12. Public Relations and Publicity
Most of what you read, see, and hear in the media got there with the help of PR. The media are insatiably hungry for factual, interesting, and newsworthy or entertaining information they can share with their customers, members, employees, listeners, viewers or readers. PR, approached correctly, will give you free coverage on radio, television, in magazines, newspapers, trade journals, newsletters, e-zines, and via Web sites who serve the marketplace you’re trying to reach.
13. Special Events and Promotions
One of the best methods of making your business more successful is to make doing business with you a special, memorable experience. The more exciting, enjoyable, fascinating, informative, valuable or educational you can make the experience, the more business you will do, and the stronger and more meaningful the bond you will form with your customers. Events are a very powerful way of offering people who have an excellent probability of turning into customers a chance to be educated about the benefits and results of your product or service. They can also be used to recognise your existing customers as being very special.
14. Advertorials and News Stories
Writing articles and news stories for publication in the media that your prospects and customers would find interesting and would like to know about is the quickest, easiest way, and usually the first step, in building your reputation. You need to know how to come up with article ideas, research and write successful articles, get them published, use the reprints in self-promotion, and get people to respond to you and buy your products or services.
15. Brochures and Corporate Literature
No matter what your business, your brochures should help bring in profitable business … yet most brochures fail miserably. You therefore need to know how to create professional brochures and fliers that sell for you by educating your prospects and customers about the benefits you offer and also addresses their questions and their needs for your product or service.
16. Making profits on the ”Back End”
If you depend more on repeat business than initial sales, or if most of your sales and profits occur when customers repeat purchase from you again and again, you should be doing everything possible to motivate as many customers as you can to make their initial buying decision as quickly and easily as possible. Making it easy and irresistible for the customer to start doing business with you by adding extra incentives or by making your initial sale at breakeven or a small loss, means that you will benefit sooner rather than later from all the repeat business, the add-ons and the ancillary products and services that represent the bulk of your profits.
A powerful technique for building your reputation with a defined audience over a period of time is to regularly send them a newsletter, which can either be free or paid subscription. Newsletters can be used to position you as an authority in your marketplace, to build closer relationships with clients. You can use them to educate your target market so they can make more informed and more frequent buying decisions or educate them to the full extent of your services and how you can add value through those services.
18. Leaflet Drops or Inserts
Gives you a direct approach into both homes and businesses in an exact geographical area … giving you the flexibility to drop any number at any time, and lends itself to a low cost combination of letter and brochure advertising.
19. Use Your Competitors Resources
Harnessing the relationships that your competitors do not properly or fully develop or appreciate … and making arrangements to obtain details from them of all their unconverted leads, unsold prospects and unconverted enquiries is like them handing you the keys to their own customer list.
20. Exhibitions and Trade Shows
Some wildly successful businesses employ only one major method of marketing: they display and sell their wares at trade shows, exhibitions, and fairs. They realise that many serious prospects will attend these gatherings. But there is an art to successful exhibiting which, if mastered, generates immense rewards. There are few other sales forums where prospects and clients come to you and where you can meet so many of them in a single day. You can also conduct valuable research, get first hand opinions on your products and services and even collect valuable testimonials. Besides attracting new business, exhibitions can be used to introduce existing customers to additional products and services they were previously unaware of.
21. Card Deck Offers
A card deck offer is a product description or promotion on an individual card about the size of a postcard typically placed within a pack along with 50-100 other cards. It’s a quick and enjoyable way for many busy people to “shop” through a variety of product offers, and you can normally target and send your offer to a large number of carefully selected prospective customers for less money than nearly all other direct marketing methods.