By: Carlo Pandian
As every entrepreneur know, you’ve got to start small. There’s no point in trying to run before you can walk, especially in an economic climate that hammers new businesses flat, often before they’ve got off the ground. The credit crunch taught us the value of working with what you’ve got and making it work for you; the essence of Guerrilla Marketing. Here are 50 Tactics you might want to employ, to get you where you want to be.
01. Think Outside the Box
Marketing is one of the most impactive methods of attracting new clients – but it doesn’t have to cost. Podcasts, blogs and vlogs are cheap ways of communicating your existence, on a regular basis. You might even want to employ a group of drama students to do some pop-up marketing on the streets.
We can’t all afford posters and flyers to begin with – but what about post-it notes? They’re self-adhesive and won’t take up costly space in a newsagent’s window or on cars, offices – anywhere you think they might be useful.
03. Grabbing Attention
Your clients get loads of advertising post through the letterbox, so you need to make sure yours stands out. Instead of buying one 60p stamp to go on the front, why not buy sixty 1p stamps? It’s gimmicky, but it raises questions that only opening your letter will answer.
04. Hang Around
You might be attending a conference in the future, in which case you might be staying in a hotel. Print up a batch of hotel door-hangers with your company details on.
05. Making a Gesture
Next time you hit the cinema, pick a likely-looking client in the queue behind you. Pay for their ticket without telling them and get the cashier to give them your business card. It might not get you a client, but it guarantees you’ll be talked about.
06. No Such Thing As Bad Publicity
You need coverage and there’s no better way than organising a cheap bit of publicity. Sort out a ‘picket’ in front of your office with placards bearing the slogan ‘This Business Is Too Nice’. Think big and think silly; it’s all publicity.
07. Welcome Your Guests
If you’ve got a blog, invite guest-bloggers to do a piece on your site. Their followers will be directed to your company and there’s bound to be a client in there, somewhere.
08. Fiddle the Books
Not what you think! Hit your library and find the section that relates to your business. Put a business card in every book you think is relevant.
09. Car Stickers
These are simple, cheap and attention grabbing.
10. Brand Your Brand
Temporary tattoos on the faces, arms or necks of your colleagues whilst you attend a conference will get people talking.
11. Make Yourself Useful
You’ll have a few home business owners in your area and these are people who often keep their businesses hidden from local authorities. Hit your town hall and offer to set up a home-business committee. Soon you’ll have a list of people looking to talk to you about their businesses and you can promote yours.
12. Keep the Conversation Going
Even when you’ve sealed the deal, ask your client if there’s anything else you can help with. You might just trigger them to think of something else you can offer them.
13. Beat the Business Cards
Business cards are ten a penny. Instead of posting your cards to potential clients, create a list of ten reasons why you’re right for the job and get them made into door hangers, then have them delivered.
14. Do It Live
Find a shop that somehow relates to your service and offer to put on a demonstration. If you can afford it, sell some fast food at the same time and contact the local papers, radio and TV stations.
15. A Constant Reminder
Get calendars printed with a slogan or testimonial included on each month. Everyone needs calendars.
16. Look Out
Window decals for your car need to include all your contact details and be big enough to read.
17. Go Fishing
Many shops and restaurants have glass fish bowls in which they keep business cards. Put yours in but, at the end of each week/month, ask if you can have those that remain: they’re free leads.
18. Help Out
Local schools are always looking for sponsorship for fund-raising events. It can be cheap and, if you turn up to the event, a great way to generate interest in what you do.
19. Get Festive
Greetings cards, birthday cards, celebration emails – they’re all a way of keeping in touch with your customers.
20. Get Giving
If you can afford to, donate some of your profits to a charity each month. Not only might it generate some publicity, but may attract some more community-minded clients.
21. Competition Time!
It doesn’t need to be a massive prize and if you have more than one winner, you’ll have more than one mouth spreading the word.
22. Fashion First
T-shirts with your logo on are a great way to get people talking. Buy in bulk and have a giveaway.
23. Find Allies
Can you find a company that somehow offers a service that you can complement? Find them and join forces.
24. It’s in the Blood
Sponsor a blood-giving event. It communicates that you’re a caring, dynamic company.
25. Pat on the Back
It’s worth spending the extra to host a party and invite your most influential clients. It’s a pat on the back that people will remember.
26. Get Elected
Politicians use their constituents’ houses as marketing centres, with placards and banners. You might persuade a homeowner to let you do the same in return for discounted services or a free product.
27. Junk Yourself
In the current climate, there’s no such thing as junk mail; everyone’s looking for a deal, so don’t look down on this way of making contact with new clients.
28. Get in Print
Newspaper adverts are expensive, but most local papers are always on the lookout for editorials. If you can construct a well thought-out article that, while it mentions your company, isn’t strictly an advert, you can reach a readership without having to spend the money.
29. Go Glossy
Don’t limit yourself to newspapers; magazines need copy, too.
30. Public Transport
Commuters and bus passengers are a captive audience. You can simply leave business cards or pay for an advert.
31. Answers On…
…a postcard. Your message doesn’t need opening; it’s there for all to see.
32. Publish Yourself
E-books cost next to nothing to publish and you can either give it away or sell it to fund other marketing plans.
33. Free Yourself
Give something away. It happens every day, on the street. Jump on that bandwagon.
34. Get Competitive
Your area will have local business awards and competitions. Put yourself up for as many as possible; you might just win something!
35. Go Viral
YouTube is an astonishing way to contact thousands, if not millions of potential customers. Get a video camera, create a song or an advert –something that will grab people’s attention – and upload it.
36. The Extra Mile
Go the extra mile for your clients. Don’t just do the job in hand; do the extra stuff that might otherwise be overlooked. You’ll be remembered and talked about.
37. Project Your Business
People still talk about the time when Gail Porter’s image was projected onto Big Ben. You don’t have to be naked and you don’t have to be in London; your logo on a local building or wall will do just fine.
38. Catch the Bus
Bus stops are perfect for adverts. It might cost, but there are always people at bus stops.
39. Get Cinematic
Local cinema adverts don’t have to be expensive, but they do ensure your business is seen by a lot of people.
40. Healthy Advertising
Those magazines in doctor’s and dentist’s waiting rooms are just waiting for your business cards to be put in them.
41. Get Sexy
Whether you like it or not, sex sells. Hiring male and female models to parade around in figure-hugging or revealing outfits does grab attention.
42. Sponsor the Less-Fortunate
If you can persuade a member of the homeless community to hold a placard, stating who you are and that you’re paying that person, you might just generate some interest. In paying them, you’ll also feel good about yourself.
43. Music Speaks
Find a local, unsigned band and offer to pay for their next venue, in exchange for your flyers and banners being on stage with them.
44. The 404
Network with other bloggers and website owners and exchange banners on 404 pages.
Local companies will personalise sweets for you. Dish them out or try and get them into restaurants.
46. Hair Today
Hairdressers and beauty salons are hubs of conversation. Get coupons, business cards or free products into a hairdresser’s and word will spread.
47. Daily Deals
There are sites such as Groupon where you can communicate offers and deals to a huge number of subscribers.
48. Spread the News
Press releases are a cheap and simple method of keeping your company fresh in people’s minds. Whether it’s for a newspaper, email campaign or your website, they can attract attention.
49. Flying High
Find out when there’s a big business conference in town. Hire someone to dress as a chauffeur and hold a placard bearing your business name and get them to wait at the arrivals desk.
50. Word of Mouth
Pay your mates, actors or family to go to the right places and talk you up. It might cost you a restaurant bill or a theatre ticket, but word of mouth is the ultimate marketing tool.
About the writer
Carlo Pandian is a freelance bloggers and tutorial writer on Intuit QuickBooks accounting software. He is interested in finance, start-ups and web marketing and loves providing business tips to the entrepreneurial community of The Hive co-working space. Please check out http://www.intuit.hk/ for more information!