That's not what I'm saying. Please read more, and I promise you'll understand.
Remember, at its core, marketing is all about attention. Attention for your business and the products and services you offer. The attention from your customer or potential customer and how they spend their disposable income. In today's social and digitally driven world everyone is competing for the same extremely competitive attention. Now is the time to take a look around at spots where the attention isn't so competitive and pounce on those opportunities. They might require more effort, but in the long run, your work will pay off.
Here are some areas that I believe are less competitive but will deliver results if you put in the time.
1. Give back to the community — Do you and your staff believe in a local charity or group active in your community? Take the opportunity to join forces to help them. Volunteer your time or space in your shop to help promote them. In turn, you'll see positive representation in the local media and be doing the right thing for your community.
2. Host a networking event — Do you have space within your shop to host a monthly networking event? If so, put it to use. Invite your existing customers as well as business leaders from your community to join you. A small investment in refreshments will pay off with a single sale. Perhaps one of your existing customers owns a restaurant and would want to sponsor the refreshments. You get free or discounted snacks, and they get the promotion. That's a win-win in my book.
3. Cross promotions — The networking event could lead directly to a cross promotion relationship. Work with the friends you met at the networking event to get your store name or display vehicles in other locations. A dirt bike in the back of a pick-up at your local car dealer is a great cross promotion idea. You can alternate with the dealership to have one of their display on your lot or inside (if you have space).
4. Physical mailings — Take a look at your customer list. Is there a targeted group that would benefit from getting a piece of physical mail? It's crazy how little mail people receive in the mailbox anymore. That makes this one worth the effort and expense. Make sure you provide a quality design with a call to action that makes them come back and shop.
5. Host a workshop — These can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make them. The key is to provide good advice from experts on your staff. If your employees cannot do them, reach out to the distributors or manufacturers to come in and put on the seminar. Topics like basic bike maintenance or riding safety make excellent starting points for what could become a monthly event. The attendees from these events would make a great focus group for the physical mailings you are thinking about doing.
6. Leave your business card behind — From the bagel shop to dry cleaner, most local businesses have a spot to leave a business card or flyer behind. You can take this one step further and create a simple one-sheet of what your business offers. Leaving a card or flyer behind is a small task with little financial investment, but one that can lead to sales. A business card or flyer still has a lot of attention because people don't see them very often any longer.
So there you have it. Six ways to not rely on social media and promote your business. What other non-digital ideas do you have? I'd love to hear from you, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Lukaitis is a writer, photographer and powersports industry professional with more than 25 years of experience from the dealership to the manufacturer level. He owns and provides content for his websites njmotocross.com, lukaitisphoto.com, and scottlukaitis.com and is currently the chief operating officer at Engine Ice Hi-Performance Coolant.
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