Self-Promo Ad #7

Yesterday, I had a great talk over Skype with Bob Knorpp of The BeanCast and Cool Beans Group. Like me, Bob is a freelance copywriter and brand consultant, who is fighting for a foothold in the scree field of this economy.
One of the things we touched on was the need to be better self-promoters, and by that we mean we need to be more obvious about our service offerings. Bob runs a popular podcast–Danny G. and I will be on again Sunday night–and one might think that clients and agencies would connect the dots and see that Bob’s the guy to call when podcasting is the solution that’s needed. Naturally, the same holds for me. If an agency or a client wants to create a media property, I’m clearly the guy to call.
Yet, it’s not clear. People come to a site like this or to The BeanCast for information and entertainment, not because they’re looking to hire a freelancer or a consultant. So we maintain other Web pages that sell our services, and that’s fine, but this site and Bob’s are “proof of concept.” It would make sense to receive business inquiries via this channel, but I can tell you how rare an occurrence that is.
Which brings me back to the need to speak it, and write it. To make it real and to make it real obvious.
Here’s a Craigslist appeal I put out last night in my continuing effort to find and connect with a very special type of small business owner:
By the way, I’m all about the barter economy and I’m particularly interested in working out part cash/part barter deals with Northwest wineries, breweries, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, clothiers and alternative energy providers.

Other entries from this series: Self-Promo Ad #6 | Self-Promo Ad #5 | Self-Promo Ad #4 | Self-Promo Ad #3 | Self-Promo Ad #2 | Self-Promo Ad #1

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Go David! Promote yourself HERE:

  2. Thanks Cecilia! Headed over to IdeaMensch now…

  3. It will be interesting to see the responses, David. Here are my initial thoughts (which I realize you haven’t asked for, but that’s the way creative directors operate):
    I might have included a link to your samples. No one wants to buy without checking out the offerings.
    Craigslist is a tricky environment. I might argue that the small businessperson trolling craigslist has no idea what a Marketing Director is. You might have inspired more curiosity with a headline stating you can improve their business somehow. Granted, it’s a very “direct marketing” tactic; but small businesspeople just want to improve sales – and save their own money. You’d be surprised how many are currently completely satisfied with things like Vista Print.
    If your day rate is far from cheap, good luck with the typical small businessperson. They do not want to pay you more for a day than they are paying themselves.
    I’ve always found that it’s easier to connect with the clients you want versus expecting them to look for you. For example, if you find an awesome music store that you think could blow up with your help, talk to the owner directly. The best clients rarely realize they need help.
    Most small businesses don’t even realize the marketplace challenges they face – at least not in the ways professional marketers see things. I’ll bet you will encounter lots of prospects who have never really even considered their marketplace position, competition, etc. At least not in the ways professionals view things.
    That said, I look forward to learning about the responses.

  4. High Jive,
    I thank you again for taking the time to help me think things through.
    To be honest, I don’t expect much to come from the actual Craigslist placement, but rather the re-posting of these ads here. So far, I’ve placed seven of these self-promo pieces and generated two leads, both through the re-posting here on AdPulp.
    My thought is this: it only takes one person to change the game. Should my message get through to one wine maker or hotelier or high tech brainiac, and it opens a dialogue that becomes a professional relationship, it’s worth the effort.
    One thing I didn’t do above is clarify what I mean by “small” business. You’re right that a truly small business like a coffee shop or a bar might not be able to afford creative services, or even think they’re needed. I’ve run up against that wall a few times. Thus, the ideal small business partner has north of $1 million in revenue and six figures to put towards various marketing initiatives.

  5. Every firm out there continues to strive to become a fully integrated agency, building from its core service. That is, ad agencies are striving to be fully integrated, one-stop enterprises – as are digital shops, promotional shops, PR shops, multicultural shops, etc. You might inevitably become the first integrated agency that started as a blog. Maybe that’s your hook – reposition AdPulp from a blog to an agency. Not sure this even makes sense or how you do it, but it seems interesting.

  6. @HighJive – I like your thinking, especially where it mirrors my own ;D