In Part I of this blog post, I covered the first 3 offline marketing strategies that can increase your traffic online. A quick review includes:
1. Put your URL on every piece of printed matter.
2. Submit press release to local newspapers & trade publications.
3. Send “snail mail” announcements to your current mailing list.
Now, you can explore and experiment with tips 4 through 6:
#4. Join professional organizations and/or community groups.
The number of civic, professional or charitable organizations is endless. However, don’t just join, pay your membership dues, and walk away. Many people who do so, sit back and wait for business to come their way. Clients won’t automatically knock on your door just because you’ve become a member of the local chapter of the ABC Association.
Get involved. Volunteer to serve on a committee or council, or sit on the Board of Directors. While colleagues find out who you are, learn more about your business and your capabilities, you’re increasing your network of contacts and are given the chance to show your expertise.
#5. Offer to speak in public.
“The best way to market yourself is to give yourself to the market. Expose yourself to your prospects,” wrote Jeffrey Gitomer.
Call your local Chamber of Commerce. Many Chambers offer their membership free monthly meetings where a professional comes in and speaks on a specific topic of interest. I’ve given presentations on such topics as: “Millionaire Marketing on a Beer Budget,” “How To Maximize Your Web Site’s Positioning,” “DIRECT Is Not a Four-Letter Word,” and more.
Other organizations such as local chapters of the American Marketing Association (AMA), Business Marketing Association (BMA) or Rotary Clubs are interested in finding new speakers to present to their members as well. That person could be you.
“Don’t wait to be asked,” advise Jean Withers and Carol Vipperman (Marketing Your Service Business. Self-Counsel Press). “Come up with an interesting topic. In the Yellow Pages, look up clubs, organizations, and professional associations. Identify those whose membership might include prospective clients, and call the program directors of those organizations.”
Sharing what you know increases your credibility, puts you among a circle of prospects who may eventually need your services, and gives you the opportunity to handout materials, brochures, business cards — all which now have your new URL printed on them.
#6. Write articles for business or trade publications.
As Amy and Robert Bly explained in an article entitled, In Search of Ink, “Just one article in a trade journal can bring a company hundreds of leads and thousands of dollars in sales . . . it’s a safe bet there’s at least one that could accommodate a story from your company.”
Now add your URL to the byline of your article and increase your exposure to a broader audience then before. Most publications will give you a byline that includes your Web address. Curious readers may also be curious Web “surfers.”
Whether you have an existing Web site or are getting ready to launch a new one, keep the six offline strategies – discussed in Part I and Part II – in mind as part of your marketing plan.
You’ll find they’re successful in getting not only your URL, but your name and your company or product name, out there among prospects. As a result, you’ll find that when prospects visit your site, you’re making sales or generating leads.
And, when the phone rings, the person on the other end may have never met you, but has seen your Web site or blog and now wants to talk business with you.
Have you used any of the six offline marketing strategies to generate leads to your web site or blog? If so, which ones worked best for you? Have a new one you’d like to add to the list?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.