Let’s Pretend Social Media Doesn’t Exist… Just For A Bit. How Would That Impact How You Do Business? Time To Pluck That Creative Super-Fruit!
Wow! We are at Part 4, already? Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. And, I hope you had fun! It’s unfortunate that right now, I’m just realizing that this marketing series has throwing a crap-ton of information at you… And, it’s just now that I’ve decided that after this post I’m going to break everything down in a “summary post” for you with an easy to do list complete with a timeline of where you should be and where you should be going.
Before we start, I first want to throw out there that my intention isn’t to overwhelm anybody. And, now that this marketing series is almost over I realize that I’ve pretty much thrown just about every marketing tactic there is, out there, at you, a little willy nilly. Kinda cool… kinda not cool. But, don’t think that you’ve wasted your time here with each post- NO! Although the break-down summary post coming after this one is going to be brief– it still won’t contain the necessary information that I’ve previously posted; so trust me, it was worth your while to read each post in this series. The purpose of a Part 5, if you will, is to just give you an ‘at-a-glance’ list to make sure you’re on track. It will be something you can print out and check off as you go and if you need to refer back to the post in detail- that will be just fine!
My goal with this whole series is to put marketing tools in your arsenal from every possible angle by acquiring the latest and greatest, yet critical information which will in turn, procure a wealth of tips & tricks every small business owner should have that leads to relationships, fans, sales, profits and success!
So, since we’ve covered a lot of ground digital wise, I’m going to go the route of old-school- by getting off social media for a bit. To do that, let’s pretend we live in the 1800’s and there’s no such thing as the Internet. Think of like this by repeating the next sentence: this is ground zero, here people (say that with a Western-Cowboy accent and the transformation will be complete!) and we are going to lay the ground-work for the basics… BUT not just any old basics- we are going totally to the NEXT LEVEL on this.
This will be the absolute latest and newest methods on the market to date. It’s nearly April, 2014 and I have yet to see this some of this information across the net (some of it, but not all). How do I know? Because I’ve been researching it myself and have come up empty handed (and I don’t know if that’s good or bad yet)! I’ve decided that I’m simply going to tackle it myself and become the ultimate, virtual pioneer in non-Internet marketing. This is going to include, A) what needs to be on your brochures, post cards, mailers, etc. (tactics not really done in small time business YET), B) making it EASY for your client to see you and then tap in, C) using the newest (FREE) technology for broadcasting your company, D) using amazing audio combined with flashy packaging to “wow” your potentials, and so much more! So, hold on to your cowboy hats!
Did you know you’ve been on a journey? Someone has snuck into your house and packed your bag whether you liked it or not- well… actually, you really want to go, you just didn’t know how badly until now.
How did this all begin? To be 100% completely, bald-faced honest, it started out by me doing a search on the mathematical formula for business success. Like the movie Moneyball, I figured that that there has to be some type of formula for success.
Again, to be honest, I’m still trying to find it. To the right is the book the movie is based off of —–>>>>>>
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis
Don’t you get tired of reading the same things over and over and over, feeling like a record spinning into nowhere, just going around and around and around? Don’t you want to move up to the next level by doing something totally revolutionary when it comes to social media and even doing something revolutionary that doesn’t include the Internet?
Listen, your business ventures will never be like every Disney movie ever made that incorporates some type of magic to get the story across. But, you’ll have to incorporate something like it;
…the magic of your creativity
Only this time, you’ll use your creativity combined with my creativity (and the fruit of my research and ‘know-how’).
As you better know by now, making consistent money on the Web means excelling in three areas: building your online mailing list, converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat customers, and automating the process through sequential autoresponders and online payment systems to free up your time for other activities.”
– Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing
So, without further ado, here’s THE LIST; your comprehensive, numbered, all-in-one place for marketing your business off-line. Let’s get to it!
1. THE WHAT: Bumper decals for your car- not stickers via Cafepress in YOUR design that A) you will use yourself, and B) give away to customers who just bought from you, friends and family. And, not like this, by the way:
THE WHY: If you are like most people, you drive A LOT. As an example, I put nearly 200 miles on my car yesterday alone. How many pairs of eyes do you think were on me the entire time I was driving? Probably lots- if not hundreds. The goal is to get “brand visibility”. Your brand is what you are aiming at establishing. It needs to be seen, it needs to be recognized, it needs to become part of a movement. Think that’s too big of a thought or dream? Then, you need to broaden your horizons! Why? Because ANYTHING is possible! Plus, it has an additional two-fold perk: gives you incentive to keep your car clean and keeps you cognizant of being a better driver!
THE HOW: Design it in a graphics program like Inkscape (you can download this fantastic program for FREE – I love it and use it nearly every day). It should be done in white. It should be simple. Above all- should BE COOL! It must be “shareable” and people should want to share it (by putting it on their car). Think about that white duck head sticker people put on their cars, you know the one I’m talking about. You’ll want to use some words though, possible your web address, or business name at least. Possibly a slogan? Invitation to join your exclusive club?
THE BENNIES: Great local visibility for your business garnering potential traffic to your site leading to sales, and also aids in establishing your brand.
Here’s an example from my own decal:
If you would like me to design one for you, I can, for FREE. Well, not entirely free, but almost. All I ask is that you refer whoever asks about your decal to my blog, that’s it!
2. THE WHAT: Brochures & 3×5 Cards – that you design via Shutterfly. They must include the image of a person (pretty girls get more attention – sorry, but true), be colorful, great typeset, AND the information you put on them must make it easy for your customer to get to you. See the *** below.
THE WHY: If done right, you’ll get lots of eyes. If they’re shareable, they’ll get passed on. If you include the right information on them, they’ll stick around awhile. There is very little cost to this one, but the return can be high.
THE HOW: You will physically place these in various areas and/or mail to your potentials and/or already established customers. Ideas for where to place: subways, schools, senior centers, college dorms, fraternities, churches, local community club centers, apartments, grocery stores, malls, car washes, condo party centers, hotels, military cafeterias, counters of public places, meeting convention centers, libraries, chambers of commerce, medical offices, roller rinks, waiting rooms at auto centers, party stores, company bulletin boards, tourist information centers, rest stops, banks, factories, beauty salons, bookstores, laundry mats. Can you think of more places?
THE CUTTING EDGE: Have you ever seen this, “TXT the word LOVE to 12345 and receive a free X”?? When a person texts something to a 5 or 6-digit number, those digits are called, “shortcodes”.
To get a “shortcode” to use as a marketing method, you have to buy one and it can cost you hundreds if not a thousand dollars a month (don’t believe me, just Google search it).
Here’s the catch that I discovered for small businesses: You can have one FOR FREE; totally legit, totally legal, no strings.
But, the way that I aim to use it is for people to text ME in order for them to get discounts, coupons, gifts, etc with my company. It doesn’t cost me to do that and it doesn’t cost my customer *depending* on their service carrier.
Your goal is to create a system that makes it EASY for your clients, fans, potentials and other businesses to notice you and get something from you. Think about it, how many people do you know that dang-near live 100% of their lives on their phones? Mobile tech is NOW. If you don’t have a web site that can be read on an iPhone… well, you’re behind the times, my friend!
People will do something if A) it’s easy, and B) if something is in it for them. You’re going to do that with your brochures, flyers and 3×5 mailing cards.
The site that I use is at TextLocal (and no, I’m not being paid by them, really) and you can get a code that your clients and fans can use to simply txt whatever message you want to the 5-digit code they give you.
For example: You are having a promotional sale on your products. So, you create a flyer and distribute it around town. On that flyer you type:
Text the words, “SIGN ME UP!” to 54445 and receive a 20% off coupon on your next shopping trip with us!
The result is you can have your fan base text you to do ANYTHING YOU WANT THEM TO DO. What I’ve typed here is just a simple foundation. It is up to you to build on that foundation by using your own creativity- I know you can do it! Just put some thought into it and then think about this: by having them txt you, you can then move them to go various places.
Here are some simple and easy ideas for what they can get when they text you:
- Signing them up for your newsletter
- Giving them coupons for a purchase
- Sending them a free gift
- Ask them to visit your web site to be entered into a contest
- Direct them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook for exclusive deals
- Send them a link to follow you on Twitter
- And, more! The possibilities are endless!
3. THE WHAT: Magazine Ads – By advertising your free eBook OR simply advertising your business. But, in order for people to respond to your ad, there has to be something they can get. Can you craft it around saving money, or making money? Maybe joining an exclusive club? That is what motivates people usually- money, deals and exclusivity.
For an e-Book:
People, however, will always treasure and pass on information that is relevant and helps them with some aspect of their life.” – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing
Do a book report by checking out books from the library, magazine articles from the web (cite all articles you use), public domain, hire writers for very low cost. Be sure to write out a mission statement about your company and place your web address on every footer in small print. Make a snazzy cover page. The goal is to bring people to your site. Make it relevant, informative, free and useful. Take a month to do this, follow this timeline:
- Week 1: Write your mission statement that includes what your mission is, what your company is about and what problems you solve. Utilize Dreamstime and Fotolia (they are the most cost effective stock agencies that I’ve found) to come up with ideas for a cover page. Find the best illustration that you can buy. Add your own personal text to the image.
- Week 2: Get your content by checking out three books. Write 5 loaded paragraphs using information from the books. Incorporate stock images from Dreamstime as they high quality and FREE (people LOVE graphics!).
- Week 3: Create more content via the web. Find three great web articles and PRINT THEM OUT to read at home. Get off the internet and concentrate on the articles themselves. Grab the best and most informative lines regarding your subject. Add your own ideas.
- Week 4: Either hire out freelance writers for a few dollars (ask me how HERE if you have any troubles) or scour the public domain for information you can use. At this point, you should have plenty of good content.
Once you have that, save it all together with your website address in the footer as a .PDF file that people can download. You can then send it manually by email upon request or set up an automatic file downloading app on your web site. Instructions on how to do that can be found HERE.
To advertise your business:
A properly produced magazine ad, preferably of the full-page variety, gives a small business more credibility than any other mass-marketing medium.” – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing
Your best bet according to Jay, is to buy remnant space for a lower price in a regional edition of an upscale magazine (an example would be TIME Magazine), or partner with another business to split the cost. To find regional editions and prices for advertising click HERE. You’ll need to get familiar with the Standard Rate and Data Service, Inc. which is published monthly for ad rates.
Once you have an ad run, you can buy reprints available at a fraction of a cent each. Here’s why this is a phenomenal method for your business:
You will not necessarily gain consumer confidence from a single exposure to your magazine ad. But if you run the ad once, you can use the reprints of that ad forever. One highly successful company ran a single regional ad in a single issue of Time magazine, then used reprints of the ad in its window and on its counter for nearly thirty-five years afterward. Reprints were also sent in direct mailings. His mailing in 2006 could even run a reporting that stated, “As seen in Time magazine.” – heavy duty name dropping from an ad run once in 1973. That’s getting mileage out of magazine advertising! – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing
4. THE WHAT: Earnings for sharing – In some places you will see this frowned upon because people believe that you are “buying” your customer’s loyalty, but I disagree. This is how I see it: If you like the brand, like the goods, are already a fan and you’re going to share about your excellent experience anyhow (because people will ask you), why not get perks in the process that’s already going to happen?
THE HOW: By sharing with their friend and family base what they got from you is the goal. How this goal is achieved is by giving them incentive to do so. Now how you do that is up to you; it can be through gift certificates, entries into a contest, a free gift… actually the possibilities are endless! You can choose what you want to give in order for them to share what they’ve received from you. For example, have them take a picture of themselves with your product to share with their friends (including a hashtag of your company name) and how ever many “shares” they get are entries into a contest for a $10 gift certificate to their favorite coffee joint!
THE BENNIES: If you are creative enough with this one, the rate of exponential growth could happen. One friend shares, then three of them share, on and on it goes. It’s more visibility for a small cost.
5. THE WHAT: Your free gift included with every sale – Could be a:
THE WHY: Once you have included some type of gift with your sale, the most crucial point to remember is: follow up afterwards – most business owners are unaware of how crucial follow-up is after the sale and that at 30 days, 90 days and at one year contact must be made. So, HOW do you remember this? At the point of sale, you create a calendar appointment on your Outlook (or other date setting platform) with reminders at those date points. On top of those reminders are WHAT you will send: email, mailer, small gift, fancy envelope celebrating your one year anniversary (with a coupon). Make it easy for them to recommend three friends to you based on your awesome ‘keeping in touch’ strategy.
THE HOW: You can create a catalog pretty much through any online publishing platform. The key is to make sure you have *awesome* graphics either through a stock agency (you can get images for FREE through the ones I mentioned above) and that it’s clean, easy to read, and fun. Create it in Adobe or graphics program like Inkscape (super-spectacular program that you can download HERE for free. I use this program nearly every day!)
Coupons can be made on stationary that you choose, or visit your favorite craft store and browse the Scrapbooking aisle. Free gifts are up to you. Just put yourself in the shoes of your customer, what would you like to receive as a gift from a company you purchase from?
6. THE WHAT: Cold-call mailers – These are actual mailings that you will send to as many people as you can- friends, family, clients, potential clients, anyone that has shown interest in your company (or not), etc. But, these just aren’t any old mailers, these are reeeeeal personal. You will do something reeeeallllly different. So different, yet so old school. You will actually write in your own handwriting (the best that you can do) the addresses. To be completely real, it’s so RARE nowadays that people will actually be intrigued. The goal is to invite them to your site or blog.
THE WHY: Think about it, besides your grandma, when was the last time you received an actual envelope in the mail that was written by hand?
THE HOW: You’re going to need extra-special envelopes. I was even toying with the idea of possible small boxes, but I realize that that may be too difficult and get too costly. Some type of foil-type paper for the envelope would be creative, better yet, grab some decorative paper (they run a few cents per sheet) from your local craft store to make envelopes.
THE BENNIES: This may seem like a stretch, and possibly too time consuming to do. But, don’t chuck this one out the window. Why? You *need* to be more personable with your fan base. That’s a big reason why people even do business with a company. It’s the relatability, the personal touches, it’s “knowing” a person, a face, anything. It’s making someone feel special! And, what makes someone feel special more than a handwritten note?
This task doesn’t have to be in the hundreds; it’s not about quantity, but quality. Pick 5 people you can send something to and make it a goal to do so in the next two weeks. Think about what you can send them that you know they will respond to.
I hope that you have enjoyed the latest post in this series. I realize that it is a lot to take in… But it’s all possible to do. It’s easy, but does take time. I hope that you will at least implement three of them.
In closing, like I mentioned above, I’m going to summarize this all in a final Part5, so stay tuned!
Till next time!