Humans seems to have this physical attraction to constantly wanting to know every minuscule moment of their life. It seems our only way to stay up-to-date is with some form of electronic, titanium, neo-plastic coated buzzing alert system. Face it we are living in a world surrounded by electronic devices. It seems this electronic era has driven this social media addiction where every piece of information must come from a Facebook notification or a Twitter alert…but has it?
I propose this theory, that this social media craze has fooled many businesses into thinking that their customers will find them through social media. For example, I have a business friend who is running an event, so she promotes it on Facebook and maybe posts on Instagram a couple of times. I ask her a few weeks after the event “how did it go?” my friend replied defeated “it was a bit quiet, hardly anyone turned up.” It is such a shame, as I know my friend has something really valuable to offer, but she just isn’t getting her message out to her potential customers through social media.
Now my friend can take two paths, she can either learn to become a social media expert and undergo some form of training from a ‘supposed’ expert in the field. By doing this she is bound to increase her online following which would potentially see her next event with a great deal more attendees…well perhaps. Or she could revert to some traditional forms of promoting her business to build her customer base. Now, look I’m all for social media promotion in business but stop fooling yourself into thinking that it is the be all and end all of business marketing. At some point in your business you need to get offline, that’s right I said it…OFFLINE! In case your wondering what that means here are some tips to promoting your business traditionally aka OFFLINE.
When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone and attended a local business networking function or community fundraiser? These events have great opportunities to meet new people that could potentially open the door to new customers. You may feel a little out of your comfort zone, but I suggest taking a friend or work colleague along with you, it is much easier to meet people if you have someone by your side. Don’t try too hard when networking, remember to enjoy yourself and just be yourself. P.S. remember to take your business cards.
Working with other suppliers or industry professionals on a project is a great way to get your business out there. Business to business collaboration can offer you potential ongoing work or contracts; it can also enhance your business with recommendations and client referrals. Not to mention the free cross marketing you may receive through the other businesses social media and print marketing. Collaboration is great, but it can be costly. So be sure to know what you want to achieve from it before you accept. Always make it clear from the start with the co-collaborator what you hope to achieve, then together you will both be able to work towards achieving successful results.
Eeek, I hate cold calling. So my strategy here is being a little different. I never go in to a business or a potential customer to sell something, that’s so tacky. Instead I go into a business to provide a solution. So for me I provide marketing and website advice to business clients, but for me seeing my clients succeed in business with my help is my main objective. So the last time I went to cold call it was to see if other business owners were interested in starting a business network. This allowed me to talk about what it is I do and why I wanted to start a network group. By doing this I have expanded my network greatly in my local community and this has resulted in a great deal of new business for me. Lastly before you start knocking on everyone’s door or calling people, remember to be polite and judge the situation, always introduce yourself and promptly tell them what it is you are doing. People are busy; no one has patience for a time waster!
Not everyone checks their phone 20 times a day, and not everyone gets your posts on social media. Have you tried printing off some simple business offerings and doing a flyer drop. Sounds so old school, but you could be amazed by the result. Hardly anyone gets mail nowadays; I know I get excited when the postman delivers to my house! Make your flyer stand out, keep it basic (bright paper, black print), not glossy like the rest of the junk mail, it’ll most likely be the only flyer that is read in the bundle. Even better, you can save yourself some money and get some exercise by delivering them yourself, or alternatively you can bribe your children to deliver them!
Have an Expo or Pop-up store or run a Workshop
Give your business a presence in a different setting. Try an expo display at an industry convention targeted to your type of clients, or hold a workshop at a community center, or set up a pop-up store at the local markets or shopping center. You might feel a little awkward at first, but in the right setting with some careful planning this can expose your business to a much wider audience. Remember to ensure that your brand is proudly on display and be equipped to provide information to potential customers. If you can, try to build a potential client list whilst you are there so you can get in contact with potential customers afterwards.
I know this might sound like a lot of hard work, but trust me business is not an easy game. If you think you are going to make it big on social media alone I wish you good luck. However I am certain many of those people, who are promoting themselves online as experts, have done one if not many forms of offline promotion. They will probably never tell you that, because that kind of defeats the product that they are trying to get you to buy.
Good luck in your ventures, I hope you decide to get OFFLINE in your business, if you do I would love to know what works best for you!