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How to Market Your Service on the Internet When You Wear Many Hats

Aug 18, 2007
While catching up on my email, I found this query from an ezine reader:

Q. Cathy, I wear several hats: editing, creative writing, copywriting, and even some consulting. How do I combine these skills into one website? One business? Or do I need more than one of each?

A. This question gets asked often, even by me. Here's what I would recommend.

(1) Combine your businesses if they serve the same target market. A jewelry designer who also works as a real estate agent probably serves different markets...unless she sells houses to artists and/or gives jewelry as house warming presents. Most likely she will need separate websites.

Sometimes it's not easy to tell. For instance, you might be a writing coach. You target copywriters and corporate communicators.

But you also write nonfiction articles as a freelancer. And you're a published novelist.

These hats probably fit together. Many copywriters secretly (or not so secretly) aspire to write novels. Any writing published in mainstream outlets will most likely will add to your credibility. So your clients will love your copywriting site *and* your novel-writing site.

Another example: I still maintain my career consulting site. Copywriting clients often want career ebooks (especially my intuition ebook) and career clients often consider a transition to business, especially Internet businesses.

(2) When in doubt, create separate websites. Or create domain names pointing to your website.

These days it's so cheap to add domain names and hosting. So when in doubt, I'd experiment with separation. You don't need a separate website for each domain name. Ask your webmaster about pointing your domain name to a specific page on your site.

But web hosting has become cheap too. For less than ten dollars a month, you can arrange for hosting of multiple domains. One page websites make a lot of sense.

(3) Try to create an umbrella concept --one overarching idea that encompasses all your programs and skills. For example, a writing coach might create an umbrella of writing for profit, creativity through words or writing for purpose.

I've experimented with my Bragging101 classes as a way to cover self-promotion in both career and business self-promotion.

(4) Separate right and left brain services.

Recently I was asked to visit a website created for a spiritual type guru. It was a pretty good site...until I noticed a button for "marketing services." The button led to a page of services for web design, copywriting (!) and strategy.

Logically, of course, it makes sense. A guru could learn Internet marketing to sell his or her own services. But I suspect some clients will expect the web design and copy to have a woo-woo quality.

And I wonder how the guru delivers services. A client says, "I wonder if I have a market for my services." Will the guru talk about internal blocks or external search engines?

(5) Recognize your own limits of time and energy.

Few people can manage multiple, unrelated businesses (unless they create systems and hire managers, which is another story). So marketing consultants will advise you to specialize as tightly as possible. I would agree.

In the early stages, you may have to experiment. You may need time to decide which specialty will be most profitable. You may find yourself enjoying one "hat" more than another. Or you may be surprised to find that success in one specialty brings clients in another.
About the Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., helps service businesses transform their websites from Internet Presence to Internet Profit Center. Fr*e downloadable ebook: 7 Secrets of Websites that really attract clients.
Website Marketing Ebook
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