How do I Promote?
How to Promote my business is a question often asked but not often answered. Having promoted many of my own and other people’s business’s successfully over the years I can give you a few tips on what worked for me and other’s based on first-hand experience. I want to start off by saying that it is infinitely easier and cheaper today than ever before. In the past, it required hard wok and dogged persistence with deep pockets unless you were over the top willing to take rejection and failure on a daily basis to get your product known. How is that? Well going back only a couple decades there was no internet, social media, thousands of channels on the tv, blogging, youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and the rest. Back in the day, you had the local newspaper, radio, TV and word of mouth-period. Getting any of those methods done required lot’s of work because we didn’t have the single biggest promotional device to date, the humble cell phone. Not only did you have to find a phone to call from but you had to be available at that phone to receive a callback. This added a huge factor of time to accomplishing anything. It also made you travel from location to location for such simple things as printing, photo development and regular mail. Yes, it was a daunting task to just get a photo looked at by an editor much less produce your own commercial for radio tv or an ad for the paper. No, before I give you some ideas on how to promote I want to simplify the definition of the word promote and clearly separate it from marketing. Promotion is making things known. That is it. It’s getting the word out that you exist and that is all. Once people know you are there then and only then can they look at your product or business. Now marketing is just bringing your product to the market. That is simply taking out an add, putting up a sign or getting your product on a shelf in the local store. Separating these two terms is key to know what you are trying to accomplish. We are talking about promoting here so how do we get you known in this day and age? Personally, I feel that a background in the old ways is helpful for the overall idea and that today’s social media, the internet, and news responds very well if you are persistent and determined in your approach. I might add that cleverness will help but it is not necessary if you follow my lead or successful promoters you encounter on a day to day basis.
First, get over the idea of not bothering people. being too pushy, playing it safe or not taking chances because all of those will cut your ability to promote successfully and end up with you hungry and wondering what happened. If you have trouble with this, then by all means, find someone you know who is out there and willing to communicate for you. Nobody will talk about and create interest for your place like you so don’t be shy and start talking it up. What does this entail? It means having business cards and giving them to everyone you run into. When you are at the supermarket and the girl is ringing you up’,give her a card and an invite to your new place. At the bank, car wash, doctor, lawyer, hairdresser, dry cleaners, tell them about your place with pride. Most people you spend money with and do business with will want to exchange with you and bring you some business as a friendly gesture. Do you have neighbors, relatives, clubs, churches, sports teams that you belong to or are part of? Well, tell them who you are and what you are doing. Do not be shy. People love to talk and want something to talk about so give it to them. Get out there on social media and start using that camera for something other than selfies. Do a google search on how to write a press release and write one, then get on a free press release site and send it out. Bring your samples to local businesses. Sponsor a local team. Get your car wrapped or paint it yourself.
Now get on facebook, snap chat, youtube, twitter and start talking it up and sharing photos of who and what you are doing. Take pictures of your customers, your product, your friends and local celebrities or teams with your product.Then send that out in another press release, video and media blitz. Invite your local schools to an event, knock on doors and introduce yourself. This is your life and business. You make damn sure your products are good now don’t be half-assed with telling people about it and I guarantee you will see results. Marc Cosentino