When it comes to marketing for business, most people certainly view it as a double edged sword–on one hand you know how necessary it is, but on the other hand you are intimidated by it and may even avoid it entirely. That would be a big mistake, without a successful marketing strategy you cannot possibly hope to reach your maximum client base and earn the greatest achievable profit.
Marketing is exposed to you every day, everywhere, at nearly all times. Just think about your current day-how many business signs or logos did you drive by on your way to work, or how many advertisements did you read in the paper, or commercials did you see on TV? These are all forms of marketing and millions have recognized the power they wield in attracting people to your business.
Most business owners use some form of marketing, but there are many cases where it is only a fraction of what could be employed. Granted, the times are hard economically across the board at this time of writing, and reluctance to splurge on an extravagant marketing campaign is understandable. That is why I have compiled 5 low cost marketing techniques will both effectively advertise your services and keep the dollars in your bank account.
1) Your Car. Think about your last red light in which you were stopped behind a car which had promotional information stickered on the window. Or what about the last time you saw a “Geek Squad” car pass you by on the road? Chances are good that you read writing over and over again at the light, and looked at the car just to see what was printed on the side. If other people can make you pay attention to their businesses though their cars, there is no good reason why you shouldn’t do the same. You probably clock in several miles a day, anyways, so it would be productive to change your routine commute into a mobile advertisement. A business logo along with contact information and perhaps a brief line explaining what you do (if not evident from the name and logo) would be sufficient.
2) Pamphlets/Cards. A great way to attract customers is through the use of business cards and informational pamphlets. Highly trafficked public places are perfect for dropping off these items, especially if you have an eye catching pamphlet that will entice people to open it. These pamphlets allow you to summarize what your business specializes in, your qualifications, and why you are superior to others in the same field. Even if people don’t take them home, your company name and services will be stored in their heads. Many places will allow you to leave business cards near the front cashier if you ask as well.
3) Become An Expert. Put yourself out there in the public as an expert in your field, as watch as people flock to you. Whether it is by writing articles and submitting them to article sites, giving presentations/seminars, or appearing as a guest on a local radio show, you will have the chance to showcase your services at very little to no cost. People will also think of you as an authority on the subject, which will greatly improve the odds that someone will choose your business over a similar competitor.
4) The Internet. There are tons of ways to market on the internet, basically only limited by your creativity. Assuming you already have a search engine optimized website (an absolute necessity), send out RSS feeds to previous customers highlighting new developments. Email new promotions and discounts, such as 20% off for using an email coupon or one free service session. Forums are an excellent free way to attract targeted business, so long as you don’t outright spam. Find a community which the users are likely to need your product, and appear genuinely knowledgeable in the area. A discreet link in your signature will work fine. One of the hottest new ways people have found to market their business on the internet is through social bookmarking sites such as MySpace, Twitter and Facebook.
5) Promotional Items. Always look to include promotional items alongside your product when dealing with customers or at your next trade show. By giving away free, useful items to your clientele, you create a sense of appreciation and satisfaction that lasts far longer than any business transaction itself. Every time someone uses your item they will see your name, thus keeping you fresh in their minds at all time-this will really pay off next time they need the type of service you provide, because you will have created an association between your company and that line of work.
Something as simple as a notepad branded with your information can gravitate people greatly towards you when used on a day to day basis. Aside from the obvious benefits of promotional products towards current customers, they also wield incredible power in attracting new customers as well. There are countless items that you can give to clients that will market your business to others, such as a casual golf shirt or a visor embroidered with your. Tote bags are very practical and serve as the perfect medium to place product information, which will be visible to others whenever it is brought out in public. Anything that contains your information has the potential to be seen by others so you should be liberal with the use of promotional products.