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How do you advertise / promote your business to get more business?

Stacey K

I like making signs
Website SEO and Facebook. I rarely do donations. As a one person shop, it's a bit harder to absorb. My son is a senior and for 4 years I paid for a radio spot during his football games and I donated like $60 a year to football alumni golf outing. Guess what, now they call me every time any school group goes to regionals or sectionals or state - I say no to ALL except football. I will donate a Carhartt hoodie to random "professional" fundraisers such as the city picnic and the school booster club big event. Donations have never resulted in much business.

One thing that really jerks my chain is all these fundraisers for people who get sick. They have a bigger house than me and a nicer car and I should take money litterally from my pocket and give it to you? Not happening. Had one of these over the last few months. Some kind of "pub crawl" thing. Well, they have a very successful business with employees, a nice home with a new pool and a winter home in Florida. She posted on FB they had to sell their Florida home. Well, guess what???? They turned around after the benefit and sold it for a nice profit then used that to buy a bigger better one! And I should donate to this? No thanks!
 

Notarealsignguy

Arial - it's almost helvetica
Website SEO and Facebook. I rarely do donations. As a one person shop, it's a bit harder to absorb. My son is a senior and for 4 years I paid for a radio spot during his football games and I donated like $60 a year to football alumni golf outing. Guess what, now they call me every time any school group goes to regionals or sectionals or state - I say no to ALL except football. I will donate a Carhartt hoodie to random "professional" fundraisers such as the city picnic and the school booster club big event. Donations have never resulted in much business.

One thing that really jerks my chain is all these fundraisers for people who get sick. They have a bigger house than me and a nicer car and I should take money litterally from my pocket and give it to you? Not happening. Had one of these over the last few months. Some kind of "pub crawl" thing. Well, they have a very successful business with employees, a nice home with a new pool and a winter home in Florida. She posted on FB they had to sell their Florida home. Well, guess what???? They turned around after the benefit and sold it for a nice profit then used that to buy a bigger better one! And I should donate to this? No thanks!
Your son was a senior for 4 years? That's rough
 

gnubler

New Member
Anyone ever done direct mail? I was looking into doing a postcard mailing to all local businesses (not residential) announcing my new location and services. Looking for some other advertising avenues that don't involve the internet.
 

Sindex Printing

New Member
Anyone ever done direct mail? I was looking into doing a postcard mailing to all local businesses (not residential) announcing my new location and services. Looking for some other advertising avenues that don't involve the internet.
EDDM does work, you may have to do more than one mailing. On EDDM I tell my customers expect to do at least 3 before seeing results that actually pay off. Some customers have had success with the first mailing. Just avoid EDDM during political times they just get thrown away.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
What about making up some brochures with your services and dropping them off personally to as many businesses as you can get to in a day?

What NOT to do...walk into a business and waste 15 minutes of the person's time pretending you are going to buy something then casually mention that you just opened your business and hand them a card. Sure fire way to NEVER get that business.
 

gnubler

New Member
I looked into EDDM but you can choose from either Residential & Business or just Residential for a zip code or zone. I don't want Residential at all, only business addresses.

Cold calling, soliciting in person...ugh. Often I get flagged down when I'm out doing installs which leads to new customers. Not a lot of installs going on now in the winter months so I'm open to new ideas. I've been getting involved in local B2B networking groups lately. It's semi-torturous for me, but getting better.
 

gnubler

New Member
What about making up some brochures with your services and dropping them off personally to as many businesses as you can get to in a day?

What NOT to do...walk into a business and waste 15 minutes of the person's time pretending you are going to buy something then casually mention that you just opened your business and hand them a card. Sure fire way to NEVER get that business.
I've walked into places with $hitty signs outside and asked if they were interested in a new sign. Have gotten a few jobs that way.
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
What about the schools in the area? I hate to beat a dead horse but those senior banners I do are great money with little effort...
 

Stacey K

I like making signs
The week after new years I had almost zero customers, no phone calls, no emails. I had enough work for that week and the following week. I was scared!!! Then all of of sudden the following week and I'm a couple weeks again with stuff in the pipeline for Feb. This time of year is always sketchy for me. Customers usually get their orders pretty fast LOL
 

stamford signs

New Member
What I did a couple times is find a local company that has a box truck that’s not lettered. Approach them and offer to letter the truck for free, if they give you the back door for your advertisement. I did that with an appliance co. And window co. Worked fine…looked like I had 2 box trucks on the road. Not that it changes your business overnight, but your name is out there for quite awhile for little money
 

Notarealsignguy

Arial - it's almost helvetica
I looked into EDDM but you can choose from either Residential & Business or just Residential for a zip code or zone. I don't want Residential at all, only business addresses.

Cold calling, soliciting in person...ugh. Often I get flagged down when I'm out doing installs which leads to new customers. Not a lot of installs going on now in the winter months so I'm open to new ideas. I've been getting involved in local B2B networking groups lately. It's semi-torturous for me, but getting better.
Melissa data has business lists that you can drill down to whatever you want to target. When we ran mailings, we narrowed by county, sic code and number of employees. Cleaned up the list and sent it to overnightprints for the mailing.
 

MIKE MCNAMARA

New Member
I have been in business for 28 years, my current marketing strategy is to make sure my current clients know all that we do- I see a lot of people saying specialize- you might "specialize" in wraps or whatever - but it isn't a stretch to load up a roll of vinyl or banner materials and produce banners and decals - Sell more to the people you already do business with. We have updated our own signage, windows, vehicles, building signage, facebook, instagram, monthly newsletter emails and even a little graphic in out email signature lines. Your current clients have already established a willingness to buy from you. However you advertise you can benefit from a cohesive marketing plan.
 

JamesLam

New Member
Anyone ever done direct mail? I was looking into doing a postcard mailing to all local businesses (not residential) announcing my new location and services. Looking for some other advertising avenues that don't involve the internet.
Those blue coupon mailers that we all get at home and work have to repeat themselves every few weeks to a month in order to salvage a 1% to 2% response rate. That doesn't mean they will buy, just that the recipient responded. We've tried postcards and mailers both industry specific and as current client base outreach and updates and at the end of the day we are just adding to the recycling bin.

During the pandemic I found the best outreach was just to call clients and chat, see how they were making out and if there was anything we could do to help. Often people just wanted to talk. I still make occasional calls just to say hello, and often that's plenty but sometimes we chat about business and a few ideas come up.

If something comes across my desk or I catch something interesting in production I may reach out to the original company if I feel there is an opportunity. Most times that falls flat but in a few cases these leads have become long term clients.

I agree that you can not be all things to all people so we have been cautious on the uptake of some new technologies so we do not overwhelm our staff. To that point I have found that we are more competent, offer better service and quality and have had greater success applying ourselves to a few key markets and services.
 
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