Do you cringe at the thought of trying to promote your business ? Does it feel like "selling yourself" or
egotism? Many individuals are not comfortable with marketing dimension of running a business.
This leads to an inner frustation for many and inner conflicts. Whether this is due to one's passion for one's true interests, a dislike of networking or another root, there may be a way around blatant self-promotion.
When someone receives something of value for free, trust and
good feeling naturally arise. Giving away a free item or
service are very effective marketing strategies. This will
acquaint a new person with your product and company plus can
be a non-agressive means to re-contact former customers or
clients. Has anyone came to your office or company for a few months
but hasn't returned for a year. Mailing a coupon or a booklet to that person could be a way to re-establish
contact. People get very busy and may have been thinking of contacting you but it became something on the back burner that was buried.
Here are some concrete examples and strategies that have
proven to be effective:
1) Many local newspapers will run without cost a free
service listing in the announcements section. If you would
like to get the word out about your business or company,
set aside a 2 hour block on a Friday and send out a press
release such as, " Janet Jinet will be available for free 15
minute phone consults Friday, March 13 from 3-5 at
xxx-yyyy." You can give advice or ideas to people during that 2 hour block of time. Don't label yourself by saying, "I'm not a consultant". Think about what you know and what information you can give someone who calls you.
3) Send to a former client or customer a two for one offer, 20 percent off coupon or some type of special.
3) As a social worker and yoga teacher, I was looking to
expand her practice and classes. I wrote a 24 page booklet
on Stress Reduction in Daily Life, incorporating tips from
yoga, psychology and meditation. At a local health food
store I found a place at the counter under the bulletin
board where people were allowed to leave brochures and
materials. As a result of leaving a stack of 50 booklets,
that week 2 new people attended my yoga class and she
received a new psychotherapy client. As an added plus, the
therapy client gave the booklet to her best friend who
began sessions. A month later a financial planner in my yoga
class bought 500 booklets to give as a free Christmas gift
to her clients with her sticker on the cover which she used
to promote her own business.
4) Network with others and do an exchange of flyers with someone in a non-competing field. For instance, a chiropractor could call a mattress store and each could have the other's flyers in their place of business.
5) Local libraries are open to free classes and reach a
large population through their regular press releases.
Use your giving energy to build your practice rather than
try to change and become a "marketer" . We work best in
using our natural energies rather than fighting with
ourselves to become someone else.
Dee Cohen is a licensed social worker and certified
yoga and meditation teacher in Florida.
Visit http://www.outside-the-box.net for ideas
on marketing your business.