You’re a small business, so you don’t have a hundred grand in cash sitting around to market your small business. Trouble is, without letting the consuming public know about your products and services, you may as well shut your doors and go fishing. The fish will know you’re there because you’ll make sure they see your flashy lures and smell your tempting bait. We could learn a thing or two from those fish. If you want customers, you need to get their attention and then give them what they want. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.
1. Pull off an awesomely cool stunt. Make sure you don’t break any laws or hurt anyone. For example, you and your employees can dress up in period costumes and do a fake western gunslinger shootout at the local mall. Let the local media know what you’re up to before you do it and have a prepared, written statement to hand them.
2. Video tape your stunt and put it on YouTube. Add your business contact information and website address to the description. Then submit the link to all the major social media sites.
3. Write a crazy, “National Enquirer” type news story that has an element of truth but a great deal of humorous exaggeration as well. Publish it on all the free press release and news sites.
4. Create a contest with a really great prize. Make it something to do with your business, such as unique ways to use your products. The prize could be something like tickets to a show and a hotel stay for two. Advertise it on all the contest websites and in the published media. Have it announced on the local radio stations.
5. Sponsor a local school sports team. You’ll have your business name printed all over their gear and team jerseys. You and your staff could also form a team in a local sports league.
6. Host an open house with refreshments, entertainment and door prizes. Offer special discounts for your products and services for guests that attend. Take a few minutes to introduce your business and hand out marketing materials.
7. Get a booth in an industry trade show to represent your company. If you think this is too expensive, search the Internet for virtual trade shows. You can host one or join one already happening.
8. If you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce or other business organization, offer items from your business as door prizes. Your business name will be mentioned a few times to everyone in attendance.
9. Offer to speak about a topic related to your small business at service organization meetings. These groups typically have breakfast or lunch meetings, and they are always looking for interesting speakers.
10. Do some cross-promotions with other business owners in your area. Exchange promotional materials to display in each others storefronts.