One of the keys to success with running a home-based business is identifying ways to advertise it effectively. When I first launched Clarksville Computers, I spent a lot of time making sure that it pulled up in all the right places in Google. I worked hard to achieve top results in organic search and Google Maps. And to reinforce things further, I even setup an AdWords campaign. Once my search engine marketing campaign was complete, I had a total of three listings per page in Google. I felt like I was going to “eat up the competition.” But surprisingly, the results did not deliver as well as I had expected.
I couldn’t understand why my phone wasn’t ringing off the wall. I thought to myself, “perhaps there’s a problem with conversion?” and “perhaps my ads needed optimization?” So, I checked into that, and quickly realized that conversion was not my problem. Instead, it was with exposure. In other words, my search engine marketing campaign was not receiving the amount of ad impressions I predicted. “But how could that be possible?“, I thought to myself. And then I realized how my predictions failed.
I realized that when a potential customer has a problem with their computer, it’s very likely that they are NOT able to get online to search for a repair shop. If their computer is broken, or in need of a repair, how can they get online to find me? So, that’s when I realized I could not completely bank on search engine marketing alone. That said, here are some other forms of advertising that I am using to market my home-based computer repair business.
#1. Customer Referral Program — I offer every customer the opportunity to earn money by enrolling into my customer referral program (inspired by HostGator’s Affiliate Program). If a customer is interested, I give them a handful of my business cards and explain to them to write their name on the back of each card they hand out. Each card I get back from a new customer, they earn $20 cash for the referral.
#2. Car Magnet Advertisement — I ordered two huge magnet advertisements for my car. The cost of the magnets was only $20 each on VistaPrint.com. With my car turned into a mobile bill board, I am exposing my business to hundreds of people on a daily basis. My advertisement is simple, catchy, and effective. Here is a copy of my car magnet:
#3. Bus Stop Advertisements — My girlfriend’s father gave me this idea, and it’s a smart one too. Many cities offer an advertisement program for bus stops. Also, there are cities, such as mine, where you can simply tape up an advertisement on the plexiglass wall. Advertising your home-based business at bus stops is effective because your ads are being exposed to people while they wait to catch the bus. They have a lot time read, register, and remember the message in your advertisement.
#4. Business Card Distribution — Distributing your business card out on the counter-tops of other businesses is also a very effective way to advertise. Just about every place I go, I drop a few cards on the counter-top. And I do so automatically if I see other business cards already there.
#5. Little League Baseball Outfield Fence Billboard Advertisement — My son has been playing Little League Baseball for six years. Hundreds of people migrate to the baseball fields to watch their kids play baseball. Our local Little League has a billboard advertisement program for the outfield fence. The cost is $200 for the first year, and then $125 to renew each year. Check your local Little League Baseball website for advertisement programs available.
I hope these ideas help you with creating your own successful OFFLINE advertisements for your home-based business. What are some other ideas you can think of that could help others? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed so you never miss a beat over here at SEOHosting.com.