Posts Tagged ‘free advertising

30
Oct
09

Gotta love free advertising!

One of the perks of being in business for a while is that people notice you.  Your business is still in the phone book, the website still works, email gets answered and customers talk about you.  Word gets around.  This is especially important to a small business owner  (LIKE ME) with not a whole lot of money to spend on advertising.

So it was much to my pleasant surprise when I got an email from the fashion show organizer at the Portland Women Show.  She wanted me to show 12 outfits at two (TWO!) shows.  At first, I was so baffled that I did not even answer her.  Me, my little SOFIA?  Then I thought – HECK – FREE advertising, go for it!

I actually had a lot of fun looking at all the models and fitting them with my clothes.  Most of them are 5ft 10″ at least – when do you get a chance to show off beautiful clothing on REAL models?  Their hair and make-up professionally done?

So off to the show went twelve outfits – AND I DO NOT EVEN HAVE TO BE THERE!

The Portland Women Show runs from today until November 1 at the Convention Center.  The fashion shows are at 1PM, both Saturday and Sunday.  And while I do admit that the hunks at the Firefighter’s show might be a bigger attraction, do check out what SOFIA has to present – some of which is here:

AKN black skirt

Hazel blue blouse Anni Kuan fuzz skirt

kersh red dressNTS jacket Rapti shawl

12
Mar
09

… more FREE promotions

Yes, I know I waited too long with the follow-up on the previous post BUT while I was compiling all the other options, I was asked to be on TV.  Oh my, I am so self-conscious.  I won’t even do the television portion of my favorite radio station’s fund drive. And there are seats that are waaaayyy out – I just don’t want for a camera to find me.  Even back there.   I will only sit in the phone room – I can talk on the phone, yes.

So here they ask me on Tuesday AFTERNOON whether I would want to be on TV the following MORNING.  Early morning, too.  Like 6:30.  Everyone who knows me knows that I am so not a MORNING person.  I’d rather miss a flight than get up.  But then, I miss flights no matter what time, so that does not really count.  I hesitated  2 seconds because of the ungodly hour.  Then said YES.  Because, WHO wants to miss an opportunity to be on local TV when it is FREE???  I got to say a few words after my name and SOFIA were introduced.  I was also asked to bring an outfit to show – I brought six.  HA! – why pass up on that opportunity?  I must have hit the mark, too, with my outfits emphasizing femininity.  NPR did a segment on Michelle Obama and how she is becoming a style breaker and she  – as the strong woman – is emphasizing femininity with her outfits.

akn-blue-dress

akn-grecian-dress-detail

To prepare for the shoot, I planned my outfit, knowing that black or white do not look good on camera.  I also put on a little heavier make-up than usual because of the bright camera lights.  Both decisions proved to be good – I wore olive green, which actually looks good with my hair and eyes.  I would love to post the segment but, this having been a live shot, the station did not make it available.

So – do not pass on a TV opportunity no matter what your hang-ups might be.

Another good free marketing opportunity is to get a write-up from a newspaper.  This is not as easy because there are so many shops and causes they can write about.  My strategy is to announce any and everything that I do at the shop to a media list.  It helps if there is an angle such as a charity drive or a Women’s Business Showcase.  For my shop, I do about one announcement per month at the most.  I do not want to spam them.  When we had the Women’s show in December, a small local paper decided to run a story on us.  That is how I ended up as a centerfold.  What an honor:  I am fully clothed, though.

As for the not-for-free promotions, we down here as a strip decided to do advertising together to save on cost.  In the past, we have done group ads and postcards, both mailed and hand deliverd.  We also have a website with all our links on it on which we promote events.  In addition,  I give to school auctions, especially when someone takes the time and walks into my shop.  Granted, every gift certificate will cost me but people see my store and often spend more than the face value of the ceritficate.  And hopefully come back.




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