SHOOTING THE messenger is a common mistake that can cost you a fortune if you make it.
Everyone is familiar with newspaper ads, door hangers, business cards, flyers, brochures, direct mail letters, Cable TV ads, billboards, the phone, e-mail, posters, post cards, package inserts, window displays, signs, etc.
IN VIRTUALLY every area of business, entrepreneurs find pitfalls along the way. Marketing is no exception. As the owner of a business that helps other businesses market themselves more effectively, I have spoken with hundreds of entrepreneurs about various promotional efforts.
USING THE INTERNET to promote your business is not just for Internet-based businesses. It’s also a great way to promote your business if you have a storefront or work for commissions in a larger organization. Let’s take the steps one at a time.
First, determine something of value that you will give away as a free prize that requires an email address. For our example, let’s assume you own a small deli. Offer a free lunch or dinner up to a particular value each day or each week based on a drawing of all business cards or pieces of paper that are submitted with an email address.
Clearly state that winners will be notified by email with a numbered notice that can be used to redeem the free meal. Let the patrons also know that you will use their email address to keep them current on what’s happening at their favorite deli – yours.
Next, when someone uses the notice to claim their meal, have them fill out a super simple form that asks for their name and what they thought of the meal, as well as permission to use what they said as a recommendation.
Now here’s the good part. Every so often, but not more often than about once a month, send out an email newsletter to all the email addresses you have accumulated. Use the newsletter to inform your customers of specials or changes.
Also, print a few of the recommendations from the free meal winners. Make sure you provide them a way to cancel the subscription to your newsletter. You want happy customers, not unhappy ones!
You’ve just created an effective and inexpensive marketing campaign that will bring old and new customers back again and again. You also have a way of explicitly targeting your actual customer base with specials and other deals they’ll love.
The power of the Internet is not just available to fancy “dot com” companies.
Any business, especially yours, can take advantage of this technology. Isn’t it time you did?
OUTSOURCING, OR SUB-contracting is when you hire outside professionals or services to take on part of your business workload. You may want to outsource part of your work because you don’t have the room, you need an expert, you have occasional busy periods, or you need more production to get orders out on time, etc.
The following are ten ways outsourcing can save your business time and money.
- You won’t have to take the time to train employees. This will allow you to spend more time working on your marketing and advertising campaign.
- You won’t have to spend time on consuming tasks like adding new equipment or learning new software to complete certain tasks. This will allow you to spend more time testing your advertisements.
- You won’t have to interview employee candidates. This will allow you to spend more time improving your customer service, and in return you will get more repeat purchases.
- You won’t have to fill out all the employee paper work like tax forms, scheduling, retirement plans, etc. This will allow you to spend more time developing new products.
- You won’t have to buy extra office or work space to complete certain tasks. You can use all the money you save on other business expenses.
- You won’t have spend money on employee costs like taxes, medical, vacation time, holidays, workers comp., unemployment costs, etc. (These may vary depending on which country you do business in.)
- You can speed up you order and delivery system with the extra help. Your customers will appreciate the fast service and the chances that they will buy from you again will increase.
- You could expand your market share by becoming a middleman and offering your subcontractors products or services. This will increase your business profits and give you multiple income streams.
- You can take on extra or large orders your business couldn’t handle before. This will expand your market share and you could also offer to take the work your competition can’t handle.
- You could end up receiving orders from your subcontractors. Your subcontractors may also tell other people about your business.
I’M NOT MAKING that line up. Widy and I must have heard the owner of a Sunshine Coast vendor repeat that line a hundred times as he handed out samples of his delicious Sate Chicken.
We’ve mentioned in the past that a chicken vendor at one of our local malls attracts the lion’s share of lunch customers by simply handing out free samples of his bourbon chicken. It is so delicious, that it is difficult to keep walking past his stand without buying.
Well, apparently, sate chicken vendors in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are aware of the power of samples, too. Because as we searched for a place for lunch in the shopping mall’s massive food court, we could hear in the distance, ‘Yummy! Yummy! Good for Your Tummy!’
We were so hungry by this time that we were drawn like a magnet to this unusual and hilarious chant.
It was difficult to see where this chant was coming from because there was such a large crowd surrounding the stand. You can imagine our surprise as we edged our way through the crowd to see a smiling, enthusiastic Sate Chicken vendor passing out sample after sample of Sate Chicken while repeating his slogan.
I felt sorry for the other vendors in his vicinity, because they hardly stood a chance. The only bigger crowd than the one around him and his samples, was the one at his cash register ordering the full meal.
Samples help you sell.
Give people what they want. Think of how much easier it is for a person to decide if they want your product of not, when they can sample it.
We provide hundreds of marketing samples on our Web site and in this Newsletter so our potential customers can get to know, like, and trust us.
Ice cream stands provide free samples, OptusNet and other ISPs provide slabs of hours of their service for free so you can sample it. Software vendors do it by letting you use the program for 30 days for free.
How are you using free samples to help sell your products and services? With a little creative thought, you can use this powerful technique to explode your sales.
If you want to chat further about using free samples options and a few more get-more-customers ideas I have up my sleeve, give me a call 0414 955 743 – advice is totally free of charge.
ON OUR recent holiday, at the end of a tour of a museum and gallery in the Glass House Mountains, Widy and I asked our guide if she could recommend a local restaurant.
NOW THIS really didn’t happen, but I wish it would have. Our savvy hot dog marketer still has room for improvement.
AFTER COMPLETING a morning tour around Darling Harbour, Sydney, we were ready for a quick bite to eat before moving on to our next destination. We saw a row of street food vendors a short distance away.
GROWING A BUSINESS is similar to tending a vegetable garden. Knowledge, careful planning, organized systems, use of proper tools, continuous care, and dedication give you the very best chance of producing a beautiful and abundant garden that brings forth fresh veggies for years to come.
IF YOU DON’T get your prospects’ attention you don’t stand a chance of making the sale. And getting anyone’s attention today is getting more and more difficult.
IN BOOSTING your search engine ranking, it’s almost criminal to exclude social media marketing, especially given its pervasive presence online.
NO TWO social media marketing campaigns should be organized or managed in the same way.
MARKETING IN the digital age has evolved immensely over time. There has been an explosion of new processes, new communication technologies and new marketing channels to advertise and promote your business.
THE DICTIONARY says that a commodity is “anything bought or sold.” That’s way too wide a definition for our use.
MARKETING IS not as simple as many may lead you to believe. In order for your business to be effective, you need to understand what is involved in promoting what you are offering in terms of products and services.
DON’T PANIC! It’s easy to be interesting. Interesting topics of conversation needn’t be difficult to think of. Think about this – what makes a topic interesting? Isn’t it that people like to talk about it and that they have opinions on it?
WHY? BECAUSE they are worth their weight in gold. Too many small business owners spend most of their time, energy and money trying to find new customers.
IMAGINE THE scenario, people are laughing, drinking, telling jokes, in general having a great time. Then a voice shouts out “can we have some hush please.”