Simple, Cheap and Effective
by Janice Byer, CCVA, MVA
Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services
start-up business goes through phases of needing to try something
different to increase their exposure and bring in new clients. Even
established businesses need to revisit their marketing strategies every
once in a while to help bring in new and repeat business.
a recent business chat at Staffcentrix.com,
in which I was honoured to be the Mentor of The Month and chat moderator,
several Virtual Assistants (VAs) with varying experience in the small
business sector, shared their ideas and know-how.
consensus among the chat participants is that certain marketing techniques
will work for some small business owners but may not be as successful for
others. It was also agreed that the cheaper the method, the better.
and all the other VAs found this chat very informative and beneficial. So,
with the hope of passing on the great ideas that were bounced around, to
up and coming VAs or any small business owner, I have put together a list
of the marketing strategies that VAs have found successful, during their
startup phase and beyond.
1. A company website. This is probably one of the best and most cost
effective forms of having your company visible to your potential
clients....and its available 24/7! If you have the time and patience to
learn to put something together, give it a try! Or, consider hiring a
professional designer in order to get an exceptional site. The benefits of
having a website are definitely worth the expense. But remember to shop
around and be comfortable with your designer... and the money you pay.
2. Signs in or on your vehicle. Window decals are fairly inexpensive
considering their lifespan. Remember to include your website address. If
funds are really short, make signs on Bristol board and put them inside
the windows. You can also get Licence decals . These can include
your website address, company name, and phone number and fit nicely around
your licence plate.
3. Join your local business associations. And don't forget to get
involved! Your local Board of Trade or Chamber of Commerce can provide an
abundance of opportunities for your business. The networking events are a
way to meet other business professionals in your community. And, getting
involved in the committees allows you to share your expertise and be
recognized by your fellow members.
4. Pinup Flyers. Include a tear-off section on the bottom and put the
flyers up at your local stores and other locations that may have bulletin
5. Fax Broadcast. Design an informational or fun page, similar to a
newsletter, and send it out to fax numbers for your target market. Please
note that fax broadcasting is not allowed in some areas of some countries,
so be sure it is okay in your area.
6. Keep in touch marketing, such as a personalized thank you to a new
client or contact, a Christmas card that simply says thank you, and a
monthly newsletter (print and/or online) to all your customers and
7. Iron on transfers. As a small business owner you already eat and
sleep your business, so why not wear it too. You can purchase the
transfers at your local business supply store and, I imagine, at craft
stores. Then it's just a matter printing your logo (or whatever you want
on the shirt) onto a transfer and ironing it on.
8. Articles & Press Releases. Writing articles is a good way to
receive exposure and it also helps you to be regarded as an expert in your
field. Press releases can be used to announce a new business, when you
provide a new service, or any other time you have some news to tell. There
are 2 keys to a press release... the Headline and making sure it doesn't
sound like an advertisement, but more like it is news.
9. Networking. This is another highly beneficial and cost efficient
way to get the word out about your business. Attend designated networking
events as often as possible. Also, when possible, follow the Three Foot
Rule... if appropriate, strike up a conversation with anyone within 3 feet
of yourself and be sure to bring up your business.
10. Testimonials. These can be implemented into many pieces of
marketing. Include a sentence or two in your advertisements, brochures,
newsletters, and you can even dedicate a whole page on your website to the
kudos your receive from satisfied clients.
matter which marketing efforts you use, keep track of where your inquiries
and new clients are coming from. Don't be afraid to ask them how they
heard about you and/or your business. Asking only takes a couple of
seconds and the results will show you which strategy is working for you
your imagination to work... instead of your wallet and watch the business