When it comes to marketing your business in today’s online world, it seems the more traditional offline methods of marketing are overlooked at times. Despite the fact that you can potentially gain access to over 1 billion users on facebook, twitter, and Google+, there are many advantages to marketing your business offline. One such advantage is that you are able to establish a more personal connection with the people you market to.
Another major advantage with offline marketing is you don’t need to have any of the technical skills that are sometimes required for online marketing such as the ones required to make, update, and market a website.
With the rapid increase in ownership of smartphones, it’s become a necessity for businesses to have a mobile version of their site. However, I think we sometimes forget that a large percentage of small businesses still do not even have a website. Furthermore, of the percentage of business owners that do have a website, many of them lack the ability to update or make changes to their sites.
If you are a small business owner you need to have the mindset that you are using as many different methods of marketing as possible to give your business an edge. With that being said I would like to inform you about one of the most basic methods of offline marketing.
You are probably already aware of the importance and role business cards play in both networking and as a marketing strategy. Many businesses and professionals already use them on a daily basis to effectively further their goals.
For this reason I am going to tell you about some marketing strategies you can employ from the time you first go to get your cards made, to when you pick them up and start handing them out.
If you do not have business cards already don’t worry there are plenty of places to get some for a relatively cheap price. I would suggest that you try getting your business cards made from a local source in your city. Simply do a search for “(insert your city’s name here) business cards” to find a business in your local area that you can support.
As an added note, I do not want to get into the actual look and style of the cards. There are plenty of nice looking cards of all shapes and sizes out there if you are looking for inspiration on that aspect.
With your business cards make sure you keep it simple and include your:
- Company name and logo
- Telephone and fax
- Email address
- Business address, or P.O. Box
- Website (if you have one)
- Some sort of discount or promotion such as:
- “free estimate or consultation”
- “half off”
- “buy one get one free”
When you go in to get your cards made at a local business in your area make sure you:
- Offer them a discount for your product or service. The person you talk to and whoever else works at that particular store are people in your area that might not know about your business. Take this opportunity to tell them who you are, and give them an incentive to visit your business in the form of that discount, coupon, or even something for free.
- Also while you are there, take advantage of this time and explore any possible partnerships and referral opportunities. Remember they are not making business cards just for you. They also make them for a lot of other business, which means that they come into contact with many other people who have money to spend.
- Put your expertise to use. For example:
- Maybe you are a marketer and you provide some free strategies to them. You might tell them they can run a campaign to have their customers come up with names for the different types of cards they make. They can have the campaign take place on social media, which will hopefully garner more exposure for their business.
- Maybe you are an electrician and you tell them about a program in your city which if they qualify for might mean they can get their current lights replaced with energy saving lights at little or no cost to them.
When you go to pick up your business cards after they are made, make sure you:
- Visit other businesses in the area and give them your card. Whether the company making your cards is in a strip mall or on a street there is a chance there are many other businesses in the area that might not have heard of you. Your time is important, and you might not have the time to regularly visit and talk to other business, so take advantage of these opportunities. Set aside a few hours to hand your cards out to prospects in the area.
- You can also use the same strategies with these other business as you did in the prior step.
For general marketing with your business cards make sure you:
- Have several cards with you at all times.
- Give your card to every prospect you meet. Maybe you meet someone new and are introducing yourself. Along with the pleasantries give them your business card too. You can even write a special offer just for them on the back of the card.
- For certain types of products or services you can include a card with the purchased product, paperwork, or receipt.
- If you ship products to your customers, you can even include a card in the shipment.
If there are no local businesses in your area that make business cards or you would rather use one of the major companies they include Vistaprint, Staples, and Zazzle.
Let me know how these strategies work for you and good luck.
Image courtesy of [Pakorn] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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