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with business examples drawn from real life.
Promoting is something you do all the time. You try to get more referrals, you put the word out on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media, you join networking groups, and you hold events to attract attention.
But there is always something new to try. What works for you might not work for the next person in business, and vice versa. And what works this year might not next year. And so it goes. Remember, the business environment, like the weather, is continually changing.
The best promotions grow out of your operation, or they become a part of the operation. And best of all, they are inexpensive. Here are three examples of this--build on what you already have.
Example: Ed is trained and certified in acupuncture. He set up a place and has a growing list of clients. To grow more, he set aside a large room where several people can lie down, relax in a communal setting. These are short, inexpensive, stress-reducing sessions. It's quiet and no electronics of any kind can be carried into the room. To attract more attention, Ed offers discounts to those who bring along a friend. He posts pictures on Facebook and short explanations on LinkedIn. Many of his clients are corporate types looking for relief from the stresses of their positions. Best of all, it's working to bring in more private clients with problems that require longer sessions.
Example: Ellen runs a small neighborhood restaurant. She knows that her reputation is spreading because more new people are showing up. To speed up the process, she has coupons printed offering one dollar off a meal. They are printed to suggest the size and color of real money. Ellen hands these out when people pay their bill, encouraging them to take a couple more for their friends. Her customers gladly promote for her, and it's working. Ellen is seeing more new faces with coupons in hand.
Example: Mary runs a fitness center. She tried joining networking groups to spread the word, and she got some results. But she thought she could do better. She went up on MeetUp.com, formed her own local networking group, and set meetings once each month. Her fitness center was large enough to accommodate those who showed up. There were no rules--just show up, meet other people from the area, and expand your own area of influence. Her monthly sessions became a popular community gathering. Regulars looked forward to interacting with others, and they brought new attendees. Mary spreads the word on Facebook, LinkedIn, and, of course, MeetUp. The result has been a great deal of publicity for her fitness center, and she has signed up many additional clients.
Promotional ideas are everywhere. Try something and build on it. Notice that the examples above took little, if any, actual money to put in place--just an attitude willpower and persistence.
Promoting is an on-going activity for your business. And promoting can take many forms. See other examples scattered throughout these write-ups.