15 Easy Ways to Advertise Offline

Here are a few pretty simple and affordable things you can get started with today to promote your home business in the real world.

1. Create flyers and post them to bulletin boards at stores, churches, daycare’s, laundry mats, etc. Remember to always get permission from a manager first if you are supposed to.

2. Have t-shirts, hats, tote bags or buttons made and then WEAR them! While you’re out running errands, people will undoubtedly notice and ask you about your product or service.

3. USE your product! If you sell makeup, use it. If you sell candles, burn them. If you sell clothes, wear them. If you sell homewares, decorate your house with them. Believe in your product and others will too!

4. Pass out business cards everywhere you go! Leave 2 or 3 cards with people so they can give them to friends, put them in your bills, leave on the table with a tip, hand one to the cashier at the store, drop them into lunchtime drawing jars. You can get them free, just pay shipping and handling from Vista Print so there is no reason to not have them.

5. Talk to people everywhere you go! Strike up a conversation, ask them what they do and if they like it. Don’t pre-judge – you never know who may be interested in what you’re offering or in starting their own home business. Be interested in what they say to you, get a feeling for what their needs are and then offer your solution whether it be your product, service or opportunity.

6. Use your car to advertise with hanging signs in the window, magnetic car signs or I.D. It Plates and Drive traffic to your site. In an average day, several hundred people will see your car and remember your sign later on. Check with your tax laws as I’ve heard in some states this will classify your vehicle as “commercial” so keep that in mind.

7. Give a “Club Card” that can be punched (or crossed off) with each purchase. EX: One punch for every $10 (numbered 1 – 10 across the bottom of the card) and get a free item. One punch for every purchase, get the 11th order at 20% off. These guarantees repeat customers, as they will buy to get the free item or discount. The amount spent and freebie or discount can be any you choose.

8. Advertise in your local newspapers. ‘Bargain hunter’ and ‘Penny-pinching’ ads work well to get started with, as they are low cost, go out to your entire local area and are read (believe it or not) by most people. You can also place ads on your local TV stations and radio stations.

9. Swap advertising flyers, biz cards and “perks” with other businesses. This can be done either online with other home businesses or with small businesses locally. Go to several businesses and offer to pass out their promotional material if they agree to do the same for you.

10. Begin a Newsletter and mail it to your customers monthly or bi-monthly. Keep them updated on your new products, sales and specials, upcoming events or anything else relevant to your business. Other information can include decorating tips, recipes, safety issues, home and family fun, anything at all that you think your customer would be interested in!

11. If you can afford to, have some sales aids made up. These can be calendars, pens, pencils, refrigerator magnets, snack bag clips, memo pads, post-it notes, monitor cleaners, novelty games, stress balls, etc. You can even get your ad on a MousePad! Get these printed up with your business information on them. Everyone loves a great freebie, especially if it’s useful! Or you can get started with simpler items from The Oriental Trading Co. They offer tons of theme items at low, low prices!

12. Put your URL on your checks. You aren’t even aware of everyone who sees your checks and any one of these people could become a customer, hostess or your next recruit! If possible get your email address printed on them also. Do the same with your pre-printed return address labels too!

13. Have a self-inking or rubber stamp made up with your business URL and contact information on it. Then start stamping every piece of paper, brochure and catalog before it goes out because it only takes a minute to do it!

14. Host an Open House. This is an EXCELLENT way to get your name out there if you are just starting out and to show customer appreciation if you’re already in the full swing of things! Invite family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Have a display of your products, some awesome finger food and a few door prizes. Offer a free gift or a discount if they order today, then give them a couple business cards, coupon and catalog to take with them for their NEXT order! For those of you that accept payments online with PayPal, PayCodes is an awesome coupon system and the only one online that works in conjunction with PayPal. I’ve used it successfully and my customers love the savings!

15. Last but not least, dont be afraid to ask!! Ask for the sale, ask for a booking and ask if they would like information about the opportunity. The only thing they can say is “No” and that’s not so bad. Chances are, they’ll remember you in the future when they need what you are offering.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope you can find something useful here to help you advertise off the Internet or at least get your creative juices to come up with a few “out of the box” methods yourself.

About the Author

Vickie Carlson is a full-time work at home mom, owner of Candle-Hounds.com and editor at WAHM-Zine.com, an online ezine and discussion forum. Each issue is packed with articles, tips and resources to help you run a profitable business from home. © 2004, Vickie Carlson.

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