Offline Ways of Promoting Your Site
If you have an inkjet printer – you can really be creative. For instance, we do our own business cards, letter head, envelopes, t-shirts (iron on transfers) and window stickies.
We use two services in particular that can provide many of the products listed on this page. The first, Vistaprint.com, even offers Free Business Cards! – The offer Never Expires. We use Vistaprint.com for most of our offline printing needs.
Another online service we use to create promotional items such as T-shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs is Cafe Press. It’s on-demand printing at its finest, as there is no minimum purchase required, plus you can get discounts for bulk purchases.
- Money-Saving Coupons
Create a discount coupon that is redeemable for $10 or more off any online purchase. Distribute them offline on bulletin boards, Post Office, Town Hall, Libraries, any place where you know a lot of people go.
Donate a gift certificate to local charities. The charity will appreciate it and you will receive community-wide recognition and possibly new business. Plus you can write it off on your taxes!
Article: How to work with charities.
- Pamphlets and Brochures
Small “how-to” brochures that explain to people how to do something that relates to your business. For instance, if you sell computers – maybe you would print out a little brochure that explains “how to clean your computer”. Also – in the brochure, you might offer a coupon to your business. Then distribute brochures where people congregate.
- I.D. Plates
ID PlatesStick these on the back of your car. Consider getting a personalized license plate with your business name on it. (If you can fit it.)
- Business cards
Some quick ideas – post them on bulletin boards all over town. Carry them in your wallet, pass them out to friends, relatives, and business associates. Make sure your web address is on them!
This idea from cmmei.com copyright 1999: CMMEI – All Rights Reserved.
Use a color inkjet printer to create appealing photos or mini-posters of mountain views, beaches, forests, outer space scenes, etc. Print your Web address on the poster at the bottom right corner in highly visible ink color. Make a few copies and distribute them to blood banks, hospitals, and any other facility (such as a dentist’s office) that requires people to lie on their backs for an extended period of time. Use your printer to print out flyers that explain your business – distribute where people congregate.
Send out a few postcards every month to people or businesses that might be interested in your services. Remember to think “target”. For instance, I know a songwriter named Bobby Kennedy. He’s targeting all the Kennedys throughout the United States. He bought a book that lists names and addresses of just Kennedy’s and he’s working his way through it sending out postcards about his new album.
- Bumper stickers, magnets, pens, pencils, notepaper, buttons
Badge A Minit
A lot of these things can be made very inexpensively. Hand them out to clients, friends, relatives, anyone you meet. (Kitchen magnets and pens are especially useful to people.) Buttons can be worn when you go to various conferences or functions.
This is a more “elegant” idea – but one which bears mentioning. Some of you might remember those tie clips from Niagara Mohawk (a NY State power company). People collect this sort of thing. Also – pins for the ladies with your website logo on it. Sounds a little corny – but it’s worth a shot!
- Hats or t-shirt
Print a logo and your web address on hats and t-shirts. Wear them, give them to clients. You can buy t-shirts and iron-on transfers to print using your own printer. You will need the software to do the printing.
- Envelopes and Letterhead
Print custom-designed envelopes with your address, web address, and a one-line slogan on the back of the envelope. Of course, you must have your own letterhead. It can be the same design as the back of the envelope. Also, include your phone number on the letterhead.
- Greeting Cards or Holiday Cards
Don’t forget your clients on the holidays. You can easily print up nice greeting cards on your own printer. Or splurge and have Staples or any print shop print them up for you.
- Rubber Stamps
Get a rubber stamp made with your web address on it. Stamp all of your correspondence. Rubber stamps are cheap – and fun to use!!
- Newspaper and Magazine Articles
Places to submit – magazines, hundreds of newspapers.
- Newspaper and Magazine Advertising
This can get to be expensive, but if you have a service that you are only offering to a specific area of the country – it might be beneficial. Include a coupon or some special offer so that you can track clients that you obtain through your ads. Be sure to track the ad – see how much business it gets you and determine if it’s worth pursuing again.
- TV and Radio Advertising
Once again, this might be expensive. Advertising on local radio stations is probably your best choice if you have limited funds.
- Radio Talkshows
To get on a talk show you may have to do some kind of write-up like a press release – you will need to have something interesting to talk about.
- Run a Seminar
Gap Enterprises: How to start your own seminar.