Posts Tagged ‘marketing

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.

04
Mar
09

Stimulate the marketing… for FREE

I am constantly on the lookout for marketing strategies that are free or do not cost a whole lot.  Especially in “these” times.  Although I do admit that I joined the group “I’m not Participating in the Recession”.  Because I’m not.  It is all about attitude.

Still, I own a business that is intensely consumer driven.  These consumers need to know that I EXIST.  So they can come here.  And spend money.  And keep me in business.  According to the guys that want to sell me advertising in their paper, I need to advertise MORE in “these” times.  I don’t have the money.  And that’s all that there is to it.

So, in order to be ‘out there’, I want to find creative ways that get me there without spending so much.  And here is what I do:

First, I started a blog.  And while I do not get a huge amount of traffic,  people do find me.  They find me by searching for brand names, styles, and the odd ‘alteration’ and ‘vintage’ tag here and there.  Then I found out how to “post” my blog on facebook.  Of course, you need to first have a facebook account.  You can find me by searching for my first and last name.  In order to have your blog posts show up on your page, you select ‘notes’  under the +tab on your profile.  Most blogs have a feed that you can import to facebook.  I did not stop there, though.  I also added a ‘page’ for SOFIA.  While I use my personal FB page to connect with friends around the world, I use the SOFIA page to promote events and sales.  People can become a fan of that page and it is curious to see WHO actually shows up.

Today, I had a customer with an alteration and she found me on Yelp.  I had heard about Yelp from my neighbor who uses their pages when she travels.  Apparently there is a Yelp site for a lot of cities.  Needless to say that it is free.  You can list your business there, add all kinds of information –  they add a map and driving directions and post reviews for you.

One of the cooler sites, though, is flickr.  Again, this was a tip from a fellow business woman who is also a photographer.  flickr lets you post an insane amounts of pictures during a given month and lets you organize these into ‘sets’.  Three sets are free but there does not seem to be a limit to the amount of pictures you put into them.  WordPress then has the ability to import the latest pictures into thier site and you can see my latest additions right here.  Over here ——–>  on the right side bar.

That pretty much sums up the internet world.  I’d love to find more ways to promote my store out there but must admit that it takes an insane amount of time to keep all those sites up.  Tomorrow, I will post about more ‘inner wordly’ (as opposed to outer space) ideas.  Free and almost free.




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