A successful business owner is always on the lookout for new customers, no matter what type of business you own. These days, many people rely solely on social media to generate leads. However, just because you have a Facebook business page or Instagram account, you may not be reaching all the potential buyers in your community. (If you want more information about setting up a Facebook account for your business, watch this video from Stahls’ TV).
I’m referring to all those potential customers out there that aren’t glued to their electronic devices–yes they do exist. And many of them are fellow business owners who need your services. It’s always good to have some good old-fashioned marketing ideas in place, especially ways that don’t cost that much. Here are seven low-cost ways to find customers for your custom printing business:
- Ads in Small Publications
There are thousands of small publications in every community, from yearbooks to school programs to church bulletins. What about your local high school? You can sponsor the printing of the fall musical’s program or put an ad in the track and field banquet program. Some schools create student directories. When placing ads in these publications, try offering a coupon or special offer to track responses.
- Local Coupon Packs
Unlike a direct mail piece you would organize on your own, value packs usually offer lower costs per target, and you can have your coupon included in very specific, highly targeted mailings. The implied urgency of a value-pack coupon with an expiration date will let you know quickly if your efforts are paying off. And remember, value-pack advertising salespeople are usually eager for sales and often willing to negotiate the price. Once again, think about using a specific offer that you can track to value pack.
- Bulletin Boards
Letting people know that you offer the specialized service of custom printing is the key to purpose of your advertising. As mentioned earlier, there are many people that want and need lettering on shirts or team jerseys but don’t know where to have them printed locally. Or they might not realize that you offer one-offs. Bulletin boards are an inexpensive and effective way to inform the public. Post a flyer on local supermarket, school and library bulletin boards. Maybe your local car wash offers an advertising wall? Sometimes hair or nail salons allow clients a space to leave business cards. What about your doctor’s office? And who knows, when you are asking permission to post your flyer or business card, you may discover that the business actually needs your services.
- Sponsor A Local team
As a custom garment printer, it won’t be long before you are asked to sponsor a team. When you do decide to sponsor a team, make sure that team has the best looking uniforms on the field. They don’t have to be the most expensive, just the most creatively and professionally decorated. See to it that team boosters have access to plenty of custom printed sweatshirts, jackets and T-shirts as well. All these people will be wearing free advertising for you. And let the other team managers or sponsors in the league know that you can provide custom uniforms for them as well. If not this season, than next year!
- Community Involvement and Networking Groups
One good way to make your services known to other businesses is to become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Lions Club or other service group. This puts you in the front row seat for learning about upcoming fundraising events or fairs that could use your services. The meetings are a good place to network while building both personal and business contacts. Local schools often have sports booster groups or other volunteer-driven organizations. There are also business networking groups such as, Business Networking International, MasterMind Groups, LeTip, Women in Business Networking and others. All these groups have their own “rules of the road” but usually involve giving and getting referrals, the opportunity to do some public speaking and other business building networking. The good thing is, custom printed garments are always in high demand and any costs involved in joining will most likely be offset by new business gained.
- “FREE NAME” Flyers
If you want to increase walk-in traffic, you may want to consider distributing flyers on car windshields or to pedestrians passing your store. To make the flyer more effective and to help you track the response, include a coupon for the addition of a free name (or other appropriate offer) to any garment purchased in your store. Here’s one unusual – but very guerrilla like – way to distribute your flyers: Talk to the most popular pizza delivery place in town and offer to put their boxes together. In exchange for your help, they allow you to stable your flyer and coupon to the box! Pepperoni and personalization – what a combination!
Speaking of freebies, here is one last tip–never go anywhere without your business cards. Having a business card handy is one of the easiest ways ever to slip your business information into the hands of practically any one you meet.