There is no question that online marketing is a growing force that is very unlikely to disappear any time soon. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t or can’t market your business offline, so that you can connect and be viewed as a local authority with high credibility and visibility.
So just what are offline strategies? They are marketing efforts that are performed or delivered via offline means (in person and via print, meetings, and events). Read on for 9 ways that will help you gain local authority.
Make the most of local networking events attended by your ideal clients and top referral partners. Networking is a great way to meet new people and uncover a variety of opportunities you may not have considered before. Networking in person creates connections and has you stand out in people’s minds, as well as gain credibility.
Make sure your business card stands out. How many times have you seen the same stock business card from different people and businesses? These get lost in the sea of business cards and are typically thrown away. Why not use bold colors, an unusual design, and your imagination when putting together your business card design so it can fulfill its potential as a marketing tool?
Create your own referral network. Having an effective business network is priceless when it comes to sharing marketing costs and attracting new business from referrals. Find other businesses that serve your specific market and offer complementary services or products to your offerings. Set up a coffee or lunch meeting to discuss opportunities to share referrals. Build trust and the relationship so that you can mutually refer customers with confidence. This is a critical strategy for every entrepreneur, since referrals are the life blood of your business.
Write brochures, pamphlets, white papers, and even e-books that provide valuable and helpful information, and are not solely promotional information. Use paper and designs that are attractive to your market. Include your web address, email, and phone number, as well as a call to action. What do you want the reader to do next after they read your material?
Actively request testimonials from those who can provide glowing feedback — your raving fans — and use them in your marketing materials. This social proof is priceless as it shows how you deliver the results you say you do! A testimonial from a satisfied customer is one of the most effective forms of promotional material. People are more inclined to believe in the value of your
products or services if they are able to read positive reviews from people who have already done business with you.
Prepare an informative, engaging, and entertaining presentation that is full of valuable content, including a call to action. Define what you want the listener to do next. Call organizations and ask if they accept outside speakers. Practice so you know the material well. This is one of the top recommended strategies for every entrepreneur, regardless of where you are in the business building cycle. Whether you are just starting out or have a 6-figure or even 7-figure business, this is the top strategy to master and implement, as it is one of the fastest ways to build the know-like-trust factor.
Develop a press release for a new product, promotion or business milestone, and submit it to various papers and magazines. Tying your press release to a current news event, trends in your industry, or the seasonal calendar is a powerful strategy to use for press releases. Remember that the media is looking for news, not information.
Identify and participate in trade shows to expand your network and find new leads. By having a booth or table and making sure your display is eye-catching and memorable, you’ll be able to access people you’ve never reached before — and stay top-of-mind after the show ends. To separate the folks who are serious from those who only want your raffle item or giveaway, create a short, value-packed report that visitors can register for at your table or booth. This is a great list-building strategy.
Include a marketing piece in letters, invoices or statements that you send to customers. This is a perfect time to share details of a promotion, a coupon, or a new product or service offering. The customer will be less likely to throw it away when it is included with an expected mailing.
Even as the world of technology continues to expand at an ever increasing pace, there is no substitute for “in person” interaction in growing your business. Pick just one of these ideas and track what happens. You may be very pleasantly surprised!
Have some of these pieces already? Here is an exciting bonus. They can be leveraged online as well. Hubspot recently published a very insightful post focused on turning “old school marketing” into online content. Check out their great ideas here. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/recycle-traditional-marketing-inbound-content-list.
Learn more about simple ways to make your marketing work for you at: http://www.DianaMNeedham.com.