Routes to market
Once you have developed your marketing message and identified your target market, you need to get your message in front of your market. This is the part that many interim managers feel least comfortable with (probably because it looks suspiciously like selling!) but is obviously absolutely critical.
It’s possible to completely fill all day every day attending networking events and getting involved in online discussion groups but you really need to be honest with yourself and ask if it is good use of your time. It most certainly is good use of your time if it is creating awareness of your credibility, competence and compatibility with people:
- Who are decision makers in your target market and have a need or potential need for your services
- Who influence decision makers in your target market
Some markets may have routes that are particularly effective. For example, there may be a specific conference that is attended by all the key decision makers or a particular publication they all read. Your knowledge of your target market will help you select the most effective.
We are all different and have preferred ways of communicating. Whilst the clients’ preference should be the main driver, you also need to consider your own preferences, strengths and motivation. Some may prefer direct phone contact (cold calling), others may prefer speaking at conferences or writing articles for influential publications.
Example Routes to Market
Below are some routes to market that you might consider. You can probably think of many more for your own target market:
- Direct approach, email or phone call
- Referrals from past clients, competitors, customers and partners
- Industry and professional associations
- Industry and professional conferences and exhibitions
- Other interim managers who operate in the same market space
- Interim service providers
- University/Business School Alumni
- VC companies
- Management Consultancies
“Try several routes to market” says Simon. “The more your potential clients see your name from multiple sources, the more likely they are to remember you.”
Next resource: Writing your interim CV