So you’ve got a product and you need some buyers, interest, volunteers, or resellers. How do you reach out to them? Marketing has changed in many ways thanks to the Internet, but we’ll cover those 10 ways next. First – let’s start with developing a repertoire with your local community. There are many ways to do this – and you know what? I like Free – so let’s get out there and find some free customers.
1) Chamber of Commerce: I insist that you begin by visiting the Chamber which is in the city that you’ll be doing the most business in. No – we’re not joining them (yet). We’re here for Information! The Chamber is an excellent resource when it comes to finding information about all of the city sponsored events happening in your area. There are business mixers, farmer’s markets, street fairs, Veteran’s lunches/dinners, ribbon cuttings, and much much more which are very public. While this isn’t exactly a way to market – it’s a powerful resource to find out where to market.
2) Facebook Pages are a great way to keep yourself connected to your audience and gain new members – you can even take advantage of free $10, $15, or $20 advertising credits to reach a specific demographic. Be sure to take the time to fill out every single detail, upload a great page image – and be sure to update often! Don’t overdo it – more than once a day can cause you to lose followers. Here you can upload all of your Products, and even add features such as Shops so customers can purchase directly. Join your local Buy/Sell Groups and introduce your new product and offer demonstrations. Many libraries offer 1-2 study rooms, you can use these to your advantage to give your customers a Professional setting if you’re not making house calls or have your own office.
3) Local Events: such as the farmer’s markets, street fairs, city/state fairs, etc are always looking for volunteers to help with setups and tear downs. Many of these places require a fee of $20-100 in order to have a 12×12 booth and usually it includes power. You can possibly avoid this fee by going through your Chamber of Commerce and finding out when these events are scheduled and then ask to speak specifically with the Coordinator (start with one event – don’t try to attack them all at once!). Be sure to consider which Event will reach the targets you’re looking for!
Always dress professionally and if possible – have business cards ready or at least a mobile number to be contacted at. You can discuss that you’re a local and you’d love to help with any needed setups in exchange for a position at the event. You’d be surprised how often you will get approved – personally if I’ve ever found a spot or event that I want to be at then I’ve worked out a spot entirely free of charge. You just need to find out what they need help with – and provide! Maybe someone needs helping baking a specific item, or is lacking a portable barbecue? You’re in!
4) Door to Door: If you’ve got a product – you’ve most likely got marketing materials. Most companies provided you with the printed material necessary in order for you to properly promote their business. You’ll notice that if you want to provide your own flyers – sometimes you can be asked to remove them or submit them for approval before use.
These are great to have even though it’s primarily a numbers game, so be sure to have about 100-200 ready. D2D is definitely something people don’t enjoy, downright hate, or try to avoid. Personally I used to hate this approach until I started changing my mindset on the method. I was always marketing/selling someone else’s product on the Business to Business or D2D level, but when I began marketing myself everything changed.
Since I knew what I was offering and I was the Owner/Head/One Man Show then I had more confidence in what I was offering when I knocked on that door. That’s when I realized it’s all about believing in the product that you’re promoting. If you’ve got a solid product that you love, then it’s much easier to share it with others. One major aspect to Marketing or Sales is you’ve got to have that thick skin and be able to openly and effectively communicate with your people and there’s no easier way to put it.
The thing I love about D2D is that I know that there is a yes out there and I will find it. You can help by giving yourself small rewards after every meeting. Grab a coffee, a Snickers – whatever it is to pump you up for the next sale!
5) Offer An Event: What better way to get in front of people than promote a demonstration? Since you’ve already got your Facebook Page ready, why not add an Event? There are several ideas when it comes to where to do this.
The fastest? Your local park! Some other places could again be your local library; many of them have outside benches and they will allow you to setup a table (usually) and give your demonstration.
Libraries always need volunteers and have events – if you were able to give some time up they’re usually more than willing to give the love back.
Small businesses can always use some help getting customers in their doors. Just think of places you visit regularly – do they know your name? Most likely you know at least one business owner or can easily get acquainted with one. You can offer to have a clean setup which is out of the way of their doors or customer path to give your presentation. Many times people who stay will often browse the local shops.
Sure, many of my methods require some leg work. That’s part of being your own boss! I wanted to create a short list just to get the ideas rolling of who you can talk to and how you can earn yourself some free publicity. Up next I’ll have 5 Paid Methods to get out there – and of course it’ll have the coupons, discounts, tips, & tricks you’ll need to maximize your spending!