Here are 9 things you can do to market your business right now:
(Depending on your business some may or may not be applicable)
1. Join a business networking organization, like BNI or LBN, you can find a local chapter by googling it. (You can also start your own chapter of these organizations)
2. Join your local Chamber of Commerce.
3. Joint Venture with other business owners. If your business is local, then find a local business that’s not in direct competition with you, but serves the same market.
Here’s an example. We have a local restaurant that my wife and I go to all the time. They have a special, when you order 2 entrees and drinks, they include 2 movie tickets to a nearby movie theater, no restrictions on the tickets. Brilliant!
If you’re doing business online, search for other websites, using the same concept, where they’re working with the same market, but not in direct competition with you, and approach them about sending a promotion to their email list with your offer, and you split the profits. In return you can do the same.
By the way, you can use the same approach off line, by having your joint venture partner mail your offer to their list.
4. Put flyers in places like coffee shops, offices, stores.
At one point, I use to drop off small books on the topic of money at doctor’s offices, beauty salons, oil change places waiting rooms. Inside the book I would include my contact information.
The key in doing these things, is to have a direct response offer in the flyer. For example, offer something in return for them contacting you.
5. Create a direct response website with an opt-in form. Regardless of what your business is, you can create a website with an opt-in form for your prospects to sign up, and in return offer them a report, an ebook, and audio, something of value that’s obviously related to your business.
Put this website on your business cards, flyers, and any materials you distribute.
6. Use fish bowls to get names. Contact local restaurants to see if you can sponsor a fish bowl for people to drop their business cards, and you would do a drawing once a week or once a month for free lunch. This would be extra business for the restaurant and in return you get a chance to contact the winner, or any other business card from the fish bowl. Which makes it a win-win situation. If you’re in any kind of a direct sales business, where you or your staff contacts people to set up appointments, this works great.
7. Upsell your customers to multiply your profits. Often overlooked area by most businesses. When you do get a customer, use that opportunity to offer them a premium or a deluxe version of your product, or an upsell to a product that would compliment that purchase. Wendy’s does it all the time, “Would you like the biggie fries and drink with this?”
8. Set up a booth at fairs or trade shows. There are many ethnic and business associations, that conduct fairs and festivals, and you can for a very small fee, or sometimes even for free, set up a booth, and get exposure to hundreds if not thousands of people. Again, get creative about marketing at these events. Give out something interesting to entice people to give you their contact info, and have some kind of a direct response offer that they need to act on, just like in point #4.
9. Offer a gift for referrals. Entice your customers to give you referrals. I used to leave a referral sheet when I sat down with people in my financial services business. There were 15 blanks there for names. I would offer them a $50 gift card to a restaurant of their choice if they filled out all 15, with people that they knew, not names out of a phone book. It’s amazing how many people for $50 would make sure to get the entire sheet filled out.
These are 9 things that I’ve used over the years that together have worked great for me, and generated lots of business. Especially #9. You gotta get creative and think of different ways that you can market your business and attract more customers. They’re out there, and the ones that act on their ideas, will be the ones that make the lions share of the profits.