In this day and age, a lot of businesses are focusing their attention on online marketing. After all, so many people are now going online when hunting down a product or service they need. So it’s essential that you make sure you are using online methods so that potential clients can find you rather than your competitors. And you need to use websites and social media to help drive those sales for your business. However, offline marketing is still a valuable tool to ensure you do get those new clients on board. And with these traditional methods, you are not reliant on the internet to make it work. However, marketing is not a cheap part of your business. So small businesses can struggle to afford massive ad campaigns on the radio or television, and they don’t have the money for big marketing events. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money on offline marketing techniques if you are a small company. Here are 11 budget-friendly offline marketing techniques which will help you to promote your business and soon drive in those all important sales.
One offline marketing technique which will help you to draw people to your company is canvassing. It’s a great way of spreading the word about your business with people in your local area, and they will then tell their colleagues and friends and family all about your company. After all, there are likely people in your area who may have heard of the business who don’t know exactly what you do. Therefore, when they see your flyer, they will learn about your business is and how you could work for them. Cost isn’t a worry when it comes to canvassing materials such as flyers and door hangers as you can get these fairly cheaply from online websites or local printing companies. If you buy in bulk, they should give you a significant discount on the flyers so that the price isn’t out of your budget. Make sure you put all your key information including your USP on the flyer so that people will be drawn into finding out more about your company. And spend time choosing a design that stands out so it won’t end up being put in the bin. As well as putting the flyers in local households, do drop them off at other small businesses in the area. They might be able to use your company for their business, so it’s worth letting them know about what you offer. If you can deliver them on foot, it will also save you money on postage too.
Speak at Industry Events
There’s no doubt that you should be attending industry events. After all, you need to show you are a current business who should be taken seriously. And it gives you a chance to schmooze and find out more about your competition. But being more than just an attendant, you should offer to speak at industry events. If you volunteer to speak about a certain hot topic, they are likely to take you up on the offer. After all, they won’t want to pay out a fortune for a speaker, so if you are offering to do it for free, they are likely to take you up on the opportunity. They will be pleased they have someone in the sector who currently makes a product or service to speak about the topic. And by speaking at an industry event, it helps to boost your company. After all, companies will know who you are and will spread the word about your business. Also, as discussed in this article from Small Business Sense, speaking at an event will give you a position as an authority in the niche. So it will raise your importance and help you to be seen as a professional player in the sector.
Offer Free Consultations
Another great marketing technique you can do is offer free consultations. A lot of potential clients are put off coming forward to speaking to you as they don’t want to end up spending money on an item or service without knowing fully how it works. So when you send marketing emails or letters, they often ignore them as they don’t want to go ahead and purchase the item or service. Therefore, offering to have a free consultation will help you to get a potential lead as they will be willing to speak to you to find out more about what you do so they can see whether it’s right for them. You should add the fact you do free consultations to all your marketing materials. For instance, you need to put in on your brochures, business cards, and website so that people know it’s a service you offer. It’s then up to you to wow them when they speak to you so that it leads to a sale. But just meeting them and getting them to find out more about your company will help you to boost brand awareness and they might potentially use you in the future.
Attend Networking Events
You can also help to market your business without splashing the cash by attending networking events. These events are a great way of meeting the local professionals in your area who might be looking for your particular product or service. You can also find out more about who these business people are and start to build up a relationship. After all, key relationships with people in the industry are so important if you want your brand’s voice to be heard. Therefore, building up relationships will help you to have a contacts list you can fall back in the future. Also, going to networking events gives a name and voice to your brand. You can tell people what you exactly do and your story. It will help you to gain interest, and it could lead to follow-up chats in the future. These events will ensure you are up-to-date with all the latest trends and news in your industry too so it’s good to have this on your radar so you can adapt your products and services accordingly. Just remember to take a good business card and leaflet you can hand out to people, so they remember you and have your details after the event.
Attend Meet Up Groups
In the way, a networking event is a great way to meet other professionals, meet up groups also offers this opportunity meaning it’s an excellent form of offline marketing without having to spend any money. These groups meet up to discuss a specific niche that they are all involved in. So you need to find one in which your business will appeal to them so that you can attend and market your business. It’s a great way of building up your relationship with these local business-minded people, and it could lead to some follow-ups after the meetup groups. Look on the web or in your local newspaper to find a group which is suitable for you to attend. And if you can’t see one that is already set up, you could even arrange your own as discussed in this feature by Hiscox. Just pick a niche that will work for you, pick a venue and a time and then start inviting people along to your event. It will still help you to meet people who might be able to work with you in the future, and it will show you are a business person to take seriously.
Join Local Chamber of Commerce
Small businesses can market their business for free by joining their local chamber of commerce. You might not have heard of this before, but it’s an excellent way to market your business in the local community. By joining the local chamber of commerce, you then have access to other businesses in the area. You will be able to contact other companies who have also joined and talk about your company and what you do. It might provide you with an opportunity to collaborate with another business or even get work off them in the future. It gives you a great chance to market your company as there are many opportunities offered to people part of the chamber of commerce. For instance, they do programs such as educational opportunities and networking events which can help you to boost your brand awareness. You can search for events which might be of interest to you and attend to meet key players. Take along your marketing materials and then use the opportunity to make people aware of your company. As a bonus, the chamber of commerce helps you to find out about issues which might affect your business so that you are up-to-date.
Banner Stands and Signs
When you visit businesses, you will notice that many of them have a well-placed sign in their entrance. This is key as it draws people off the street to look at the sign and see more about what you do. It makes them aware of your company and keeps you on their radar if they do need that service or product in the future. Therefore, don’t leave the front of your shop or office plain if you want to draw in sales and ensure people don’t just walk by. Look at investing in some kind of sign or banner stand which will help you to advertise your company well. They don’t cost a lot and will last a significant amount of time so you won’t have to replace it any time soon. There are many different types of stands around such as Roller Banner Stands which are an excellent choice for marketing your company. Just make sure that you design it well so that it works in marketing your company. You want something bright and cheerful to ensure people do stop and look at the stand. You also want to make sure it builds awareness of your brand by putting your logo and strapline on the stand. That way, they will associate your company with that branding in the future when they see it around the area. And another benefit of these stands and signs is that you can take them with you to trade events where you might be showcasing your company. Putting it out on display will ensure people know who you are straight away.
Make Use of Outdoor Wraps
As much as a small business might dream of seeing themselves on the big screen or a billboard, the costs can be way out of reach at the beginning of your journey. Therefore, you might want to consider a cheaper way of getting your branding out there to the world. One way you can do this is by outdoor wraps. This is where you get a vehicle and get it wrapped in your branding. That way, you can drive to meet clients and around the town in the vehicle. People driving in their cards will see the wrap and will look at what you do. It’s a constant reminder to the local people who your brand is and it might remind potential customers to get in touch. It’s worth taking the vehicle on long journeys too to make people on a wider scale aware of your brand. Make sure you go for an eye-catching design which will turn heads and make sure they do look at your branding. And as it says on Quickbooks’ site, it’s a cheaper way of having a moving billboard. And it doesn’t cost a lot to get someone to do- it if you find a local company or independent worker.
Take Advantage of Business Cards
One of the first things you get when you start your company is business cards. After all, they are a necessity when you are visiting clients or attending shows. But they are much more than just a piece of card for your details. They can be an excellent marketing tool which will help to promote your company. You need to make sure you use the space correctly on the business card so that it works well for your business. You don’t want a card which just has a pretty design and the phone number for your company. You should add your website and social media details to ensure people look online after they have left you with the card. If you have space you could even add testimonials on the back of the card. That way, they get a sense of reliability and trust that you are a professional company who will provide decent work. As well as including the branding and a strapline for your company on the card, try and put something surprising that will stop them from putting the card in the bin. You could put a joke or a famous quote which will make them smile or laugh. It might help them to remember your company in the future and they might even discuss your business with others which could lead to potential work. And remember to always get more business cards printed than you need. After all, you never know when you might be in a position where you can give an influential person a card. And buying in bulk can make it cheaper which is a benefit too.
Flyers and Brochures
Another great option for marketing your business in an offline capacity is flyers and brochures. Both of these make for excellent marketing materials which will show off your company and exactly what you can do. They highlight the main products and services you offer and what makes you different from your competitors. And it’s a great chance to make a good impression before you get to talk to potential customers on a one to one basis. When it comes to flyers, they are a good choice as they are cheap to make. You can find a small printing company who will offer you a reasonable price for a simple flyer. You can then distribute these to the local businesses in the area and post them further afield to potential clients. Flyers can always be used as marketing materials you can hand out at events and trade shows so it’s worth going for a larger quantity. Brochures also make for a great option if you are looking for something more detailed to help market your company. You just might not be able to afford to get these in high quantity. So it’s worth just getting a couple you show at meetings or events but not give away to the public. As it says in this article from The Balance, a brochure can help to build your credibility as a serious business as all major companies have a good range of sales literature.
Take Advantage of Word Of Mouth
The cheapest and easiest way you can market your business with offline techniques is through word of mouth. It’s the best way to make people aware of your company and what your brand stands for. And with verbal recognition, it’s the key for helping people to trust and want to work with you in the future. Therefore, make sure you tell current clients to spread the word about your business. Prove to them you are a great company to work for and then they will be happy to tell others about the positive and effective piece of work you have delivered to them. They will tell other people in the industry who then might decide to work with your company. Therefore, make sure you are spending time working on giving your current customers excellent customer service and delivering products and services which exceed their expectations. That way, they will be more inclined to tell others about the work you have provided. And if you are a fairly new company, try to do something which will get others talking. For instance, doing something for charity can ensure people then talk about you and your brand gets marketed by word of mouth.
As we have discussed in this article, marketing your business offline doesn’t have to be expensive. There are so many different things you can do to promote your company without having to splash the cash. Marketing materials are so important such as flyers, leaflets and brochures and pop up time again on this list. After all, you can use them for canvassing, attending trade events, meet up and networking events. Building up relationships is also so important for helping to market your business and get to know other professionals in the industry. You can then count on these familiar faces for helping you to drum up business. Doing things like offering a free consultation and speaking at events can also help you to meet prospective clients who you could work with in the future. And you can’t forget to make the most of offline techniques like banner stands and outdoor wraps which will help you to market your company without having to spend a load of money on big advertising campaigns. With all these marketing techniques that we have discussed in the article, you will soon be drumming up business and meeting new clients. And as your business rises to the top, you can add more money to the pot to spend on marketing so that you can spend more on big marketing techniques. But for small businesses at the beginning of their journey, the techniques discussed will help you get on the right path to brand awareness and recognition.
James Birch is the sales and marketing manager at Colour Graphics. He is an expert in quality printed marketing materials
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