Big brands do this all the time; people wear cloths with companies’ logos and names, think Nike, Old Navy etc’. Cars have their manufacture symbol in the front and the back of the vehicle. Apple have their logo on every product. Consumers are proud and happy to be seen with the products they use!
Big companies invest huge fortune to build up their reputation and in branding activities. You, as a small business owner, are not expected to spend that fortune on branding but you can still learn from them and adopt some tactics in your guerrilla marketing efforts to build your business identity.
You want to create a mechanism that will spread the word about your products or services. You also want that it will happen in the right place or in front of your potential clients – your target audience.
Not every business can use their logo and/or tag line on their products or services. That does not mean you, as a small business owner, cannot engage your customers and consumers in promoting your business. You can leverage different mediums to achieve the same goal.
Let’s be more practical and see what actions you need to take in order to enable your clients spread the word about your business.
Identify your consumers and clients
You have to have a clear idea who is your target market:
- Find things they use and value.
- What is their age range?
- Do they have common needs?
- Do they tend to be from a specific gender?
- Do they have a common lifestyle?
After you’ve done the research and answered the above questions, you need to identify the common elements, characteristics and needs. These findings will help you to come up with ideas. Depending on your type of business or the promotion method you choose; you want your message either be visible, usable or shared.
- Visible suits to cases where the products you provide are seen by others when your consumers use them and your logo or tag line is pretty clear and seen by others.
- Usable is when the promotion vehicle that you chose is being used often and reminds your clients about your business and services.
- If the promotion vehicle can be shared and likely to be shared with your message on it by your clients to your potential clients, it is a successful campaign.
Putting Theory into Practice
Till now it was all theory, let’s take some examples of what we, as small business owners, can do while trying to assist our happy clients to help us in promoting our businesses. I asked Steve Chou who blogs at MyWifeQuitHerJob.com to look at some of his students’ websites. To say that Steve goes the extra mile with his course, where he teaches how to create a profitable online store, would be an understatement. So I knew that his students’ websites are a perfect match to serve as examples for small businesses.
I chose walldecals.com for the example of providing the clients an image to share with their social circles. I took an image from their website and added at the bottom right the website address. Now, when the client share this image with their social circles whether by email, facebook, pinterest.com or any other way, is exposed to the business website and if interested can go to the website and see what else they have to offer. It is recommended that the business will email that image to the happy client and encourage him/her to brag about their new wall decoration.
In this example I’m going to use www.wineablegifts.com which provides unique hand painted glassware. This time let’s take the usable approach here and offer a completing accessory that will carry the business’ website address on it. One option for such accessory is wine a bottle opener that clients will be happy to use. It is highly probable that clients use the hand painted glasses when they host guests and these glasses also attract attention from their guests. They will use the wine opener with the website address on it so in case the guests are interested in the unique glassware they can direct them to the website.
In this last example we will use a small business that provides software solutions to other businesses. This kind of business should make sure that at the bottom of every report being produced by the software there is a mention like “report produced by www.YourCompany.com”. So whenever your clients share the reports with their clients your business solutions are being exposed to more people that might be interested in your services and solutions.
As you could see from the above examples, when you arm your clients with the right materials, they can serve as your agents by just being happy clients that are using your services or products.