Monday, October 22, 2007

low-cost marketing techniques - promotional discounts and specials

This post is part of a series, based on a talk I gave on the subject of inexpensive marketing techniques to the Toronto Chapter of Professional Organizers in Canada.

How do I market myself as a professional organizer? How do I market my professional organizing business?

Promotional discounts and specials

This topic is vast, and can include free giveaway items (material goods advertising your business) which can be quite expensive for the small business owner. Instead I'd like to focus on promotional discounts and specials involving services and value-added gifts of time or advice.

I've already talked about print advertising (business cards, brochures, paid ads in print media) and posters. An extension of this kind of advertising can involve promotional specials - especially seasonal promotions.

How can you make your business seem more attractive to potential clients? What about offering time-limited discounts on your services?

This can take many forms; some methods I've tried have included offering a certain percentage off my regular fee for a limited period of time, or offering one hour of free service when clients pre-book a certain number of hours. To encourage ongoing clients, you could offer an incentive like "buy ten hours of organizing, get one hour free."

I've had a lot of success with a flyer I distributed, that offered potential clients their second hour of organizing for free. The only catch was that they had to book a three-hour work session (in essence getting three hours for the price of two), and they could only take advantage of this offer once.

How about - as a thank you for their business - giving clients a coupon worth one free hour of organizing, to pass along to their friends? This could be a great way to maximize your referrals.

You can also tie promotional specials to seasonal events such as holidays, spring and fall cleaning, or the back-to-school season. Sit down with a calendar and think of the times of the year when your target market will have special need of your services.

Let's say I want to focus on families with school-aged children. I know that once school is out in June, some families may be interested in tackling large projects like re-organizing their storage solutions, basements or garages. And likewise in the late summer they may be interested in gearing up for the school year, and would be excited to hear about time-management strategies.

Incorporating some of those ideas into my advertising and promotions could maximize those types of seasonal jobs for me.

Providing value-added services is another way of promoting your business. I see my organizing blog - with its tips and advice - as a big promotional service for potential and established clients. You could also send out e-newsletters with valuable tips and advice to existing clients, or send e-mail summaries of your client work sessions, with advice for the next steps to be taken.

I'm continually looking for ways to add value to my clients' organizing experiences, in the sincere hope that they will find my work so beneficial that they will happily recommend me to their families and friends.

ACTION ITEM: Decide on a promotional special that you feel comfortable advertising on a limited-time basis, and create advertising materials to broadcast your message.

ACTION ITEM: Sit down with a calendar and map out special seasonal promotions that you can implement.

1 comment:

Rodger said...

excellent post, nice blog you have, another low cost method of promotion is to use transactional emailing or press releases although, I don't know whether you can put them into the category of 'low cost'

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