inventive Ways To Use Basic Flyers, Ads And Postcards As Media Placement
I was working on my online adventures the other day and I was getting a little flustered. You know how it is- just when you think you have a manager on the NEXT BIG IDEA that is guaranteed to make you some money online, you find out that your persistence and patience is running thin. It’s not because the method won’t work (in most situations) it’s just not working fast enough.
So….I went back to my beginnings, my original pursuit of online success by numerous contacts in forums. There’s great free information on these sites and I began to incorporate the ideas that people were repeating over and over. I had done their suggestions and followed their plan but I got sidetracked too many times when I discovered something or someone new. Some marketing guru with the million dollar program. Don’t take me wrong, there are some really good entrepreneurs out there and they have made a fortune. But most of them had that really GREAT idea that they had time to market and perfect. This doesn’t deter me from continuing my pursuit of online marketing. I have faith that the GREAT idea is in me, it just hasn’t found direction however. Or maybe it’s because I have to learn the basics first. You know what I discovered?
Wow! I have been placing media all over the place, just like they suggested, but I had also come up with some of my own ideas to promote my business. Maybe that GREAT IDEA isn’t that far away from finding it’s muse!
Let me be the first to tell you- I haven’t really invested a lot of capitol in things like Pay-Per-Click or buying lists or traffic, etc. The reasons? Let me count the ways! 1) Because I am really broke right now, 2) I’m living check to check, 3) I plan to invest more once my websites start to roll.
And I nevertheless have faith that they WILL so I started with classified ads in all areas of media- local newspapers, entrepreneur business magazines, and in every free site I could find on the Internet. Next, I made a specialized looking flyer announcing my website business and mailed it to everyone I could think of. Next, I made postcards and started mailing them and handing them out to anyone I could find. Literally, I would go out to eat and leave a small stack at the hostess stand (if management would allow), I asked my local grocery stores if they would throw one into everyone’s grocery bag, anything I could think of that got the information out. My thinking was this- by asking others to include these postcards in their wares I was saving a ton on postage. Since I was producing these flyers and cards myself, it offset the costs of printer ink and paper. By the way, most chain grocery stores won’t do this, but a small local ma-and pa grocery? No problem! Of course, it helps that I have lived in my community almost all of my life and the owner’s wife used to babysit me!
nevertheless, this idea caught fire! I discovered that if you create flyers on construction paper, the tear-offs come off easier. I guess that’s a pet peeve of mine, I have yanked complete flyers off of bulletin boards just trying to get that little piece of paper! Anyway, I placed flyers with pull-off tags everywhere I could think of that had a bulletin board. The Mall, local stores, the local college, local junior and high schools. This worked, already when I wasn’t granted permission to post on some of these boards. I usually just left a associate of the post cards with whoever told me “no” to posting a flyer. One advantage of living in a small community is knowing everyone so already though I got turned down for posting I received many phone calls asking about my business. It’s a win-win!
Here’s another idea for simple, inexpensive promotion. I have a running list of ads I use for submission on the Internet. They’re short and to the point: a headline, 3-4 lines of info and the URL and/or 800 number to call. I must have four complete pages of these ads (at the minimum), because I try different ads to see which ones get the best response. I printed several pages of these ads then cut them up into little slips of paper. Remember me saying how I used to leave post cards with restaurants? Well, a small pile of these individual slips work just in addition. In fact, I have found that most restaurants would rather use these, I don’t know why. Maybe because they don’t take up a lot of room? Who knows!
I used to march in the Troopers, a local drum corps, when I was younger. This group is a non-profit organization and truly one of my all-time passions I was going to ask them if I could place an advert in their monthly newsletter, but they are a non-profit and work hard to raise funds for summer touring season. It didn’t feel right; they use their newsletter to raise funds from alumni. Then it hit me- they have a Bingo parlor! It’s their major source of revenue for their organization. No, I don’t live in a Norman Rockwell painting, but if you know anything about Bingo (or have ever played) you buy a packet of paper game boards to play. They come in a nice plastic bag that also includes all sorts of tickets and promotions for the nightly gaming session. You know, free chili fries or a “double down” coupon to use on one of your games. Seemed like a natural fit for my post cards. They agreed to place them in the buyer bag as a promotion and it’s really great. Surprisingly, Bingo players are a targeted market for online business promotions. I don’t know how to explain that, I guess you have to either play Bingo or work in one to understand, but it’s true. The only problem is I do live in a small community so already adding them only on Friday nights began to become a waste of paper. My target market got saturated pretty quickly. But it was different. So why not?
Why not, indeed! There are a plethora of drum corps around the country and almost everyone of them rely on Bingo as their major fund raiser. I’m in the time of action of making phone calls to see if I can do this on a larger extent.
I kept thinking about those Bingo bags….I’m a Clinical Social Worker and I go to a lot of workshops and conferences. They always hand out some kind of “goodie bag” with pens and pencils and bookmarks, plastic coffee cups, discount tickets to local restaurants, etc. I contacted my local Chamber of Commerce and got information about these kind of upcoming events- everything from the annual Hunting and Fishing Expo to the Convention of Burnt-out ’60’s Cellar Jazz! There are all sorts of these kind of activities and gatherings in my small little community and finding out who is responsible for the “goodie bag” is easy. It’s also an easy sell because they are always looking for something new and different to put in those bags. It works!
So that’s how I took an idea like postcards, ads and/or flyers and got the message out to more people without having to pay postage. Innovation and creative ways to promote your website will save you money and can be fun in the time of action!