If you run a business solely online, you may think you should be advertising and otherwise to the online community as well. That could very well be a mistake. The Internet is a huge beast, and most businesses – especially small ones – are merely fleas. To stand out, you have to be doing something so innovative and spectacular that it can seem daunting to even begin. But have you thought about the offline world?
In your community, your company may be the only one doing what you’re offering to do. So it’s important not to only advertise your company online, but also in the offline world. The return on investment may very well surprise you. Avoid direct mail and billboards, even though they may seem like a great idea because more eyes will land on your ads. They’re too risky – and cost too much when there are so many other free options. Here are a few free ideas to get you started.
3 Easy Ways for Offline promotion of Online business:
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
This is an easy one. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Not only will this raise awareness that your business exists, but it will further legitimize it in the eyes of potential customers. Further, chambers of commerce play an important role in advocating for businesses on both the local and statewide levels, thus providing you with representation before government organizations without even hiring a lobbyist!
Attend networking events in your area. Most cities have get-together for people who work or own businesses in technology-related fields. There may even be meet-ups for people focusing on your area of business. Go to these. Nothing beats looking someone in the eye and shaking their hand to build trust and urge them to visit your online business or mention it to a friend. There’s a good reason politicians shake hands and kiss babies: it works.
Is there a business in your community that could benefit from the services your company offers? Set up a meeting with them. Pitch your business. If you can get a brick-and-mortar business to utilize your services, you once again gain credibility (and money). Further, your company – assuming you do a good job – will likely be recommended to other local businesses as well.
You can also attempt to collaborate with local businesses in your field that have a large offline presence but little to no online experience. Not only will you be working with a larger business, making money and gaining credibility, you’ll likely be building a long-term business relationship with that company as their go-to online service provider.
Not all of the above tips will work for every business, but at least one should for most. Either way, online businesses should always spend time focusing on their offline reputations and promotions. Brick-and-mortar businesses are already competing online – it’s time for you to compete offline, too.