Many small business owners operate on a minimal budget, especially in terms of marketing. While we’re constantly thinking about internet campaigns and print mailers, there are other things we can and should be doing to put the name of our business in front of the people we meet each day. Here are some to consider.
Car Magnets or Decals
Have you ever pulled into a parking lot and noticed a large advertisement magnet on the side of a vehicle? These magnets are incredibly effective and easy to use. You can order them through online print companies or through your local printer and place them on your car when you’re going out to public places. People will see your business name and contact information and make note if your service is what they’re looking for. Remember, the more people see your name, the more likely they are to remember it. Place the magnet on your door every single time you go out. Another option is window clings for the rear window of your car. The advantage to those is that you can just put them on once and leave them there without removing them (for safety or to prevent theft) like you would a magnet.
Business cards. Blah blah blah. Everyone should carry business cards, right? The problem is that while many people know they should have business cards, they don’t use them effectively once they have them in their possession. So what should you be doing with your business cards? First, you should have them in your purse or pocket at all times. Keep some in your glove box if you have to. Don’t wait for people to ask for your card. Leave them in waiting rooms, tack them to public bulletin boards, mail them out with your bills or letters, and offer them to people you meet who you think may need your services. You absolutely never know when you may meet someone who could become a valuable client or business connection – while grocery shopping, sitting in a doctor’s office – anywhere. Be prepared.
Bookmarks and Magnets
If you want people to remember your name, you’ll need to make sure they’re seeing it frequently. Things like bookmarks and refrigerator magnets just about guarantee the user will see your name all the time. Have a few bookmarks printed up with a colorful graphic, your name, and your contact information. Hand them to people you see out and about with books in their hands. Place them on the windshields of cars in book store parking lots. Your potential customers will see them whenever they start to read. Magnets that end up on the fridge or on a cabinet are also very visible, especially if they’re magnet clips that may be touched and used to hold things regularly.
Wear Promotional T-shirts
No, I’m not saying you should run out and print a bunch of custom t-shirts to give away for free. That’s a pretty expensive option if you’re on a tight budget. I am saying you should have a few print-on-demand t-shirts made up with your business name, logo, phone number, and even website address on them. You can have a couple printed for you and your business partners, and maybe for a few dedicated family members. Wear them out and about as you go about your life and those who are interested in your services may just stop to ask about what you do.
Do you have a group of loyal clients who return to you regularly for your services? If so, give them free bumper stickers. People who are fanatics about using you services won’t think twice about putting your sticker on their vehicle, and they’ll expand your sphere of recognition as they move about their days. Make sure your bumper sticker has a bright logo, your name, and a website address or phone number that is easy to remember.
It doesn’t really matter if your business is online or off. If you are offering any type of product or service, you’ll want to reach as many people as possible. Try a few of these techniques, as your budget allows, and see what works best for you!