The 1st week of the year was always going to have lots of planning, long conference calls and some deep thinking as to what we should all be doing for the next 3-6 months to win some new clients. Myself included.

Over last week I spoke to:
-A digital marketing agency about their hedge fund clients
Jim & Stuart @ – Awesome online mapping tools to show and manipulate data
Nick Barker @ Aware Monitoring – Great website performance & availability monitoring

A few things came out of all of these conversations. The main thing that I found was the difficulty that people have in finding out what their target audience is interested in. While perhaps obvious to others it’s never been perfectly clear to me what people are interested in or more importantly how to get the interest of the b2b or consumer market I’m targeting without working hard at it.

Some ideas that came through

-Do cool stuff
This is an old one and most of us know about it but it’s so under-used. After created this climate map and tweeted it out @timberners_lee picked it up and retweeted getting them some well deserved promotion.

Another example is Bill Shrinks smartphone comparison table which was featured on mashable.

-Talk about who you are targeting
This one works best for b2b but if you start talking about what the people you want to speak to are doing, sooner or later they’ll notice you. Even commenting on their blog?

-Hang out with the connectors in your industry
Who has all the twitter followers or is featured in every trade magazine for your sector? Find them and make friends, but don’t pester. Be human. If you can get them recommending you to their peers you’re on the road to goodness.

-Forums, Forums, Forums, Forums
If you’re stuck for a blog article the worst thing you can do is post random crap. Head out to the forums, most allow you to organise by views and do quite advanced searches.
Search last month & Arrange by views you will find some problems you know about or can spend some time researching solutions to. Then post your blog post back to the thread. SEOMoz did an interesting experiment to see if answering questions on Yahoo Answers would be more cost effective at generating leads over PPC. It worked out ~28% less on CPC.

-Send emails & call people
Staring at your twitter feed will not make sales. I really wish it would but it doesn’t. Email people, call people and ask them questions.

-Don’t bark up the wrong tree
If a company or a contact doesn’t work out move on, there are more fish in the sea.

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