Advertising is something that most small businesses can’t afford to do very often. But it doesn’t have to be. You just need to think of advertising differently.
It’s true that buying an ad in a newspaper or magazine can be expensive and running an ad once isn’t very effective. But there are other ways to achieve effective results without the hefty price tags.
Your Advertising Mindset
You need to think of advertising as “any way that you can think of to let people know about your business.” To begin with, don’t jump around from one message to another. Use one message consistently anywhere that you advertise. And it’s preferable if this message is a benefit rather than a product. Remember to use strong action words. Think of a thought provoking header that will make your readers curious. You want them to pick up the phone, visit your website, or stop by your business. Curiosity is an excellent motivating power to make them do just that.
If you’re spending money for the ad, test how effective it is by including a coupon or code. Testing is essential or you may be wasting your marketing dollars.
Think of simple, affordable but effective ways to get the word out. To get you started, here are a few:
Advertise on your invoices or receipts. Offer a deal that is too good for them to pass up.
Advertise on other company’s blogs that offer complementary products or services. They’ve already attracted the customers for you.
Print up some advertising postcards and place them on other store’s counters in exchange for advertising at your store or web site.
Give away free samples. Many times that is cheaper than advertising. Mrs Fields started her cookie company by standing on the corner in her town and handing out samples.
- Every time you attend a mixer, take a basket of inexpensive products (packaged candy, mints, or think outside the box) with your business card or a “special offer” card attached. Hand them out to everyone you meet.
- Think of a unique marketing idea and write a press release about it.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Put on that “thinking cap” that we talked about in a former post and start marketing on a shoestring.