Thursday, October 13, 2016

Small Business Marketing Techniques

Many small businesses cannot afford the techniques persued by larger companies. The following techniques are ideal for individuals and smaller businesses.
  • Conduct demonstrations, classes, and workshops. A restaurant’s chef can teach a cooking class for a continuing education program or for a department store or cooking supply store.
  • Speak at conferences and for professional associations. Join your local chapter of the National Speakers Association and register with speakers bureaus. Publicize your speaking engagements.
  • Hold contests.
  • Write articles for newspapers, periodicals, and professional journals.
  • List yourself as an expert (e.g., in Radio-TV Interview Report; the Yearbook of Experts, Authorities, and Spokespersons; Broadcast Interview Source, Inc.; ProfNet). Connect with journalists (HARO—Help a Reporter Out). Post your press releases on PR distribution sites (PressReleasePoint, PitchEngine, PR Newswire, PRWeb, etc.).
  • Host a local radio or television show on your area of expertise, or be a guest on one.
  • Network online and offline (in professional associations, conferences, trade shows, benchmarking groups, chambers of commerce and popular social media channels).
  • Publish newsletters (online or offline).
  • Publish a blog.
  • Write a book.
  • Hire a publicist.
  • Maintain relationships with the press.
  • Get involved in civic organizations. Donate money to local charities, especially complementary causes.
  • Volunteer to judge competitions.
  • Wear branded shirts and other clothing.
  • Put your company's logo and contact information on your motor vehicle.
  • Cross-promote with complementary or nearby businesses.
  • Give away insignia merchandise (featuring your business’s name, logo, tagline, and contact information).
  • Write letters to new residents introducing them to your business (perhaps offering them a free or reduced-price trial).
  • Script your customer service and tech support people to cross-sell and upsell products and services as appropriate. (Be careful not to over-incent people. They should only cross-sell/upsell in the most helpful way as appropriate.)

© 2016 Brad VanAuken, excerpted from Brand Aid, second edition, available here.


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