Mark Blezard says, 'It's under your nose'
Free advertising, what's not to love?
I'm a member of a sales group on LinkedIn. An American lady posted, requesting help with a new venture. She was starting out on her own for the first time, selling life insurance, and wanted advice on how and where to market.
I know from bitter experience, when starting up a new business you often witness a surge of over-enthusiastic belief. You launch your website and sit and wait for the sales to start. You place a, slightly bigger than budgeted, advertisement in your local paper and then sit by the phone. I don't need to say more...
So, my reply was this. 'Your car'. She replied, somewhat puzzled, and I expanded. Your car is probably the best marketing asset you own. Subject to checking it is insured for business use, it is the equivalent to buying dozens of billboards for free. When you do the weekly shop, you are working. When you sleep, it is working for you!
The first stage is simple, and can be done yourself. Sticker the back window and sides with your unique mission statement, a hook, and your web address. You can make and buy stickers online for a few dollars. Further into my conversation with this lady, and I suggested this: 'Reliable, friendly advice on life insurance. I would be happy to help. www...'
Then we have 'stage two.' You still need a vehicle, and perhaps your business is a mobile business? Instead of waiting for your customers to 'wake up and smell the hotdog,' wave it under their nose from 200 yards! I've no idea of the cost for such a modification but think about this. If it sells you just three more 'dogs per day, at $3 each, that an income boost of $2-2500pa depending upon how many days a week you work. And here's the cherry – it is tax deductable! Another alternative is to look at a car wrap. It is less expensive than body panel modification and can be easily removed when you trade it in. Done professionally, it can be striking, both appearance and results.
And finally, the extreme stage three. "Excuse me, sir, do you know where I can pick up some plumbing DIY parts?" Who is going to spring to mind first?