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Market Your Business Better, With Tips From a Hooker?

Updated on April 17, 2018
Blond Logic profile image

I meet with business owners both locally and internationally and share what I learn to help readers generate more income.

Hookers | Source

Marketing Your Small Business Like a Hooker

What? I hear you say. Why would I want to market my business like a hooker?

Let's take the example of a hooker named Evelyn. She doesn't know it but she is a whiz at business marketing. She knows where to find her clients, she knows how to attract them and how to ensure repeat business from them. Not only that, she also knows how to keep her business expenditures low. She has honed her skills and makes good use of her time. She is free to work or not work, the decision is hers. Can you say the same about your business?

How do you market your small business? Do you place ads in local newspapers, advertise on radio, place banners in your shop window? Perhaps you have a website and use the social networking sites. Depending on your business, some will be more appropriate than others.

If for example you only use banners in your shop windows and there is no foot traffic passing by, you have wasted your money. Targeting your customers is crucial to your business, get it wrong and you have wasted not just your money but also your time.

Happy customer
Happy customer | Source

Identify Your Customers

Knowing who your potential customers are is crucial. This will not only save you time but your hard earned money as well.

Let's relate this to Evelyn our hard-working lady of the evening. She, more often than not, can be found on the corner of 3rd and Vine. She knows her customer's age range and what services they expect.

Realize you cannot be all things to all people and decide who you are most likely to sell to. If for example, you sell tools, your advertising should be aimed at men, more precisely men in a certain age bracket.

If you sell children's clothing, your customers most likely will be women in the 20-35 age group. Also, grandmothers who wish to buy something special for their grandchildren. Although men are now often caregivers, by and large, the group to attract will still be women.

If your business is selling skateboards, your advertising should be targeted to a younger age bracket. If you are unsure of who you are selling to, you need to reassess either what you are selling or do your research.

What is their age group, where do they shop, what magazines do they read, which are their favorite websites. If you don't know, there is a simple way to find out. Ask them!

Below is a simple sample questionnaire you could ask each customer. Tell them it will take less than a minute and is totally confidential, no names or personal information other than their age.

Age Bracket
Favorite Store
Favorite Website
Favorite TV Show
Favorite Magazine
16 and under
Kayak on the beach
Kayak on the beach | Source

Target Your Customers

Now that you know who your customers are, it's necessary to find a niche market, without this your product will possibly never get seen. What makes your products different than everything else your potential customers have already seen? Do you provide a better service? Be specific. Begin with something you know and are passionate about. For me, I love the game of Scrabble. I have written several web pages with hints and tips. These pages have links to products that I have designed. It doesn't get much more specific than that.

Let's say for example you enjoy kayaking and are considering opening a shop or having a website selling kayaks and accessories. Which kayaking magazines do you like? Which websites do you read about kayaking? Do you participate in forums about kayaking on the internet? All of these are good places to advertise. If you were to put your ad in a general sports magazine, it would get lost amongst hundreds of other sports.

Be Specific~Be Terrific!

Keep Business Costs Down

It is easy to let business costs spiral out of control. Keeping your overheads low is crucial when you are just starting out. I hear you say,

"But I have to advertise or I won't have customers"

It is true but advertising can take on many forms. Can your product be sold online, do you need a store? Having premises is one of the highest expenses a company has.

Let's look at Evelyn again, she has no premises, she has business clothes, does minimal advertising and what she makes she keeps. Setting up an online presence will substantially reduce your overheads. If you still think you need a store, think about Amazon. They are purely online. They haven't done too badly for themselves.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
When I first read this book I nearly threw it in the trash. The reason was, I didn't want to read the truth. I wanted to believe the banner ads and shady sites that told me how easy it was to make a ton of money and work a few hours a week. I had gotten sucked into the hype of the internet, until I read this book. This told me in no uncertain terms, that if I wanted to have a successful online business, I'd better roll up my sleeves and get to work instead of looking for that needle in the haystack where the golden goose was hiding her eggs in the pot at the end of the rainbow.

Increasing Your Market Share

How do you increase your market share? Let's speak to Evelyn again, our favorite hard-working lady. How would she do it? Obviously her time has a certain value and there is a limit to the number of customers she can service. What can she do to increase her profitability? She could raise her prices, if her customers like and trust her, they will understand the increase.

The other way is to let people work for you. Like Evelyn you may have a successful business that could expand. Consider franchising your business, read the E-Myth Revisited. This book explains the difficulties in owning and successfully running a small business. It is a must read before you consider expanding your business. At times, everyone who is an employee thinks they can do the job better than their boss. This may be the case but this isn't the only part of running a business. As the owner of a business you have to wear many hats it isn't enough to just work well in your business.

© 2012 Mary Wickison


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    • Digitaldipak profile image

      Dipak Jadhav 

      2 months ago from India

      This is an incredible source of motivation for small businessses!!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      5 years ago from Brazil

      Thanks, I was going for something a bit different.

    • Galaxy-Gal profile image

      Gabby Galaxy 

      5 years ago from The Universe

      What a novel approach to getting your message across. I love it!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Louisa,

      Thanks for the comment, I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 

      8 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Hi Blond Logic, what a brilliant analogy! And yes, you're right. Ms. Hooker does know her business in every way! Thanks for a great read!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello DrMark,

      Of course you do. When my husband and I lived in Britain, we had a computer shop. Building, repairing and maintaining systems. I would say half of our customers were referred by other people. It is the best and least expensive form of advertising.

      Thank you for your comment.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      8 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi BlondLogic I read this last night and wanted to come back and put in my comment. The other factor for success in business is providing what the customer wants. Evelyn does not need to advertise; when I practiced in Chicago all I had was a small ad in the Yellow Pages and we were always busy. I think the most important part of adverstising is word-of-mouth referrals. If someone is filling out surveys to identify customers I think that suggesting a referral would be an effort well worth it.

      Of course you have to provide what the customer wants, right?

      Interesting article. Voted up!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello KBEvolve,

      You are correct, get them hooked, and then engage them.

      Great to hear from you and thanks for the follow.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 

      8 years ago from United States

      It's all in the presentation, and there were some good lessons here.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Jan,

      Glad you thought so. Pleasure to hear from you.

    • JanMaklak profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      cute hook and great information

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Lipnancy,

      That is very true. Targeting a topic well to interested people is the key to success. You have summed it up, beautifully .

      Thank you.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Letitia,

      That darn share button! Mine goes missing as well. Thank you for the thought though. I am glad you enjoyed it.

      Have a great evening.

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      8 years ago from Paris via California

      Very clever. Enjoyed it immensely. Couldn't be more practical and your examples will certainly stick in mind. Voted up and would gladly share had my share button not disappeared again!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      8 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      In my field of affiliate marketing, I was taught that you are better of advertising to 100 people who show an interest in your product than 1,000,000 visitors to your website that have no interest in what you are selling.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Christin,

      A combination of the title and the opening photo were meant to grab the attention. I'm pleased you carried on reading because I was wondering if the photo and title would offend women. It is sometimes difficult to know, just how far to push the boundaries.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Alphadogg,

      Thank you, I am glad you liked it.

    • christin53 profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      I have to admit it was the title that caught my eye which has made me realise just how important the title is. Once I started reading I found it very helpful so thank you.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Mhatter,

      Always nice to hear from you. Thanks for the comment.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Wow! very interesting & creative comparisons!! Nice hub !!!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Cyndi,

      I thought it would be an interesting comparison. Glad you liked it, thanks for leaving a comment.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Flashmakeit,

      I felt lucky to find that photo, it was just what I was looking for. I am pleased you found the article interesting, always a pleasure to hear from you.

    • flashmakeit profile image


      8 years ago from usa

      Lol that picture is amusing. Well a smart hooker has to be a good judge of people so that may be marketing skills. This was an interesting hub.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Like it or not, you are right. Now, one can be happy with their market share, or listen to your counsel. Works for me.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Great comparison for marketing. Hookers are very focused on their business and very minimalist in their marketing budget. Really good article.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello PDXBuys,

      Great idea! I will have to put my thinking cap on. LOL

      If it comes to fruition, I will let you know.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • PDXBuys profile image


      8 years ago from Oregon

      I look forwared to the next hub: "How Would the Mafia Market Your Business?" Oy vey.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Laura,

      Mission accomplished! That was my intention to grab your attention and then explain.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • LauraVerderber profile image

      Power Ball Pythons 

      8 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Lol! Good grief that opening picture and title caught my eye. But this article is very true. Way to point out good marketing strategies in a fun and unexpected way.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Bill,

      Once again you have hit the nail on the head. I will say, since you had a hub banned, which I sadly missed, I have copied all the text to use on a blogging site if this gets me banned. :-)

      Great to hear from you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The title alone should get you 500 views on this one! :) Great suggestions but I gotta tell you, the title was the marketing genius of this hub. :) Which, most likely, was your whole point.


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