One of the most important things to
do now that you’ve started a business is to TELL THE
WORLD! But HOW? It can be very expensive and time
consuming if not done properly. Here's some inexpensive
publicity and marketing ideas to help you get recognition
for your new venture.
You've picked a great name for your company, made a list
of your potential clients, incorporated your business and
you're ready to go. What next? Well, you need to find as
many ways as possible to tell people you're in business,
and why they should do business with you!
One of the first things to do is to get business cards
printed up and carry them wherever you go. Hand them out
to everyone you know; it always amazes me how many people
forget to give their cards to friends and family. Even if
you “think” your family knows what you do – you
might be surprised to find out how little they really do
know. Besides, they may have a friend who needs exactly
what you offer, and it’s much more professional for them
to offer a business card than a scrap of paper with your
name and number scrawled on it. Make sure your cards are
professionally printed and have no spelling mistakes. This
may be the first impression someone has of your business -
make it a great impression - because you won't get a
second chance to do it better.
Make sure your cards have as many to contact you as
possible: snail mail, fax, phone, email, pager, etc. Give
people as many options as you can. Make sure your card
also clearly states what you do – if you just have your
name and phone number on your card it’s likely to be
tossed in the garbage. I make sure I give away AT LEAST 5
business cards a day. People ask, “Who can you possibly
give 5 business cards to?” How about: leaving one on the
tray when I leave my payment and tip for the waitress in a
restaurant, giving it to the receptionist when I check in
at the dentist/doctor/vet, go to meet with my child’s
teacher at school, chat with another parent at the
swimming pool watching our kids swimming, someone I meet
in the checkout line at the grocery store, etc, etc. If
you want to grow you business quickly this is one way to
Send out press releases to your local paper - these are
free and many times the paper may phone for a follow up
interview. Have press kits ready when you're asked for
them. A press kit includes a bio of company owners, key
products and black and white photos of key people in the
business. Remember a press release needs to sound like a
news story, NOT an advertisement for your business. If
you’re not familiar with how to write one here is an
outline: How to Write a Press Release. Here’s an example
of a real press release that I used. The newspaper editor
liked it so much, they sent out a reporter who did a story
and a photographer who took a photo. Here’s the finished
product! So, a well written press release can gain you a
good deal of publicity – and all it costs you is a
little time – if you write it yourself. If you don’t
want to write it yourself, hire someone to write it for
First impressions are so important – did you know that
you only have 15 seconds to capture someone's attention
when they see your advertising in a newspaper or magazine?
Yes, 15 short seconds - not long to make a good impression
is it? But you know what? It takes even less than that to
make a bad impression.
So, how to make the most of your 15 seconds in the
spotlight - and win customers at the same time? Make sure
that any print ads you do REALLY do a terrific job for you
– get feedback from people you trust. Just because you
think something looks good, doesn’t mean it will sell
your product. Test the ad in the paper one week, make a
change to it and put it in the paper the next week (on the
same day of the week) and see which ad gets the most
response for you. Always test your ads this way. You’re
wasting money if you don’t.
Create advertising that has the following traits - well
designed (get help if you need it), is truthful (don't
stretch the truth either) and tells the customer the
benefits to them if they buy and lastly requests an action
- something like - "call now to order",
"order today, supply limited". DON’T write an
ad that tells how great YOU ARE! Your customers DO NOT
CARE about YOU!!
First impressions count when meeting in person even more!
Every person in business should have a 15 second
“script” explaining what you do ready to go. I know
some people say that it sounds too rehearsed to be
“ready” – I say it sounds like you’re prepared to
do business. I’d rather do business with someone who is
prepared, than someone who is still fumbling around trying
to figure out what they’re supposed to be doing. An
example of a 15 second script might be: “Hi my name is
Sally Jones and I am a communications specialist who helps
ensure your technology hardware all speaks the same
language, so that when your computer tells the printer to
print it will!” If you met Sally Jones, heard her
introduction and got her card, you would likely remember
her because she explained what she did very clearly, but
also in a unique way. Not many computer technicians would
explain their jobs this way. Find a unique way to explain
what you do.
Does everything that leaves your office have your company
name and/or web address on it? It should! That includes
your vehicle, stationery, delivery driver’s t-shirts,
etc – everything!
Don’t be afraid to ask for a cross-promotional
opportunity. Team up with other businesses to make your
profile larger, and your business will grow much faster.
Think of businesses who have the “same kind of
customers” as you do – if you can get access to their
customers, and you allow the other business owner access
to your customers – you both save TONS of money –
double your customer base – and have the potential to
DOUBLE your sales! Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
That’s how simple a joint venture can be.
Every day will provide you with opportunities to tell
people about your business – don’t miss them!
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