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For many business owners the mere mention of the word “advertising” sends a shudder down their spine. The truth is that advertising doesn’t have to be scary. And once you have a little know-how it’s a whole lot easier than you may think.
Advertising generally does require some budget and the right budget coupled with the right advertising can heed great results. However, that doesn’t mean that a small budget can’t give you results – it just means that you can start out small and work your way up.
With that in mind, here are some quick and easy tips for affordable and easy advertising.
Start in your own neighborhood – “there’s gold in them hills” – there sure is and right in your own backyard. Tuning into your local community means you don’t have to spend a fortune to gain exposure. Don’t ignore your local community when starting out. This is a great place to test the advertising waters.
Put up well-written ads on your local supermarket board, get the local school to pass out your business flyers (in exchange for a donation) and send a press release to the local media. Local radio stations and papers are always looking for new businesses to put in the lime light so this is a great exposure opportunity.
Think “outside the box” – “necessity is the mother of invention” – if you don’t have a whole lot of money to start with then it’s time to invent clever solutions to get your advertising campaign going.
The best place to start is with related businesses. Many business owners are willing to help each other. Say you own a massage business, then you can visit local hair salons (that don’t offer massages) and trade advertising with them. In exchange for them putting up your cards/flyers then you can recommend your customers to their salon. Take it one step further and offer an exclusive discount to X salon members only and ask the salon owner to do the same for you – keep in mind this will only work if the discounts are exclusive.
You can trade advertising with a variety of all-ready established businesses (as well as start ups) and do quite well. As your budget increases then you can invest in other forms of advertising.
Spread the Word – Be proud of your business and ready to tell everyone you come in contact with all about it. Carry well-designed, catchy business cards with you and pass them out to people you meet. Give friends and family members a handful of cards and ask them to pass them out for you.
And don’t be afraid to ask your current customers to do the same. Word-of-mouth recommendations are a sure way to increase your business. Ask your customers to tell their friends about you and even get them to pass out business cards. Of course, you want to give them an incentive for helping you – perhaps a discount on your services or an extra free product.
Become a Walking Ad – That’s right. You can cheaply have t-shirts made with your company logo. Take it a step further and print a catchy ad on the shirt – a plain logo and phone number can often be overlooked but a catchy ad will sure spark attention.
Also, take the time to smile and meet new people – remember you are now representing your business in flesh and blood. If you’re nice and approachable people will want to know more about you (and your business) and you never know where this could lead.
It does take a little time, thought and creativity but a limited budget doesn’t have to mean you can’t advertise. It’s just a case of starting small and building up as you go along.Write by spiderman hoodie