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A Secret Way to Find Hordes of New Design
Customers Using Ebay!

By Doug Farrick

Many only think of Ebay as a way to buy and sell items but did you know it can also be used as a powerful lead generation machine for your design business as well. How? Read on.

Why use Ebay? Ebay is absolutely huge. It currently has over 200,000,000 registered users (40,000 new registrations per day) and now (on average) processes more searches per day than Google - this is astonishing!

Also the type of searches are very diferent between major search engines like Google and Ebay. For example, the top searches in Google recently were Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, MySpace, Virginia Tech. Compare this to Ebay where the top searches include: Wii, iPod, laptop, webkinz. You can see that Ebay is all about BUYERS and not general information seekers like Google, Yahoo. MSN, etc.

How might this apply to the marketing/graphic design business niche on Ebay? People often use Ebay to find services. This, of course, includes logo design, business card design, brochure design, etc. so your report would obviously tie-in with this need.

Conversely, you could also reverse this and offer a type of product (explained below) and then sell your design services as a back-end product as you develop a relationship with the customer.

So how do you tap into this network of buyers? By offering a (very) low cost, attention-getting, PDF informational report or other item (from .99 to .$5.99 seems about right). This is meant to get the attention of the prospect and "Pull" them in.

Some ideas for report titles include, "The 7 Deadliest Sins to Avoid When Designing Your Logo," "10 Radical Time-Saving Photoshop Tips," "6 Questions You Must Ask Before You Hire a Graphic Designer"

Of course, if you also sell design items like T-shirts or prints or custom items these can also be your lead or intro product. These customers are considered "high quality" leads as the customer has made a financial commitment to your information (or product) no matter how small.

Keep in mind, you might want to think of developing a niche design e-course, develop design related products like a suite of banners or icons or templates (kind of a Box of Graphics) as a way to introduce yourself to buyers.

Once you customer has bought you now nurture this relationship outside of Ebay. They are in effect now YOUR customer.

An important consideration is, "Do I have a system in place for new leads?" For example, what will be your next communication with this new customer. Will it be a postcard, a phone call, personal letter? Can you sign them up for your e-newsletter? Put them into your hopper and communicate with them regularly (At least 1X per month)

Keep in mind, this is a strategy that is NOT meant to replace your other marketing methods but to be used in conjunction with them.