We recently attended our very first online conference via Think Vitamin (we’re loving our membership so far). While I’m usually opposed to such methods — conferences are all about the conversations, right? — Paul Boag’s talk, Winning Business in Tough Times was incredibly inspiring and reaffirming in that Paul’s take on marketing is quite similar to ours. And, his message is strong enough that is all gave us a kick in the pants to keep it up.

Traditional, outdated marketing is (even taken to a new online media in the form of AdWords and others) is still just us talking at people. Unfortunately, this sort of marketing is not actually likely to result in new work and can be massively demoralizing – the competition is high, there’s a huge number of people clamoring to be heard, and the medium pushes down the value of projects.

What brings value to a project? Relationships and personality. People buy from people, not from brands. How do you get your personality out there? By being completely transparent and differentiating yourself from the crowd. Podcast, blog, tweet, make some friends on Facebook – show them a person they want to work with. In order to show your personality, you’ve got to be open and transparent (assuming here that you are somebody people would want to work with). Nobody else is you! Nobody else has your personality, your character, your way of doing things. Let people see behind the business.

And, if your marketing has worked, keep at it. You market yourself now for results a year down the line. So, while you may be so busy now that you don’t have time to market, that’s going to catch up with you. Don’t let marketing get pushed out when you are busy. And, when it is slow, hit it like mad. Well said, Paul, well said.