In the last article we looked at some of the things you can do to promote your organization when what you have to spend is more time than money. This month we will talk about some other ways to market your business.
- Advertising: In addition to traditional advertising agencies, there are dozens of excellent books on the subject of advertising. Most larger newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations also have advertising professionals available to help you design your ad. The most important factors to consider are planning and consistency. We are all exposed to thousands of advertising messages everyday. You want yours to grab your customer’s attention and to be remembered when it’s time to buy. Creativity and repetition are the keys.
- Contests and Giveaways: Everybody loves a freebie, and many people simply cannot resist a challenge. This is why service companies offer free estimates, why stores offer a free sample to the first 100 customers, and why businesses of all kinds hold contests. When designed properly. these methods attract attention and allow you to sell to a targeted audience.
- Direct Mailing: There is a reason that so many organizations use direct mail – when done right, it works! The trick is to carefully target your mailing list. There are companies that sell these lists, which can be tailored to almost any demographic or customer interest. You can also generate your own list if you are careful about screening your prospects.
- Sales People: There are several ways to get others to sell your products and /or services. You can hire one or more salespeople. These can be salaried, commissioned, or a combination of both. (Always consult with an attorney and a tax professional to make sure you comply with all regulations before hiring any staff.)
- Sponsorships: Look around your community. You can probably find dozens of causes or activities to support. Many companies provide uniforms (with the company name and logo) to local sports teams. Even more offer to donate a portion of sales to charities and community groups. These types of promotions can bring in more business, but more importantly, they help make your organization stand out and create a good impression.
As with any kind of marketing or promotional activity, the key to making any tool work for your company is creativity. Use the regular methods in a new way. With patience, persistence, and original thinking, there’s no limit to what can be achieved.
Vanessa Shelton is a web designer, marketing consultant and copywriter with over 20 years experience. She uses “The Right Words – The Right Way” to bring your ideas and vision to the world. With newsletters, article marketing, the website refresh, and more in her arsenal, Vanessa is ready to help small business owners and independent professionals get attention, and get results. Visit http://vanessasdesk.com to see how Vanessa can help you.