Get set up on directories.
Directories are an often-overlooked free method of advertising that can be set up in just a few hours. Many people still use directories and phone books to find service-based businesses, and just being there increases your chances of being found. There may also be service-specific websites and directories that you can add yourself to that will increase your business for relatively little investment in time or money.
For many people, advertising shouts ‘expensive,’ but this isn’t always true. Start by looking for websites and magazines that you know your customers will be looking in, and check the media deck for the advertising opportunities and prices. If you’re in a small niche, you may find that advertising opportunities are reasonable enough to test. A good alternative to advertising in newspapers or magazines is to set up a banner near your physical store. This will help guide people to your store and can be very effective if you’re hidden off the main street. Make sure to find a good printer like Printmoz, which can create a high-quality banner for you that’s going to get people to notice it.
If you want to get into a newspaper or magazine but don’t want to pay, then choosing a press release distribution service is the option for you. You won’t be able to be as promotional as in an ad, where you can specify your services and contact information, but you’ll be able to secure articles in magazines that people often see as more legitimate. If you have a new acquisition or growth story, then this could be an ideal press release. You may also be able to contact publications in your industry and pitch ideas for thought leadership pieces. These need to be informative on a topic that’s genuinely interesting to your customers. Doing this will present you as a thought leader and can be a great way to get extra business.
One thing that’s consistent with almost every service or product is that your customers are most likely using Google to find it. One way to get in front of these people is with Google Ads, which place you at the very top of the Google results page. This is a great place to be, and if your ad looks relevant and interesting to the person searching, they may click on your ad, which will take them to your website. One of the huge benefits of Google Ads is that you can specify the searches you want to appear for, such as ‘pet grooming in New York’ and only pay for people that click on your ad. These two things mean that you know the clicks you’re getting to your website are relevant and have a high chance of converting into sales. You can also test multiple ads at the same time, meaning that you get data on what copy and calls to action work the best for your customers, meaning you can improve the performance of your campaigns over time.