When it comes to marketing and advertising your services, it really is a jungle out there. Although there are many different forms of marketing, lately everybody seems to be dancing to the tune of internet marketing not realizing the fact that traditional marketing isn’t out of beat yet, and I sincerely doubt it ever will be.
No matter what kind of freelancing you do or business you run, the traditional approach shouldn’t be undermined just because you offer something ‘internet related‘. That local flowershop in your town might be looking for an online store and a design for their site, would you want them to find somebody else on the internet or would you want them to find you?
T.V. Ads – Worth It?
Although this might be one of the ways to market yourself you do need to realize your capacity. A commercial on a TV or a radio cost quite a bit but the turnaround is equally impressive. Like I said, before you venture out into this method of marketing make sure you do have the resources to meet the expectations of the potential clients. You will have much more business coming in than you would when you rely solely on internet marketing. Tv ads may not be good for every type of business.
A 15 second commercial alone will expose your service to millions if not billions of people in a matter of minutes. A commercial on TV cannot be ignored (well, you can always change the channel). It all depends on how fast you want to grow and what resources you have in case you convert those people watching your advertisement into clients. T.V. is a huge huge form of advertisement and if you really want to grow your service, this is one thing you don’t want to miss. Yeah, it costs money but you might gain return on that investment by couple folds.
Radio – Cheaper Than T.V.
I find a lot of people saying that radio is becoming obsolete. How many of you guys listen to radio on your way to work, or at home while working? Probably a lot of you. Radio is one of the best way to market your services as a freelancer or small business owner. Personally, I think radio is a more viable form of traditional marketing than TV.
I read this in a magazine and I am not sure what company it was but this is how they marketed their service through radio:
They picked a certain time of the day to play their advertisement for a week, between 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM everyday for a whole week. They chose this time because most people are in their car going to work during this time and when they turn their radio on while commuting, at some point between 8 – 9 AM their hear the ad.
This gave them a lot of exposure as most of us listen to radio while commuting to work and there was no way anybody would miss this commercial if they had their radio turned on during that time.
We could use the same tactic as well. I live in a small town and if I want to expand my business using this form of radio advertisement, it will bring in a lot of potential clients from my own home town. I am pretty sure I will be able to meet the demands of small population. This is why I think radio is more viable option than TV for small businesses and freelancers.
Newspapers – Try It At Least Once
The ever so important newspaper. A cup of coffee and newspaper to start the day, now that’s something a lot of us do! Anyways before I get carried away dreaming of a perfect morning let’s get into some details as to why newspapers can be a great tradional marketing approach.
Just like radio channels, there are national newspapers, state newspapers, country newspapers and town newspapers. It is really simple to get an ad in a newspaper and it’s also the cheapest option. If you think your business can handle the business that might come from advertising on a state newspaper, by all means go for it. If not go ahead and take advantage of your town newspaper to cater to your capability, it’s cheaper too.
Unlike radio, advertising in a newspaper is much cheaper. You don’t have to buy an ad on the very first page or anything, just pay a couple dollars to put one on classified section. Although it might be a small ad you cannot underestimate the fact that a lot people look in the classified section.
When I started my residential cleaning business in my hometown, I had about 25 calls the very next day, which I think is pretty impressive. The fact is, many people will pay to get their house cleaned. Hey, that’s how I made money! Anyways, if you really want to expand your reach, do consider an advertisement in a newspaper, it can substantially boost your business. Worked for me.
Word Of Mouth – The King
Word of mouth still is the king for freelancers and very small businesses, if you ask me. Word of mouth marketing doesn’t cost a dime ( make that a penny ) and if done right it can flow like a wildfire in a jungle.
Most of the times people find it difficult to approach to somebody and let them know about their business, but it’s not that hard. It all starts with a conversation.
Here are some examples on where you can use word of mouth marketing to get some business and let others know it exists. Best of all it’s free:
Although this might be one place you wouldn’t think of, it still is very effective when it comes to marketing yourself. A bar ( yeah yeah I know ). Next time when you go to a bar and see that hot girl/guy just go upto them and buy a drink. Now, instead of saying “ wow, you looking good “ try “ Hi! It’s pretty lively in here , don’t you think? By the way, I am X, and I have a Y business. Do you mind if I ask what you do?” And if he/she is passionate about what they do they will certainly respond and then it’s your turn. If they don’t, move along. $5.00 is worth spending when it comes to marketing yourself, and if it didn’t work, hell that girl was hot and five dollar certainly was worth her attention ;-).
I got about 3 people to become a regular client when I first started my business by marketing this way. And guess what? One of my clients now is my wife and yeah I still clean for her but I certainly don’t get paid.
Another way to use the word of mouth approach is when you are at a social gathering. Go ahead and talk to new people. Don’t always limit yourself to people you know. You need to explore new opportunities and let yourself out there. Family gathering, social events, anywhere. If your business is important to you, you will be passionate when you talk about it and remember enthusiasm is contagious.
Starbucks, bar, at a bus stop. Just go ahead and talk to other people. Start out with a question and then start talking about your business or freelancing career. Like I said, if you are that positive about your business there will be atleast one that will talk about it and it will keep flowing, from one ear to another. Give it a try.
What About You?
That’s it for the day guys. By the way, how many of you have actually tried any of these traditional marketing approaches? Is there anything else you would like to suggest? Please share with the rest of us.
Until next time,
About the author: If you like what Ritu writes, check out Work N Play, a blog about blogging, technology and a lot of other things. ;)