What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
In my line of work, asking how much a particular project costs - be it an advertisement, a website or what have you - is akin to asking how long is a piece of rope. Not all projects are the same. An ecommerce website, for example, is much more complicated than setting up a blog. But I am always happy to provide a written estimate for my services, and as long as the scope of the project does not change drastically along the way, I honor my quotes.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I think it is very important for anyone who fancies him or herself a marketing specialist to be up-to-date on what is happening in the digital realm. As little as five and ten years ago, there was no Twitter or YouTube, and Facebook was still a germ of an idea. Now, Web-based tools such as these form the foundation for many a social marketing campaign. If a business isn't aware of how these things work or the advantages to be gained from them, they are really behind the proverbial 8-Ball. I strive to stay up to speed on these things by reading all I can about them on numerous marketing blogs and websites.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I grew up working with my father, who was a stone mason. It did not take me long to realize that I would rather earn a living using my head rather than my back.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I find many of my clients today moving away from traditional advertising - such as print and broadcast, and looking more and more into Web-based marketing. The Internet provides even small businesses the opportunity to go head-to-head with their biggest competitors. For this reason, many of my new clients coming to me for website design, social marketing campaigns, e-mail newsletters, Search Engine Optimization and other Web-based marketing solutions. And former clients are coming to me to find out out to create cohesiveness between their traditional media on their online presence.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
A very good friend of mine teaches salsa dancing to young children. She charges very little for her time, and her teaching has become almost a labor of love for her. She believes strongly that dancing helps build self-esteem and teaches children how to learn and work together as a team. I applaud what she is doing for the children in her community and recently designed her a website free of charge. It was my small way of helping her give back to her community. You can view the website at salsaforall dot com.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
There are a lot of very talented people in Portland. But before hiring anyone, I'd ask to see some samples of their past work. And just as important, ask them to provide case studies of some of their past projects. If a creative professional can't demonstrate how they have helped improve a client's bottom line or produced results from their work, perhaps they're not someone you want to work with. I provide case studies of many of my past projects right on my website. From those case studies, prospective clients can gain a clearer understanding of the strategic approach I bring to my work.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Writing is an art, and some artists are simply better at it than others. If you want people to take your business seriously, you should hire a professional writer to put you in the best possible light.