Ann Siegle, President of Tria Marketing (http://www.triadesignfirm.com/) in Lansing, MI. has recently separated from her partners to embark on her own. She’s enjoying the transition, and in this interview, she shares with us the new vision she has for her business—and how she’s using marketing to make it a reality.
With a target market of entrepreneurs and associations, Ann began focusing on thought leadership capabilities. As a direct result, she has gained visibility in the right places, and is getting proposals and projects.
Her speaking topic is 5-minute marketing. I found it interesting because it isn’t necessarily about design or web development. I asked her how that broad-ranging topic works to her advantage.
I think that entrepreneurs are looking for bigger picture. When they look to us for our credibility, they don’t think, “I need a graphic designer,” they think, “I need help with marketing.” Stepping outside and taking a look at a very common problem, and directing something to that problem gets your foot in the door. Then you can sit down and have a conversation with them. Their needs are going to be unique … one client might need a revamp of the stationary system and collateral materials, another might need a digital strategy, another might need a social media management strategy. The nice thing about the speaking engagement is that is speaks to them at a very broad level about something they all have in common.
Ann also shares how Google AdWords and SEO are working for her website—and exactly how she’s making her website more search engine friendly.
What is your thought leadership topic?
If you’ve been following along with our story about Bryn Mooth, who left her 20-year publishing career to pursue a career as a freelance writer, you’ll remember our interview a month ago when she was in the glow of Week 1 of self-employment.
I interviewed her again in Week 5 to see how she’s coming along. One especially interesting topic that came up in our conversation was how asking the right questions of clients and prospects will make you look smart, not stupid.
Bryn says, “People are afraid to ask questions because they think, if I do… it might dampen the impression I’m making with this prospect. But I think asking questions is a sign that you’re interested in their business… and really helps you deliver what they’re looking for instead of taking a wild shot in the dark… Take the time up front to ask a couple of smart questions so you’re not flailing when it’s time to deliver a solution.”
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, there’s whole chapter about this in my new book, The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money. In the chapter on positioning your price, there are 8 pages on asking questions, plus 20 questions to ask before you do a proposal.
In this interview, Bryn also shares how she’s:
Discovering what she doesn’t know
Getting better at managing her time, and making time for marketing activities
Trying to build a reputation in food/healthy living
Using online and social media activities, finding places to participate
Using her previous career as an editor to help her get ahead
Recently back from vacation, Bryn also describes how her vacation as a freelancer was different from when she was a full-timer.
What are some of the questions you ask, that get you the information you need?