Years ago I used to run a small consulting business, we sold computers, software and provide consulting services. We also installed networks and provided more specialized services such as data recovery. One challenge that we always had was getting our name out there – advertising.
There is no easy way to advertise, all methods take a lot of money but here are a few methods that generated a lot of calls for us. There is no reason why some of these methods would not work for the online world.
Offline Traffic Generation Technique #1
Advertise in Staples, Office Depot, FutureShop, BestBuy
During the time we were running this business, typewriters were still very common and places like Staples sold LOTS of different types of typewriters. Each had paper loaded and we’d go in and ‘test’ them out. We’d type out our business name, the phone number to call and our slogan. We did this regularly and amazingly enough the staff never ripped out the paper because we’d get calls regularly. They didn’t always turn into sales, but it helped get our name out there.
Today the twist on this traffic technique still works – except instead of the typewriter you’re using a PC. Most of the companies I’ve listed open up their PCs so that you can surf the web. Simply go onto any PC that is open, and change the homepage to YOUR SITE. I do this whenever I get the opportunity with some of my niche, MFA sites.
Many stores are now showing off their Apple iTouch, these have WiFi capability – so again, you can change the homepage to be your site.
Offline Traffic Generation Technique #2
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce or BBB
One of the first things we did was joing the Chamber of Commerce, you see they ran a breakfast meeting weekly where members got the opportunity to talk about their business and what they did. These meetings normally had 30-50 attendees each time and think of one attendee as a business owner. Memberships were about $300.00/year – but the opportunity to talk about our business betwen 30 and 50 times per year to business owners was invaluable!
On top of that there were many other advantages. As a member of the CoC we could use their logo in our advertising, we got discounts on advertising in the CoC newspaper plus a HUGE discount on our merchant services account to process VISA and MASTERCARD payments.
Offline Traffic Generation Technique #3
This one is so easy, is silly. Contest. the one advantage with being in the BBB and CoC is that you got a chance to mix with other business owners and in mixing with them they tended to remember you since you had the chance to give your your business card. Because we were in the computer businesses, we always got asked to donate prizes for contents. At that time, modems were the big thing so we’d buy several modems from our suppliers and use these for contest giveaways.
This gave us LOTS of FREE PRESS plus since we also attached our business card to each prize we gave away we always got calls after someone won one of the modems.
I’ve got a few more offline traffic generation techniques that I’ll share next week with you… stay tuned!