1. Money Stamping – grab a stamper from your local office supply store and stamp a funny phrase along with your website address on it. Have a make money online blog? Stamp something like “Learn how to make thousands of these online: sitehere”.
2. Sticky Notes – Another way to use your stamper or even your printer. Sticky notes are noticable anywhere because people know what they’re for; notes. Put these on local business doors, offices, cars, or above mail boxes in apartment complexes and people will take notice.
3. So many stamps – Looking for a way to get noticed in the huge pile of advertising mail potential clients get? Send your promo material in a big manilla envelope and put 39 – 1 cent stamps on it. Out of 100 envelopes, who’s do you think will catch the eye first?
4. Do Not Disturb – Heading to a blog expo anytime soon? Get some door hangers printed up with your business information on it and possibly a link to something free on your site. Get the attention of everyone in your market this way, and it’s super cheap as well. Noone else I know has been doing this so you’ll stand out for sure.
5. Pay it forward – when you’re heading into the movie theater, pay the persons way behind you and tell the cashier to give them your business card. You’re not guaranteed that the person will become a client but I bet the word of mouth on that one would be pretty big.
6. Fake publicity stunt – you could have people picket your storefront with signs that read “This business is too nice” or “Company X is too good at their job”. Theres a million fake publicity stunts, use your imagination and I bet it’ll work no matter how weird or out of the box it seems.
7. Guest blogging – This is for the bloggers out there, or even the freelance writers. Guest blog on other blogs largely related, or semi-related to your websites niche. Opening other peoples eyes to your name and your website is always good promotion, especially if you’re an awesome writer. Not to mention networking with other bloggers is great for business as well.
8. Business Cards – STOP! Don’t skip this one. So many people see this and think you’re going to tell them to print cards and hand them out. I’m not! What you do with these cards is head to every library or book store in your city and find the section that relates to your business. Open each and every book and place a business card somewhere in the book. This is great targeted marketing and only costs you a few bucks for the cards and an afternoon of placing the cards. If you need some great business cards, check out UPrinting.com
9. Bumper Stickers – These are great because they can go anywhere, not just on your car. Bathroom stalls, street poles, ect. Get creative with where you place them, they can grab peoples attention when placed in the right spots.
10. Temporary Tattoos – I seen a post on some guerrilla marketing ideas over at Daily Bits and they talked about this as well. These tattoos will last for X amount of days and would be perfect for blog expos or other events where tons of people will be. Placing it in a weird place (forehead, neck, full back, foot, ect) is also a great way to get it noticed. Hey, if people talk about it, thats the whole point right?
11. Help Home Based Businesses – most HBB owners try to keep their records hidden from local housing authorities so they’re hard to reach. head over to your local chamber of commerce and suggest a HBB committee. They might appoint you head of it (you can even ask to be) and you have a bunch of HBB owners who will come to chat and you can promote to with business cards, flyers, booklets, ect.
12. Anything Else? – No, the list isn’t done yet. These are two words to say right before you exchange money with a client/customer. This will make them think and could open doors to a larger pay day.
13. Top 10 reasons to choose YOU – instead of leaving business cards or other promo material at a business or in someones email box, create a list of the top 10 reasons why the prospect should choose your company. Make them 100% true, humerous and memberable.
14. Demonstrations – got a service business? this is perfect for you. Find a local store that pertains to your services and put on a free demo of your services. Your service involve outdoors? Contact news stations and let them know you’ll be offering a BBQ and free service demonstration. The BBQ could get a little costly, but the amount of press and promotion could really pay off.
15. Print Calendars – These could be given to each of your clients or left in a store for people to take for free. Print your website address and a little slogan or client testimonial on each months picture for exposure every day. The people using your calendars will even help you out when they have company over who will see the calendar, especially if the images you use are high end and visually appealing.
16. Window decals – get a custom printed window decal on your car with your logo/website and possibly a slogan. looks professional, and is great for red lights.
17. Fish Bowl Business Cards – You know the fish bowls at stores offering to choose a random card for a free lunch? Well, theres two ways to benefit from this. – 1. put your card in the fish bowl (hey, a free lunch is a free lunch, and who knows, the owner of the store might need your services) – 2. ask the store to let you have the losing cards each week/month which will generate a ton of free leads for you.
18. Sponsor an event – doing this is at most times, very inexpensive and also GREAT for publicity, especially if its a big event. You normally get your logo and business mentioned in all of the events promo material which is tons of publicity you normally wouldn’t get. Be at the event to add extra stickiness to your business name and interact with the guests.
19. Holiday Greetings – send emails or snail-mail to your past clients wishing them happy holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years). This helps them keep your name/business in their head as well as standing out from the other people they’ve done business with before.
20. Charity Donations – Donate some of the profits you generate every month to charity. Great for promotion in the media and clients to feel like they’re helping out the charity by purchasing from you.
21. Hold a Contest – This could have 1-10 winners which helps the word-of-mouth promotion everyone needs and wants. You can gain free press for starting the contest, plus publishing the winners is great for more press coverage.
22. T-Shirts – This is great for turning yourself or others into walking billboard. You can give the t-shirts away as prizes which is also another great way of gaining word of mouth promotion. Your t-shirts for the prizes don’t need your website address on it. Just give away a great, fashionable shirt and that’ll have people eager to tell friends and family where they got it from.
23. Partnerships – Do you run a web design business and want to find more potential leads? Try partnering with a web hosting company. Do you have a lawn-care business? Try partnering with a window washing company. Any partnership which benefits both companies is a great idea and a great way at grabbing the attention of new potential clients. Also a great way of giving your business targeted marketing.
24. Blood Drive – Host a blood drive, contact newspapers, tv news, radio, ect. have 1-2 banners up with your website information and also have business cards at the sign in table. Everyone loves to help their country, city, state, ect. and giving blood is the easiest way for some people to do that. Putting yourself in the forefront of your cities next blood drive would make your business very visible to a whole range of new potential clients and word-of-mouth advertisers.
25. Client Appreciation BBQ – Invite your past clients to a BBQ and let them invite 1-2 friends to come with them. This will help your customers LOVE you even more than they already do, as well as bring some new faces into contact with you as potential clients.
26. Outdoor Signs – Ever see the huge amounts of signs in the grass for mayor elections or in the front yard of a house that just got remodeled? This is a great, and inexpensive way to get your websites name out there. Pick a great tagline or picture for the ads, and you’ll be sure to get noticed.
27. Circulars – A lot of people nowadays are looking for good deals on just about anything, so when they receive the “junk mail” it’s not considered as “junk” anymore. Get a brochure put into these and you’ll have a good chance at 10-100K people to see it depending on how big the circulation is.
28. Newspapers – You don’t have to just buy an ad. Today, a lot of newspapers are hurting for editorials, so if you have any copy writing skills, you can send in some editorials to the newspapers and include a byline for your company/website information.
29. Magazines – Similar to above. Don’t just buy an ad that will get looked over, but write an article and if it is well written, when people read it, they’ll want to check out your website for more information on you.
30. Put it on a bus – Mobile advertising is great and will get viewed by a lot of potential clients on a daily basis.
31. Postcard Mailing – This is a bit cheaper then sending out envelopes that might weigh a bit and it also is easier for the potential client to read what you’re promoting without having the OPTION of opening the envelope (a postcard is one single piece of paper).
32. Write an E-book – You can do this for to reasons. 1, you can write a free e-book on a topic in your niche and circulate it so people will start to see you as an authority in your niche, or you can also sell the book for a small profit and use that money to fund some of the other Guerrilla Marketing tactics.
33. Giving it Away – How many people will turn down a free service or product? I don’t think very many will, so your voice and company will get out there in front of a lot of people. It’s also good for press to say you’ve given away X amount of products or services.
34. Enter Business Awards – from small, local awards, to big, multi-national ones like Inc., your company could benefit from the exposure inside the awards. It’s an added bonus if you win because then you have a nice trophy in the office, or ribbon on your website that says you’re a good company.
35. Link Bait & Viral Marketing – This is a well known tip to bloggers and website owners but few actually use it to their full advantage. For example, Matt Inman from 0at.org created some surveys as link bait for his dating site. Eventually, his dating website ended up as #1 in google for “online dating”, ahead of match.com and the other big players in that niche. Lonelygirl15 is another viral marketing showcase on how creating some funny videos can boost your viewers in a huge way.
36. Offer all the extras – If you design, offer to setup hosting and buy the domain name. If you cut grass, offer to come in the winter and shovel snow. If you cook dinners for offices or nurses at hospitals, offer to create desserts. The ideas are endless, but if you give your clients EVERYTHING, they will have nothing to go elsewhere for.
37. Borrow a wall/building - get a projector and find someone to let you use the side of their business/wall, and have your company logo/website/information shown on it every night. I know I would personally stop and look at what was showing on the side of a building for sure, so I can imagine how many others would as well.
38. Own the bus stop – Not literally, but if you can get your ad on the poster area of the bus stop along with the seat inside the bus stop, you could effectively “own” the bus stop and the eyes of everyone who stands there on a daily basis waiting for the bus. Add this in with #6 and you’ve got something everyone will remember and talk about.
39. Movie Theater Ads – I’ve looked into these for myself and they are generally very inexpensive as far as ads of this style go. Think about the movie you want your ad to show for and target it accordingly. A hiphop movie would be a great place for my Kicks Junkie website to be promoted, while a teen movie will do best with games/celebrity news.
40. Doctors Office Magazines – I’d slip business cards into magazines every time you go to the doctors. That’s what they get for making you sit in a waiting room for 2 hours at a time, only to be seen by the doctor for 10 minutes :)
41. Sex Sells -If your business is built for it, use it. Anything that isn’t “highly upper class” could use a little sex in their ads or in various ways. Building on the 24 guerrilla marketing tactics I wrote about, you could have 5-10 bikini models picket outside your business. This will definitely grab attention of guys in cars passing by.
42. Sponsor the homeless – I believe in helping people in any way possible. If you see a homeless person somewhere on your daily commute to work, or various other places, you could pay the homeless person to hold a sign that reads “YourCompany.com paid me to hold this sign”. Regardless if it brings a TON of business your way or not, at least you’ll feel good about yourself, and you’ll touch that persons life forever. Buy them lunch and dinner or take them to a grocery store and pick out some chips and various other foods they can keep with them. Buy them a hotel room for the night to sleep in and get cleaned up. They’ll gladly stand with a sign for you after you do this for them.
43. Underground Music – Is there a genre of music that your target market listens to? I bet there are hundreds, if not, thousands of music groups that are unsigned and lack funds to survive off their music. Why not offer to rent the hall for their next performance in exchange for flyers and banners during the show, or passed out at the door? You can also sponsor their CD production, or offer to get their website created in exchange for advertising at their shows, on the site, ect.
44. Cross-Promotion on 404 Pages – Network with other bloggers or website owners and exchange banners on 404 pages. You could also promote affiliate offers or at the very least, put a google adsense block on it. The ideas for this are limitless and you can do different tests on each of your websites.
45. M&M Candy – If you go to the M&M website, you’ll notice that you can personalize your candy. You can use this to either promote your business or just put a thank you onthe candy and give it to a client.
46. Hair Salon’s and Barber Shops – How much talking happens in one of these places on a daily basis? Why WOULDN’T you want to be a business they are talking about? Drop in and offer the hair stylists some free food from your restaurant or coupons for free products. They’ll be talking about you to everyone who comes through the salon for weeks to come!
47. 800 number and PO Box – I’ve talked about these two things before but I know they deserve to be mentioned here. If you’re looking for a company in the yellowpages or online and one has a home address and a number like this: 1-333-565-3245, while the one next to it has a PO Box for the address and a 1-800 number, which do you think is more likely to ‘look’ and ‘feel’ more professional? What company do you think is going to get the first call? You guessed it, the one with the 800 number and PO Box. Read Here to find out more about these.
48. Press Releases – Regardless of what anyone tells you, a well formed and well written press release can gain you a lot of attention not only from the media, but from the target market as well. Don’t let this simple tool pass you by when trying to establish your bootstrapped business.
49. Airplane Chauffeur – Find out when a trade show pertaining to your business will be in town. Next, hire a student or someone who will work for a low amount of money and have them hand make a sign with your websites address on it and stand next to baggage claim or right outside the door of the airport. They aren’t picking anyone up, but the people walking by and seeing your website address don’t know that.
50. Let Others Talk You Up – For the final tip in this installment of the list (yes, there will be more coming soon) I want to leave you with something that sounds so simple, but you probably never thought about. A lot of people will enlist their friends and family to talk to other people about their business, but why not get people who aren’t super close to you, pay them a bit of money and send them out to bars, clubs, movies, restaurants and other busy places to talk up your business. Any word of mouth is good, even if you have to by the persons dinner in order for them to do it. Every little bit helps.
Bootstrapping Resources, Featured, Guerrilla Marketing, Small Business
Fri, Feb 13, 2009