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Advice for DesignersBlogging Advice

Is Marketing to Past Clients Ridiculous? Yay or Nay

Penelope Trunk and I have one day left in our blogging webinar and it’s so great! We’re learning so much and having so much fun, here’s what people are saying:

“I sure hope this webinar is the first of many! I subscribe to a lot, A LOTTT of webinars…and this one has by far exceeded my expectations!

About 6 months ago I attended Alt Summit in New York city (the U.S. authority on all things ‘blog’…it was held at Martha Stewart’s headquarters)…and I have to tell you…I learned more from you two in 2 hours…than I did at that Alt Summit weekend workshop—which turned out to be a catty-girl-on-girl-stare-down…at the best of times—in disguise.  Oops, did I say that out loud?  Love you ladies-big time!”

“I have so thoroughly enjoyed this week and this webinar. Thanks for your candid honesty and open sharing.”

“I am thoroughly enjoying the discussions and have gleaned many, important ideas that I’m anxious to implement.”

Is marketing to past clients ridiculous? Penelope and I have different opinions but hers is the one that made everyone think “Did she really just say that???!!!

You can still register and listen to everything you missed this week PLUS a personality test to find out your personalty type so you can figure out in our discussions which kind of design business you should have PLUS have your blog post edited by Penelope and me!  But hurry up, it’s almost over!


And look, I’m wearing the colour of the year! 

See you tomorrow!  xo Maria

Related posts:

Jump start your Design Business with a Blog

Having an Opinion is More Important than Being Right



  • Maria, I have really enjoyed this class! I’ve learned some new things, but it has also rejuvinated me. I have all kinds of new ideas that I want to try for my blog and business.
    I do have to say the I did disagree with what Penelope said about past clients. In my business staying in contact with my past clients is very important. I send out a newsletter, and twice a year postcards, to keep myself and my business in their vision. I have had several clients say that they kept thinking they would call me for another job, but it was seeing the newsletter that prompted them to act on it. Also, most of my business comes from word of mouth, so if I keep reminding them about me, I think they are more likely to tell a friend.

  • Kelly Rogers says:

    Marketing to existing (past) clients is far more effective than acquiring new ones. Though both are really necessary. In a business where our services are considered a luxury for most customers, it is important to stay top of mind with the people who already love you. You never know when you will catch them at the exact right moment, with the exact right, relevant message that will generate repeat business or a referral. NOT marketing to past clients in some way (friendly emails/phone calls/coffee dates count!) is ridiculous, IMHO.

  • Maria Killam says:

    Well that’s why you should listen to my advice 🙂

    The reason I did this course with Penelope is because every time I talk to her about ANYTHING, she is brilliant at cutting through all the noise in my head and getting right to the point. She ALWAYS leaves me looking at my blog or my business or my personal life in a new way and THAT is what I wanted everyone else to experience.

    And they did! Yaay! How can you not learn a TON from two successful bloggers that will have you look at your blog and business in an entirely new way?

    Agree or disagree, it’s fun and absolutely worth the price of admission!


  • tara dillard says:

    Have known the SEO ‘stuff’, though considered, wasn’t important to what my blog is doing.

    Great to hear Penelope verbalize it.

    No, won’t ignore SEO.

    Ironic how some ‘experts’ rate ‘success’.

    Me? Getting clients. I do !

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • Kelly Rogers says:

    Love the hot debate, for sure – Penelope is a hoot! I am a wee bit biased, as I spent about 10 years focused on retention marketing and loyalty programs in my past life in digital/direct marketing. So I have to say, yes, I am definitely in your camp, Maria!

  • I have to say, I too find it ridiculous that people wouldn’t market past clients! Like Jann, I totally believe that keeping in touch with those who have already used my services in the past WORKS!

    That doesn’t mean asking them to join your blog, but I write 4 Newsletters per year and POST them (yes, the old fashion way) in the mail. Who do I post to? – Past clients; suppliers I work with frequently; neighbours; teachers at the school; and wives of my husbands soccer team. Every time I have done this, I HAVE PICKED UP CLIENTS -new and repeat – that more than pay for the mailout or my time.

    Social media is a necessary evil for our business, I understand that. But I truly believe your best chance of gaining local clients and repeat business is to keep in touch regularly.

    Take your GOOD clients out for lunch periodically; tell them what you are working on; comment on their fb status; drop them a line every now and again to see that they are still loving their space. They will appreciate you for it, call you when they need help for their next project and they will TELL THEIR FRIENDS!!

    Thanks for sharing Maria, this totally fired me up and I love it!!!

    Claire xx

  • Mary says:

    Maria, I am a past customer and she is so right and I was thinking her words before she said them. I know exactly what you can do for me and what I intend to enlist your help with next…based on what you did for me the first time. You will never need to market to me again. It’s that first leap of paying for online consults (as opposed to on site) that is the hurdle to overcome.

  • I think Penelope is just playing devils advocate. Of course we should keep in touch with previous clients. We all knew Maria was great at colour, but if she’d not kept in touch we’d not have known that she was willing to share her hard earned knowledge on blogging as well. Thanks, both Penelope & Maria!

  • I can’t wait for today’s session – between Maria’s expertise in areas that pertain specifically to my business and Penelope’s hilarious open-ness and complete vulnerability o be brave and say whatever needs to be said, I’m hopeful and inspired to use these new, tools to
    re-generate my own ideas, moving forward.

  • Janice Waterman says:

    I truly hope this available again at a later date. It sounds great. I simply haven’t anything to blog about at this point!

  • Paula Van Hoogen says:

    Make new friends, keep the old….
    one is silver, the other is GOLD.

  • Carol Whitehead says:

    Penelope may be brilliant but she is rude and offensive. She called a question stupid and then went off on a rampage. A more mature person could have gotten her point across without offending the student.

  • Carol in FLA says:

    It is basic business strategy 101 (for all businesses) that to be successful you should stay in contact with previous clients. Everyone is different! It does not mean that the client was not thrilled with your work. Not at all. Some are procrastinators and perhaps that little reminder, no matter how it comes, will have that previous client pick up the phone now and make the appointment they have been putting off. It is easier to grow your business with repeat clients than digging up 100% new. We need to use all types of marketing strategy to build a book of repeat, loyal clientele.

  • Liz Emmens says:

    Absolutely brilliant!!!! Penelope is fantastically out there with her perspective on marketing to previous clients. Her quote should be on everyone’s mind day in, day out: ‘ if you have to market to previous clients, you’re dead!!!!!’

  • megeranski says:

    Marketing to past clients — well, every ‘client’ is a future client.

    Another way of phrasing it: nothing exists BUT future clients. That’s all there are.

    Otherwise why on earth would market-savvy companies such as Coke and McDonald’s (and others) continue to focus so much on marketing to what might be termed “past clients”?

    Cause they know, there ain’t no such thing. Like a unicorn, this ‘person’, this concept, does not exist.

    Only possible client is a future client.

    You’re terrific, Maria, but ya got this one wrong. 🙂

  • Linda Leyble says:

    Hi Maria…Loved the blogging class Maria – I didn’t get the recording for Friday’s class though. Was their a class that day? I thought there was – I wasn’t able to attend. So – please forward the link!

    Yes, market to past clients. Their lives are busy and they sometimes forget all the things you can do to them. Keep in touch with them – it’s easier to get another project from someone who knows you…than from someone who doesn’t!



  • Farha Syed says:

    Hello Maria

    I purchased this course but was unable to be present at any of the dates. So how do I get access to the course. Was working with a client and got tied up in a million different things. This week has been really crazy.
    Could you please let me know how I can go back and listen to the webinar please.

    Thanks A Million.

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