More Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Entrepreneurs
Doing a Little "Leg Work"!
Guerrilla Marketing for Entrepreneurs is a creative way to get advertising out there, bring in more customers and sell more products for less money or sometimes even free.
This is part two of a two part article, so without further ado... Here is the rest of the information!
--Free hand delivered ads
There are a couple of ways to advertise using what I call the Free Hand Delivered Ads method. If your advertising can be given directly to people with most spending power within a community, you have a better chance of succeeding.
Distribution of Flyers is an easy method of getting the word out there. If you deliver to random people in a parking lot, most of your ads will end up on the ground and most people will also not fit into your target audience. The best way to distribute flyers is to locate your market on demographic, financial and geographical levels.
For example, if you want to advertise your pool cleaning business, you will not go to your local Target and hand out flyers, right? Most people that shop at Target most likely rent apartments or live in houses without a swimming pool. However, if you go to the local pool supply shop and ask them to put your flyers in everyone's bag after they make a pool supply purchase, then you will definitely get more customers. These customers will be the ones that have been maintaining their own pools and will call once they get fed up with the upkeep of the pool. But what will make them call? How about a 50% off discount for the first year if it is already late in the season? Or how about "Get 3 Free Pool Cleanings when you refer 5 people"? How do you get them to call right now, as opposed to 3 years from now when they re-find your ad in the back of their junk drawer? You also add "Limited time offer, expires in 6 weeks." (remember to put a hard date on it!) You can also add incentives, such as "Win a free entry into an Olive Garden Gift Certificate drawing if you get your pool cleaned by (enter date)."
You can also go on-line to www.Zillow.com and see houses in a certain area from a satellite view and find out what houses in a given neighborhood have pools. Then you can walk that area and hand out flyers to the residents on the weekends. Dress nice, conservatively, and wear a friendly smile, which is your biggest asset. You want to look like a trustworthy person that is reliable and dependable. When dealing with the public in a business like this, try to wear red, white and blue. Many years ago I sold strawberries on the side of the road in the desert with a friend. When we wore red white and blue, people trusted us, we looked "All American". Blue jeans, clean white t-shirts and red hats! No logos or team sport jerseys, just plain, conservative clothing. We sold way more strawberries this way.
If you advertise a business in which you are the main component, put your own picture on it to show people who they are getting. If you look too dressy or attractive it may intimidate people and if you look too messy or sloppy, it will turn people away. Find a nice happy medium in your picture. Make it real and have a genuine smile on your face, this will draw people in. Now if you are not that great looking (like missing teeth or an eye), have a face only your mother could love, or really just don't photograph well, you can include a nice picture of your product or service. If you are a dog walker, you can include a dog with a smile on his face. =) You could even include a picture of "One of our happy customers!" an have your favorite customer agree to appear in your ads for a freebie or a huge discount on their next purchase.
2. Business Card Flyer Ads.
This is an ingenious idea if you own a restaurant or a store that sells unique products. You go to the biggest employers in your town, such as the local hospital, University, warehouse or factory. You go into the accounting department and offer them a business card ad that will say something along the lines of "But one get one free lunch, courtesy of (your employer)!" or "Bring this ad into our store and save 75% off your 50 dollar purchase, courtesy of 'University of Anytown, USA.' " Of course, you put the employer's name. These little ads will get stapled to the employees paychecks and handed out the next friday. You should have customers really soon! Make certain to put a little expiration date on it, make it 30-60 days out and then go back in 2 months and deliver another ad. The business cards are free for 250 and the shipping is around 5 dollars, I will include a link at the bottom for this great deal.
3. Business Card Ads + Helium Balloons
Another thing you can do is go to a local parade, concert in the park, street fair, Farmer's market and hand out business card ads attached to a string, which is attached to a helium balloon. The balloons can also be advertisements that will become walking billboards for you until the helium runs out or the street fair is over! Advertise a short time span, such as 3 weeks, until expiration to bring in a rush of people quickly.
If you have a little Cafe and want to draw people in from the crowd in the street on a weekend, surround your restaurant with the bright purple or hot pink balloons, hand them out with the address and discount coupon on your little business card flyer ad and have the matching balloons drawing in people's eyes. People that don't get the flyer ad or a balloon will think that something really extraordinary is going on and will be drawn in by the color of the balloons surrounding the Cafe. Have a pretty girl with a great smile on roller skates handing out the balloons to people on the street.
An Extraordinary Service...
--Next to free billboard ads
This is a very unique idea and will not apply to everybody, so I will keep this section short.
Do you own a piece of land that is on a main road leading to town? Or do you know someone who does?
If so, then you can put up a little wooden billboard advertising your business. It could be a picture or hand painted, whatever you like. If you don't own the land you can offer a small amount of money or do this in exchange for your services. If you are a massage therapist, maybe you can offer a farmer two free massages every month to put up and keep up your billboard on his land.
If you do not know anyone, maybe you can find out who owns the land surrounding all the main roads in town and cover one ad in each of the 4 directions: north, south, east and west. when people drive into town or out of town, they will see your ad and eventually, this will pay off. It takes about 12 times for a person to see an ad before they are able to mentally register an ad. So while this takes time, this could pay off handsomely in the long run.
Make sure that you are in compliance with all your local laws concerning this form of advertisement. There are certain guidelines you must follow but every area is different when it comes to this.
To keep with the true Guerrilla spirit there is also another littlest billboard ad idea I have:
Every Friday afternoon, put up little strategic ads on 2-3 foot tall wooden stakes. Take them down every Sunday! This way you avoid the little sign police! They don't usually work weekends! =D
But you didn't hear it from me! ;)
When Two Can Shorten a Road to Riches
--Business to Business Cross Promotions
This is an interesting idea to most people as it is not the first thing you think about when you decide to advertise. After all the name of the game is competition, is it not? However, if you can advertise someone else's business you will appear more generous. ALSO, they will in turn, advertise your business too.
Obviously you will not be advertising another bead store if you run a bead store! What you want to do is find a complimentary business that does not compete with but adds to your business. I will tell you a perfect example of this cross promotion idea, that can include many businesses that are all complimentary.
Say you run an organic dog biscuit store that also sells organic dog food and toys, costumes and name tags for dogs. This is an extremely unique business that most people will not think to even look for if they don't know it exists. However, if this were your business, here would be my step by step advice to you:
"Step One: Go to ALL of the local veterinarians, pet shops, dog rescue organizations and dog shelters in the area. Put up a little business card holder (one to three dollars for a nice acrylic one at Office Depot), and put at least 30-50 business cards in each holder. Replenish these often!
Step Two: ALSO add little "half flyers" (make a mini-flyer and put two on a page, cut the page in half to save money and paper) offering discounts to your store's services. Example "Buy One Get One half off Dog Tags, or get one free dog tag with 5 organic dog biscuits purchase during April 2011 only!". Replenish these ads monthly with a new special each time. You will have one employee run around town for a day or two every month, but this is worth it as you are reaching targeted people... they are already dog owners or about to be!
Step Three: Have seasonal parties for the dogs! Invite the community via Craigslist.org (A free bulletin on Craigslist takes seconds and can bring good results!), and also on the "Community Billboards" part of the local news both on the radio and television (HINT: if it is an "event" then it is free to advertise in this way... no purchase necessary, everyone is invited...). Also, put out "invitations" in your veterinarians offices, shelters, etc. Also, hand out invites to people at the local dog park and anyone that comes into your store. Take pictures at these events, and hold contests for the ugliest dog, the cutest costume, the best trick ,etc. Use pictures from last year's party to advertise this year's party.
Step Four: Turn your parties into a human interest story. Invite your local newspaper reporter and magazines from the area to attend your dog party and write about it.
Step Five: Turn your parties into an educational seminar to gain more newspaper, radio and TV exposure: Halloween Costume contest for dogs will also include a public safety talk about how to keep dogs safe and away from chocolate (which is poisonous for dogs). In May, have a safety seminar about keeping dogs cool and hydrated in the summer. You get the picture, just keep it educational and informative.
Step Six: Locate other dog related businesses such as dog walkers, pet sitters, dog grooming businesses, etc. and promote them and ask them to promote you too. If you have a counter with 30 different acrylic business card holders, that means you also have 30 businesses out there promoting your business too!
Step Seven: Create an online presence. Have a Facebook, Myspace and Twitter account for your dog business. Add pics of cute customers often, tweet about your newest dog biscuits, and funny quotes. Advertise what a fun business you have, invite people to come in to meet your dogs, or to have "dog tea parties" or let people know about current specials. Do this in a friendly way and have a sense of humor and lightheartedness on-line. Your customers and potential customers will appreciate it. And all of these websites are free to create and takes only a few minutes to set up!"
Helping other people and adding value to your business (free information that can save a pet's life, for example) can boost your revenues as well as your reputation. People will want to do business with you. The more people you help, the more good karma you create for yourself and your business!
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