How to Promote your New Business Offline

Every business has a website these days, right? But does every website get promoted offline? Probably not.

Not every website may be suitable for promoting offline. Let’s say you have a blog talking about global technology news, and you make money by selling advertising space, promoting that business in your local area would largely be a wasted effort! Whereas if you have a business that caters to your local area, promoting it locally, online and also offline, can maximize your exposure and your results.

Man holding sign promoting new business

And one big difference with offline versus online marketing, is with online marketing things are often very keyword focused, for example trying to rank in Google for a term like auto body tools. Whereas offline it’s all about brand, relationships, and credibility.

So let’s quickly jump through some options for promoting your local business website, in the “real world”.

Put Your Website Address on Everything

At the bottom (or top) of letters, on your business cards, on any promotional gifts you give out (mugs, t-shirts, etc.) you need to include your website address. Including your business name is great, and over time people will remember it, and more than likely Google it! But why not include your website at the same time?

If your website name closely matches your business name, fantastic! If there’s a bit of a mismatch between the two for whatever reason, you may want to rethink one of the other, as your brand could be getting muddled in people’s minds.

Local Networking

Chamber of Commerce, entrepreneurial meet ups, business functions: the more business relationships you establish, the more it helps embed you into the business community. And in particular those relationships can send you a lot of work through referrals, perhaps with the expectation of reciprocation (only if you want to though of course). If you serve your local area, and don’t really become part of the networks in that area, frankly you’re harming your business prospects.

Remember Direct Mail?

Self-promotion direct mail
photo credit: Behance

Do people still open mail? Sure they do! And unlike flyers and other mass distribution, direct mail lists can be tightly targeted. Okay, so what do you say? Well, one proven approach is to make an irresistible offer. And to follow up. This means that your first contact with your prospect by letter should be an offer so amazing that it’s almost like you’d be paying them to take it! Perhaps you’re worrying about losing money on the sale, and perhaps you will, but what’s the value of a customer worth over the next year, or five? You’re overcoming their initial resistance to becoming a customer, with an incredible offer that’s relevant to them.

But what if they don’t respond? Follow up a couple of weeks later, with the same, or a stronger offer, and perhaps include a personal note at the start saying you’re shocked they haven’t taken this ridiculous offer. Then follow up on them a couple of weeks after that, and then either stop at three, or keep going until it no longer makes economic sense to follow up. It can be a hassle to mail stuff out, but what’s each mailing going to cost you – a dollar? So even if you follow up twice a month for six months, it’s still only cost you $12. And again, how much is a customer worth to you?

These are just three out dozens of potential approaches to returning to the offline world to promote your business and your website, and attract hugely valuable customers.