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Fantastic Ways to Promote your Business offline

The internet is a beautiful invention that allows us to connect to people all over the world, to spread our ideas without having to leave the comfort of our office chair. It’s easy to get carried away running Facebook ads and writing witty tweets and adding people on LinkedIn, forgetting that there’s still a world offline that also be targeted. After reading this post, why not take a break from the computer screen and try out some of these forgotten methods? They’re not as outdated as you might think!

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Leafleting

There are
many companies out there such as Banana-Print that can allow you to print off leaflets for an affordable price. Find a location in which your target market is likely to dwell and hand out a few leaflets on a busy street corner. Alternatively, post a few leaflets through letterboxes. Just the other day a new Thai restaurant posted a flyer through my door and I ended up getting a takeaway from them that very evening!

Don’t forget to also look out for public noticeboards, where you can pin one up.

Newspapers

Anyone who hasn’t moved into the digital age yet (and there are more of them than you
think!) can most likely be targeted through a newspaper. Many local papers can run low cost ads. Alternatively, if you’ve got an interesting personal story that you’d like to share with the world, you could try and approach a local journalist and get yourself in the news. Tell them of an interesting life experience you’ve had – a personal achievement or challenge you overcame – and squeeze in some sneaky information about your current business.

Radio and Television

We all remember our favourite (and least favourite) radio and TV ads. They’re undoubtedly effective, if not also expensive (particularly the latter). But there are other ways of using these media sources to spread word of your business.

For example, if you’re willing to donate one of your products/services for free, a radio show or TV programme may be willing to offer it up as a prize. Local radio in particular is always looking for prize giveaways.

Also don’t be afraid to call in and share a story or question on a social issue that may link to your business. Many radio shows run debates in which you may be able to act as a spokesperson on the topic, further promoting awareness for your business. Research the presenter that would be in charge of this particular slot and target them. The same can be done with TV programs, although these are predictably harder to break into.

Endoresements

Similar to donating a product to radio/TV, you can also offer a one-off product to another company for free as a gift. Either that, or you could offer it as a prize at a local competition.

Cross Promotions

This is a common strategy in retail – using one product to promote another eg. ‘buy this laptop and get this antivirus software half price’. Teaming up with another similar trade can also be done in business. Builders will often work closely with decorators, recommending each other to their clients. Find a business that offers a different service to yours (but one that’s related), and ask them if they would be willing to offer any deals or discounts if you recommend them. Even if you both are only prepared to charge full price, you can still recommend and promote one another leading to increased exposure.

Trade Shows and Workshops

There are many trade shows around the country in which you can rent a stall and get to know other businesses, as well as attracting new clients. Find one that’s related to your trade and you’ll have your target market all under one roof. Here you can hand out flyers and business cards, as well as being able to interact face-to-face with the public. As already mentioned, most people there will be interested in your trade, and so you don’t have to be as forceful as you might be talking to people on the street.

A similar popular venture is workshops. If you’re brave enough you could run a workshop of your own, teaching people all about your trade. People will look to you as a professional and be able to recommend you to their friends. And if you don’t fancy running a workshop, you could always partake in someone else’s. Again, this is a great way to meet people in person and gain new connections.

Business Clubs and Groups

A great way to get your business known is to join various local businessclubs and groups. Theseinclude rotary clubs and various networking communities. Most of these clubs will meet for dinner or plan a day out somewhere, allowing you to have fun whilst growing your business contacts. Prominent local figures will often join these circles too – contacts that are well worth having if you want your business to grow from word of mouth.

You can also arrange your own business lunches, finding notable members of your community and inviting them out. Even if it’s just inviting one particular targeted person out to lunch, it’s still a great way of building a strong contact (people like you more when you treat them to things).

Even social groups that aren’t business-related can be a great way of making new clients. In fact, any social situation can be used this way. Well, it’s a good excuse to go out to the pub anyway.

Guerilla Marketing

This is where you get to be really creative. Let out that inner innovator that convinced you to start your own business in the first place. Given there are no rules to this one, it’s not easy to give advice but I can give some examples

  •         Leaving your business card/branded pen in a convenient location where someone is likely to pick it up such as a restaurant or coffee bar or waiting room
  •         Leaving a note or advertisement in a public place where somebody will see it

·         Donate branded bookmarks to a local library

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