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Digital marketing insights, ideas, and tips
for business and non-profits

Go Gig or Go Big (Or Both)


It’s your choice: react to and service clients’/customers’ requests, or pick yourself and generate something from thin air—for your clients or for yourself. Not necessarily either/or, but keep your options open.

In a conversation, a blog post, or a news article, you may find a spark. Then connect the dots from what is to what could be, and play it out in your mind. If you’re mostly in the “gig” business—that is, performing work for others, then, yes, listen and do it well. But why stop there? Stay open to your own ideas to enhance the business and success of your client and present them with your creative new idea. Even if they don’t bite, surely they’ll appreciate your effort.Or start something of your own. If it feels bigger than just you can pull off, approach someone else to team up with to bring an idea to reality. A few real-world situations:

  • Your client has patented a new nutritional supplement formula for health enhancement in an important area, yet not well understood. Do you approach the traditional supplement distribution channels, or do you develop a series of informative videos, followed by a call-to-action landing page, with incentives for recurring purchases? Speed to market, profit margins, and distribution control are all enhanced.

  • A major, old-line religious denomination struggles with outdated curriculum materials for its educators to share with young families in today’s world. Separately, you know a theological professor/author, a thought leader in this area, who is compelling and energizing on camera. Propose an online marketing and distribution plan to the professor. It enriches the denomination and congregations, while generating additional income for the professor.

  • A traditional direct-marketed life insurance provider is an existing client. Do you continue to hammer out direct mail packages with the same, tired old positioning, or do you learn more about the buyers’ motivations, and reposition the message to align more relevantly with those motivations? Sales increase by 60%.

  • You learn that a hundred-year-old non-profit needs to replace the leaking clay tile roof on their auditorium. Should they sell the 60,000 old roof tiles for scrap, or do you do some research and propose that they work with a full-service company that engraves commemorative bricks for fundraising that could raise over a million dollars?

  • A performing arts organization client appeals to an older demographic. Once at the top of their game in the world, the organization has gone a bit flat in their competitive success and internal enthusiasm. Do you continue to promote through old media, with dwindling sales results, or do you dare attempt a sustained online social media play, with video series promoting ticket sales, audio CDs, and even digital music distribution? Enthusiasm returns, capped by a world championship performance at competition, and ticket and recording sales increase by 20%.

So, you can make a respectable living, being content with gigs: taking orders, delivering what you clients/customers ask for. Or, you can break out, dream big, and present sweeping ideas to clients or go it on your own.