You may have noticed that Web designers/managers/marketers spend a lot of time encouraging you to buy services to help you promote your website online. We often seem to neglect the need for micro business owners to promote their websites offline as well.
Remembering that many of your potential customers still use traditional media to find you, you might want to allocate a little bit of your marketing budget to some of the following offline marketing activities:
- Place a classified advert for your microbusiness in the local newspaper. Classified adverts are cheap, and if you place them regularly enough, people will start to notice.
- Teach a class. Recently I held a training program for a group of small business owners, teaching them how to maintain their own websites. Two of the students referred their friends to my website and I signed them up for regular website maintenance contracts.
- Add your URL to everything. Let everyone know you have a website by addding your URL (your web address) to your purchase orders, your invoices, your brochures, your sales receipts, your letterheads, your fax covers and your email signature.
- Make a bumper sticker. Get your local printer to make a sticker of your URL and stick it on the back of your car. Every day hundreds of people will see it, and you may just get some website traffic as a result.
- Write your URL on the beach. I couldn’t resist this one. I read a forum posting a while ago about a guy who wrote his website URL in the sand every morning. If you’re selling something that beachwalkers want to buy, this may just work.
- Send a letter. Develop a relationship with your clients by sending them a personal letter thanking them for their business and directing them to your website to receive a limited offer or helpful information.
- Create an online tool to help clients. If you can afford to hire a freelance programmer, create a free online tool to help your existing clients use your products more effectively.
- Speak to more people. If your micro business is anything like mine, a lot of your new business comes from referrals and simply from striking up a conversation with people. Having a business card handy helps to direct people to your website for more information.
- Give away promotional gifts. If you’ve got the budget, buy some unusual promotional gifts and send them to clients. You never know where a pen with your URL on it could end up.
- Write a press release. Tell the media about new products, new projects or anything else work talking about by writing press releases. Having your URL in the byline will definitely bring you website traffic if your press release is published.
If these ideas sound a bit too tame for your liking and you’re interested in trying shock tactics (or you just want a laugh), you should read Patrick Altoft’s ‘5 Killer ways to promote your website offline‘.