Sales and Marketing for the Newly Self-Employed

According to a recent survey published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills 13% of the workforce is now classified as self-employed and in America between 2008 and 2012 there was a 431,000 increase in the number of people working on their own. Many self-employed people work in industries that have traditionally used a lot of freelance workers, such as IT and construction but self-employment is increasing across most industries and statistics show that in the period March 2011 to March 2013 64% of the newly self-employed are managers or professionals.

Some of the newly self-employed have little need for sales and marketing skills, for example a builder who consistently works for the same main contractor hopefully has as much work issued as they require, however for a lot of newly self-employed people learning the basics of sales and marketing will make the difference between just surviving and positively thriving.

This article is designed to help the newly self-employed gain the basics of the sales and marketing skills and knowledge they need, and if they cannot find the time to develop those skills themselves show them where to access the professional help they need.

It covers

• The difference between sales and marketing

• What is an integrated marketing message

• Online and traditional media

• Precision Guided Marketing – targeting the right prospects

• Using prospect appropriate language

• Sell benefits not features

• Find something unique about you and your offering

Sales and marketing, what is the difference? This is nice and simple and really they should be in the other order, because chronologically marketing comes first. Marketing is simply anything you do to find prospects to try to sell to. The sales process then attempts to turn those prospects in to customers. It is only at the end, when a transaction has taken place that the sales and marketing process is complete. Marketing encompasses all forms of advertising and promotion, the trick is finding the method that is most appropriate for you, whether it is advertising in papers and magazines, via a website, running a stand at a trade exhibition or sending out promotional material by mail. Any of these can work in the right context, the skill comes in ensuring that you choose the most cost-effective method to achieve your desired results and so keeping accurate records of your marketing spend and the results you get is essential. The easiest way to choose an appropriate marketing method is to observe what the best of your competitors is doing, and try to improve on that. The sales process that follows can be face to face, as in a retail environment, via telephone in a telesales environment, or increasingly online via an ecommerce site.

What is an integrated marketing message? An integrated marketing message is one that features in all your different forms of advertising and across all different media. Even if your business operates in a retail environment it is still crucial that you have an online presence, whether that is a simple website operating like an online brochure, or an ecommerce site that allows you to sell your products to a much wider geographical market. You should ensure that your business and its offering is consistent, so logos, products and any offers should be the same across all formats, so they compliment rather than undermine each other.

Online and Traditional Media

Of course there is still a place for traditional media marketing, newspapers, magazines and the like. Depending on the products and services you offer some local newspapers allow good, cost-effective coverage and specialist industry magazines can be excellent, if sometimes expensive to advertise in. The drawback with traditional publications is their shelf life, how long does your target audience retain the publication and establishing a presence in a local newspaper for example requires consistent advertising over a long period that can end up costly. Online marketing has grown exponentially and will continue to do so, so it really is essential that you embrace this. It is relatively simple and inexpensive to establish a website, although of course the more time and money you invest in it, the better the results you are likely to get. It is important to co-ordinate the initial website design with search engine optimization. You need to take the time to ensure that your website scores highly with the search engines for the most appropriate keywords and phrases by investing the time in research. There are online tools that can help you with this, alternatively you may need to engage the services of a website design and SEO company, if you do not have the time and skills to do this for yourself.

Precision Guided Marketing, involves targeting the right prospects. It may by an unpleasant analogy, but just as the air force no longer simply carpet bombs an area, in the hope that a few of its bombs land in roughly the target area, but instead uses precision guided munitions, to home in on a precise target, so the marketing industry has evolved to use carefully targeted marketing. If you know your target market, by geographical location, lifestyle, income range, ethnicity even, there are now available marketing solutions to ensure you do not waste your marketing message and budget on the wrong targets.

Using prospect appropriate language means that you should tailor the wording and tone of your sales and marketing message to your target audience. If you are selling a very technical product or service then it is reasonable to assume a certain level of knowledge in your prospects and your marketing literature can be worded appropriately. However most marketing messages could benefit from increased simplicity, and you also need to remember that the public’s attention span is getting shorter. I have also noticed a real trend towards more conversational style language in successful marketing, as the increased use of social media takes its effect.

Sell benefits not features, means that most people do not actually want your product or service, they want the benefits that it brings. Given that you are likely to know your product in much greater detail than your prospect, it is easy to slip in to the habit of just listing the features of your product or service, if nothing else you need to remember the simple phrase “which means that”. If you say this after the listing the feature then it gets you in to the habit of then stressing the benefit of that particular feature. If you cannot think of a relevant benefit, then the feature itself lacks relevance to that particular prospect.

Find something unique about you and your offering. People who are new to sales and lack confidence often struggle with this one, but it really is the most simple. It is highly likely that your product or service does contain at least one unique feature that sets it apart from the competition, that you can use the “which means that” phrase to link it to a benefit that is just not available anywhere else. If that is not possible then you do have one absolutely unique feature to offer, and that is yourself. If you prospect invests with someone else they are going to miss out on you, and all that you bring to the table. This should be your number one benefit, and the one you believe in above all others.

Sales and marketing really is not difficult, practice and analyse your results, use feedback from your prospects and hopefully clients, positive and otherwise, as lessons to improve your performance and you can master the process. If you struggle to find the time, given the other tasks you have to perform for your business, or find you really do not enjoy it you may have to consider engaging the services of a specialist sales and marketing company to help you. If you have at least a basic understanding of the sales and marketing process it will help you choose the right company to help you.

Contrast Between Traditional and Modern Interior Designs

Interior designs are very important in shaping the look of a house. People have been using various themes of interior design to decorate their houses. Some people use a particular theme in decorating their house while some naive people just collect art pieces that they like and put them in their house irrespective of how they will concur with the interiors of the house.

To make a stronger appeal in decorating their houses people often hire specialist interior designers for the job. The design patterns can be broadly segregated into two classes, traditional or modern. As it is quite evident from the name the traditional designs include the use of natural materials and subtle hues. The traditional design gives a feel of past and local culture. In stark contrast with traditional interior design, the modern interiors include the use of latest technology and design elements. It gives a very organized feel. The modern interiors are mostly incorporated with geometric and symmetrical looking elements.

The furniture and accessories used in traditional designs are overtly decorative. The use of colors is highly exaggerated. The traditional interiors have decorative furniture with carved edges. The modern interiors use hardware that is slightly elongated, has straight lines and little bit lifted from the ground for airy feel. The modern interior use limited texture of colors for decoration. All the excess decorations which were part of traditional design have been removed to form modern interior.

The type of materials used in both types of design also differs largely. While in traditional interiors the use of wood, stone, brick and plaster to make the windows and arches is the norm, the modern interior designs use technologically advanced materials like steel or plastic to develop its unique style. It could be easily observed that traditional interiors have windows and doors of uniform shape and size and their placements will also be quite similar. The modern interior design often use more energy efficient windows like those of glass, which allow more light to come in the room and make the interiors look more spacious. Due to the technical advancements it has been made possible to design windows of various shapes and sizes to fit the different needs.

It could be concluded that the traditional and modern themes of interior design are two completely different themes. While the traditional designs makes the home look very decorative with the excessive use of accessories and colors. It uses complex designs and bulky furniture. It is so over the top that one cannot miss to notice any of its feature.

The modern design has its beauty in its simplicity and technical advancements. It uses simple geometric patterns, minimal accessories only when needed and very light colors. The modern designs are more focused on keeping the interiors as uncluttered and as efficient as possible. The two are complete opposites in every aspect of designing but still have their own unique specialty and beauty.

Modern Interior Design for Good-Looking House

People like modern design because of the simplicity it brings. Modern interior is associated with minimalist design with glossy finishes and modern gadgets. To have modern design is easy since you don’t need to think profoundly about the furnishings and the like. Choose what you like and you think unique. This is the art of modern architecture.

Now we are going to talk about the types which have modern design. When you see some aspect of home in which the surfaces are undecorated, it adopts modern design. Natural material is also another type of modern design. Also, when you see a house with wide open area which lets more light enter the rooms, this one is also a type of modern design. When you think of some eco-friendly design, you can choose innovative architecture and natural materials to the forefront of your house.

Now you might consider the architectural elements, like the door, window, skylight, and flooring. As we have mentioned before, when you let more natural lights to feel the rooms, you are giving modern look to your house. You can fix sliding doors and solar tubes. Open floor and multipurpose spaces or entertainment areas could give modern accent to your house.

You can consider natural materials and finishes, like wood, cotton, paper, stone, and ceramic tile, and combined with glossy marble, stainless steel, lacquer and chrome. Next, you may give some modular furnishings and add some large oil painting or cutting-edge wall mural. To decorate the rooms, especially for living entertainment area or some multipurpose spaces, you can add family photos, heirlooms, or some favorite artworks. For example, you can put an artwork vertically on a narrow wall with some black lacquer frames. For the theme, you can choose natural or abstract art. You might also add some hand-painted mural to give a bohemian look.

Now you might consider palette. Set it with cool accent by incorporating neutral colors, like soft earth tone and blue-based gray. Now you can also combine white walls with black color. You may add some accents of orange, lime green, or red to the combination of black and white. Furthermore, you can use creativity to set modern design in your home. You may consider vintage wallpaper, large paintings put on the walls, or cascading sheers with variety of colors. Those are tips to give modern interior design to your home. We hope this article is useful for you.