Posts Tagged ‘small business

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.

16
Nov
08

Stay afloat during these times

I do not even want to open the paper anymore.  One of my friends has stopped her subscription to it altogether.  It is downright depressing:  all theses reports on sales being down and people not wanting to spend any money anymore.

What I want to say is this:  Don’t let this get you down, no matter what business you are in.  Because when you feel stressed, anxious or plain afraid, people will notice.  This, too, will pass.  It always does.  It only matters what YOU do in the meantime.

Have a MANTRA:  Think of a positive phrase that you repeat over and over.  Along the lines of  “I believe in myself and my business and I will make money.”  “I deserve it”  “Magic happens”  Believe in your mantra, repeat it often and share it with your supporters.  You will be surprised how your attitude changes.

LOVE your customers:  Let them know that these are hard times but they make a difference.  They support you!  Make them feel special, remember their names, remember their birthdays, remember what they bought the last time, send them a little note.  Give them a discount for their loyalty.

Offer a SERVICE:  Be knowledgeable about your wares and how to care for them.  Refer them to other businesses for accessories, shoes, dry cleaning, watch repair.  Better yet, offer the service in house.  Give them another earring post if they lose one.  Hem their pants.  Offer glue.

BAND TOGETHER with the other businesses on your street or  in your industry.  Have a sale together.  Advertise together and split the cost.  Use the computer whiz, the graphic artist, the photographer, the one who has connections.  It may be a bit more work but the results are amazing.

Be CREATIVE:  I received a big postcard form another clothing store the other day:  Passport for Holiday Savings.  On it, they offered 20% off every kind of merchandise they carry.  For one item each only – but you could potentially save a bundle.  They offered the passport for as long as it takes you to use it up, you can even split it with a friend.  What a great way to get people in.

And last but not least:  SHARE with your colleagues.  How are they doing?  It helps to share.  It helps to share honestly.  Shed the secretive people.  You don’t need them.

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