|For those of us who operate Internet home businesses,
'cyberspace' is so convenient that it's easy to forget
that people still exist out there in the 'real world'.
Part 3 of our 'checklist' series on promoting your online
business provides you with a few tips on how to reach
your audience offline.
[ Note: Parts 1 and 2 are available online at:
* http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/articles/checklist2.html ]
PART 3: Marketing Techniques for the 'Real World'
1. Business cards. Leave a few in the local library or
with other local businesses where prospects gather
(with permission, of course); include a card in your
postal mail; tack up a card on the bulletin board at
your grocery store, etc. One place that offers quality,
professional business cards at reasonable prices is
ExtraValue.com, http://www.extravalue.com/ . On a
tight budget? Go to VistaPrint for free trial cards:
2. Direct mail. Flyers, brochures, catalogs, coupons....
there are all sorts of things you can send through the
mail. Need help? Freelancers can create pretty much
any type of direct mail promotional items for you at
competitive rates. Try
3. Use your car! How much time do you spend driving (or,
unfortunately, sitting stuck in traffic)? Take advantage
of this opportunity by placing your URL on your car for
everyone to see. Web Decals offers custom-printed
decals that quickly and easily attach to your car's
It's also a good idea to keep a few business cards,
brochures, flyers, or other information in your car
that you can give out to people who stop to inquire
about your business.
4. Newspaper advertising. Keep in mind that classified
ads are usually extremely short; you'll need a punchy,
compelling ad that fits into just a few lines.
Nationwide Newspapers offers classified advertising
in over 8000 newspapers across the United States:
U.S. Media Inc., http://www.usmediainc.com/ ,
specializes in many types of 'offline' advertising,
including newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, and more.
5. Get to the 'heart' of your audience by advertising
in a quality magazine with loyal readers. U.S. Media Inc.
lists a wide variety of trade and consumer magazines and
publications. Contact their reps for more information:
6. Participate in trade shows. Get exposure by networking
with others in your industry. While you're there, you can
even make a pen and paper available to collect the email
addresses and/or postal addresses of people interested in
receiving your newsletter or additional information about
your product or service. Visit the Trade Show News Network
to search for trade shows of all types in industries
7. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce. They may be able
to offer you suggestions on where you can promote your
8. Send out postcards. Postcards are short, attractive, and
readers can easily see your information 'at-a-glance.'
Don't forget to display your URL! Extravalue.com is a
great place to get professional, quality cards at very
9. Put your URL on every piece of printed material that
leaves your office. This includes brochures, business
cards, flyers, faxes, labels, letterhead, invoices,
cheques, envelopes, and anything else you can think of.
10. Consider using promotional items such as notepads, pens,
mugs, etc. Imprint these items with your URL. Give some
away as gifts to your best clients. You can even sell
them online! iPrint is one place you can find 'do-it-
yourself' promotional items, including t-shirts, golf
balls, pens, mugs, clocks, tote bags, and much more:
http://www.iprint.com/ . And at CafePress.com you can
upload your artwork, set your prices, and you're ready
11. State your URL on your voice mail message. Say your
standard spiel, then add something like, 'For more
information on [your product], visit our website at
www.MyDomain.com.' uReach is a service that offers
all-in-one communications service that includes voice
mail, email, and faxes. http://www.ureach.com/
12. Seek potential partnerships with complementary
businesses. For example, let's say you sell a dog
training video. You could approach local groomers or
dog agility centers and offer to share the cost of
their next direct mail campaign: when they mail a
postcard or letter inviting their clients to return,
you also offer their clients a discount on your dog
training video. This way you both reduce your costs...
you reach a targeted audience quickly, easily, and
through a trusted party (the other business)... and
your business 'partner' can make a valuable product
available at a discount to their customers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide to building a business on a beginner's budget. It's
a proven hit with beginners, for the down-to-earth style
and loads of instantly useable tips! For details, visit
OR request a series of 10 free reports to get you started: