Building a business is hard work. Sometimes it’s frustrating to know what to do next to increase your visibility and bring in new customers. Here are a few ideas to gain publicity for your business without spending big bucks.
Press release are a great way to highlight what your company is doing. But it needs to be newsworthy, not a blatant advertisement.
Here are some newsworthy ideas that will show your business cares about your community, not just your bottom line.
1. Close the office for the day and have your employees work at the local food bank or soup kitchen.
2. Visit schools for career day and explain about your business and what it does.
3. Host a trade show for local businesses.
4. Hold a contest where contestants choose the name of your new product.
5. Start an internship program that trains local high school or college students in your business.
6. Go green in your office and tell the steps you took to do business in a more eco-friendly way.
7. Start a rewards program – This is a great way of saying “thank you” to current customers and creating customer loyalty.
8. Give speeches at local organizations, service clubs, or churches.
9. Write an ebook with helpful information. Then tell in your press release where people can go to get the free book. In other words, your webpage or blog.
10. Hold a fund-raiser for charity – Have a fun run, or a garage or book sale. Anything that raises funds that can be given to good cause. Stay away from anything political, though, it might alienate some potential customers. Stick to well-known organizations that people are familiar with and trust.
11. Hire new employees – In an economic client where most companies are laying employees off, showing that your business is helping the local economy by hiring becomes newsworthy.
12. Write a story about how your business is surviving despite the recession. Write it in a style that will help other business owners, not brag about your achievements.
13. Throw a party to say “thank you” to all your current customers.
14. Hold a sale for a holiday such as National Literacy Week and donate the profits to a Literacy Organization.
15. Create your own holiday – “Donate cans to the Food Pantry” week, or “Turn off the TV and read a book day”.
16. Donate something to a local school or children’s hospital.
17. Publish a book with pictures and stories written by local children – Place your company’s information on the front or back. Parents will keep these books forever.
18. Write an article that debunks myths about your industry
After you write a press release announcing the above items; continue your publicity campaign by doing the following:
19. Twitter – Announce your event to your twitter followers.
20. Facebook and MySpace – Let your Facebook and MySpace groups know about product launches and events.
21. YouTube – Video tape your event and post it on YouTube. Link it to your blog or webpage.
22. Blog – Post about your upcoming events on your blog.
23. Guest blog – Be a guest blogger on other blogs. This will introduce you and your company to a whole new audience.
24. Submit articles you write to local newspapers as well as online directories. Make sure they include helpful information and don’t sound like an advertisement.
25. Newsletter – In your newsletter, write about upcoming events, and then add stories and pictures after the events take place. If it was a fund-raiser for a charity, let people know how much money was raised and if possible, how the money was used.
26. Newspaper column – Offer to write a newspaper column for the local paper giving advice and tips. This could be about real estate, insurance and investments, or parenting and marriage tips, etc. Let people write in with questions that you answer in future columns.
27. Postcards – This is an inexpensive way to get information into the hands of local buyers. Announce a grand opening, a sale, or offer a discount.
28. Genuinely care about your customers and your community – In today’s world this is a rare commodity. If you can show you honestly care about helping your customers and solving their problems, they’ll talk about you to all their friends. And that’s still the best publicity any business can hope to achieve.
Hopefully these ideas will be a starting point to help you brainstorm your own ideas. Make a step by step plan for the whole year and follow it consistently. It’s the combination of many publicity campaigns, over a period of time, that will make your company known and build your business.