The Top 10 Ways to Market Your Business or Professional Practice Without Advertising
Every business and professional practice MUST be in the public eye. You need clients! They need your goods and services. It's a mutual alliance for mutual benefit! However, if potential clients don't know you exist, or can't find you, you will go bankrupt! They won't benefit from your services and you won't make money. This makes marketing a necessity. Advertising is one form of marketing, but it's terribly expensive. Here are the Top 10 alternatives:
1. Contact 5 past customers or referral sources to thank them for their business and ask them to evaluate the quality of your service. Let them know they are the most important part of your research and development program. Listen to their suggestions!
2. Re-do your business cards, brochures or letterhead. Up-date your slogans, be certain your use of colors, textures and headlines is appropriate and represents precisely the image you want to convey. Hire a graphic designer. Don't skimp on your first impression!
3. Announce a new program, new products, new hours, new personnel or new policies. So long as it is real and improves the quality and level of your service, this is news that customers, clients and the media will want to know about.
4. Attend and participate in networking opportunities. From business open-houses to neighborhood picnics, to greeting people you've done business with when you see them around town, always look for ways to remind people of who you are and the services and benefits you provide.
5. Cooperate with other organizations to achieve name and brand recognition you couldn't achieve on your own. Sponsor a local softball team, join with a radio station to sponsor a contest, or participate in a charity golf tournament. Partnerships can bring huge rewards!
6. Offer a seminar, class or workshop. Local news media will often cover an interesting topic, and it's a great way to make people aware of your services. Charge little or no admission, have great handouts and materials, and get a crowd together.
7. Use direct mail. Typically, we think of this as "junk mail" going to thousands of people, but more often it's a matter of using your word processor to write a personal letter to 200 past customers, colleagues, or even competitors. Make it interesting, personal, and remind them of your special niche or unique services. Include a coupon or certificate. Make sure your direct mail is not "junk"!
8. Form an alliance with your suppliers, colleagues or even your competitors to offer a "combo" package that neither of you could offer alone and share the marketing expenses. Attorneys and accountants can offer compelling packages. A massage therapist might pair with a Chiropractor, a gym, or a weight-loss program. Who can you team up with?
9. Review everything a potential customer sees or hears when they do business with you. How do you answer your phone? Do your signs needs re-painting, is your lobby attractive and comfortable? Is your desk a mess? Do you take pride in your appearance and take time to make clients comfortable? It's all in the details!
10. Re-submit your web page to at least 5 search engines this week. Each search engine has it's own rules and you don't want to flood them, but it is wise to up-date your listing at least every few months. (And, if you aren't on the web, well, that's tip #11.)
By Philip Humbert
Photography by Photoeuphoria
© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights ReservedWritten by Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach. Dr. Humbert has over 300 free articles, tools and resources for your success, including a great newsletter! It's all on his website at: http://www.philiphumbert.com