Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads—if you’re a small-business owner with an online presence, chances are you’ve mastered (or at least dabbled) in most of the conventional online marketing forums.
So how can you really stand out and catch people’s attention? Try some of these less run-of-the-mill marketing ideas.
- Self-promote on your blog or voicemail. Mention your site and services in your voicemail message or your blog profile to connect with prospects you may not even have considered.
- Maximize the power of your email signature. Your business email probably has a link to your site, but does your personal email? Make sure people know what you do—you never know when you could be connecting with someone who needs your services.
- Self-promote with bumper stickers. If you live in a place with bad traffic, what better way to reach out to the people behind you? If nothing else, you’ll build recognition for your name and brand.
- Sponsor a local race. Show you care about a good cause AND get your business the exposure that comes from hundreds or thousands of people wearing your name on their backs for months or years to come!
- Sponsor a local sports team. Softball, kickball, dodge ball—these days, you’ve got plenty of choices. Find a team that needs a sponsor and introduce your business to a whole new audience of prospects.
- Shamelessly promote yourself on your dog’s collar. Seriously. Especially if your dog has a tendency to wander away from home.
- Stick business cards on the side of your car. We’ve actually seen this and, we have to admit, we took one out of curiosity. So we can confirm that this method does, in fact, work.
- Sponsor a trivia night. Non-profits and university groups often raise money through trivia nights. Introduce your business to a roomful of people and support a good cause at the same time.
- Offer a gift basket at silent auctions or charity events. Make a package of your services or products and add it to the silent auction table at a local event. Any bids you get will introduce you to hot potential clients.
- Sponsor public or community radio. If your target audience listens to public or community radio, sponsoring a program will win you big points. Call stations in your area to ask about underwriting and sponsorship options.
- Get on Google+. It’s the new frontier of online marketing. Master it before everyone else and establish yourself as an industry leader.
- Put your info on useful products. Sure, clever business cards are great—but they’re not very useful. Put your info on pens, erasers, gym towels, cups, matchbooks, or anything else your potential clients will use on a regular basis. That way they’ll be seeing your information over and over.
- Offer free lectures or how-to classes. Contact a community center, senior center, or chamber of commerce and offer classes or lectures on something in your field. Webinars and telecalls are great, but you can make super-personal connections face-to-face.
- Sponsor local events where ideal clients are likely to be. Check the community calendar for upcoming summits, events, and programs likely to attract potential clients. Offer sponsorship or ask to distribute materials with your brand on them to reach prospects who are motivated enough to take action.
How have you broken the mold to get the attention of prospective clients?