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Cheap Advertising

Looking for more ways to reach your market inexpensively?

When you mail an invoice, enclose a business card, a coupon, or a free sample. In some cases, it won't cost a penny extra.

Think about partnering with complementary businesses. If you have a newsletter, print or online, offer promotional space in exchange for promoting your business in theirs. Combined mailings are another possible win-win.

You can expand that strategy to include cooperative advertising. It doesn't necessarily have to be between two businesses. Partner with a non-profit organization in your marketing efforts.

Advertising specialties are a good way to maximize your marketing mileage. Pens, notepads, and business card magnets are useful to anyone and appropriate for any business. And they're cheap. An added bonus is that they're relatively lightweight. So, if you include them with mailings you're already doing, the cost is minimal. If you're mailing an order, they may not cost you another cent.

When you're choosing a promotional item, think about how and where the recipient will likely use it. Then, think about how that relates to marketing your business. Is your goal to increase sales through your website? If it is, an imprinted promotional mousepad would probably be a better choice than a refrigerator magnet, for example.

Pens are one of the most popular tools. Everyone uses them, and everyone borrows them. You can encourage the latter by giving away several to each customer.

Color captures people's attention. And sometimes you only have that attention for a few moments. There are lots of ways to use color to your advantage for that brief period you have to win over a customer.

One strategy is to use color as you would a bold font. Most people won't read every word of your brochure, newsletter, or even your business card. So, imagine you have only five seconds, or ten seconds to make an impression, to communicate your marketing message. Then, use color, or colors, accordingly.

Avoid using a color that's too light. The same goes for a color that's too harsh. People often make the latter mistake when they're going for an accent. With an accent color, you want something that's vibrant enough to immediately capture attention, but with enough depth to make it readable.

Don't get carried away with color, i.e. too much of a good thing. Use color strategically. Sometimes the most effective use of color can be a single use of an accent color, also known as spot color.

Just remember that the less an accent color is used, the more impact it has.

If you want to take broader advantage of color, use two or more. Choose a far less eye-popping color to emphasize words throughout text. Then, use a brilliant, but readable, color minimally. Think minimal for maximum effect.

What are you putting off doing? Is it starting a business? Is it changing course? Pursuing a niche you've always been interested in? Whatever it is, start now.

You can start small. You can take it slowly. But never underestimate the power of baby steps over a period of time.

If you need some inspiration, try googling "the daffodil principle".

In celebration of its 10th birthday, Google has a time travel option on its home page.

You can search the web using Google's index from ten years ago. What's really interesting, though, is when you compare the same search to today's index.

Here are just a few random - very random - examples:

Today, you can search for sunglasses and get 61,900,000 results. Ten years ago, you would have gotten less than a million.

Pet toys yield 3,520,000 results today as opposed to only 414,000 a decade ago.

If you searched for business cards ten years ago, you got over five million results returned. Today, it's over ten times that number.

None of the above is probably much of a surprise to any of us. However, it underscores that as competitive as things are now, they'll be even more so in a few years.

And, really, competition isn't all bad. At the very least, it shows that other people think your business idea has some merit.

Think of it like this:

You have this great idea for a website on organic pet rocks. Surprisingly - or not - the search phrase "organic pet rocks" yields only two results. Both of those results, by the way, take you to the website, I rest my case.

Differentiate Yourself
Information Marketing
Building Customer Loyalty
Getting Customer Feedback
How to Define a Niche
Discovering Niches
Finding New Customers
Indirect Benefits
The Consumer's Perspective
Promotional Marketing
Pricing Products and Services
Viral Marketing Magic
Marketing Mix
Website Niches
Cheap Advertising Strategies
Complementary Marketing

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