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Need a FREE way to target this niche - out of ideas?

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by b0atie, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. b0atie

    b0atie Newbie

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    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    I've just today decided on a new side venture - long story short, I'm thinking of selling parents of "talented" children (aspiring dancers, actors, singers, athletes etc) online portfolio websites for their child (which I hope is relevant enough to Offline Marketing for this forum). I was actually hoping to make something of this and share my journey with this forum at a later date - no such luck, it seems! Came up with a business name, brainstormed logo ideas and pricing, sales tactics and the like, pretty much had everything mapped out. I had a bunch of ideas to market it including printing flyers, posters, buying ads in school newsletters etc - all of which require investment. However, this afternoon, I was hit buy a sudden big charge that's literally left me with £60 cash to live off of for the next few months, so needless to say I can't afford to invest any money at all in this right now.

    I do still want to go ahead with it though, because now I desperately need the money and given that I do live in a fairly affluent area with a handful of performing arts academies/studios so I think I could make something of it. But now I'm out of ideas on how to actually get the idea out there and promote it. The only idea I can think of is to drag myself down to the studios on foot and pitch my idea to parents - but given that I have nothing to show for myself at this point (no marketing materials, nothing impressive like a projector for a presentation, I barely even have professional clothing!), I just feel like that's a bad idea. The one thing I can do is a website; it would have to be as a sub-domain to the website of my main business venture as I can't afford to pay for a new domain, but I don't feel that this would be too much of an obstacle. And I can make the website fairly appealing with the tools I have right now (e.g. nice fully customised theme, whiteboard videos, cartoon mascot etc).

    Is there anything I can do to target these parents at this point for FREE, without making an investment? I feel like there must be (something online?), but my mind is blank! Bare in mind that I'm a young, female student with fairly good computer skills. If I can't think of anything, I'll have to put this on the back burner for now, but as I said above I'd rather not.

    Only idea floating in my head right now is creating a Twitter account for the business and tweeting any dance studios I can find, or doing something similar with Facebook, but I feel that this is weak and can't really think of where I could go from there.

    Any ideas would be great guys. This forum has been really helpful for me in the past so I want to be in a position to give back eventually with my own success story!
     
  2. ajpis

    ajpis Regular Member

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    I would suggest joining relevant facebook groups and engage in conversation with the members by commenting on posts etc.. I wouldn't suggest that you just spam message loads of groups for this type of project. Also contribute to the groups with posts and shares that will get people to want to engage with you.
     
  3. DawsonHayes

    DawsonHayes Newbie

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    i agree with finding facebook groups, it's really easy to do, but might be hard to get attention. Get a portfolio first.

    You're gonna have to make a small investment, ~$40.

    get 3-4 sites online. take your time making them. showcase different styles, then add to your portfolio with the rest you build
     
  4. DawsonHayes

    DawsonHayes Newbie

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    btw, of all the niches, why this...??

    a kid isn't full time dedicated to anything.. i mean unless you plan on making sites for the captains of the 3rd grade soccer team you're gonna have a hard time finding clients..
     
  5. b0atie

    b0atie Newbie

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    Yeah this is kind of what I was thinking of with the Twitter idea but yeah, this sounds better. No harm in trying that, I think. Thanks. Shame I don't have any money as the first thing I usually do when I create a new social media profile for a business of mine is boost it up with some Fiverr likes/follows to make it seem a little more reputable.

    I literally can't afford to make any investment at all at this point, not even $40 which I guess is about £25, I'm pretty much bankrupt :( But I have enough WP themes to hand at this point to generate a few example sites without having to fork over anymore money, if that's what you're getting at.

    Because:
    1. It's easy work for me and
    2. I think you underestimate how much parents are willing to put into their children's future when they're aspiring "stars". As I said, the area I live in is affluent enough and fairly into this type of thing, plus I've seen at least three articles in the local newspaper this year about parents who have gone pretty far out of their way for their little superstars, so to speak (one dancer, one athlete, can't remember the other one entirely). I am trying to target people who have bothered to pay to send their kids to arts academies/programs, after all. And this is just in my town, I'm surrounded by dozens of similar areas & right next door to London. I'm not looking to make millions out of it but I think I could make enough for it to be worthwhile. Could be wrong, of course, but that's my reasoning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  6. b0atie

    b0atie Newbie

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    Another thing - my younger brother's school fete is in a few weeks, which is a big, big affair, and I know they'll be having several performances by kids from schools and arts academies in the area. This seems like an ideal place to target parents, but if I still don't have money to invest at that point, is there anything I can really do outside of talking to them and directing them to the website? I suffer from bad social anxiety so I am worried that without anything to back me up, I won't be able to present myself in the right way!
     
  7. ajpis

    ajpis Regular Member

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    just use addmefast to get likes follows etc...spend an hour collecting points and your done
     
  8. Trepanated

    Trepanated Supreme Member

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    I think it's a great idea and you could do very well with it if you approach it in the right way.

    The parents of these kids can become obsessed with their child's success and if you utilise that fact your marketing / business development can become relatively cheap. And as you already said, they are prepared to spend good money on kickstarting their child's career / success / fame.

    Here are a few thoughts:

    Those parents / children are very competitive and you can bet they are all looking for an edge.

    I would offer to design a website for free for one or two of them to begin with. Tell them they only need to pay for the domain and hosting (upfront) and you will do everything else free of charge. That way it costs you nothing but time.

    Your only stipulation is that you have a 'website designed by' link in as prominent place as possible. Preferably right at the top.

    If you target the right people you can guarantee they will be showing off their new website to everyone they know in that industry. They will want to show off to the competition what they have got.

    And of course, all the other parents and kids will want the same thing. I guarantee you will get more customers out of it.

    Finding customers is relatively easy too:

    Find the talent and agency websites where people create their profiles - there are a few of them around. If you join them you may be able to contact people directly
    Join all the talent and acting forums - they will be good for both finding customers and also finding other places online where they hang out.
    If you are in London there are casting calls every day - they would be great places to find customers.
    Figure out what words parents would use in tweets if their kid just won a competition or got an acting gig

    I would also start designing some sites now so that when you do pick up that first customer you can deliver super fast.
     
  9. b0atie

    b0atie Newbie

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    Don't know how I never knew about this, thanks!


    So, so helpful - thank you! I had thought of offering a few free sites in exchange for testimonials, but it didn't seem worthwhile, but offering them as a way of gaining interest is a much better idea. And great tips for finding leads that I hadn't thought of yet. This is a great starting point for me, thanks :)
     
  10. mosey

    mosey Newbie

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    Lots of great suggestions in this thread, especially:

    It sounds like you really want to get going on this thing, and I feel you there, but considering your financial situation it might be more prudent to wait until you can at least afford a unique domain for the business. I think for this particular idea, your "launch" is going to be important -- parents talk.

    My advice? Do things right the first time. That might mean waiting.

    Downtime doesn't even have to be a wash either, like Trepanated said, start building sites. Do all the extra prep work, research, and whatever else you think you might need to make your life that much easier when you actually do get it off the ground.
     
  11. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    OP, if you have no money just set up a website, detailing what you do and an area for people to register interest.
    Then go to or phone all those performing arts academies/studios and tell them you will give them a 5% referral fee for anybody that places an order through your site. Get them to tell their members/students via their email list or a simple notice on their noticeboard etc
    If you really have no money, it might be better to get a part-time job to raise a little cash to get set up.
     
  12. b0atie

    b0atie Newbie

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    You may have a point there, this is what I've been worried about. I don't want to make a bad first impression and alienate all my possible clients because of it.

    No part time job for me, unfortunately - no work experience, so no luck with the hundreds of jobs I've applied for over the last 2-3 years.


    But now I am thinking I might put this one on the back burner for a bit and focus 100% of my attention on my main venture because I'm more confident in it and it's already set up. Especially as I am now overdrawn and being charged £5 per day until I can scrape a few hundred together!

    But I appreciate all these suggestions and I think they'll definitely come in handy when I'm back on my feet, so to speak.
     
  13. Trepanated

    Trepanated Supreme Member

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    Well that didn't last long - why have you given up so quickly?

    There's enough information in this thread for you to be able to make real progress on this idea with zero financial investment.

    The only thing you need to invest is time and it sounds like that is the one commodity you have plenty of.

    My advice is to make a plan, write a list of everything you need to do and start crossing things off the list.

    Devote 80% of your time to your main venture and 20% to the new one.
     
  14. b0atie

    b0atie Newbie

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    I'm not giving up by any means, I'm just really starting to think that it's going to be hard to make a good impression without at least having a dedicated domain. I think this idea would work as an extension of my main venture, but at the same time I don't know how well it would be received. I'm just not sure if it's worth ruining the whole idea by trying to launch it before I have the finances to back myself. I'm happy to put the time in, and ordinarily I'm not the kind of person who beats around the bush for ages before starting something, I just don't want to make a bad impression on potential clients.
     
  15. b0atie

    b0atie Newbie

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    Ah screw it, I think I'm going to give it a go. There's a ton of great ideas for me here, and I figure, worst comes to worst and I get no clients, I might try it again in a neighbouring town when I have the funds to boost it up a little. :) I have nothing to lose at this point!

    Thanks all, if anyone else has tips I'd appreciate them.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. leobar

    leobar Regular Member

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    i have shot you a pm about how i could help you.
    skype me on monday when i am back, and maybe i could help with some ideas and some work for you.

    dont give up your ideas and your effort.

    Best wishes.
    Leobar!
     
  17. Trepanated

    Trepanated Supreme Member

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    That's the spirit! Good for you.

    One quick bit of advice:

    Rather than starting locally and then trying a neighbouring town if the worst comes to the worst...

    It may be better to start off your prospecting in a different location - and once you have honed your offering / sales pitch / tactics, then make a start in your home town.
     
  18. wizztii10

    wizztii10 Newbie

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    Hey I'm a newbie here as well :). Your idea sounds legit. If you want to build a website you can build one on my platform. You can also build the sites you want to use as sample site on there. Granted it won't have a normal domain name but it will be a fully functional WordPress website for free! I'm just putting the idea out there..You can migrate the site after you make sales.