Today we start another new feature here at the EnMart EmbroideryTalk Blog. We’re calling it Marketing Monday. Every Monday we will deal with a different aspect of marketing yourself and your business. As always, we are open to suggestions for future topics, so if there is some aspect of marketing you would like us to discuss, please leave a comment or contact us with your suggestion.
This Monday I want to discuss some low cost ways to market your business. A lot of people think that effective marketing is expensive marketing, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the least expensive forms of marketing can be the ones that have the most impact. If your funds are tight, there are still several things you can do to get your business noticed.
Tip #1: Wear Your Own Work – It sounds simple, but it is something that many business owners forget. In the course of your day you may go many places. Wearing your own work gives you a chance to display your best product, and always opens the possibility that someone may ask who designed or embroidered the garments you’re wearing. Once they’ve opened that door, it is a perfect time to hit them with Tip # 2.
Tip #2: Always Carry Business Cards: Like a lot of marketing tools, business cards don’t have to be expensive to be effective. If you take the time to shop around online, you can find some very reasonable prices on business cards. Always make sure you have a supply of your cards with you where ever you go. Also make sure the cards are easily accessible. Keeping people standing around while you dig through your purse or wallet for a card is not good marketing. You should be able to quickly and easily hand a card to anyone who asks about your work.
Tip #3: Send Press Releases to the Local Newspapers and Magazines - This method will depend somewhat on the size of the area in which you work, but most local newspapers and magazines run a new business section or will run press releases when they need filler. There may also be a local business newspaper in your area which might be willing to do a feature on your business. Investigate the local publications and get to know the editors and writers. A little time invested up front can pay off in lots of free publicity later.
Tip #4: Barter, Barter, Barter - Maybe the local theater group needs shirts advertising their next performance. Make a deal where you make the shirts for an advertisement in the program for that performance. If you know someone who writes, make a deal where you trade shirts for press releases or articles that you can submit to local magazines. Of course you want to make sure that the value of what you’re getting is equal to the value of what you’re giving out, but there are a lot of ways to creatively obtain services if you’re willing to barter.
Tip #5: Become the Local Expert – If you have a certain area of expertise, become the local expert for your area. Speak at seminars, write for local publications, give classes after business hours. Customers tend to give business to those people whom they perceive to be skilled. Sharing your knowledge with others costs you nothing but time and can have big payoffs when it comes to reputation and recruiting new customers.
Marketing your business doesn’t always require glitz and glamour. Some of the best ways to market yourself and your business are also some of the easiest and most inexpensive. If you don’t have much cash to spend, try spending a little time thinking up creative ways to market your business instead.