for the phone to ring. That’s a recipe for bankruptcy.

Context: Context is the most important and most overlooked aspect of marketing. It refers to “where you are coming from” or “your way of being.” In selling professional services, you need to be all about value, trust, relationships, service, credibility, and professionalism. It’s worth defining each:

Value: You solve business and personal problems for your client that brings them benefits far beyond your fees.

Trust: You work hard to have your prospects and clients know you, and believe in your capabilities and integrity.

Relationships: Each contact is a long-term relationship, someone who you can bring you significant value (if you bring value to them).

Service: You make it about them first, and you second.

Credbility: You establish your ability, value, and consistency over time so that people know you to be a reliable expert.

Professionalism: You have a can-do attitude at all times that is about service, excellence, and ongoing improvement.

Okay, those are the fundamentals, and I hope this return to basics is useful to you…..

  • But what should you do to stand ou from the crowd, as a webdesigner.

  • aneitlich

    Peach — One step at a time. First make these principles part of your approach. One part of “process” is developing a sound marketing message that sets you apart as you go and get visible.

  • Other than just being an honest hard working professional, what kind a tactics can be used for building Trust and long-term Relationships with prospects and clients. I find that it can be difficult in this industry when the majority of our prospects and clients are intimidated by technology that they don’t understand at all.

  • heather

    to stand out from the crowd as a designer, you have to be visually innovative. how do you do that? there’s no guaranteed recipe, but it involves:

    * studying/learning about design (typography, color theory, critiquing, psychology)
    * developing a designer’s eye — looking at and analyzing every thing you see. why does it work? or not?
    * related to that — expose yourself to as much design/art as you can. sign up for art magazines, explores sites you hear about on k10k, etc.
    * experimenting with your own designs
    * getting feedback from other people … and incorporating it (as much as it makes sense)

    i’m no design expert. i am entirely self taught. but i have always had an artistic bent, been willing to explore and can accept and implement critiques very smoothly. because of those things, i’ve had no trouble creating a portfolio i am proud of.

    i also recognize that there is always room to grow and be even more distinctive. so keep plugging away — you’ll get there!

  • JMorrow


  • patrikG

    Very sound advice, thanks Andrew. In response to savagefire: I’ve found that empowering clients by explaining technology to them is one way to earn trust and build long-term relationships.

    I was reluctant at first, thinking to myself that web-stuff is so easy to do, that if I told the clients, they’d do it themselves. That was quite silly of me, really. Once I had gained enough self-esteem and understanding of what I was doing, I understood that it wasn’t rocket science, but just hard work. And I started explaining aspects of the technology to people. They leave with a sense of empowerment and most, if not all, will come back to you and become clients.

  • JMorrow

    How do you build long-term relationships, establish trust, and otherwise differentiate yourself? Simple: Follow the principles Andrew described above.

    In particular, I’ve had the most results from Credibility. I’ve spent a year building a reputation in my industry by writing articles, networking with key players, and delivering the results I promised to early customers. I also made sure I exceeded expectations. Now I get more referrals than I can handle.

  • ifyzza

    This article is very nice. But i will like to have a copy of it. That is make a print out and make it cheap for us to get, cos i really need such guidiance.
    Keep it up.

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