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    9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2011 2:58 PM by raffledog

    How to advertise to local businesses?

    raffledog Adventurer
      I posted this yesterday but it was deleted. So I'm going to try again. I'm wondering what the best way to get local businesses to sign up for our services? We are a direct mail company with a twist. The twist is we host free giveaways so sponsors come sign up, we create a direct mail campaign for them and then send it out to targeted local prospects. Our goal is to bring in customers and build a following for them on social media websites.

      I'm willing to go door to door to sell this service as it's tough to find out about local copmanies online. Is this effective?

      Business Junkie gave me some great advice before the post was deleted. I copied it below. I'd love to hear from others. Thanks!


      "When marketing your business you first have to understand your target market. Thus, who are the businesses you are targeting (and most important) where do they find their information.

      I would suggest this. Go out to businesses in your community (the community that you are in) and ask them where they find or get information related to marketing and advertising (DON'T TRY TO SELL TO THEM DURING THIS VISIT - TREAT IT AS A DISCOVERY OF INFORMATION). Also ask them what makes them spend money on a new campaign. This will provide you a trememndous amount of information about your potential customers.I think what you will find is that most businesses use local advertising companies to run and manage their marketing efforts - thus you may have to find ways to partner with them.

      You could also try and contact local media outlets (TV, Newspaper, etc) and see if they would be interested in doing a free spot on your business in the areas you are targeting - most businesses watch or read their local news.

      What you might have to do is find a local company and tell them that you will do it for free - then let them spread the word about you as well as use that result as a testimonial. Make sure you land a company that is a community influencier."
        • Re: How to advertise to local businesses?
          raffledog Adventurer
          My response to Business Junkie before it was deleted:

          Hey thanks for the info. Locally where I live, most direct mail pieces are from restaurants and small specialty shops so I would focus on those types of businesses. Most of these local places are on Facebook already which is a big plus for our services and we'll work on building that following.

          Going out and asking them info (not selling is a great idea). My plan is to get a few freebies to start off on and build up some testimonials. Plus if they are happy may return or tell other businesses. Since our services are unique a local spot in tv or radio could be possible. Thanks for the advice and would love to see what others think.
          • Re: How to advertise to local businesses?
            bassmac Newbie
            My father started a Home Inspection business in 2003. He new that referrals from real estate agents would give him a huge edge over his competition. However, he wasn't sure how to approach the realtors to ask for their business, so he picked a well known firm in his home town and asked to meet a realtor for a fact finding interview. He went in to the interview with no intention of landing referrals from this realtor. Not only did the realtor give him great advice for how to approach other realtors, he immediatly began sending referrals my father's way. My father was able to take the advise of the realtor and the confidence of landing steady business into many other firms. The realtor referrals built his business quickly, the word of mouth from satisfied customers has propelled him to a point that he cannot manage alone.

            Point is, if you want to know how to reach prospective business, ask those you are targeting how to do it successfully. You may be surprised how willing to help they are.
            • How to advertise to local businesses?



              Yes, very true, always give them some quality free information, don't try to sell them anything. If they really need your services they will contact you. What also helps if you tell them how they can do it themself, for example, how to setup a social media ad campaign using Facebook. Most of the times they are so overwhelmed that they will ask you to do it for them .


              I hope this helps,


              • Re: How to advertise to local businesses?

                At least, I would submit my business to Google Local. It's free, which is favorite price point for most business owners.

                  • Re: How to advertise to local businesses?
                    raffledog Adventurer

                    The problem I am finding is that the economy is so bad and the winter  is the slowest time for northeast reastaurant owners. I actually did a  fact finding mission with one restaurant owner and he said that when  business isn't great, owners don't want to spend any money which I can  understand. Since my business is so new I'm even trying to get people to  sign up for basically nothing and am still having a hard time! I'm  going to keep at it and am determined to land one client. I feel like  once I build up a portfolio it will be easier to get others, I hope.


                    Thanks for the links, I'll check them out this weekend!