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Online Marketing and Time Wasters

Okay this is really two separate questions but kind of linked. Being the start of a new year and having lost a major client due to the dreaded 'R' word I'm attempting to expand my on and off line networking and advertising.

Having registered my companies details on just about every free listing site I can find I am contemplating what paid online advertising is worth the investment. Glad to have found a previous thread about Yell.com as it came in useful with the 40min battle I had on the phone with them.

So the first question is what sites free or otherwise you have felt you had got value from? Two paid ones on my shortlist are Freelance UK :: Everything for the creative freelancer and surprisingly high Google ranked UK city guides & travel guide, providing tourist information. Any experiences of these?

The second part I'm just after some general advice, probably goes hand in hand that you get a significant increase in time wasters the more online ads you have out there, but does anyone have any good strategies for weeding these out early? Just gets my goat that often a couple of hours can go into supplying an initial quote to hear nothing back at all. Sure there is no easy answer to this but thoughts would be appreciated.


Active Member
Hi Russell,

I've never advertised on these types of sites, or any form of paid link spots. I would recommend saving your money on those and participating in some business forums or a site like LinkedIn. Think about who your potential client is, are they in one specific sector/industry? are they new start-ups, etc. and then think about where they might potentially be networking. The same goes for offline activity, if you're targeting local business look to see if there's any local business groups you might be able to contact and work with.

Before supplying a quote I ask for a fair bit of information, if they already have an idea on what they want they'll be quite quick to respond or let you know of what they know/don't know, you'll usually find the time wasters won't even come back after that first reply. It's also good to politely ask where they got your details in that first response too, it can almost be a set response along the lines of..

"Thanks for contacting me, do you mind me asking where you found my contact details? As I quote for projects on a bespoke basis would you be able to give me further information on what you require (maybe a few specific questions if it's been a specific request) as soon as I have those details I'll be happy to provide a quotation for the work"

That's just what I've found works for me, hope that helps in someway, and interested to see other peoples responses to this too :)
Thanks for that Greg, having evaluated it a bit I think I was just getting a bit panicky after the loss of my big client, my on line presence on a lot of free listings along with Google Ad words is prob enough for the moment.

As a side, I had a good chat with Business Link a week or so ago and they we're really helpful with advice in setting up a marketing plan, and some other issues. I'd definitely recommend getting in touch with your local branch. I have done my first draft marketing plan and it has really helped me focus on where my current clients are coming from and defining my market 'niche'. Anyone wants the PDF guide just PM me.