We are busy people in this day and age. We run into this shop, drop this package off here, pick up this item from this store, rush home, and more. Our days are spent rushing around going to places and talking to people that we see everyday or week and not thinking about the marketing opportunities that may be sitting right in front of our noses.
For example, when was the last time you went to the grocery store and stopped and read the bulletin board that usually sits inside the exit after bagging your groceries? You probably have passed this board a hundred times and never stopped to read what was on it. If you were looking for certain services in your local area you may just find them on that bulletin board. Often small businesses like dog walkers, cleaners, and other everyday services will hang their brochures and cards in this area.
Lets take this a step further. Where do you go on a regular basis that could use your services to help their establishment? Do you go to the gym, the library, a certain restaurant where people know you? These are great places to creatively market your own business. You just have to keep your eyes out for a match with what you do.
I go to the gym every day of the week except weekends and say hi to people in between exercises and so on. Often we get talking about what we do for a job and you get to know people over time. Years ago a new gym opened up just down the street from my house. I was just beginning my business and fitness was an area I wanted to improve so I joined the gym. Over time the owner and I got to know each other and he found out I was a cartoonist. He was looking for some images to put up in the gym and asked if I had any ideas? I sure did! I suggested that I create a few cartoons relating to working out in the gym, printed them out on large paper, plaqued (similar to framing) them up nicely on wood and hang them on the walls where he had space. I added my website and name to each one and it worked like a charm. The gym owner got his place decorated with unique art. If people asked him about the cartoons he would tell them about me as the local artist. If people asked me about the cartoons I can talk about them and tell them what I do. It was a win-win for everyone.
Since those days we have moved out of that area to the other side of town. I still go the gym everyday and noticed at this new gym they put up a big board called “Fitness Funnies”. They were asking people to find funny cartoons to put on the board. Many are from the paper or the internet so I decided to bring in those same cartoons I had designed eight years earlier. Now I haven’t told a whole lot of people what I do yet, but when I gave the girl at the reception my cartoons to hang up and told them they were my own creations she was over the top excited. I enjoy working out on the machines and watching the people stop by to read them as they are larger than anything else on the board.
Now I am not looking to get work out of those cartoons, but as I create cartoons for other projects I may be able to use them for marketing there as well. The point is that opportunities to market your business are all around us but many people don’t realize it. Not all marketing needs to be in your face tactics. Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re not a cartoonist! If you have a business you have expertise in something. Maybe you could write an article to help people improve their experience. Are you a nutritionist? Can you post some nutrition information to a board on a monthly basis? Are you a safety professional? Can you talk write about safety at the gym or display a checklist on working safer? The trick is to keep your eyes open for creative ways to market your products or services. Over time those small markets will produce for you. Be creative with your marketing and you may just open up new markets. Good luck!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, and speaker on creativity, leadership, and business. He is the publisher of The Creative Chronicle Newsletter on improving your creativity, life, and business. get his newsletter sent right to your inbox with monthly specials and information. Click here to learn more about the Creative Chronicle. Click here to learn more Bruce Outridge.