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Also, get permission to leave a small stack of your brochures in places where potential customers are likely to congregate such as doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms, local schools etc..
Another good idea is to send your brochure to editors of your local and regional newspapers together with a letter advising of your availability for interview as a local expert in your field.
Advertising can be as simple as placing classified ads in your local newspaper or as grand as purchasing television advertising slots. Here's a few ideas:
=> Classified Ads
Place small classified ads in your local and city newspapers and include URL of your website.
=> Yellow Pages
If you purchase display advertising in Yellow Pages, be sure to include your URL.
One page flyers advertising your product or service and including your URL can be printed cheaply and left on car windshields or distributed via letterbox drops in your local area.
=> Local TV Guide
Your local TV guide can be a good place to advertise cheaply if your product or service is of particular interest to a local geographic target audience. Again, be sure to include your URL.
=> Radio Advertising
Radio advertising can be an excellent buy for many small businesses. Call sales department of several radio stations that target your demographic. Be sure to ask about rates for different times of day and package deals.
=> Television Advertising
You're not going to be able to afford high price advertising exposure that's offered by likes of ABC or NBC but you may be surprised at how affordable advertising on your local cable channel can be. Contact sales department of your cable provider for details. This type of advertising is particularly effective if your product or services is oriented toward a specific geographic target market.
=> Direct Mail
Mailing lists of various sizes are available for rent or purchase for direct mailing your offer to prospective customers.
=> Press Releases
Press releases can act as a form of de facto advertising. Send your press release to editors of print periodicals.
Any local community offers ample opportunity for networking. Each networking function you attend is an opportunity to publicize your business and your website. Consider following:
=> local Chamber of Commerce => local industry groups => school functions => social events => charitable organizations => community functions, and => public speaking.
EVERY CHANCE YOU GET
Last but not least, getting word out should be a daily habit.
Every time you answer your business phone be sure to give caller your website address so they can find out more information about you and your business. Make sure your website address is included in message recorded on your answering machine.
=> Mail Inserts
Include a small insert promoting your business and your website in every piece of mail that leaves your home or office.
=> Word of Mouth
Finally, perhaps most effective and under-appreciated tool of them all word of mouth. Talk about your business and your website at every opportunity and encourage your customers, friends, family and colleagues to do same. You would be surprised at just how many businesses out there owe their success to little more than word of mouth referrals.
Successfully promoting an online business requires a sound understanding and methodical application of principles of online marketing and promotion.
But to focus on online methods to exclusion of offline does only half job. Give due attention to offline methods of promotion in conjunction with your online promotional efforts to ensure widest possible coverage of ALL of your potential markets.
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com